Paige had been born in the wrong time, she thought with anger, the old man playing chess, or anyone for that matter could have had a better childhood. Not her, she had to be born on the prince's birthday. Many people other than her would have thought otherwise. She's so lucky to be born on this day, ungrateful little brat, they would whisper behind her back. No wonder her parents didn't want her, she should be gracious we live at a time like this. She walked right past them, and said not a word, though what she really wanted to say were a bunch of profanities.
Her older brother wouldn't allow it however. He would always say, I know how you feel, having a day where no one notices you, even if it's the day you were born on. But 'aige don't say a word to them you know how ugly these people get when someone lashes back at them.
"Walk slowly away from them 'aige, to think they're in the upper-class." Alex scoffed as he took a curve into the alley, with Paige trailing behind him. "The cows behave better than they do."
"Yes mother, I would think the same." She pushed her brother and rushed to the end of the alley. "Huh weird the queen nor king are out yet." Paige frowned at the huge castle in front of her.
"What? Could it be possible then? The queen and king are late yet again!" He raised an apple he had stolen from the parade. "We care for our people and for your safety." He mimicked the queen's whine of a voice. "
"Do not fret my society, it is in our power and our army to make sure none come to harm." Paige followed with the king's bellow tone. It was a joke between them, but if someone was to hear what they said about the rulers of the Old Settlement, they would surely be punished.
"Where's C' at?" She suddenly remembered the boy.
"Oh shit, wasn't he following us just a minute ago?"
Caleb was a gamin, but unlike his street friends he had a place to call a home. Paige and Alex had met him on their way to the castle, where he was being teased by the two guards at the gate. "Look at him Henry he's the size of my pinky." The guard called Henry thrust Caleb onto the ground. "Scram kid, we have enough on our minds, enough with you trying to get in. Look at you, say the truth and maybe I'll call your mommy to pick you up." Henry laughed.
Paige and Alex, who were standing behind a large tree (Paige had grabbed a fistful of his vest to keep him from trying to save the small boy, "Not yet," She said.) saw the boy's face get red. Quickly and all of a sudden someone yelled. Before the other of the guards could realize what had just happened, Caleb had made his way towards the gate. "No you don't you little," Henry made a grab for Caleb, "No one gets away with kicking me except the king, and maybe the queen." He stroked his leg.
"Take him to the cell Jack." Henry mumbled. He pushed Caleb onto the larger of the two.
"Wait," Paige ran from behind the tree. "You cannot take him." She said simply as it were the most obvious thing ever.
"Not you again," Henry mumbled. "Come out from the trees pretty boy we see you too."
Alex sheepishly answered, "I quite did know you saw me, that is the only reason I came out of my..." He looked at the tree. "-fortress." He finished proudly.
"Never mind that Alex, but you can't take..." She stopped, what was the boy's name again? Did he mention it? Paige looked at the kid for help. Caleb, still being held by Jack caught on to Paige's mind messages. Caleb. He mouthed. "C'-"
"Our little brother Caleb." Paige looked at Alex in surprise, she opened her mouth to say something else but was interrupted by Alex. "This is our little brother, how rude of you to mock him. We let him run ahead of us and we find you two mocking and teasing him? I wonder how our Majesty would feel about this," He made a straight indication to the problem, "pushing around little boys,"
Caleb scowled. "Little my-"
"Okay!" Paige interrupted, not wanting to hear him curse.
"You might as well just leave your posts and walk away, eh? Less embarrassment at that." Alex substained.
Jack's mouth opened and then closed. "What are we gonna do Henry, he's right. We're going to be banished from our jobs." Alex smirked in success. But Henry, being the smaller and smarter of the two sneered at Alex. His fat finger dug onto Alex's chest.
"Nice try, but I happen to know that you and your sister, don't have any kind of communication with the queen. All you have in common with royalty is that your birth happen's to be on the same day as the prince." He emphasized each word by jabbing Alex with his fat finger.
"And that's where you are wrong Monsieur." Paige finally spoke.
"Our aunt," She spun her finger at Alex, Caleb and herself. "Just happens to be the queen's friend and I'm sure she would gladly take our word, 'The two guards at the front gate were being impolite, crude, and ugly.' How does that sound?" She asked Alex.
She raised her eyebrows once more at the guards.
"I suggest you open the gates so we can get to our dear aunt and explain to her everything we just witnessed." She smiled calmly. Alex could swear the smile she was wearing was not the, please open the gates and we will nicely walk in politely, kind of smile. It was the, open the door or I'll rip you two apart and throw you in the Rias River so no one can ever find you again, even your family, kind of smile.
The two men looked at each other anxiously. "Henry what are we gonna do?" Jack said in a hushed voice. "She's scaring me," Jack's grip went firmer on Caleb's shoulders. He held back a complaint. It would only dig the hole further. "Let the boy go, you dope." Henry finally said.
Jack startled, he realized what he was doing. "I'm terribly sorry, you're fine right, here go with your sister." He shoved Caleb in Paige's direction.
"I apologize for my brothers behavior," Henry wiped his brow. "You know how big brothers are right, you have one yourself."
"Don't I know." Paige responded. (Alex responded by glaring at Paige.)
