It was nearing the time of eleven O’clock where the old grandfather’s clock chimed loudly. Victoria couldn’t sleep, although she distinctly knew she was meant to be in bed by half eight at night for school- well, home schooled. She was lying upon the black velvet silk king-sized duvet, but she was finding herself sinking into it slowly. Her room was grand, too big for a fourteen year old. Victoria thought that this bedroom should have really belonged to the masters of the house; in this case, her parents. Her flooring was a mushroom brown carpet, but her walls were crawling with darkness. She had no toy that she liked anymore, seeing as she was fourteen at this time. She had a huge, dark wooden wardrobe and a balcony.
But for some reason, she felt as if this space wasn’t enough for her- she felt as if something was missing. The room looked too big and plain, and the smell was just old and not at all extraordinary.
Although she still had her parents, servants, butlers, chefs and musicians to entertain her; she was not allowed to leave this manor. She felt like a prisoned princess in a mansion in a fairy tale.
Only, it wasn’t as simple as that for her.
You see, this place she lives in is no ordinary place as she recalled not four moon’s ago.
It was her actual fourteenth birthday. The whole scenery and parties were always traditional and never changed in the slightest; well perhaps the music. Sometimes it was classical, western music, all that sort of jazz. She was sitting underneath a willow tree, admiring the dangling loose green branches swooping down to the ground, swaying blissfully against the calm wind like damp wet hair. It was a sunny day at that too, but there were only a few grey clouds in the sky- but some were miniscule, or just small. The heat wasn’t too bad as she remembered, it was humid; perfect weather for a thunder storm. She even remembered on what dress she had been wearing that day; a traditional ball gown but with dark patterns blended in with a deep red. The dress also flowed down to the tips of her ankles, almost like a lampshade. She still had it in her wardrobe, but she hasn’t worn it ever since then. The willow tree was far beyond her boundaries from where she was allowed to go in the manor without supervision. But who could blame her, right? It was a beautiful meadow that no one could possibly resist to explore in. But she also remembered why her parent’s forbidden her into going into the meadow. It wasn’t part of their manor, but it was no other person’s territory.
It was just free man’s land- that she thought there was no harm in exploring.
When she was exploring the meadow, it felt like a maze with a range of flowers in all shades of colours. She traced her skinny fingers along the smooth edges that she could find and admired the red, white and black roses mostly. But she remembered another person being there at the time too. She didn’t realize it until he had just simply said behind her.
“Admiring the black rose bush I see?” He almost sounded as if he was admiring her. When she twirled around to see the anonymous person, he looked so laid back.
He was in a black tuxedo, and his hair was a golden, reddish brown colour, and his hair was chopped up, however styled into a handsome, ragged, matted hairstyle. He was pale white, like freshly fallen snow, his eyes were hazel dark brown, and his lips were a deep cherry red tone that almost made him look dead- or abnormal for that matter. This was the first time she saw the lone figure, admiring her as she admired the rose bushes. He was so laid back and gentle; but something inside of her felt different, not the love, mysterious way.
Well, perhaps mysterious, but he also came across as spooky and alluring. He had this way of silencing her with words that she couldn’t understand, but she felt as if they were compliments in the nice tone he was shooting at her, but in the cold tone, were probably most insults. Most of the time they weren’t even talking, they were either gazing at each other lost in thought, or either being intrigued on something else.
But all the beautiful yet startled moment was ruined as one of the maids came hurrying in the meadow, clutching tightly on to a handful of Victoria’s deep, violet hair that she had curled for the party. The maid was dragging her along the damp, wet muddy grass, getting her gown stained. She was screaming and screeching at the top of her voice, almost sounding like a cat being strangled agonizingly.
Victoria closed her eyes tight shut, trying to block the thoughts out of her head, but badly failing. So she kicked of the duvet underneath her violently, sighing in frustration as she couldn’t sleep. After huffing and puffing, she decided to sneak down stairs- but before walking out of the door, she grabbed the flashlight that was tucked far beyond in her wardrobe among the shoes and old black hardback books. And then she walked out of the room, closing the door so quiet so it wouldn’t echo around the hallway, seeing as the maid that dragged her by her hair back to the ball lived on that floor as well. She held tightly on the brown glazed wooden banister as she scattered down the two spiral flights of stairs, and stopped hesitantly as she noticed that the ground flooring was black and white tiled. That meant her feet would have echoed anytime she ran in the hall way.
Going on to Plan B, she decided to slowly walk out into the back garden. She thought she blended quite well in the dark witching hour, her appearance made the scenery look almost intriguing yet horrifying. She felt as if she didn’t want to go back into the manor just yet, but back at the thought of the beautiful meadow she once explored in- she decided to make her way through there. However, she thought she saw a distant yellow glow from a lantern heading that way quickly. She could tell there were a few others, but they all looked like children. After they all snuck into the meadow, Victoria counted eleven small people (she didn’t know whether it was actually children, so she was a little uncomfortable at the thoughts in her head at the time).
