The Lost Queen

Tessa is the princess and only heir to her kingdom's throne-as far as she knows. When her father dies, and it is time for her to take up the crown of the kingdom-which can only be worn by the direct descendant of the royal bloodline-something goes wrong. The crown regects Tessa, and no one in the kingdom know's why. It's up to Tessa to learn who is the rightful ruler, before the time runs out-and the crown that keeps the land protected goes missing forever.

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10. Aaannnddd Back Home We Go

After retrieving both Meg and Trenton from the barn outback, I took them to the kitchen Madeline and I had talked at. I only found a note from her, instructing me of the pot in the fire, saying she had gone off to bed early. I left Meg and Trenton with the note, heading into a random room, until I found one with a bed in it.

I carefully set my bag I had been toting around down by the foot of the bed, undid my shoes, and went to sleep. My stomach ached for food-I hadn't eaten all day, I realized now- but I was to tired and numb for anything. By the time I woke up in the morning, light was shining in through a window onto my face.

Sleepily, I rose, stumbling out of the room into the kitchen. Scents poured out, and I saw Meg working on coffee beans while Trenton helped Madeline lift yet another pot out of her ever burning fireplace. I frowned, wanting to do something, and in the end, started getting plates and cups out from the cupboard and setting it on the little counter. And I reached for the silverware drawer, I felt a sharp pain in my head, and dropped to the floor.

"Tessa!" I hear Meg scream, though sounds were going in and out of focus. My vision grew blurry, and I felt something start in my stomach; a familiar fading feeling I had felt earlier. I saw Trenton's face hanging over mine, his lips forming words, but I couldn't hear them.

In a flash of bright lights, the pain vanished, and I became a wear of the shouting in my ear. 

"Ow," I muttered, propping myself up with my arms. Meg and Trenton were both on the ground next to me, while Madeline stood, holding a wet table I figured she was going to dab on my face.

"What just happened?" Madeline asked, helping me to my feet. I dusted off my slept in dress, before helping Meg to her feet, and watching Trenton get to his as I did so. 

"It happened a few moments before we came here," Meg said worriedly, practically pushing me onto a stool. "We think it has to do with the Crown disappearing," Madeline's head snapped up.

"The Crown is disappearing?" she asked, shocked. I bit my lip, and heard Trenton groan as he plopped on a stool beside me. 

"Yes," I admitted. "That's why we need to find your father. I'm not the actual ruler; the Crown rejected me, and began to fade away. That's why everyone has been getting sick and losing jobs. I think your father knows what happened to the original heir." 

"You should have told me that!" Madeline exploded. "I didn't know any of that about the villagers. Trenton, go get your carriage and driver ready; I'll pack you food to go. You must leave at once if you're to save the Crown."

Trenton hopped to his feet, running out the cottage's front door, while Meg headed over to help Madeline with grabbing bread and other foods out of her cupboards.

"Where are we going?" I asked Madeline, my stomach tingling; was it with excitement or another fit of disappearance, I wasn't sure. She looked at me, seriousness in her eyes.

"You're going back to your castle," Madeline said. I felt the world start to spin under my feet.

"What?" I demanded. "You mean the answer to my problem was there the entire time?"

"I sent him there years ago," she told me, shrugging. "I would have sent you on your way sooner if you had told me why you needed him."

"Why hasn't anyone recognized him?" I demanded. "Why hasn't anyone told me he was in the palace?"

"He changed his name to my mother's father's name," Madeline said, shoving something into the picnic basket, as Meg hurried out of the room, muttering about how she had to find something.

"Well, what is it?" I asked anxiously.

"My father changed his name from Ralph Edrikson," Madeline told me. "To James Turner; maybe you've heard of him?"

I gasped, and was happy I wasn't holding anything, or I would have dropped it. Just at that moment, Trenton bursted through the doorway.

"We have an issue, Tessa," he said, gasping for air. "The coach driver...he's dead." I turned my head to Madeline, not even bothering to ask why, holding a few tears back.

"By any chance," I asked her, feeling like I was out of breath as well. "Can you drive a carriage?"

 

 

With Trenton and Madeline trying to steer our carriage down a bumpy road, Meg and I pelted each other with questions.

"How did he die?" I demanded, once I had grabbed my shoes and bag from the room I had slept in. Meg was pushing me into the carriage, and I wanted to dig my heels in the dirt and complain. "The coach, I mean."

"Trenton thinks it's the flu," Meg said, squeezing the picnic basket and her eyes shut as we flew over another bump on the road, and came down with a crash. "He never came in last night, and when Trent went to get the carriage this morning, he was..."

"Was what, Meg," I asked impatiently. 

