Allison C. Akemann
For Richer or Poorer
For Richer or Poorer
All that glitters is not gold. So the future of a selfish prince is told. A maiden with a warm heart would indeed play an important part. So goes the story of Prince Owen and maiden Quin. A story that starts with once upon a time and ends with the end.
Prince Owen was the ruler of Irlantica. He lived in a magnificent castle and he had every treasure that his heart desired. The one thing that he did not have was true love. Something that Prince Owen’s selfishness and arrogance blocked out. Something that made Prince Owen’s heart stone hard and ice cold.
In the outskirts of Irlantica there lived a maiden named Quin. She lived with her father Dale in a small cottage between the stables and a small Inn that she and her father ran. Quin and her father weren’t as wealthy as prince Owen was. They were poor and had very few possessions. But that didn’t keep them from finding a way to be happy.
Quin was hard working and caring. Traits that gave her a warm heart. A heart that would often warm the hearts of people around her. Although Quin did not have a lot of friends because she was to busy maintaining, running, and cleaning the inn, cabin, and stables with her father it didn’t keep her from being nice to others when she had the opportunity to talk to someone else.
As fate would have it Quin and Prince Owen did met. A day that neither one of them would ever forget. So here starts the story of maiden Quin and Prince Owen. The story of the kind hearted maiden who would teach a selfish prince how to love unconditionally.
Once upon a time or so it can be said the young maiden Quin having just finished harvesting some crops from the fields. Something which she did daily by gathering the crops in the early morning and after she was finished she would push them out of the fields to the barn by use of a simple midsized and sufficient wheel barrel.
Quin was pushing her wheel barrel full of crops across the road near the stables when Prince Owen on his daily morning hunt came trotting full speed on the back of one of his stable horses. Prince Owen along with his faithful servant Lyle being to riled up from their morning hunting excursion failed to yield to Quin as she crossed the dirt road that they were trotting in a full speed gallop down.
Lyle being careful and cautious was able to spot Quin in time as he brought his horse to a hault. Something that prince Owen with his overly confident and slightly cocky attitude failed to do in return. Instead of reacting like he should have prince Owen’s horse reacted instead by briefly rearing up upon his hind legs startling Quin and upsetting her wheel barrel full of crops right before it came to a stop and returned his front legs to the ground.
“Easy boy… surely she didn’t mean to get in our way.” Commented Prince Owen talking to his horse as he managed to get him to settle down.
“I beg your pardon?” Asked Quin in an annoyed tone of voice as she realized what Prince Owen had just said.
“You heard me perfectly clear, now clean up this mess, I have places to go to.” Ordered Prince Owen arrogantly.
“There is no need to be rude—“ Started Quin.
“—that’s your majesty, or prince Owen to you peasant.” Informed Prince Owen as he intentionally interrupted Quin.
“I beg your pardon your majesty but my name is Quin, and don’t worry I’ll be out of your way shortly.” Replied Quin as she tried not to sound as offended as she felt by prince Owen’s unkind behavior.
“Oh allow me to help you Miss Quin.” Offered Lyle as he dismounted his horse and helped Quin gather the remaining stray crops and return them to her now turned upright wheel barrel.
“Lyle please there is no need for you to be associating with people from this class.” Said prince Owen in a disgusted tone of voice.
“Class aside prince Owen Quin is indeed a citizen of Irlantica, and by helping her out we are able to return to the castle faster than it would have been otherwise if I didn’t help this young maiden.” Explained Lyle politely.
“Thank you uh--“ Started Quin.
“-- Lyle, and it was my pleasure.” Answered Lyle as he shook Quin’s hand and gave a brief bow of respect before he remounted his horse and joined prince Owen.
“That’s go!” Commanded prince Owen as he briefly rolled his eyes at Lyle, ignored Quin and took off trotting back to the castle.
Making sure that Quin was alright Lyle legged behind and said “See you at the Yule time festival.” Then he tipped his hat and took off in a fast trot to catch up with prince Owen and to escort him in his return to his castle.
“At least somebody has manners.” Stated Quin out loud as her father unexpectantly joined her.
“Oh, was that prince Owen?” Asked Quin’s father briefly startling Quin at the announcement of his presence.