Moving on, Victoria opened the weeping willow’s dangling green branches she remembered, and ran as fast as she could, until she stopped at the entrance point of the meadow.
It was still looked as the vivid image in her head clearly, but now it was in the dark hour; she felt discomforted, and strange. But she was forcing herself in to say the least. It was better than the thought of lying in a room feeling completely isolated from the outside world. She followed on far behind where the orange lantern was hovering towards. But she kept her mouth shut, and her movements slow and muted as the person holding the orange light was not alone.
When she got a closer look towards the group of strange looking people, she noticed that the one carrying the lantern came to a quick halt, which caused the eleven small people in the line bump into each other. Victoria froze for an instant second, and ducked behind a black rose bush, quickly flicking of her dim light in the flashlight, covering her mouth with her hand. She noticed through the gaps of the black rose bush, the man was wearing a dark cloak that covered pretty much everywhere besides his chin. He raised the lantern up slightly, almost as if he was trying to fill the area with a dim glow, but visible enough to see where they were going.
“Sir, why did ya stop? What’s bragging in on your cursed mind of yours this time?” One of the small people asked, with a strange, dark Scottish accent. It was deep, almost like a grown man’s voice. The Victoria pulled a facial expression to herself that came across between ‘stupid’ and ‘embarrassed’.
They were large dwarves!
She heard the man’s voice growl and his teeth grind softly together, making her shiver in fright.
“There’s someone watching…” He grumbled in a quiet voice- probably to make sure that the dwarves could hear. But it sounded to her like; he wasn’t trying to do a very good job of keeping his voice in a lower tone. The dwarves exchanged a few panicking gasps- as if they weren’t allowed to be in the meadow. Victoria buried herself more into the bushes, to try and blend in more with the scenery.
“What’re’ ye’ talking about? I aint’ seeing anyone around here?” The same dwarf exclaimed, almost sounding as if he were crazy. He had a Alaskan yeti’s hat on, Victoria thought it was Alaskan because the texture was brown fluffy bear. They all wore fluffy cavemen like clothing, as if they were from a different time- and each dwarf carried some sort of weapon.
The majority of them were wooden spiked maces.
One foolish dwarf decided to tap the mace onto his palm, completely forgetting that there were silver, hot spikes projecting out of the top. He squinted in pain as the spikes actually pierced into his palm and he jerked the mace back out of reach, and shifted slightly uncomfortable as he realized everyone’s eyes were fixed upon him, with their bushy masculine eyebrows raised up in confusion. Although Victoria couldn’t quite imagine what the facial expression underneath the cloaked man looked like, she was pretty certain that his was in frustration and spooked out- because, that’s how she was feeling.
“Show yourself!” The cloaked man shouted dauntingly, and faced the direction Victoria was hiding. The foolish dwarf hid away quickly among the group of dwarves, hoping he wouldn’t have been chosen to do some “business”. Victoria gulped slowly, she backed away from the rose bush, and shifted to her left, seeing as that was the quickest entrance to go, and stood there awkwardly, and uncomfortably. The eleven dwarves gasped in pure amazement. She noticed that the foolish dwarf was nudging a member of the group, whispering something she couldn’t quite understand from his Scottish accent. She even noticed that the cloaked figure lowered his lantern by his waist in surprise.
“Sire, it can’t be her-“The idiotic dwarf exclaimed, whispering it in a high tone- clearly indicating that he was still shocked. The cloaked man raised his free hand up as a sign for him to be silent. There was an uneasy silence filling the atmosphere, which soon made everyone feel awkward and strange.
“You there,” the cloaked man shot the finger at her, shouting her name as if she was being called into the army. “Speak your name.”
Victoria gulped slowly, wrapping her arms around her chest for safety.
“I, it’s Victoria, sir.” She answered, stammering hesitantly.
The dwarves exchanged glances as if she had been the new shiny toy, but she couldn’t help but blush a crimson red at the thought. The cloaked man paused for a moment, almost as if he found it quite interesting to hear her voice.
“Come with us if you want to live…” He gestured the pathway they were heading, lifting up the lantern slightly so she could catch a quick gaze over the mountain hills and forests. Victoria twirled back around to face the old manor she lived in. She couldn’t see it exactly, but she remembered the direction she came. She didn’t want to go back there, to say the least.
It was so dull and boring for her, but for some reason, she want an adventure. She couldn’t help but walk into the crowd of dwarves, and follow on the trail.
Sir, it can’t be her, can it?
She didn’t honestly know what it meant, which was probably one of the reasons that she wanted to go and venture more into the outside world.
But this was the medieval times… she knew that there’ll be something dangerous lurking its way towards them.
“You’re not scared are ye?” One Scottish dwarf chuckled as if it was pathetic, holding his beer belly as if it ached when he tried to laugh. Victoria jumped in surprise and gazed down at the dwarf.
“No, not at all,” she lied instantly.
“The name’s Lorenzo, Lorenzo Stark,” He introduced himself at last, keeping an eye on the forest ahead of him. He didn’t even offer a hand to shake- which made her feel a little awkward.
“Victoria.” She started. “Victoria Flanning.”