Escapade

[after strong consideration, Escapade is 'under construction' and will be resumed at the end of this semester.]
[[description being revised]]

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4. Four

With a pang of dizziness, I sat up. My head was spinning and my entire body was on fire. The blankets around me were damp with sweat, and my hair was sticking to my cheeks. Sunlight blared into the room, and the curtains to the balcony brushed the walls as the wind pushed past them.

“She’s awake! Get Silvia.” Someone shouted as I fell back onto my pillow. I recognized the voice, Mai, and turned my head slightly towards her. Her blonde hair was tangled and her dress was wrinkled. There were guards stationed outside of my door, and two outside on the balcony. I wrinkled my nose at the smell of antibiotics and herbal tea that sat next to my bed.

Silvia came running into the room, hair a disaster and eyes sulky with exhaustion. “Nice to see you, Keira.” She smiled, making her way over to my bed.

“He said I was late for something…” I moaned, turning away from her touch. She looked at me, confusion spreading across her face.

“Who did?” Silvia asked.

“The man… There was a man, he was in that room.” I replied, lifting my hand weakly to point to the room. There was a board of wood nailed across it, and the hinges had been molded together. There wasn’t a doorknob, either.

“Someone broke into your room three nights ago, you were hurt pretty badly and haven’t woken up since.” Mai cut in. I looked over to her.

“I’ve been asleep for two days?” I started. Sitting up, I realized that we had guests still. “How are our guests?” I asked.

“They’ve requested an audience with you as soon as you’ve woken up, and healed.” Silvia forced a steaming glass into my hands. “Tea. Drink it.” She told me, glaring at me.

I forced the tea down my throat, requesting a sip of water every now and then to cool my mouth down. Silvia took a bowl and started mashing leaves together, dumping them off of the balcony if they weren’t the right amount, or not the right texture. When she got the right amount and found it suitable for her , she poured a small bit of water into the bowl and mixed it. It was a gooey, soup-like consistency, that smelled of herbs.

“What’s that for?” I asked, staring at the bowl in Silvia’s hand. Her hand rested on the table she was seated at, and she set the bowl down.

“Your head. Whoever hit you, hit you hard.” She replied.

It stung. It stung like a bee, who refused to give up stinging you until their little stinger was broken into pieces and they were dead. It stung like burying salt in a deep wound, or pouring lemon juice on a cut. I squeezed my eyelids down as the substance was applied to a deep gash in my head. I felt it sizzle beneath my skin, and then feel as if it was exploding in tiny little spots, but all at once.

“Give it a rest, Silvia! Please!” I yelled, swatting my nurses hand away. The spoon went flying out of her hands, skidded across the floor, and landed at my sleeping sisters feet. Silvia watched as it left marks of green paste on the freshly cleaned floor, then turned to me with a look of disapproval.

“It will help your cut!” She argued. I threw my hands in the air and refused to let her get another spoon to apply the gooey, green paste to my head.

“I don’t care. It will heal soon enough.”

“But the prince will think it unladylike of you to be walking around with a wound on one of your most visible features, and refuse treatment!” She prodded on, the tone of her voice becoming almost childish and annoying. I rolled my eyes.

“I do not care what the prince thinks. I don’t care what my father thinks, either.” I responded harshly.

“Suit yourself.” She said and shrugged her shoulders.

Silvia walked over and placed the bowl on the table, where documents and books lay scattered about on the top. Glasses of wine and water, some empty and some half-full, sat on some of the books and stacks of paper.

“Mai,” I called, jerking my sister awake, “Call for Kiton to be saddled. I’m going for a ride.”

“You've only just woken up! You’re a mess!” Mai protested. I rolled my eyes, and motioned for one of the men stationed by my door to come closer.

“Think you can do what my sister won’t?” I asked him, laughing as he smiled and nodded. He walked quickly out of the room, only turning to bow to my sister and I momentarily, and then made his way down the hall to the stables.

 

*

 

“That strike was too low. Pick it up higher, or you’ll hit your own knee!” The blade of my fathers sword whizzed past my face. I jerked back and swung my sword towards his knee, jabbed it forward, and twisted it in my hands as I pulled it back to block his oncoming attacks.

“Better! Now do it again, this time faster.” My father yelled, drawing his sword.

Again, I repeated the movement faster. The leather-covered hilt slid perfectly between my fingers, and was just the right size for me to hold without causing a stiffness in my hand.

Whoosh. Fathers sword hit mine, knocking it out of my hands. In less that a second, the tip of the blade was at my throat. I looked right, and saw my sword sticking in a flagpole over by the weaponry tent.

Laughing, I drew a dagger from my belt and slammed it against the sword. With a loud, screeching noise, the dagger’s blade dug into the sword’s blade, and pushed it to the ground. It hit the ground and splashed mud up onto my boots, and as my father reached to pull it out, I whipped the dagger around to hold the blade and shoved the hilt into his chest, pushing him away. He stumbled back a few steps and I followed, kicking the sword behind me. It fell, and I stepped back onto the blade.

“Well,” He said, panting and wiping mud off his brow, “You’re getting better.”

I dropped the dagger and stomped over to the pole that my sword was impaled in, and pulled the shiny metal thing out of the wood.

“In other words, there is no hope and I will most likely be the first one killed in battle.” I mumbled just loud enough for him to hear. He picked his sword up from the ground and made his way over to the tent, where guards stood stationed.

“Are you finished for the day?” One asked. My father nodded and handed him the sword, which the man took into the tent. I handed mine to another guard, and he followed the other man into the tent.

“Any news on the princess?” I asked, rubbing my hands together.

“Only that she has woken up, and is doing better.” He replied. I smiled and nodded, letting my hands drop down to my sides.

“And what about her sister, Mai? Will she be able to ride with me this afternoon?” The wind blew through my hair. I noticed the leaves on the apple trees turning inside out, and the windows being shut, and the tents and huts for the servants being closed.

Raindrops began pelting my head. My father jogged up ahead of me, putting his arms over his head while he ran. I did the same, and soon caught up with him.

“Not in this weather!” He called. Chills ran up my spine as we entered the palace, drenched. In a matter of seconds the small amount of rain turned into a full-fledged storm. Outside, I could hear the clattering of bells and the whipping of the flags in the wind.

“King Abverlen!” A girlish voice called. Flying down the stairs, in a long yellow gown, came Mai. Her hair was pulled up in a knot behind her head, with few wisps hanging in front of her eyes. She brushed them away as she came and bowed before us. “I came to tell you that my sister, princess Keira, has awoken and will be well enough within a day to grant your wishes to meet with her by tomorrow afternoon.” Her words came in a rush, slurring every once in awhile. She smiled greatly, her eyes occasionally locking on mine. I fought the urge to walk away.

“Oh, well… That is wonderful news! Please, send my best wishes.” My father told her. She nodded.

“Of course. Is there anything I can have the servants do for you?” The princess started. “Or, perhaps, anything I could do for you?”

The question was directed at me. My jaw dropped, and my father chuckled.

“I think he’s fine, princess. Everything is just fine.” My father told her.

“Yes… Erm… Everything is great. Please, return to your sister and make sure she’s well!” I said. Mai’s smile faded a bit as she curtsied low, tucking in her head enough to make sure that we got a good look down her dress.

I looked away as she did so, and rolled my eyes as she ran off, the heels of her shoes clicking on the ground.

“This is going to take a while.” Besides me, father sighed and placed his hand on his forehead, laughing at my stupidity.

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