“If your referring to the one that doesn’t have any manners then yes, that was indeed prince Owen and his well mannered servant Lyle… father are we invited to prince Owen’s Yule time festival?” Asked Quin as she politely changed the subject.
“Of course my dear, all eligible kinsfolk are, it will be the perfect opportunity for us to sell some of our harvest.” Replied Quin’s father in a joyful and grateful tone of voice.
“Right, I guess we should get back to work then.” Answered Quin in a half distracted tone of voice.
Both Quin and her father worked hard in preparing their crops along with making some arrangements to prepare some rooms in the Inn for guests to rest in. Something that prince Owen on the other hand did not.
Prince Owen’s idea of making arrangements for the Yule festival consisted of him ordered about one hundred servants and suggesting that they were doing things wrong and that things weren’t to his satisfaction. Something that made it harder for the servants to prepare the central courtroom for the Yule time festival then was necessary.
“Come prince Owen it’s time for you fitting.” Advised Lyle as he decided to pull prince Owen away from the servants a few minutes earlier seeing that they looked like they needed a much deserved break.
“Right, is the tailor ready?” Asked prince Owen as Lyle escorted him from the central courtroom to the central foyer, up the stairs, and to his bedroom chambers where it was arranged that Prince Owen would have his fitting at.
“Tate, of course your majesty, now don’t worry about every little detail of the festival, leave that to me, after all you certainly want to look your best, and it is my job to do the so called worrying for you.” Informed Lyle gently as he indirectly advised prince Owen in what he should do. Something that was a helpful tactic considering that prince Owen was stubborn and preferred not to take orders from anyone aside from himself.
“Your right Lyle, at least you have the confidence and sense to know what you are doing, something that some of the incompetent servants that seem to work here seem to lack, honestly is it far to hard to find good help now a days.” Stated prince Owen arrogantly as he and Lyle arrived in his bedroom chamber.
In his bedroom chamber Tate the tailor had prince Owen’s dress clothes for the Yule festival laid out on top of his bed. It was a blue colored dress waist coat with a red sash along with black trousers and an elegant laced white cotton shirt.
“Are they to your liking your majesty?” Asked Tate nervously as he pointed towards the dress clothes that had been laid out on prince Owen’s bed.
“Hmm… we shall see.” Replied prince Owen as he eyed the clothes skeptically.
Within moments and with the assistance of a man servant who had briefly entered prince Owen’s bedroom chambers Prince Owen was dressed. Even his black gold buckled dress shoes that Lyle managed to find seemed to shine elegantly.
“You unconfident clad!” Hollered prince Owen in protest as he took one glance at himself in his full length mirror and instantly found a fault with his dress attire.
“Sorry prince Owen what is it?” apologized Tate as he tried to figure out what he had done wrong.
“I specifically said that I wanted my hem raised one and a half centimeters not one quarter of a centimeter.” Complained prince Owen in disgust as he pointed at the hem at the end of his pant legs.
“I’ll correct it right away sir, sorry your majesty.” Apologized Tate as he quickly set to work and corrected the hem and restictched it according to prince Owen’s satisfaction.
“Prince Owen will you be needing anything else before we head out to your Yule time festival?” Asked Lyle as he set down prince Owen’s shoes and assisted him and putting them on and properly buckling them.
“No, that will do.” Replied prince Owen as he waved a hand and dismissed Tate.
Before Tate left prince Owen’s bedroom chamber Lyle gave him a grateful nod that nonverbally told Tate that he had did a fine job. Something that prince Owen never seemed to even acknowledge.
Before heading out with Lyle prince Owen stopped in front of his full length mirror and looked himself over.
“Guess it will do.” Agreed prince Owen as he turned away from the mirror and allowed Lyle to escort him into the central courtyard where indeed a fine Yule time festival was just beginning.
Everyone knew the moment that prince Owen entered the central courtroom for he was the best dressed person in the courtyard. Something that prince Owen took great pride in. He would not stand for anybody to be better dressed then he was and yet he did not tolerate untidiness and unkempt clothing appearances. Something that to prince Owen seemed to exist amongst the poor and unwealthy kinsfolk in his kingdom.
“There’s prince Owen, oh if we were of royalty I’m sure that you two would of hit it off so to speak.” Commented Quin’s father turning to Quin so that only she could hear him.
