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Tags: Danger, Money


Kate lives with her mom in a small town close to a giant castle. Without her father she is forced to make the money for her and her mother. When something comes up that could give her a lot of money she takes the offer and soon finds out she is in way over her head! View table of contents...


Chapters:

1

Submitted:Jul 26, 2011    Reads: 14    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


My heart pounded against my chest and I was certain that my lungs were going to explode. I ran and ran until I could run no more so I found a bush and hid hoping not to be seen by my followers. They will kill me if I'm caught. I will be hanged for the things I've done. Now this isn't where my story begins. Of course there is a reason I'm running for my life and this is the whole story.

It was a beautiful spring morning. The sun crept through a small crack in my drapes. I lay in bed not wanting to get up but unfortunately I had to. I dragged myself out of bed and went downstairs. My mother, Tammy, had just taken a beautiful loaf of bread out of the oven and was cutting off a slice. The smell filled my nostrils and I couldn't wait to try it. We don't get much food these days. She handed it to me and I took a bite.

"This is very good, mother" I said sitting at the table.

"Thank you sweetheart," my mother thanked as she put the rest of the loaf on a plate and placed it on the counter. "It's all we have right now so it better be good."

"Oh it is." The taste was delicious, the best she had ever made, "I can work today, mother, if that will help pay the king and buy the food we eat."

"That would be wonderful dear," my mother cheerfully said.

My mother left to go do some chores around the house so I finished up my slice of bread, swept the floor, then left to go to the kings castle. I had a good job there, cleaning and such and the pay was rather good. I went to the stables not far down the street and got my horse Reno and started for the castle on his back. The castle took up a lot of space. It was a little smaller than our entire town. Now I worked for the king himself so I cleaned his room and everywhere he goes. If there is extra time on my hands I will work in the kitchen and make him cookies because he always loved my cookies. I think he thought of me more as a daughter than a servant and he quite likes my mother.

The morning started out quiet. I was taking down books from the shelves in the kings library. He had many books and likes them to be in good shape so once a month I check all the books for anything that could be wrong. I small rip, a crease on the spine. I also dust the shelves while I'm at it so I probably won't be making cookies today since his library is the size of my house. I was finished with one wall of books and figured it was time for lunch. I went through the front hall to get to the kitchen when guards came storming in almost shoving me to the ground but I caught myself.

"Out of the way peasant" the general boomed, "bring him in!"

I few more guards came in holding a guy with short black hair and blue eyes. He tried to get free and almost did while they were trying to get him into the king's court where he sentences thieves and criminals with a penalty such as death. I watched as they brought him down the hall and into the court then continued on my way. I ate a slice of bread I had packed for myself then was on my way back to the library when I passed the court and the door was open a crack. I thought about listening in but that would be wrong. So I leaned against the wall in front of the doors and started to listen.

"This man is a criminal" a man yelled, "He tried to steal my wife's jewellery."

"Do you have any proof of that" the king was very calm.

"No but I know it was him."

"When you have good proof that he tried to steal your wife's jewellery then we can see to getting him punished but until then this man is innocent."

The door swung open and I pretended I was just walking by. The guards were first out, one with a hand holding onto the guy with short black hair, probably to make sure he is out of the castle. Then came a man whose face was read with rage. The king came last fallowed by two more full time guards.

"Oh hello Kate" the king smiled. "How are you, how is your mother."

"We're both great" I said. "We need some money real bad so that's why I'm here."

"Aw, your not here to see me."

"Of course, that too." I gave him a hug and he gave me 10 dollars, "Oh thank you sir."

"It's nothing. Take care"

He left and I looked at the change in my hands. I knew this would only get us some milk, flour and maybe a few loafs of bread or just a dead chicken. I have to find a way to make more money than this. I finished up my job and I was too tired to make the cookies so I was let out of the gates and started to untie Reno from the pole. The sun was soon going to be behind the buildings. The streets were quiet a few people were going into bars and or returning home from work. I led Reno out into the street and was about to mount him when I guy jumped on his back and yanked me on. Reno went into full speed.

"Hey!" I screamed.

It was the guy from the court who had probably stolen some jewellery or at least tried. I tried to push him off and reached for the reigns but he kept swatting me away. We got off the streets and were soon in the forests but he kept going. I tried to push him off again and again but he stayed on.

"Stop it!" he yelled over the sound of the wind and galloping.

Finally he stopped Reno and jumped off pulling me with him. We ran and I could hear Reno following behind. Finally we stopped behind a bush and Reno was sniffing at the guys hair.

"Go away" he said shoving his snout away.

"Hey don't push him like that."

"He is a horse"

All of a sudden there were hooves pounding at the ground at the other side of the hill. The guy yanked me down so we were crouched but then got up and ran Reno behind another bush that was taller and tied him to a branch then came back and crouched next to me. The guards searched around but not well enough and they stormed away. I stood up and so did he.

