We grew up in a small village, not far from the castle of Draymore. I remember the times where we would sit with all the other villagers and listen to King Charles speak about how he was going to take care of us all. That was a year ago.
Today I sleep on the side of the pathway, with my best friend Elliot. Almost since forever we have had no place to sleep. No parents since they were both taken away for accusations of being a witch, even though they were very far from wrong.
Witches were evil. Witches casted spells on people, and hurt them. But what the village didn’t really know was that, they weren’t evil. And they were no witches. But that’s another story.
I woke up one morning to the slight breeze tapping against my face and noticed Elliot still asleep. I remember getting up and going off on my own, to scavenge for food while the town slept. I broke into homes and stole bread and milk, and wherever I could I stole items that I would be able to sell for much needed necessaries.
When I got back from my duties it was already afternoon and Elliot was nowhere to be seen. Both of us had jobs to complete during the day, I would get the food, and he would work part time, even though we would never get enough money to buy a house.
With the money he earns we buy seeds so we can continue to produce fresh vegetables for us to eat. But ever since the family next door bought a dog, all of the crops have either been trampled on, or eaten.
So we make sure that we sleep next to our little farm to warn off any unwanted guests. By the time Elliot had finished work he was exhausted, after all we were only 11 at the time. We counted his earnings, only $5.60 to be exact, enough for one meal or enough for seeds so we can have five in a week or so.
By night time we both fall asleep silently listening to the bats that hang from the windowsill of a nearby house. They chirp quietly before taking off and flapping their bony wings through the air.
One time, I remember catching a bat, mid-flight. Unluckily for me, it bit my finger and I ended up getting an infection that took weeks to go away. After that I never tried my luck again, after all I just can’t take that risk.
We don’t get any medical help; in fact, I don’t think anyone else does besides the King, Queen and their daughter Amelia because of the grim times we live in. The date is 1598 and we live in a small country some call “London.” It’s a very cold country many would agree, almost every day there is a bitter chill to the air, or frost on the ground and sometimes if we’re lucky enough it will snow.
Don’t get me wrong, snow is amazing and fun to play in. Also, free water if we decide to melt it. Which is a bonus for us. But because we live outside most of the time we will catch some sort of flu or disease.
If it does happen to snow we leave our crops and any other items we’ve scavenged and go off on our own to the small cave not far outside the town to take cover. We would move there of course, we’ve even debated about it, but it is a temporary shelter because there are no useable resources within the area and we only go there for protection and warmth.
Last time we were there we lighted a fire, and Elliot accidentally burnt himself while trying to cook that same annoying crow that use to bother us all day. Not only that, it stole the only food we have, and we decided it was better just to get rid of the damned thing.
I remember it tasting not so good, foul in fact. But at least it was disease free and had minimal protein within it, a luxury we don’t always get.
As I close my eyes, I drift off into a slight sleep, thinking about the memories of not so long ago and waking up a different person.
When I awake from my sleep I’m lying in a comfy, warm bed in the town of Draymore, Elliot is nowhere in sight and I know why.
Many years ago the guards of Draymore were sent to collect Elliot because Queen Mary had a vision that a young boy, living not so far outside the castle would have royal blood within him.
I remember him waking me up, a sharp smile spread across his face. My eyes were blurry but I just noticed the men gathered around him. “I’ll be back soon. I promise Lisa!” He chuckled before leaning over and kissing my cheek.
That was the last time I saw him. And that night I waited for many hours for his return, days in fact but he never returned. I don’t know where he is or even if he is safe or happy, but one thing I do know is that the Guards came back for me and gave me a place to stay.
It wasn’t the best of places to sleep, but there was a bed, a cupboard and some fresh clothes awaiting me. I asked no questions because girls got no answers. They were considered the lower species of the gender and had no say in the matter. And because of that I held my breath and just wished the answers would find me one day.
And they did. One day while I went out into the field to pick berries to make into a pie when I saw him for the first time in 10 years. He had grown handsome, tall and most of all looked very happy. He was walking hand in hand with a beautiful girl who looked not much older than him and I instantly recognized her as Princess Amelia.