“Father, although that is a hopeful thought, it is highly unlikely, for someone like prince Owen although he holds the title of a prince certainly doesn’t act like one, he nearly ran over our produce cart this evening.” Informed Quin as she confided the dissatisfaction that she felt with prince Owen to her father.
“Oh we made out fine Quin, accidents happen.” Replied Quin’s father with a brief and short light hearted laugh.
Quin’s father had just finished saying this when Prince Owen with Lyle trailing after him pushed his way through crowds of people and made his way to Quin’s fathers produce stand. A stand that was hardly noticeable for it only had a small wooden barrel and a wooden sign that read produce contribute cost as you will.
Prince Owen being rude and in to much in a hurry to care bumped against a wooden ladder that was resting at the side of the carriage and the ladder began to fall down directing its path at a small four year old boy who was to stunned to even move.
“Look out!” Called out Quin as she immediately took action and caught the ladder so that it barely missed the stunned four year old boy unintentionally splattering a little bit of mud on prince Owen’s shoes in the process.
“You clumsy girl look at what you have done!” complained prince Owen as he took no notice to the small four year old boy who upon hearing prince Owen’s voice scampered away from both prince Owen and Quin.
“Is only a little bit of mud your majesty.” Replied Quin as she took a brief glance at prince Owen’s shoes and then returned her gaze to look prince Owen squarely in the eye. Something that prince Owen had no attention in doing in return.
“A little bit of mud! A little bit of mud! How dare you—“ Started prince Owen but he was interrupted as Lyle sensing an argument pulled out his pocket handkerchief and used it to wipe away the small bit of mud that had managed to get onto prince Owen’s shoes.
“There, there, no need to make quite the fuss your majesty.” Advised Lyle as he attempted to ease the situation.
“I can make a fuss if I chose to, this girl needs to learn her place in the kingdom.” Complained prince Owen stubbornly.
After prince Owen said this Quin’s father finally managed to make his way over to see what was going on between prince Owen and his daughter.
“Oh prince Owen, pleased to meet your acutance, my daughter Quin surely hasn’t displeased you, for if she has you have the word of Dale Nimble as an oral apology.” Apologized Quin’s father as he formally introduced himself and bowed his head briefly to show some respect.
“Oh well at least some of the common folk have manners, come Lyle let us tend to more important things.” Ordered prince Owen as he turned to take his leave unintentionally dropping a gold diamond ring out of his pocket. A treasure that prince Lyle considered very valuable.
Spotting the diamond ring before everyone else Quin’s father picked it up and wiped the mud off of it with his apron. Then as he attempted to return it to prince Owen a crowd quickly gathered making it impossible to keep track of prince Lyle.
“I say your majesty! Prince Owen!” Called out Quin’s father as he pushed carefully and made his way through the crowd.
Quin’s father continued to try to make his way through the crowd to get to prince Owen and Lyle to return prince Owen’s ring. Something that unintentionally alarmed a wealthy gentleman with a green overcoat who mistook Quin’s fathers actions as an action of thievery.
“Thief!” Called out the wealthy man in the green dress coat.
“I beg your pardon—“ started Quin’s father but he was cut short again as the wealthy man once again called out “Thief!”
This action unsettled several people in the crowd who sent a message through each other till the message reached prince Owen and Lyle.
“That man has your ring your majesty.” Informed a short and plump man in a red overcoat who was shortly out of breath from running to catch up with prince Owen.
“What—That’s my—guards grab him!” Ordered prince Owen as he took one look at the ring that Quin’s father was holding and realized that it was indeed his.
Becoming intimidated and frightened Quin’s father turned to run away. But was unsuccessful as the crowd of onlookers surrounded him and kept him contained until two palace guards came rushing towards them and grabbed Quin’s father roughly by the shoulders.
It was at this moment that Quin arrived on the scene. “You can’t take him, he didn’t do anything wrong.” Plead Quin as she unsuccessfully tried to get the attention of one of the guards.
The guards had managed to bring Quin’s father to prince Owen just long enough for prince Owen to snatch back his ring and command “Take him away!”
“Your majesty—“ Quin’s father began to plea only to be cut short as the guards grabbed and lifted him through the crowd making their way to the castle dungeon where the prison was at.