"What is wrong with you" I said brushing myself off.

"Nothing but I had to talk to you but you came out later than I thought so I tried to steal some beer. Stupid idiots called the guards for trying to have one beer without pay."

"That's great now talk quickly, my mother will be wondering where I am."

"Okay" he started, "I have a job for you, steal the king's crown."

"What!" I yelled.

"Whoa whoa, let me explain. All you got to do is get it, slide it under your dress, get out and give it to me. I will pay half of what I get for it. That could be close to 100 dollars just for you and your mother. Come on, you won't get caught. You're the last person the king would think to steal."

"No, no way, never would I do such a thing as that."

"It's easy money."

I thought for a good minute,"Fine." I agreed, we did need the money, me and my mother. Yes the king had been nice today but he hasn't paid me for 6 months although I haven't worked too much but still. I've been hunting out in the forest and trading in what I catch for bread and other foods. "but what if I get caught, what do I do then."

"You kill the guy" he handed me a knife.

"I don't know" He wants me to kill a man, that's insane, but if I don't do this we will starve.

"You won't have to use it, just in case."

I wondered what it would be like if I did do this and got all that money, me and my mother would be rich."Fine" I snatched it from his hand and put it in my pouch attached to my belt around my waist. "I get half the money right."

"Of course."

I rushed to untie Reno and left the man and rushed home. It was almost dark and my mother was sitting in her rocking chair, knitting. I tried to get by her without drawing attention to myself but she saw something hanging out of my pouch. Oh no, I'm dead.

"What is that in your pouch" she got up and grabbed it.

"Mom I can explain…"

"What is this from" I looked at what she healed in her hand; it was the ten dollars I got.

"The king was very generous" I smile nervously.

"How nice of him, I will go to the market tomorrow morning, will you be working tomorrow as well."

I thought if I really wanted to do what I had been asked, "Yes, the king wants me to polish his crown tomorrow"

"Oh that's good"

"Yeah"

She sat in her chair again and I hurried up to my room. I flopped on my bed and pulled the small knife from my pouch. I poked at the tip with my finger and twirled it around. Maybe I shouldn't do this, I had thought. I had trouble sleeping. I was so worried but I had to sleep so I wouldn't screw up in the morning. I fell asleep finally, late into the night and awoke when the sun was just a little bellow the horizon when I heard a tap on the window. I kept my eyes closed thinking a bird had hit the window but then another tap followed not long after. Unless that was one stupid bird, someone was trying to get my attention.

I opened my eyes, got up and went to the window. Outside the man was standing on the street getting ready to throw another pebble but I opened the window before he could and he dropped them on the ground.

"Come down here" he whispered. "I need to teach you something in case you get caught."

"You said I wouldn't" I said back.

"Well…"

"You didn't" He did of course, he went to the castle snuck in and tried to steal the crown of course he was seen and now he still wants me to go there even though the guards are probably doubled.

"I'm sorry, I had to. I was trying to get it myself so you wouldn't have to. I would have still given you the money, maybe a bit less. I'm sorry."

"You're crazy," I hissed.

"Fine but at least let me show you some tricks in case you change your mind."

I just watched him for a second. I guess going with him wouldn't hurt, would it. I quickly got dressed, put my waist band on with the pouch and quietly went downstairs past my mothers' room and left with the guy down the street.

"What are you going to teach me" I asked, "and what's your name?"

"My name is Chris and you'll see when we get there. Oh wait we are here."

We were staring at a house. The lights were out and it looks like everyone is asleep. He ran at the wall and ran up the wall a few steps and hung on to the ledge of the roof and pulled himself up. He turned around and looked down at me.

"Come on" he said.

"What" I said, "You want me to do that."

"You have to be a good climber to be able to get out of the castle fast without going through the gates, now come on."

I stared at Chris for a while and finally got the courage to try and get up on the roof. I backed up a few steps and ran at the wall. I took the few steps, slipped a little, totally missed the edge off the roof and hit the wall real hard and then slid down. I fell back on my butt and lay there in a bit of pain.

"You okay" Chris asked.

"Yeah, I'm fine."

I sat up and looked at my arm that got scratched a bit. I looked up at Chris and he was looking around making sure there were no night guards coming. I lifted my ragged old dress up to my stomach and there was a bit of blood. I looked more closely at my dress after putting it back down and there were a few more rips added to it. I looked up and he was watching me again.

"Hurry up" he urged, "try again."

I got to my feet and took a few steps back again. I looked at the wall and then up to Chris then at the wall again and started to run as fast as I could. If I missed this time it would hurt way more. I took my few steps up the wall, grabbed onto the roofs ledge and hoisted myself up. I got to my feet and looked at Chris.

"Finally" he chuckled.

"Be quiet."