"Lying in a pool of blood," Meg whispered, her face turning a shade of green. I opened my mouth, and then shut it again, and slightly turned away from her, deciding that giving her space would be better. 

I was somewhat thankful Madeline had decided to come with us. I had figured last night I would have to make a plan to get her to come with us-no one should stay abandoned by their parents. Then I rolled my eyes; maybe I had been, but that wasn't the point.

The carriage came to a halting stop, and I jolted forward. Meg's head smacked in the back of the carriage. At once, the door was thrown open.

"Help," Madeline said, a worrisome look on her face. "There's something wrong with your friend,"

Both Meg and I scrambled out of the carriage, and raced to the front of it. Trenton was leaning against it, his head lolled, randomly having coughing fits. Blood was rolling down his chin.

"What's wrong with him?" Meg gasped, tears forming in her eyes. I would have rolled her eyes at her, if I wasn't so worried about Trenton.

"I think he's caught the disease from the coach," I whispered. "Meg, help me take him in the carriage. You'll have to steer the horses by yourself, now."  Madeline only nodded, and hopped up as we dragged Trenton down. We wasted 20 minutes trying to get him through the door of the carriage.

His head lay on Meg's lap as we held on for our lives, as Madeline drove us down an unsteady road. I felt my heart pounding; what if we didn't get home one time?  Addie would never forgive me for not being able to say goodbye to her boy. 

Even if we got home...I'd have to find the ruler, so the Crown could work its magic. I felt a sharp pain in my head as we bounced along, but I tried my best to ignore it. The last thing I needed to worry about was the Crown disappearing.  I looked through the window, trying to ignore Trenton's coughs and moans, and watched as we passed into the village.

I thought of Leve, and little Cooper I wouldn't get to see on my way home. 

It was hours before we reached the palace, and that seemed hours to long. 

"I'm going to run to the palace," I told Meg. "I'll order guards out to come get him. Stay here," I order, jumping out of the carriage, once it came to a stop. My dress caught in between my shoes, and I nearly fell on my face ten times running up the path. I nearly ran into Camilla, who was yelling at a guard up front.

"Tessie!" she exclaimed, backing away from the guard who watched the front door. "Where have you been? We expected you back home last night..." she continued to ramble on, but they were lost to the wind as I rushed past her. 

"ADDIE!" I started screaming, running to my room. "ADDIE!" I climbed the stairs to my room, tumbling over them a few times. I could only imagine what I looked like, as I burst into my room; my hair was a tangled mess, I was sure I had dirt on my face as well as my dress, I was aware of some blood splatters on my arm, and could see a few mud splatters on my bag.

Addie was straightening the covers on my bed, looking like she was in the midst of searching for something.

"Addie," I said, my legs trembling, as I walked forward to her. 

"Theresa!" she gasped. "You were suppose to be home yesterday; what happened?" 

"Where is Mr. Turner," I asked her, ignoring her first question, walking straight to her face. Addie furrowed her brow, but didn't answer me. "Addie, please."

"Not until you answer my question child. You look like a rats nest!" she exclaimed. I grabbed onto her arm. 

"Addie, it depends on Trenton's life." I said. This grabbed her attention immediately, but she still didn't tell me. "Addie! He has the disease."

Addie's bottom lip trembled. "My baby boy..." she whimpered.

"Where is Turner," I whispered. Addie looked at me, her blue eyes looking into my soul.

"In the Conference Room. Where is my boy?" she told me, avoiding my stare now. 

"Out front, in the carriage," I said, my voice trailing behind me as I left my room. I rushed down the stairs, turning and turning, until I reached the room. I noticed the sky way rainy; why hadn't I felt the water as I left the carriage? As I went to open the door, a pounding started in my skull. I gritted my teeth; not right now.

I yanked open the door, my body losing adrenaline. I was tired; my feet were sore, and my head now hurt. Turner was sitting at the head of the table, where I usually sat, looking as if he waiting for me. 

"I see you've met my daughter, then." Turner said, wasting no time as I shut the door behind me. The fire lit up the room, as usual, but it seemed dudder now. It faintly brought light to the dark room.

"You couldn't have just told me you were the painter. That you were Ralph. Or that I wasn't the queen?" I demanded. "That would have made life simpler, for everyone!"

"But not Madeline and I," he pointed out, watching me sit down next to him. "I'm sorry for causing you to travel, and not telling you you weren't the ruler sooner; but I was respecting the King's wishes."

"My father's wishes?" I asked nervously, pulling his painting from my bag now. Addie's picture also fell out onto the table, but I payed no attention to that. 

"Yes, Theresa." Turner said. "We have much to discuss."

 

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