“Stop!” called out Quin as she tried to call out to the guards only to be roughly pushed back where she fell onto her hands and knees at the feet of no one other than prince Owen himself.
“I say there is no need to be on the ground, if you must worship me then do it properly on your feet like everyone else.” Advised prince Owen as he unintentionally mistook Quin’s action for an action of adoration.
Quin quickly got to her feet and dusted off her hands. “Sorry to mislead you your majesty, but I have no intention of worshiping you at this particular moment.” Started Quin partially out of anger.
“What? You must be mistaken, for everyone who has any common sense would be proud to worship a great prince like myself, what makes you so different?” Asked prince Owen in a displeased tone of voice.
“Pardon me for being a bit rude prince Owen but you just wrongfully arrested my father.” Informed Quin patiently as she tried her best not to lose her temper. Something that was extremely difficult with prince Owen behaving so rudely.
“I certainly have not, if you want to claim innocence on the accused then do so tomorrow when a proper court date shall be scheduled for your father, whatever his name may be.” Informed prince Owen as he dismissed Quin’s comments with a wave of his hand.
“His name is Dale Nimble, something you would have remembered along with my name—Quin—if you would take one second to listen to somebody other than yourself!” Declared Quin as she unintentionally lost her temperament with prince Owen.
“Whatever, be gone.” Stated prince Owen as he once again dismissed Quin with the wave of his hand.
“One of these days you will learn to listen! When that day comes you will be a true prince Owen!” Declared Quin as prince Owen continued to walk away with Lyle hesitantly trailing behind him.
As much as prince Owen tried to ignore what Quin had said to him somewhere in the depths of his heart he knew that her words rang true. Something that with all his boastful pride he was far to proud to admit.
“Prince Owen shouldn’t we have listened to maiden Quin to at least hear why she declared her father Dale to be innocent like she had?” Asked Lyle in a concerned tone of voice as he continued to trail behind prince Owen who was exiting the central courtroom and heading into the front entryway of his castle where he briefly ordered a palace guard to stand watch and to not allow anyone inside before he entered into the front foyer and violently slammed the door shut just barely missing Lyle in the process.
“Alright! Sorry your majesty, just thought I’d ask.” Apologized Lyle as he realized that what he had asked had only added to prince Owen’s already infuriated temperament.
“I have never been spoken to like that before! How dare she… if she’d known that it was the wedding ring of my mother! a ring like my deceased father’s ring seal is priceless… if she’d known that then she—she wouldn’t dare speak to me like that!” Ranted prince Owen as he voice broke slightly and displayed a hurt and sad emotion that prince Owen rarely showed to anyone aside from Lyle.
“Begging your pardon your majesty but only you and I know that, both Quin and her father Dale couldn’t have possibly have known that… now there, there, would you like me to fetch you a glass of tonic or something?” Asked Lyle politely as he indirectly advised prince Owen to calm down.
“No—thanks…” Replied prince Owen as his voice broke off upon saying a statement that he very rarely said.
Upon hearing prince Owen’s request Lyle stood still temporary stunned and unsure what to do at first. For Lyle knew that on the rare occasions that prince Owen did say thank you it had to be on an occasion when he really and sincerely met it.
The following morning back with Quin…
After spending a restless night at her father and her cabin and tending to her daily morning chores along with her father’s Quin turned the open sign on the Inn door to closed knowing that she and her father hadn’t made enough money at the Yule festival to keep it open. Not to mention that everybody in town didn’t seem to trust her upon hearing of her father’s arrest.
“Stay away from that girl Jimmy she’ll bewitch your mind.” Said an annoyed farmer’s wife who had pulled her three year old wondering son off of the street and after scowling at Quin returned back inside of her cottage slamming the door behind herself.
“Pay no mind to her, she’s only doing what she thinks is right, you’re going to prove that your father is innocent, then all shall be set right.” Quinn quietly assured herself as she headed out to the royal courthouse hoping that she’d have a chance to see her father for a little bit before his court hearing that was scheduled for noon.
It was eleven in the morning when Quin arrived at Prince Owen’s castle where she strolled up past the opened front gates, and already drawn drawbridge. The courtyard was deserted. It was a plain gray stoned walkway surrounded by green grass.