He started to run rather quickly jumping from house to house and I did the same. He came to a stop a few houses from my house, "Why did you stop, are we getting down now."

"No you got one final jump then we can get down."

I looked over the side and it was a long jump across and at the bottom was a wagon full of empty barrels.

"Okay now this I won't do" I sat and through my legs over the side of the roof and was about to jump down when.

"CHICKEN!!" Chris said and started clucking like a chicken and flapping his arms.

That made me rather mad. No one calls me a chicken. I got up again and shot him a look that says, I will show you. I backed up and started to run. Just as I reached the end I jumped and went quite far but not far enough. I was too low so I hit the wall again but this would leave a bruise not a scratch. I tried to hold on to the ledge but my hands were slipping. I hadn't really noticed how high we had gotten not even when I looked over the side. I tried to climb up but the wall was very smooth and my shoes wouldn't stick.

"Help me" I screamed.

Chris came flying over to this building and grabbed me and pulled me up. I was panting and so was he.

"Thank you" I said

"No problem" he said back, "Now let's teach you to get down from this height without falling."

He went over to the ledge and jumped down. I rushed over and looked over the edge and he was standing trying to keep his balance on the highest barrel, then when he was steadied enough and knew I was watching he jumped down to the next two that was keeping the top one up. Then he jumped into the wagon then onto the ground.

"Now you try."

I did exactly what he had done and made it to the ground without falling, not even tipping over a little on the top barrel. We got out of the alley between the bar and the house and I went to my house and Chris went to where ever he goes. All I know it was the opposite way. I got home and my mother was still fast asleep so I crept up to my room, flung my shoes across the room, lay on my bed, staying on my back because my sides and stomach hurt and soon fell asleep.

I awoke again maybe two or three hours later to the sound of my mothers beautiful voice coming up the stairs to my room. She opened the door.

"Morning" she said in a sweet, motherly voice, "Time to wake up and care for the chickens."

I could hear her walk around my room gathering clothes to be washed down by the springs later today when the sun was at its hottest. She left my room closing the door gently behind her. It took me a while since my muscles hurt in my arms from trying to get up on the roof top and not fall off as well. Finally I got up and threw on my last shirt and pair of ripped pants. Maybe mother will let me buy a new shirt and pair of pants with the money left over from her shopping she will be doing this morning, I thought. I put my waist band with the pouch on and looked inside. The knife was still there and I was relieved that I won't have to use it. I went downstairs and my mother was just stepping out the door but stopped when she heard me come down.

"Good morning" I said with a yawn and went straight for the slice of bread left on the table for me.

"Morning, I'm heading out to the market and will be back in an hour or two. Anything you would like in particular." She asked.

"Oh maybe some supplies to make cookies, only if there is enough money though." I replied.

"I'm sure we can afford it right now." She said, "But if I'm left with less than five dollars than your out of luck."

"Okay, that's fine mother, I don't need it."

"Okay sweaty, see you when I get home, it may be a little later though. I have to stop and pick up the laundry then go to the springs."

"See you later." I called to her as she rushed out the door.

I decided it was a beautiful day to go for a hunt. I ran upstairs and grabbed my bow and arrows. I pulled the bow and quiver over my head and started for the woods on foot since Reno would be too loud then I realised I forgot to feed the chickens. I quickly ran for the barn a few houses down next to the stables and fed the chickens. I picked up the eggs, gently putting two in my pouch, careful of the knife and had the other in my hand. I rushed to the market, gave the eggs to my mother to sell and went back to the forest. I found a good tree and started to climb up. The birds were really loud so that would help drown out the sound of my breathing making it easier to kill something.

I waited for hours but nothing came by but the birds were still wildly singing. I sat silently in my tree for a little longer and decided that I should stretch or I would be in more pain tomorrow. I quietly got my legs from under me and sat. I stretched my legs and it felt good. I got back into position and not even a minute later I could here something behind a bush right bellow me to the right a bit. I took of my bow, got into a good spot to be able to see the bush. I put my arrow in its place and pulled back half way so in case the animal took a while to come out, my arm wouldn't get tired.

I took a long time, so long that even though my arrow wasn't fully drawn my arm was getting tired. It's hard to stop once you have pulled it back but I slowly let the string go back to normal but just as I was almost ready to take the arrow out and put it away, it slipped and the arrow shot into the bush. Not with a lot of force but enough to hurt something.

"Ouch" someone cried from behind the bush.

Oh my gosh, I hit another hunter, I thought. I jumped down from the tree and ran behind the bush. On the ground lay Chris with the arrow in his leg. It wasn't deep but it hurt him enough to scream in pain. He had one hand on the arrow the other held his leg.

"What was that for?" he yelled. His face was read.