Henry and Jack opened the gates. "Tell your aunt I said hi, and lets not tell her about this encounter!" Henry shouted. It turned out their aunt wasn't in for visitings. But then again she was almost never in for them. (I'm starting to think she doesn't want to see us anymore Paige told Alex.) They were escorted out by more guards, this time much smarter ones. Every time they came over for a visit, this had happened. Alex had thought it was for the sake of their safety. It wasn't until Alex had accidentally been left behind that Paige had found out the real reason.
The guards had been furious, at Alex, no one else, being left behind by himself. They grabbed him harshly, gave him a short lecture, then pushed him back towards the exit.
"They don't want royalty to see how poverty really looks like. Can you imagine the princess seeing us. She would faint in disgust." Paige told her brother. They were rushed out of the castle. Half-way towards the big village Caleb spoke. "Thank you for what you did back there, but little people like me can handle our selfs." He puffed out his chest.
"Tell me again why you were trying to get into the castle?" Paige had tried asking him before the two escorts had arrived,but Caleb didn't have time to respond.
"It was a bet of course, like every dangerous thing people do, for money. Who in there right mind would try to sneak into the castle." He didn't sound like he meant it. "My mates bet me 5 state coins I couldn't get in. This other man gave me advise though, he told me I could get in because the guards are barely ever in their posts, guess he was wrong." He muttered the last phrase.
"Wait, you have no money now do you?" She and her brother could scarcely gather some change. The only time they could get buckets of coins is during the visits to see their aunt. That also did no help, because both Alex and she would refuse the money. Their pride was the only thing left for them, they couldn't have that taken away also.
So long all they had was the attic at the abandoned brick house and the items they would steal and sell. "Then again who has money these days right." Alex droned in a monotone voice. Half the people she thought, if only her parents were here and not in a place that seemed planets away.
The group of three went into the secret alley Paige and Alex had learned to love.
"I'm pretty sure you could get home from here, just take a few turns and you could get anywhere." Paige looked at the rush of people buying stuff. 'And not stealing' She added as an after-thought. "Home? I live in the streets." Caleb grinned proudly. He was a gamin of course, she had forgotten.
"Do you maybe want to, you know, stay with us for a while?" Alex said.
He knew if he didn't at least ask the small boy, Paige would have driven him crazy in no time. Nagging him about how the boy could have been followed by the two brain-dead guards. (it's happened once, you'll be surprised.) They've done this with street-boys more than once and more than once they had regretted it. Many times the boys would end up stealing food and only food.
"Really, I could rob all your valuables," He teased.
"If we had any, plus you seem like a decent kid."
"No thank you mam," Caleb put in, making Paige feel old at the word 'mam'. I really appreciate your offer, but I've got to handle my mates one day or another," Swiftly, he made way to the dirt covered street at the other end. They kept seeing him and they would wave or nod at him.
It was raining one day and it was Paige's turn to get food, as the calendar of unplanned plans goes. She rushed along the pathways, the ones she was familiar with. The only time she stopped was when something caught her eye. Paige was a girl to be scared of nothing, without a second look she tore away the scrawny blanket to find Caleb sleeping there. She picked him up and turned back to the attic. He slept there for a night. When he woke up in the middle of the night, he sleepily thanked them.
He stayed for another night then another and so on. They grew fond of the boy. Alex nor Paige would worry when he didn't return for the night. He told them about the group at the café and how they would often met. He even begged them to come along one time. They never could say yes though, much more did they have to do. A year had passed and nothing had changed.
"Did we lose him?" Alex panicked for a second. "The café," He slapped his forehead. "That's where he's at."
"I think not Alex, on the day of the birth of our dear prince," She said sarcastically. "Who would do such a thing."
"I'm down here!" A voice called up to them.
"C'?" Paige looked around for the source of the voice.
"Down here!" He said irritatedly. How could the two twats not see him? Paige looked over the edge of the spot on the roof. "Oops I forgot, you're-" She stopped abruptly.
"Paige, don't say short, don't say short." Alex whispered to Paige.
"Never mind that, come on," She grabbed Caleb his arms and helped him climb.
"Are the king and queen late?" He asked to one in particularly. Before they could respond they heard a blood-curdling scream. Alex cursed and ran to the ladder at the side of the brick building.
"This was supposed to be a happy fun day." He murmured angrily. "What's going on? Sir?" He asked the nearest guy. The guy wore an excited look to his face. "It's the change of the world mon ami! It's time we show the king how to win this war." More screams.
"Name's Rylan, I see you have my friend up there." He pointed at the roof, where Paige and Caleb were at. "'Agie?"
"Who, no, my friend. Aye C' come down here it's time." Caleb's head popped out from the roof. He climbed the same ladder and ran towards Rylan.
"Alex, come see this!"
Paige's tone sounded frightened. That can't be right she never gets scared, at least not this easily. He nearly threw himself onto the top of the building. "Look there," She was pointing towards the castle. Row after row of armed soldiers were marching down to the parade. They were of course armed with swords, not guns. "What the hell's going on?"
"It's time people, it's time we bring the Knowledge back to our country. This is where we start! It is our time to rise!" The same phrase was being repeated by the same male voice. Paige and Alex looked back at the army, closer now.
Suddenly two loud popping noises and a flash of light appeared. This time they could've sworn they could feel the loud stomping of people trying to run, combined with the heavy footsteps of the soldiers. Paige was the only one who dared open her eyes. She looked to the sky, there she saw one big colorful light show.