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.


8. Off to See the Painter...the Wonderful Painter of the Shack

By the time I woke up the next morning, Addie was no where to be found. Only Meg, bright and peppy, edging me to get up, waving a dress in my face. I ordered her to leave me to get change, send someone for me in the bathroom. She did so, happily; I got the feeling she didn't want me to ruin her mood.

I got up, and searched my bedside table for the picture Addie had given me; sure enough, it was there. I clutched onto it, before getting up and changing quickly. 

Slipping on heels, brushing out my hair, and quickly grabbing the page from my piano seat into my little beaded bag I was taking with me, throwing Addie's picture in there as well.

As soon as I stepped out of my room, Meg was at my arm, leading me down the stairs, with Trenton trailing behind us.

"I have food packed for breakfast and lunch," she chattered to me, her words blurring in my ear. 

"We'll be gone that long?" I mumbled, stumbling down the staircase, only stopping when Trenton tugged me before I fell on my face. "Thanks," I muttered.

"Get in the carriage," he muttered, Meg giggling as she followed me into the shaded carriage. For some reason, I found this annoying. 

I rested my head against the carriage's side, closing my eyes. I heard the footsteps of the horse, felt the carriage start to move, and overheard the quiet whispers of Meg and Trenton. I let my mind wander, feeling a tiredness come over me. 

It was perhaps a few hours when I woke up, when my head jerked sharply against the carriage's side. I blinked dazed, and looked out the window quickly, pulling back the curtains. We were just leaving the village, and I couldn't say it was a pretty sight. People who looked half starved were walking around, little children were running through the streets. I felt a hit in my stomach; this was because the Crown wasn't working magic; not everyone could be fed.

"Stop the carriage," I croaked. Meg looked up from a book she was reading, Trenton blinking the dizziness from his eyes. "Stop the carriage," I said, this time with more force. Meg turned around, and knocked on her side of the carriage; it started to slow, and I took she was communicating to the driver.

I pushed by them, stepping into the fresh air. We had just passed into the forest; ducking back inside I grabbed the picnic basket from Meg's lap before she knew what was happening. I walked through the soft ground, my heels sinking into the forest floor. The people, peasants Camilla would call them, watched me as I came closer.

Slowly, I started to speak, as they started gathering in front of me, right outside their houses; shacks was a better word. They were made shift; someone who had not been living here long had built them.

"I am Q-Princess Theresa," I said carefully. "But please, call me Tessa. I see you are struggling through hard times; we have no ruler for the Crown.  You are getting sick, losing jobs. And it's my fault." My voice broke, and I covered my mouth with the back of my hand. A few of them were looking at me oddly, and I couldn't blame them; my fancy dress was out of place in their rags.

Even the children looked awful, cuts around their faces. They clutched their little stomachs, and a few of the little girls tried to pull up the scraps of clothing they had around them. Mothers brought their children closer, and drew them to the back of the crowd. Fathers with missing holes in their shirts and pants, stood in front of their families. Older, but under age, boys and girls stood just behind them, shielding the mothers and children.

"I'm on my way to find the true ruler. I'm trying to help," I told them. I walked slightly closer, taking tentative steps. The peasents stepped backwards as a group, and I stopped walking, a little hurt. I carefully dropped the basket full of food, and stepped back. "I will be sending my guards down here, to fix your homes, and deliver more food. We need to stick together, in these hard times," I said, before turning around, and walking toward my carriage.

I felt tears slowly start to go down my face as I started to grab the handle, when I felt something tug at my dress. I looked down, and saw a little boy pulling at my dress. I looked over his shoulder, and saw a mother who had stayed away from the crowd that was attacking my picnic basket, watching the little boy at my dress in fear.

She had obviously known my father.

"Hello," I said softly, bending down so I was eye level with the child. He was probably five or six; he looked much like the lady who stood watching us. They had the same brown eyes, dark hair, and light skin.

"Hi," he said, looking at me very seriously. His lip was sticking out, as was some hair. "Why did ya gimme food?"

"I gave everyone food," I told him. "It's my job to take care of my people,"

"Is my job to take care a my family," he told me. "That's what my daddy said."

"Your father is right," I said, smiling at him. "My name is Tessa,"

"I know," the boy said, suddenly shy. "You're the princess."

"Yes," I said.

"My momma said she knew your mother," the little boy said, putting his hands on his face, and peering up at me through his fingers.

"She did?" I asked him, looking over his shoulder to see his mother. She was studying me now, her fear gone. "Could I talk to her?" The boy frowned, but quickly ran back to his mother's open arms.

At the same time, Meg came out of carriage.

"Okay, you've had your fun Tess," she said, before looking at me. "Oh," she said quietly, looking over my shoulder. I turned my head as well, and saw the boy's mother, the little boy crowded around her leg.

"Hello," I said, as Meg pushed by me, and gave the woman a hug.

"Oh," the woman huffed, as Meg's arms squeezed her. "Child, I've only been gone for few years-no need to kill me now,"

"I've missed you, Leve," Meg cried, her face buried in Leve's shoulder. I step back, the same as the little boy was doing. He was peering up at Meg oddly, as if she was a type of animal he had never seen. 

"How do you know...Leve, Meg?" I asked, her name unfamiliar in my mouth. Meg was  confused when she looked back at me.