"I'm so, so sorry." I kneeled next to him wishing there was something I could do, "I was up in the tree and I heard this sound from the bush so I was going to wait with my arrow half drawn. I waited for a bit, nothing came out so I was about to put it away when the arrow slipped from my hand and hit your leg."

"Oh, it was an accident," he said, "that's okay then."

"I said I was sorry."

He looked at me as tears filled his eyes; I wondered if a tear would soon trickle down his face. He stared at the arrow in his leg for a moment. His hand tightened around the end of the arrow and he yanked it out. Blood gushed out and he yelled so loud in pain I jumped a bit but my instincts kicked in and I ripped off the end of my pants that was already coming off and wrapped it around his leg. He held it there for a minute but he was crying now.

"Thanks" he said when we finally got him back to my house. I was cleaning the wound with a rag.

"It's no problem at all" I said.

I took good care of him until maybe and hour before noon when my mother came home. She had her arms full with food when she came in the front door. She dropped all the things on the table and heard me talking to Chris and that's when she came in and saw us.

"Who is this Kate" my mother asked, "He a friend of yours?"

"Well there was an accident with my bow and arrow and I hit him so we got him all fixed up."

"That's nice, I still think you should become a doctor." She said

"Thanks but no thanks, I'm good."

"Would you be kind and help me put the food away, and I bought cookie supplies and there is four fifty to spare."

"Okay, be right there." My mother left the room. "I have to go help her, are you going to be alright."

"Yeah, I'm good."

I left him sitting on my mothers' rocking chair and went to help my mother. There wasn't much food but there was enough for a week. I started the cookies right after mother left to go to the springs. I checked on Chris a few times but it had been a while since I had last checked on him. Once I had the cookies on a baking pan and over the fire I went to go check on him again but when I looked he was gone. I looked all over the house. I ran out the door and knocked on the outhouse but there was no one in there either. I looked around outside a bit but he was gone. I rushed back in the house just in time to get the cookies off the fire. I put them on a wooden plate my father had made and put it on the table.

I missed my father, a lot. He was in the ocean fishing when a horrible storm hit and they were never found. He taught me a lot of things like how to hunt and how to make my special cookies everybody loves so much. If he is gone, he is in a better place since we rarely have food anymore but he was the one that fed us most of the time. I ran out the door again almost hitting my mother on my way out. She had clothes piled in her arms, over her head.

"Sorry mother!" I yelled back.

I got Reno and searched the streets everywhere for Chris but I couldn't find him. I decided to go to the castle to try to make a little more money. I tied up Reno and was let into the castle. I went straight to the kitchen and started to clean. I was ready to leave when I saw all the things necessary to make my special cookies. I decided that it would get some extra money if I give the king his favourite food. I whipped up a batch and told the guard I had a surprise for the king, I had to see him right away.

"What is it, girl." The guard asked, "What must you give him."

"I have some cookies."

"Are those the cookies everyone loves so much."

"I guess so, yes" I said.

"I will bring you to him if I can have one" he said holding out a hand.

"Okay" I smiled and handed him a cookie.

His face lit up, "oh these are good, follow me."

The guard led me through the castle and into a big room. All that was in this entire room was a big chair with the kings' crow sitting on it. The crown was beautiful. There were blue and red jewels all over it and it was made of pure gold I would say. We passed right through that room into another where the king sat behind a great desk made of wood.

He stood as I entered and the guard closed the door behind me, "Hello Kate, what brings you here to the king."

"Don't you want to see me" I asked.

"Of course." He went around his desk, to me and gave me a big hug, "but what do you want to give me."

"Cookies!"

"Oh boy" he said as I pulled the cookies from behind my back, "I was wondering why you didn't hug me back."

"Here." I gave him the plate of cookies.

"Thank you Kate but you must forgive me" he said, "I have some work to do."

"oh okay sir but may I get paid, I worked in the kitchen for an hour."

"Of course," He went around his desk again and opened a drawer, he pulled out a dollar fifty and came back to me, "Here you are Kate, have a good day." He showed me out, "Hmm the guard seems to have left, do you know your way out of the castle alone."

"Yes, sir," I answered.

He went back into his office and closed the door behind him. I was halfway to the door out of the big room when the crown caught my eye. I looked side to side and slowly went closer to it. It was beautiful; I had the chance to just take it. I could just reach out and I would have it, I would have the money, would have everything. I needed this money so bad, but it belongs to the king. He would hate me and my family forever and he could kill us if he wanted. I looked side to side again and slowly reached out and grabbed it. I felt like if I held it to tight it would snap but I took it. All of a sudden the door to the office swung open and the king watch in horror as I held his precious crown.

"Sir, I'm sorry" I felt as though I might cry.

"You forgot you plate."

I didn't think he would call the guards. He watched me as I tucked it under my shirt. He threw me the plate.

"Why" he asked but I said nothing, he looked very disappointed in me then he yelled, "Guards!"