What caught Quin’s attention was the large gray stoned fountain. The one thing that had any beauty in the central courtyard. It was a large round stoned fountain that had a gold and silver shield in the center of it that was trickling water from the top of it. Water that was so clear that you could see yourself in the shiny surface of the shield as you passed it.
Passing the beautiful fountain Quin arrived at the front door where the same guard from the previous night before stood. A guard who seemed to be trying his best not to fall asleep.
“Beg your pardon sir but is prince Owen available?” Asked Quin politely as she unintentionally startled the palace guard so that he was now fully awake.
“Prince Owen does not talk to commoners without an appointment.” Stated the palace guard as if instructed on what he had to say.
“Well is there a way that I can be escorted to the dungeons to see my father Dale Nimble?” Asked Quin politely.
“You’ll have to make an appointment with his advisor or hang on—Lyle a moment please!” Called out the palace guard as he interrupted the conversation that he was having with Quin as he poked his head through the palace door and called out for Lyle who happened to be passing by in the front foyer.
“Alright Burt there is no need to shout, how may I help you—ah maiden Quin.” Answered Lyle as he exited with the palace guard Burt and upon seeing Quin indicated that he recognized her..
“Lyle is there a way that I can see my father before his courtroom summons?” Asked Quin politely.
“Dale… prince Owen does have a strict policy on having visitors to the prisons, I don’t think prince Owen will change his mind for he is in a very foul mood this morning… but if I escort you there myself and for just a brief moment, I don’t see why not, come right this way.” Replied Lyle as he and Quin made their way past the palace guard Burt and entered the front foyer.
As Lyle escorted Quin inside of the castle she found herself surrounded by elegant things. From a large candle lit chandelier to multiple gold handled wall candles, and purple and green triangular flags that draped from the ceiling. Flags that were the recognized flags of Irlantica. Even the dark red velvet carpet that Lyle was leading her down seemed elegant to Quin.
“Right this way miss Quin.” Prompted Lyle politely as he lead Quin to the right side of the central foyer to an opening in the right tower side of the palace. An opening that concealed a hidden door that lead down a stone wall, floor, and ceiling tunnel that had a few torches aligning it’s wall. As beautiful as the inside of the castle the tunnel that lead to the dungeon area was the complete opposite.
Quin quietly followed Lyle down the tunnel and tried to keep her mind off of how cold and uncomfortable she was feeling in the tunnel. For as cold and uncomfortable as she was she was far to determined to see her father to change her mind and retreat back inside of the castle.
“Quin are you alright?” Asked Lyle politely as he realized how unexpectantly silent Quin had became.
“For the most part yes sir.” Replied Quin with an involuntary shudder as a blast of cold wind swept across the tunnel.
“It is a bit drafty in her my apologies, this passageway isn’t used that often, here right this way.” Replied Lyle as he guided Quin to a tall and thick wooden door. A door that let out a loud and unpleasant groan as Lyle opened it.
“I take it the dungeon’s through there.” Replied Quin as she tried her best not to sound ungrateful.
“Of course Quin, follow me if you’d please.” Instructed Lyle as he lead Quin through the wooden door and then closed it behind himself and Quin.
“We shall be there shortly.” Reassured Lyle as he lead Quin past a long stone staircase down a narrow stoned hallway that was surrounded by wooden doors with iron barred windows. Typical prison cells.
“Aha here we are Dale Nimble.” Remarked Lyle as he came to a second cell on the right and gestured for Quin to go in front of him.
“Father!” Called out Quin as she rushed to the prison door and reached her hands through the window to see if she could reach out to her father.
“Quin is that—I say it is you.” Remarked Quin’s father relieved upon seeing Quin as he clasped one of Quin’s hands with his own and allowed her to drop the other back out of the cell window so that he could see her and she could see him.
“I don’t like this place, you don’t belong here.” Commented Quin as she gently pressed her father’s hand and realized that it was cold.
“Your freezing, I can’t allow you stay here like this, you should be home where it’s warm.” Said Quin in a concerned tone of voice.
“Now Quin it is prince Owen’s orders, you are the one who should be at home.” Replied Quin’s father with a short cough.
“Home where I can be insulted or ridiculed no thanks, I’d rather stay here with you.” Replied Quin sarcastically.
“That can be arranged.” Grumbled the voice of prince Owen who had unexpectantly appeared at the footstep of the stone stairwell where he stood watching Quin and Lyle from the shadows.