As I watched them walk by I couldn’t help but want to yell out to him, to tell him how much I missed him, but at the same time, how much I was angry at him for not returning. But I didn’t. I held my head low and continued to forage for tonight’s desert.
A few minutes or so later and they had gone, vanished actually. I remember looking around but found no one in sight. I later thought that maybe they went off into the woods and took the trail to Jouvaile.
Jouvaile was a small town about 1km away from us. Not very far on foot, and a lot faster by carriage. It was a place where most would go to find love, or to confess their love to another. A place where two people would get married.
I cringed at the thought of Elliot wanting to marry a snobby girl such as Amelia herself. Although she was pretty, just like her father and mother had an evil tinge about her. She would go off down to the pig farm and kick them, and tell them. “You will be tonight’s dinner.” She then sent her servants to go collect it, and later – well you know what happens.
As a kid I never really liked her. No, I envied her. She was the prettiest girl in all of Draymore, but only because she got to indulge herself in every mascara, cheek stain and rouge she could wish for. If half of the girls in the village got the royal treatment she got, they would be pretty to.
That day I walked home and entered my house to be confronted by two town guards. They were picking at their nails and looking at me boredly. I immediately put down the fruit I had collected and asked them whatever the problem was.
“Prince Elliot requests a meeting with thyself.” He explained to me slowly. I thought about this for a minute, but then shook my head.
“I don’t know who any Elliot is.” I defended myself before picking up my basket and walking over to the cupboard to place it in. I felt a tight hand grip my shoulder and turn me around, he looked into my eyes.
“Of course you do. Now come on.” He insisted before pulling my arm with him. It was a 20 minute walk before we entered the Castle gates; they were tall and dusty with a hint of moss growing on them. They opened with a ratty creek as we stepped through them and strided for the big doors.
They opened too with the same resistance and immediately we were welcomed with a heat that reminded me of the Summer time. The walls were a decorative red, and had many paintings and pictures on them. The ground was a grey stone that sent shivers done my spine as I walked bare foot on them.
As we walked through the narrow hall way I couldn’t help but wonder why Elliot wanted to see me. Had he noticed me in the fields? Or maybe his guilty conscious was finally playing up. Maybe he was announcing that he was in fact going to get married to this Amelia girl and wanted me to know about it, or to rub it in my face.
When we got into the lobby a meal that could serve hundreds was seated along the long wooden tables and instantly I was told to take a seat and wait for his entrance.
He came alone. No guards, no Amelia and for that I was truly thankful. He sat opposite me, eating a chicken drum stick with a smirk on his face. Not a very friendly smirk I had thought to myself. I tried to pick up something to eat for myself but resisted as I stared at him blankly, still wondering the reason for this meeting.
After finally devouring his chicken he walked over to me and rested his hands on my shoulders. I looked around to meet eyes with him and a slight tear began to form in my eye.
“Oh Lisa.” He sighed before stroking my hair. I stuttered before speaking.
“Is there a reason for this, um. Meeting?” I asked as politely as I could, ignoring his failed attempts to sway me. He stepped back from me a little, to whisper into my ear.
“You get to live in the Castle, Lisa.” He said with a hint of happiness in his voice, which he tried ever so hard to hide. “Isn’t that always what you wanted?”
I swang around to stare at him. Who was he now? It seemed like everything about him had changed. He no longer had the same soft face I used to pinch when I was younger. Instead it had been replaced with broad features such as a protruded lip and jaw bone. He looked much more handsome than he had many years ago, but I shrugged this off and began to nod my head ever so slightly.
“That’s great then. I’ll show you to your room.” I tried to cut in, but it was no use. He had already tugged me along with him and pulled me about the Castle until we got to a plain room that had lavender coloured walls, and a creamy matte carpet. It was close to empty except a bed in the corner, and a dressing room opposite. “We’ll order you in some new furniture if you like.” He added before tapping me on the back and walking out.