Just then I ran towards the window and jumped right through the coloured glass and fell what felt like a million years but was only three seconds. I hit the roof over the library real hard and I started to slide down to the roof over the kitchen. That was flat so I got the strength and got to my feet and ran. My stomach hurt from falling from the window to the roof. As I ran I reached under my shirt to be sure the crown was okay. I pulled out my hand and there was blood on my hands. There was pain everywhere so I didn't realize the crown stabbed me when I landed. I ran and ran until there were no more roofs to run on. I looked around and a jump over to the right would get me onto the castles wall. I stepped back and ran for it and jumped. I looked down and guards were watching me fly over them. I made the jump but rolled then got to my feet. I started to run again. Up ahead was a guard tower and there would be at least three guards there and thirty coming up the stairs. I reached into the pouch and grabbed the knife. There were two guards and they were ready for me. There swords were out and ready. I kept running for thing. The first guard that tried to hit me I blocked with my little knife and stabbed him in the stomach beneath his armour. The other, when he struck I ducked and tripped him. He fell and I grabbed his sword as he did.

Another thing my father taught me was to sword fight and that's what I was good at, other that the bow and arrow. I also took the guards quiver for throwing knives, he had five knives and there were six holes I put my knife in and it matched the others. Chris must have taken it from this guard. I ran into the guard tower and pulled the wood block down into the lock position and just as I did that pounding came at the door. I ran right through and was soon through the tower running for the main streets so I could jump down on a roof, make my way to the market and hide there until the guards stop searching.

"There" a guard yelled from bellow.

"Get her" another yelled.

I finally reached the gates and didn't think, just jumped. I flew pretty far but not far enough. I found myself flat on my stomach. A lot of pain shot through my entire body but I had to keep going. I continued to run down the street with the guards not to far behind me. I held my stomach with one hand, I had gotten stabbed again and it was a little worse than the last. The market was just up ahead and I was so happy that soon I could stop and relax. Just then as I started to slow a little I saw three, four, five guards coming through the crowd. I was trapped, my only possible escape was through the forest and find somewhere to hide.

My heart pounded against my chest and I was certain that my lungs were going to explode. I ran and ran until I could run no more so I found a bush and hid hoping not to be seen by my followers. They will kill me if I'm caught. I will be hanged for the things I've done.

I tried to steady my breathing so that I wouldn't be heard by the guards. Luckily the birds were singing quite loudly. It was real scary when they came really close to my bush. I held my breath as they walked by.

"Go back, get the hounds" a guard said.

I could hear their armour as the guards ran back. I slowly peeked over the bush and was almost seen by a guard that had stayed behind. I took a knife from the knife pouch I now have, held it real tight and jumped at the guard. He was looking the other way so I jumped on his back. He tried to grab me but I slit his throat before he could. He dropped to the ground like a sac full of potatoes. I quickly wiped the knife off and put it back in it's place.

I immediately started to run again. Everything hurt but it would hurt more hanging by my neck. I ran for what felt like a while but was maybe five minutes. I stopped, looked around, picked a nice, tall, thick tree to climb and I found one. It was so thick it made it hard to climb but that would come to my advantage when the guards come by. I finally got ten feet up and found a good place to stop. My face started to hurt from getting scraped by all the small twigs and branches sticking out as I climbed. I looked at my arms and they were scratched too. I took out the crown and it was cover with blood. I ripped off a piece of my pants and wiped it off. Then I shoved the cloth into my pouch and realised I still have the sword. I was wondering what was hitting everything on my way up here. I though it was my pouch or something. I took the sword and carefully placed it on a thick branch then took off my waist band with my pouch and my knife pouch and slung it over a branch in a position that the knives wouldn't fall out. I take off my over shirt and still have the one that was underneath. I used my shirt to rap around my stomach where I got stabbed twice.

The crown hung on a branch just in front of me and I wondered if it was worth it to steal the crown. We really need the money. Wait my mom could be suspicious, No I could tell her that I've been working at the castle a lot and he finally fully paid me. No she will see the wanted posters all over town. I'd have to leave and come back in a few years. Maybe Chris knows a place I can stay. I looked down at my stomach and my shirt was already drenched with blood. I picked up the waist band and carefully put it around my waist, careful not to have it hit my stomach. My waist band is tight enough to hold the sword; I picked it up and put it through a small rip in my waist band so it wouldn't stab me.