“P-p-prince Owen, surely you don’t mean that, the maiden just need a moment with her father before his trial, she didn’t mean any harm.” Informed Lyle as he became momentarily rattled from prince Owen’s unexpected appearance.
“That is for me to decide, for she has already manipulated my servant into disobeying my no visitors allowed rule, a rule that be assured there she won’t be the only one punished for.” Threatened prince Owen as he began to advance towards Lyle in a somewhat threatening manner.
“Hault! Lyle your so called servant has not done anything wrong, if it’s anyone’s fault it is but my own, and if you insist on punishing people punish me, not people who are innocent.” Interjected Quin as she dropped hands with her father and stepped in between Lyle and prince Owen just as prince Owen was a few feet away from Lyle.
“Oh now I remember you, you are that ungrateful subject from yesterday’s carination… if you intend on remaining a citizen of Irlantica then you shall learn better manners, and you best know your place like all citizens in Irlantica should, do I make myself clear? Or is that to complicated for a feeble mind as your own to comprehend.” Stated prince Owen arrogantly.
“I know my place and it’s at home with my father who you have imprisoned by mistake in here.” Replied Quin as she ignored prince Owen’s insult and fixed her mind on trying to come up with a way to release her father from his cold prison cell.
“I do not make mistakes, and you shall address me as prince Owen or your majesty when you are speaking to me girl.” Commanded prince Owen.
“The name is Quin and I will address you as a prince when you behave like one instead of acting like a brute like you are.” Replied Quin as she started to lose her patience with prince Owen.
“That’s slander! Speak like that again and I will hold you in content as well as civil disobedience!” Warned prince Owen as his cheeks flushed red with anger.
“You see your so called majesty nobody likes to be insulted when they are spoken to, I meant no disrespect, I just wanted you to feel how it feels when someone insults you… now please prince Owen don’t keep my father—Dale Nimble—here, he is an innocent man and considering that he was trying to return what was rightful yours back to you would you kindly consider letting him free, for Dale Nimble is truly no thief.” Reassured Quin as she managed to calm herself down so that she could speak with prince Owen more reasonably.
“I saw what I saw and Dale Nimble will not be released until the debt that he owes me has been repaid, now leave before I have you arrested as well.” warned prince Owen as he turned his back towards Lyle and Quin showing that he was preparing to leave.
“ Wait your majesty… perhaps I could be of service to you on behalf of my father instead.” Said Quin as she started to negotiate with prince Owen.
“You would take his place and pay his debt off for him… interesting.” Said Prince Owen out loud as he started to think over what Quin was telling him.
“Yes your majesty if you would kindly release my father he could prove to you that he is no thief, I’ll stay here so that you can be reassured that his debt will be repaid in full.” Informed Quin as she continued to negotiate with Prince Owen intent on her father being released from his prison cell.
“A willing debt repayment interesting.” Said Prince Owen still thinking over Quin’s proposed deal.
“Yes your majesty if lady Quin does indeed stay with you then we could dismiss that court hearing… this would regain you time to do more important things as I’m sure you would like to your majesty.” Added Lyle as he pointed out the benefits to agreeing with Quin’s proposal.
“Indeed it would, and consider it a done deal on two conditions.” Replied prince Owen.
“Of course—what two conditions?” Quin somewhat agreed hesitantly.
“That Dale Nimble will not forsake in any acts of thievery and that you—Quin don’t try to run away or escape from this castle for a month.” Proposed Prince Owen.
“A month, Quin you can’t lose your freedom for that long, just leave me—“ Started Quin’s father.
“Release my father and return him to his home in the village safely and you have my word your majesty.” Agreed Quin as her eyes started to well up slightly with tears.
“Then the deals done! Guards release the prisoner and return him to his homestead!” Demanded Prince Owen as he called up the stairway and two palace guards came stumbling down the stairs.
The guards managed to unlock Quin’s father’s cell and free him for a brief moment. Then prince Owen ordered “Take him to his homestead and out of my sight!”
After Prince Owen ordered this the royal guards grabbed Quin’s father and pulled him forcefully out of the dungeon area and half dragged him up the stairwell.
