Golden light slowly begins to blanket the countless rooftops
reaching the horizon. I snuggle deeper into my woolen cloak
wishing for the sun's heat to quicken and warm my chilled bones.
Roosters begin to awaken the kingdom. I watch the dreary faces
and slouched backs emerge from their homes. Farmers drag
themselves out to the fields beyond the homes and fences encasing
them. Children follow them into the barns and fields of animals
as they begin to feed and water the animals. Others clean the
areas, some wrangle and control the animals as others begin to
dispose of the ones that deceased in the night.
Rumbling erupts from below me before soilders appear escorting
prisoners to the stocks in the town square for their daily
punishment, humiliation or both. No executions will be held
today. I already checked.
My hand unconciously moves to the dagger at my hip when I lay my
eyes upon the captain of the uniformed knights.
'Sir' Joseph Holmes.
He grins as he shouts commands all around. A few of the waking
people walking around the square duck their heads slightly and
speed up their paces.
A girl about the age of eight struggles with two buckets of
spilling water as she hurrys across the streets. Unfortuanetly
for her, Joseph heard her loud steps and splashing water.
"Peasant! You with the buckets! Halt!"
The girl obeyed without hesitation as the knights slowly
"I see that you are taking water before dawn, young lady. Not
only that but you are also wasting it. Wasting our precious
resources! What do you have to say for yourself to excuse your
actions?" Joseph smirks as others joined in with the pleasure.
Her responce was barely audible. "I'm sorry sir, my brother, he's
sick, very sick, and mother said he would need more water... I'm
sorry, very sorry. Please let my take this to him, please sir. I
will never disobey the rules again, but please sir. Have mercy."
Laughter spread through the sqaure like falling dominos.
"Have mercy she says!"
"Her brother is 'very' sick!"
"What does he have, the extreme thirst illness of the century?"
"Do you always do what mother tells you?"
"Disobey the rules?!"
"Sir this, sir that!"
"At least she has manners!"
The grip on my dagger tightened with each mocking retort. My jaws
tightened as I pushed air in and out by my nostrils.
"Well young lady, I'm afraid your little adventure to get
'healing water' is an action all in vain. You're coming with us.
We'll give you your pleading mercy and not bring you before the
king. You'll just have to accompany us for the day."
Joseph took a grip on the girl's arm as his sly grin streched
across his face.
The knights lead the girl with them through the sqaure and didn't
refrain from touching or looking at her in any way that could be
A knock on the wood below my brought me back into reality. I
returned the familiar sequence of knocks as my brother's face
then appeared from beneath the wooden door.
"Good morning." He greeted.
I kept my silence.
"Perhaps it's not such a good morning after all."
"No it's not. Not for the little girl being violated and
humilated below us." I pointed to the group of knights surronded
His friendly face fell as he rubbed his hand across his face.
"I'll see what I can do."
"Her brother is sick. They need water. I'll get Kaeil to get her
father down there."
"Yeah, that's good. I'll see about making sure they don't hurt
"In any way."
His eyes roamed over my body before he took my hand and removed
my gloves. His hands were expectadly warm.
"You stayed up here all night again?"
I kept my position. I didn't speak or gesture to any kind of
answer. I didn't need to.
"The nights are getting longer and colder, you can't keep doing
"Yes I can. I'm not confined to one building, let alone a room. I
am free to roam where I want, when I want."
"I don't deny that but I want you to stop staying up here all
I opened my mouth to object but he stopped me.
"I'm not telling you this to control you or tell you what to do.
You do what you want, but I'm telling you I don't want you up
here cause I'm worried. You're smart but you'll do stupid things.
Like stay up here and catch an illness. Last winter held horrible
weather and illnesses. Almost a fourth of the kingdom was wiped
out. I don't want that to happen to you."
I sighed to myself. Canann always knew what to say to me to make
me do something. I knew exactly what he was trying to do too.
Problem was it worked, and he wasn't lying when he told me
something. He is the only trustworthy aspect of this life, I
might as well listen to him.
A 'thank you' expression crossed his face and I returned a
frustrated 'I hate you and your manipulation skills.'
"Come on then, we've got breakfast to attend to in a hour and if
someone didn't know any better I'd say they'd think you spent the
night on a castle tower."
We both mustered a laugh and smile before desending down the
stairs, past the hallways, and back into our royal chambers. I
took a look out my window. This was nothing of a view compared to
the one on the castle tower. That was only one reason I hated
The other(of many) came from loud snoring across the room, past
the seperation panel. I stuffed my cloak, gloves, shoes, and
dagger into my drawers, ran a comb through my hair and jumped
into bed to await the arrival of my servant, barging in to tell
the sun had risen and it was morning.
Like I didn't know that already.