I grabbed the crown off the branch and waited. Not a minute later I could hear the hounds barking fallowed by the guards. They looked all around the bottom of the tree but I was hidden enough that when the guard looked up he saw nothing. They looked at the dead guard on the ground, picked him up and left for the castle. I slowly made my way down and jumped out. I started back to town to take a quick look for Chris, grab some clean clothes, get on Reno and run away. I finally reached just in front of the market where the guards had chased me into the forest. I pushed my way through the crowd that was now starting to die down since it was starting to get dark. I past the stables and went straight home looking for Chris in every alley. I couldn't find him anywhere, had he tried to go somewhere and fell and couldn't get back up. I looked around the house to make sure that he hadn't collapsed trying to get out the back window. He wasn't there either. I ran in the house and got on clean clothes I put my pouches on as well. I also got a satchel for the crown. I went into my mothers' room and went into the closet and under a pile of clothes was a big box that once was my fathers. Inside was his sword he made himself. I took it and left the other. This sword had a sheath so it won't stab me when I fall. I went into the sitting room and in a trunk in a corner I usually keep my bow and arrow. I grabbed my quiver and bow and put them over my shoulder where my satchel already was. I was headed for the door when I realised that my mother wasn't home. Where could she be, I wondered. She had already come home with the laundry; I almost pushed her over when I left earlier. I looked around for a note and found one on the dining table.

You mother has been taken to jail in the castle until you give up. She will be treated horribly and killed if you don't show up with the crown in two weeks. You will be saving your mother but you will be hanged by order of the king.

The kings' guards

They took my mother, I screamed in my head.

I ran out the door towards the castle. I stopped at the stables and picked up Reno and ran towards the castle. I passed right through the now empty market and Chris stepped out in front of me. Reno saw him but I encouraged him to run him over.

"Get out of the way" I yelled.

He moved over a little bit and as I passed he grabbed onto Reno's neck and swung himself up behind me. He gave Reno a kick and he went faster.

"Where are you going" he asked.

I held onto Reno's mane with one hand and reached into the satchel that had been bouncing against my side as Reno ran. I pulled out the crown and shoved it into his chest, pushing him right off. I kept going; I had to save my mother. I plan on climbing up the cell tower, go right to the top where there is a hatch that lets you in and then I can try to find her. I looked back expecting to see Chris getting up off his butt, but he was right behind me on a white mare. He got the horse to bring him right up next to me.

"You might need this to save your mother," he yelled

"No," I yelled back not looking his way, "I have to break her out, I don't want to be hanged."

"I will tell them that I put you up to it."

I thought about it and stopped Reno, Chris went by a little bit but stopped and came back to me, "That won't work"

"Yes it will," he said, "The king doesn't want to kill you, he just wants his crown back and it's a threat, you might get jail time but I will take it for you."

I thought for a moment, it did make cense, the king would never hurt me or my mother but I have to save her from that cell, "Fine I will give the crown back," I took the crown from him, "but I will deal with my own punishment."

"That's fine with me, but I wish to come with you."

I nodded and we started toward the castle once again. I was surprised he could do all he has done until now with a hole in his leg. Wait he never got hit did he. I never really saw a wound and my hands smelt like tomatoes after. I'm so stupid. We reached a house not far from a gate that would be perfect to climb and then run on the roof until we reach the castles wall. I jumped off Reno, said good bye and jumped up onto the house. Chris did the same and as soon as he joined me on the roof his horse took off down the street.

"You do know your horse just ran a way, right" I told him.

"Yeah, I told him to go give something to someone."

We ran on the roofs until we reached the castle wall but we had to make sure the three guards down bellow weren't watching. We ran all the way to the watch tower that I had passed through while I was getting away. I jumped into a pile of hay that was sitting there and Chris hid behind a barrel. The guard watched in our direction for a minute then went to look out towards the castle.

"Psst," I looked over at Chris, "Can you take him out if we switch places."

"Yeah." I crawled out of the hay, got up quickly brushed myself off and hid behind the barrel in a crouch position, while Chris jumped into the hay pile.

The guard came around again as I pulled off my bow and put in an arrow. I pulled back and the guard came into view. I aimed and let go. The arrow hit him right through the neck and he fell out of the tower right in front of us. We got up and out from our hiding spots and went through the tower bring him inside so he isn't seen. We brought him to the top of the tower as we looked around for a good place to climb the cell tower. We spotted a great place not far from where we were.

"Come on" I said jumping over the dead guard. We made our way to the cell tower not running into anymore guards. We started to climb on the side that no one would see us on, grabbing on to anything sticking out. This building is really old so there are a lot of bricks sticking out.

I reminded myself not to look down. We finally reached the top and I was really tired and so was Chris. We just sat next to the hatch before opening it. Finally he got up and opened up the hatch and jumped down. I looked down and he was motioning for me to come down.

"Hurry a guard is coming around the corner," he whispered.

I jumped down quickly and we went the opposite way, away from the guard coming. We turned the corner just before he did, so we were safe. The tower goes in circles. So we went almost all the way around then there were stairs, all the way around then there were more stairs. We looked in every cell as we went and there were a few guards but we knocked them out and through them into a cell. We were almost at the bottom when finally in a corner in the smallest cell was my mother. She had a big bruise and cut on her cheek.