"You don't remember her?" she asked me. Leve was looking at me with the cautious look again.

"She...well, she use to be...I guess you could say what Addie was. For the Queen; after she died, the King took her ranking down to head maid. Then, and no one knows why, he fired her."

"You would have been years younga then your are now, child," Leve said me. "You look just like your momma did,"

"A lot of people seem to think so," I said cautiously. "Why did my father fire you?" Leve's eyes narrowed, and I was worried I had offended her.

"That man was in no shape to be a father to you," she told me, and I looked over at Meg. She didn't look surprised at all; only comforting. I wondered how Meg felt about my father; I was curious. When I looked back to at Leve, to ask if it was okay, her look was already greeting me, a hand across her mouth.

"What do they call you, now a days?" Leve asked me, her little boy hugging her leg again. 

"It's Th-re-sa," the boy said, pronouncing each syllable. "I'm Cooper,"

I knelt down, looking Cooper in the eye. "Call me Tessa, Cooper."

"But that isn't your name," he said, sticking his bottom lip out. I smiled.

"It's a nickname." He frowned at that, but shook his head.

"Okay," Cooper said. He stuck his head back behind his mother's leg, and I raised.

"Your son is very cute," I told Leve. "If you ever wish to return to the palace, you are welcome."

"Thank you, Theresa," Leve said to me, picking Cooper up. "But I'm quite happy here." I nodded my head.

"I'll leave you two to say goodbye," I said quietly to Meg. "Meet me in the carriage." I turned around, and headed to the roofed mobile. 

"Thank you," Leve said. She was still looking at me cautiously, but I decided that was just the type of person she was. "For the food." I nodded my head again, and stepped up the stairs in quiet. 

Trenton, who was slouched over on the seat, popped up when he saw me enter. I rolled my eyes, and sat down, before digging in my bag I had left on the seat. I pulled out the page that had my family tree painted beautifully on it.

"Who was that?" he asked me, sleepily. I rolled my eyes again; he was suppose to be a guard. 

"An old help," I said, as Meg threw the door open. 

"Well, good job Tess," she said, shooting me a dirty look, with a happy smile underneath it. "Now we don't have lunch."


I had told both of them to leave me alone until we arrived to the house. I closed my eyes, not wanting to see anymore villagers who didn't have food, or were to poor to live in proper homes. I was going to have to send food and guards and a few tailors out there, or something.

I knew we had poorer people; every kingdom did. But the ones of Nortashia usually still lived comfortably; everyone stayed healthy, so there was no need for medicine. Food was easy to come by, and there were always fields to work in. There weren't storms, so houses didn't get knocked around. This was the way life usually was, for everyone. 

Then again, usually there was a ruler that was using the Crown, and the Crown itself wasn't disappearing.

My eyes started to droop again, and I let myself be taken under by sleep. I didn't want to think anymore.


"Tess," Meg's voice crooned, waking me up. I blinked, bright lights blinding me. I felt groggy, and I could feel soreness stretching all through my body. 

"Are we there?" I muttered, propping myself up. Trenton wasn't in the carriage anymore, and I suspected Meg was going to follow him out the open door; until she remembered the sleeping me. 

"Yep," Meg said, hopping out of the carriage. After a minute, I followed, slowly. For some reason, everything hurt. It felt like I was fading away; troubled, I couldn't remember my own name for a minute, or where I was. Then, it all came rushing back with a painful bang.

"Ow," I staggered, falling onto the soft grass. "Owwww,"

"Tessa!" Meg yelled, and I could hear the soft patter of her heels coming to greet me. "What's wrong?!"

"I don't know," I groaned, and felt my head being lifted. "Put my head down; the world isn't suppose to be spinning, is it?"

"Trenton," Meg snapped. I felt my head go down, hitting the ground with a thud; I whimpered. Slowly, I sat up, and felt Trenton's hands on my back, guiding me up.

"What happened?" I asked Meg, blinking quickly. I felt dizzy, and once again, had the oddest feeling of disappearing; it was if I was floating away...My eyes focused as a large buzzing came known in my ear, and I saw Meg was talking to me.

"Something's wrong with the Crown," I whispered, as the revelation came to me. 

"What, Tess?" Meg asked me, worriedly.

"Something is wrong with the Crown," I croaked. Trenton's face swam into my view, as I struggled to sit up.

"How do you know?" he asked me.

"I can just...tell," I said, struggling to get the words out. A stab in my side made me wince. "Help me up. We need to talk to...Ralph."

Trenton helped raise me, as Meg tried to dust the dirt off my dress. Once they both decided I was steady enough to walk, we continued up the way to a little cottage that sat on a hill. It was pretty, with neatly painted shutters. They were purple, the color of our country.

"This should be interesting," I muttered, the weight of my bag on my shoulder seeming to weigh me down. Meg only looked at me with a worried look; I rolled my eyes. I was fine now; I was sure of it.

When we reached the door, a little wooden thing with a metal door knocker in the shape of a lion. Looking at an unwilling Meg and Trenton, I stepped forward, and knocked. For a minute, nothing happened. I shrugged, motioning for my friends to wait a moment.

I started to hear shuffling inside, the metal doorknob turning, and felt excitement range in my stomach. The door cracked open, and then opened wider.

"Who are you?" demanded a woman, coming out from the doorway. "And why are you on my lawn?"

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