A prince, a playmate and a pawn of royal conquest hold three distinct pasts that have shaped their present. Their stories intertwine in a tale of loyalty, love and redemption that call into question everything they've sacrificed for a better future.


9. One Day

      Though the sun had come out, Christabel was exhausted.  She had had a tiresome night, with much to take in, in such a short amount of time. Christabel adjusted the hat that had been sent from Chasten, a gift from her father.  It was jet, with lace as dark as night, reminding her of the dreadful and countless evenings she had spent  away from home. Yet, as princess to Chasten, she had an obligation to fulfill, and so do her father’s bidding to place the pawns in their position before the trap was set.


        Christabel pulled on her leather riding gloves and stepped into the carriage, the dingy, smelly place where all things died. With a sudden jolt, and a frightened mind, the carriage began it’s pass from Levitia to Chasten, following the routes she had taken a year before.  The journey would ride through the wandering woods and pleasant meadow and the run through the badlands. Hopefully without being ridden of her prized items she had taken to her sibling and allow them to envy.


      For the next few, she prayed, hours, she would be motionless, humming chants of happier days and counting the failing farms with thin cattle and dusty soil. This was the likeness of Levitia, a failing kingdom that would, one day, perhaps be swept away in the wind or burned to ashes. That vision was the light at the end of the tunnel for Christabel where she would have played her part and never have to marry such a daft and pig-headed prince that dreamed too much for one who would one day run a kingdom.


      Perhaps, in the years to come, she would be able to find some other prince to a far away land not yet heard of. That day would be a celebratory marriage and the inheritance of luxury, pleasure, and perfection.  The evening would be feasts upon feasts, and dancing in the moonlight to violins, and a single rose that meant a thousand words more than “I love you”.  The night of darkness would bring reassurance and sanctuary to the evil and deception of the world that she could not fight, no matter how badly she tried.


        That day would be one day.


        Suddenly, a ruckus came from outside her carriage, popping that delicate bubble of thought, and bringing her back to the misery of reality. The carriage tipped, bring her skirts flying, and her confidence in the clouds. Once she had regrouped her appearance, and her dignity, Christabel opened the door, stumbling out.


        The bright light brought a shock of fear, the world closing in on her, before she was caught in the arms of a strong stranger. The wind and life left Cristabel’s body, making her collapse and creating a darkness, even she was not used to.

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