"Mother,"

"Kate, is that you," my mother dragged herself forward and I crouched down so I could see her.

"Yeah it's me."

"They said that you stole the crown," she said, "Why would you do that."

"I thought we could use the money"

"Dear, we have survived until now, why would we need it more now that a month ago or a year ago."

"I'm sorry; we are going to get you out okay."

"The king has the key," she whispered.

A door opened a floor bellow us, another guard was coming, "We have to go,"

"Be careful" she reached out between the metal bars and touched my cheek and smiled, then coughed and backed away, "I will be here."

We started to run towards the guard but as we got closer we realised that the guard was multiple guards, probably coming to get a prisoner. We waited around the corner and they stopped grabbed a prisoner and as soon as we heard the door close we ran and opened the door ourselves. I looked side to side and the guards had just rounded the corner.

"All clear," I said motioning for Chris to fallow, "I know where the kings' office is."

"Lead the way,"

We ran through the halls and there weren't many guards, probably they were all outside making sure I don't come in. I remembered exactly how to get to the office from the kitchen.

We ran into one guard but he was turning into another room before he reached us, he must be blind or something because he was only five feet away when he turned. Finally we reached the big room that used to hold the crown. The door is open just a crack so I peek in. Two guards were passing a big rock, a third was sitting in the chair where the crown was and two were standing, tiredly by the door to the kings office. I whistled. The two guards that were passing the rock looked over and slowly made there way to the door while the one in the chair just sat there and the other two straightened up but didn't really move.

"What are you doing," Chris asked pulling me away.

"Saving my mother," I replied.

"You're going to fight right," he said, I just gave him a smile and opened the doors.

"There she is" The guard yelled.

The two that had been tossing the rock grabbed my arms. The one who was sitting in the chair took of my bow and my waist band with my knife pouch and normal pouch with a bloody piece of cloth. Then he removed my sword and sheath. Last he took the satchel and took the crown out. By this time the other two guards who had been standing in front of me with their swords pointed at me. I whistled again and behind all the guards Chris snuck into the office. I tried to get free but they had a good grip on me.

"Let go of me," I cried.

There was a crash in the office and the guards with the sword went to check it out. I saw them open the door and then they just fell over and Chris came out with the keys hanging from his belt. He grabbed the guard that had been sitting and through him across the floor. All my things and the crown fell all over the floor. One guard let go of me and took out his sword. He and Chris started to fight and I used my free arm and punched the guy in the face. He stumbled back and I jumped for my sword doing a little summersault and picking it up. I ran at the guard and went right then left then under but he kept defending himself. He gave one big strike right down and I blocked it with my sword but it knocked me down. He kept pushing and I looked away from him from minute and the king was standing in the door way to his office aiming a crossbow at Chris's back. I rolled to the left towards Chris and the guards' sword just missed my head. I tripped Chris just as the king let the arrow go and it hit the guard right in the shoulder, just missing Chris.

"Why did you do that" he asked and I pointed behind him and he looked and looked back and me and gave me a thank you look but then he looked scared, "Look out."

I turned and the guard was about to chop me in half. I braced myself for death but just as he was about to kill me an arrow went straight through his head. He fell over and I looked at the king. He had killed his own guard. I got to my feet and Chris went in front of me to give me protection.

"I will not kill you," the king said dropping the crossbow, "I did not want this to happen."

"What do you mean, you called the guards." I said looking around Chris.

"I called the guards and told them someone stole the crown, I never told them it was you but one saw you jump and that's when they took matters into there own hands. I never wanted them to get your mother or you, I was even aiming for the guard not him."

"Oh sir, thank you" I said pushing Chris aside and running to the king and giving him a big hug.

"You must go, the guards will be coming soon, when Chris pushed me he pushed me into a bell that alarms guards," he said as I let go of him, "Pick up your things, there should be a guard coming with you mother."

"What." I said as I put on my bow and quiver, "A guard will arrest me."

"Not this one, he is the one you gave a cookie to."

"Oh yeah, why does he not do what the others do." I asked as I picked up my sheath, put it on, put the sword in.

"He chooses to serve me, not the law." He said.

Chris handed me the satchel and the king bent down and picked up the crown and held it out to me. He smiled and I took it. I put it in my satchel as a guard and my mother burst through the doors.

"Hurry, they are coming." The guard said motioning for us to come.

We fallowed him and we were soon out the front door heading for the gate but we stopped when we saw at least thirty guards standing in front of the closed gates. I started to take out my sword but Chris stopped me. He then put his thumb and finger into his mouth and whistled very loud. Arrows came shooting down and only ten guards remained. Six men jumped down from the walls of the castle and started to fight the remaining guards. The guard that was with us went straight to open the gate and Chris went with him. I led my mother around the fight and gave her to Chris. The guard had joined the fight against his friends.

