It was a dark and windy night. The whole town was quiet. Nobody dared step outside and risk a fine or imprisonment. Only two men hidden in a narrow, shabby alleyway decided to break the curfew. Both men were wearing long, hooded black cloaks which made it impossible to recognise who it was.
"Will the job be done by dawn?" asked the first ma. He had a rich accent, one from a wealthy family.
"Of course, your gr-" The second man started to say before he was interrupted by the first.
"Do not address me. Anyone could be listening in. We do want to raise suspicions, do we?"
"No. Of course not. I will not make the mistake again."
"Good. Now answer my question."
"What question?" The second man asked and then after a stern look he added, "I will complete the job tonight." I'll make sure there is no evidence left behind. No one will know what has happened or who has done the deed."
"Good. No one should suspect us. Now, hurry, and do not forget to disguise yourself. As a priest, perhaps. No one will question a priest."
"What about the money?" The second man asked. There was a tinge of hope in his voice.
"Tomorrow. I'll arrange a time and place. Now, leave."
The second man nodded and hurried along, clutching a bundle of clothes. He turned the corner and was gone.
The remaining man waited for a few minutes and then glanced around, making sure that he was not watched. He failed to notice a small owl, perched high.
The owl followed the man until he had reached the castle, slipping in through the back entrance by the gardens. The owl circled the castle once, twice, thrice before swooping into the private chambers of the Queen.
In the poor district, a carpenter and his wife were celebrating the birth of a son. The carpenter's wife had chosen a name for her first born, a name she thought was fit for him.
"Aladin?" the carpenter laughed and then shook his head. "That name doesn't belong to anyone who lives as we do."
"Well, one day, he'll grow to do great things." The carpenter's wife said, a hopeful glimmer in her eyes. The carpenter laughed again. "Next, you'll say that he will marry a princess."
The wife became silent, and then in a voice as though she will be shunned, she said "What of before your accident? Don't you wonder sometimes whether you were a man of wealth?"
The carpenter stopped laughing and stared down at the ground. He hated the mention of the accident. He remembered nothing before a couple of years ago. He didn't know his parents, where he was from or he was.
The carpenter's wife, realising that she should not have said what she had, changed the subject. "The Queen. She's expecting soon. I wonder whether she'll have a son or a daughter."
"The King, of course, will be hoping for a boy, for an heir. No doubt he doesn't want the throne to go to-"
A knock on the door stopped the conversation.
The carpenter and his wife were found dead the following morning and Aladin was sent to live with his maternal family.