Chapter 3: Bailey of Gules
Screaming at the top of my lungs, the endless drop felt like forever. It was dark, very dark the whole way down. I didn't know if I should be thinking or moving to see if I was just in a day dream. But I did nothing but keep falling into this endless hole of darkness.
With a sudden burst of light I was dropped, not so lightly, into a bailey. My eyes were blinded by red roses and different a sortments of flowers. Shaking off the pain, I stood. I rubbed my sore butt that burned. Where was I?
"Emma! Oh Emma, darling! We have been looking all over for you! What are you wearing?" A woman hurried into the courtyard, her gown flowing behind her like a waterfall.
"What dearest? Come quick! We must get you dressed, we must welcome our guests." She tugged my arm and looked at me in confusion. "Come on, Emma!"
"But - I don't understand -"
"No, enough questions, come along!" She pulled me through the court yard, through some large wooden doors and into a grand waiting area. Everything was stone and marble. The floors rippled in bumps and were blanketed in greys and light blacks with speckles of white. "We'll have the ladies in waiting, fetch you a gown and then fix this mangled lion's mane." She said in a rush as she pulled me up some grand stair ways then down a long hallway. I absent mindly touched my hair, and scowled. How could she not like my messy bun?
"I'm supposed to be going to school at this hour." I said to her.
"Heavens no! You are almost finished with schooling! Now, I'll be back to check on you later. Ladies, please oh please fix her up!" She pushed me into a large bedroom and shut the door.
I had been in the bedroom for at least a few hours it felt like. The ladies in waiting, yanked on a corset, easily fitting my small chest into a snug blue dress. At the same time, my hair was getting yanked off my head. In the dusty mirror they had wrapped it into a tall tight bun and braided a few strands into the bun. My hazel eyes grew wide at the yank of the belt around my waist. I gasped for air and groaned.
"I can't wear this!" I complained.
"You must, my lady." I wasn't some princess. Why were they calling me this?
"Don't call me that!"
"We must, my lady."
"I comand you to stop calling me that!"
"Sorry, my lady. We have to." They all said together. Annoyed, I let them finish.
"All done, your highness." That woman was back, looking me over in jugement.
"Very well, that'll have to do. Now come along Emma. We have to go meet your father in the Great Hall." She grabbed my arm and pulled me out of the large bedroom and back down the hallway, down the stairs and arcoss the space to two large double doors.
"Who are we meeting?" I asked quietly. And just as I finished my sentence, the doors swung open by two guards dressed in dark blue. And there, in the large space were groups of men. Each with a young son who looked upon me as a prize. The woman released my arm and walked down the center to three large chairs, one occupied by a sturdy man who looked like --- my father?! I stayed close to this woman and kept my eyes foreword.
"Ahh! My ladies have now arrived I see! Come sit, Emma." He pointed to the chair in the center. The woman made her way to the chair on the right and sat gracefully. I tried to do the same but the chair made my butt ache again. "Now! Please, come each and every young man, meet my daughter!"
'Yet the Princess was not happy...She wanted a man who would care for her heart..." My father's words echoed in my brain and my heart picked up it's pace as the first young man approached my throne. He was tall and lean with fair skin like mine. His hair was short and slightly spiky, it was tinted with red. He bowed and just as he bent to kiss my hand, I was sucked up into the dark tunnel that seem endless..for the second time...