"Come on lets go." Chris said.

"Okay" I went with him. "Will you carry my mother, she looks very week."

"Oh no dear that's quite alright." Chris lifted her into his arms, "Oh okay."

We ran to where Reno and the white mare stood not far from the front gate. More guards were fighting now and the men were leaving, climbing the walls and jumping on there horses bellow.

Chris put my mother on his mare, "She will bring you to a place that is safe okay just let her go. We will be there as soon as we can." The mare took of directly into the forest.

Chris jumped up on Reno and pulled me up. Before we took off down the dark street I looked back and guards were on there own horses charging after us. Chris gave Reno a kick and we were off.

I pulled off my bow and loaded an arrow. I turned so I was facing behind, pulled back, aimed then fired. I hit a few guards before we turned off the streets and on a path into the forest. There were still four guards left. The guards turned and were now on the path too. They were quickly gaining speed.

"Duck" Chris yelled,

I turned and did what he said and as soon as we passed under the branch that went across the path, I turned again and two guards hit the branch and the other two ducked in time. I got another arrow into place and fired and hit one and he went flying off his horse. I was happy that there was only one guard left and he seemed to be the slowest so I didn't pull another arrow out. Then I saw him pull out a crossbow.

"How's it going back there," he asked, yelling so I could hear.

"Great, but you might want to go faster."

He took a quick look back and tried to get Reno to go faster but his speed only got a little faster. The guard was loading an arrow into the crossbow and I was doing the same with my bow. I pulled back aimed missed. He pulled back, locked it, aimed with accuracy, put his finger on the trigger and let it go. For a split second I thought it would pass right by but I was wrong I didn't notice that Chris was turning and the arrow hit me right in the shoulder. I cried out in pain and fainted.

The next thing I knew I was awake and Chris was fighting the guard that shot me with my dads' sword. I also realised that I was on the ground, I must have fallen off. Everything went black again. I awoke again and I was on Reno's back and I was also being held on by one of Chris's arms. We were still running, his safe place must be far away. Reno tripped a bit and everything went dark once again.

The next time I woke up was much longer than the first two because my mother was sitting in a rocking chair similar to the one in our house. She was knitting what looked like a blanket. She was well groomed and dressed. Her face had no bruise or cut and she wasn't thin like she had been. I tried to turn my head but it hurt to move at all other than speak.

"Mother" I managed to say.

She realised I was awake and knelt down next to where I lay, "Oh thank goodness you alright,"

"What happened, where is Chris," I asked.

"You got hit by an arrow but you saved me before that and the king gave you his crown. He is doing everything in his power to say that you weren't the one to steal the crown." She started, "Chris went to a trader with lots of money and gave him the crown. In return Chris got two hundred and thirty dollars. He is letting us stay in his home out in the middle of the forest, near the water and he is at the market in town right now getting some food for dinner. The doctor predicted you would be awake today so Chris will be home with a turkey and potatoes and bread."

"I want your bread," I said.

"There will be some of that too" she smiled, "Now I will go to the nearby town for the doctor, will you be okay alone for a while."

"Yeah but aren't I still wanted, they could catch you." I said.

"No there are other towns you know, this one is just down the path a mile or two. The castle is miles and miles away"

She got to her feet and left. I was happy to be okay. I was happy that my mother and Chris were okay. I heard a door close. About ten minutes later the door opened again and Chris came into the room. He knelt down next to me and gave me a gentle hug.

"Thank goodness your okay, I saw Tammy in town she will be here with the doc any minute now," he said, "I rushed home as soon as I heard."

We stared at each other for a long moment until he slowly got closer to me. Is this it, is he going to be my very first kiss, I thought and he was.

My mother came home with the doctor. He checked me out to see if I was alright to at least sit up. My shoulder was all wrapped up in nice smooth cloth and it didn't hurt too much. The doctor thought that it wouldn't be bad if I sat up and walked around but it might hurt me a bit. I wanted to get up so bad so I toughed my way through the pain. My mother stood back and watched as Chris and the doctor helped me to my feet. My mother gave me a big, yet careful hug.

"Would you like to join us for dinner Mr Froid." My mother asked the doctor.

"That would be nice, thank you," I could see he liked my mother, "Please call me Max"

That night we all had a great dinner. The turkey was cooked to perfection by my mother, the potatoes well pealed by Max, the bread was sliced by Chris and the cookies were made by me.

The king finally got the law on his side and I was free but I decided to stay with Chris. My mother got married to Max and are happily living together. Reno and Sasha, the white mare, get along pretty well. The guard who helped us get out lived and he is now general of them all. I think everybody is happy now except for the king who didn't get the girl he always wanted but he was getting old anyway.

I think this is the part where I say, "And we all lived happily ever after."





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