“Prince Owen—please… Quin!” called out Quin’s father who unsuccessfully attempted to say goodbye to Quin as he was pulled out the dungeon door on top of the stairwell where it violently closed shut behind himself.
“Wait…” Started Quin as she tried to rush to her father only to be grabbed by her forearm by prince Owen.
“You will remain here for the time being, go back on our agreement and your father will return here as well, do I make myself clear?” Asked Prince Owen in a demanding tone of voice.
“Yes but you didn’t have to be so rude prince Owen, you should of at the very least let me say goodbye to my father… you didn’t even let me say goodbye.” Said Quin as she slightly lost her composure and softly started to cry.
“Now there, there lady Quin, you will be seeing him again in a month, that’s try to make the best of things shall we.” Suggested Lyle as he tried to comfort Quin.
“You should have let me say goodbye, taking my father away like that just wasn’t right… If you expect loyalty from your subjects prince Owen then I’d suggest making an effort not to be so crude and vile.” Suggested Quin.
“Crude, Vile, I most certainly am not.” Denied Prince Owen placing emphasis on the words crude and vile.
“Then prove it.” Suggested Quin in a slight sharp tone of voice as she crossed her arms across her chest to show her displeasure towards Prince Owen.
“I don’t need to prove myself to anyone, especially you.” Retorted Prince Owen as he turned his back towards Quin and started to leave the dungeon.
“Well are you two coming or not?” Asked Prince Owen as he realized that neither Lyle or Quin was following him.
“You mean I don’t have to stay down here?” Asked Quin in a surprise tone of voice.
“No, not unless you want to.” Replied Prince Owen impatiently.
Not wanting to give Prince Owen a reason to change his mind both Quin and Lyle followed Prince Owen out of the dungeon area silently.
“I’m going to lead you to a guest bedroom, other than that you are to remain in the kitchen area, garden area or an area where a servant is present at all times, that way I can be assured that you keep out of trouble, any wondering off is forbidden, do I make myself clear?” Asked Prince Owen as he lead Quin and Lyle past the front foyer and up a wide set of stoned stairs with hand carved stone railing with a strip of dark red velvet carpet raped down the center of the stairwell.
“Yes your majesty.” Replied Quin politely.
“My castle is your temporary home now, and I hope that you enjoy it here.” Said Prince Owen politely.
Not expecting Prince Owen to be so polite Quin almost missed the last step at the top of the staircase. Something that caused her to stumble slightly as she clumsily managed to catch herself and regain her balance.
“Careful lady Quin, It would be a shame if you fell.” Warned Lyle as he realized that Quin had nearly fell.
“Indeed it would be.” Grumbled Prince Owen in such a low and mumble tone of voice that nobody could hear what he had said.
“What did you say Prince Owen?” Asked Quin as she sensed that Prince Owen had mumbled something that was most likely insulting.
“Never mind, here’s your room, supper will be in an hour, I will be sending a servant to fetch you.” Informed Prince Owen as he pushed open the third door on the right side of the upstairs hallway.
A long stoned hallway with gold, red, and blue Persian rugs scattered along its floors with large oil paintings, white candles in gold standing candle holders, and tall and sturdy dark oak doors. All elegant like most of Prince Owen’s castle was.
Quin entered the bedroom that Prince Owen had showed her to only to briefly admire the tall four posted hand carved dark oak bed with a dark red velvet and gold fringed comforter with a hand carved dark oak dresser with three drawers that had a matching three sided mirror before Prince Owen slammed the door behind her. Then there came an audible clicking sound that indicated that Prince Owen was locking Quin inside the bedroom.
“Are you locking me in? Must you do that?” Asked Quin as she stood close enough to the door to make sure that Prince Owen and Lyle could hear her.
“It is necessary, I do not want to give you the chance to run away or to try to steal something from me, so for the time being it is necessary to lock you in your temporary resting quarters.” Replied Prince Owen confidently.
Then he turned towards Lyle and added “Come Lyle that’s check on those tax documents, I’d hate for someone to be trying to cheat me out of any money.”
At this remark Prince Owen and Lyle left leaving Quin alone locked in her temporary bedroom.
“Come back! Don’t you dare leave me locked in here! Prince Owen come back!” Called out Quin as she banged loudly against the door as she unsuccessfully tried to get Prince Owen or Lyle’s attention.
Feeling frustrated Quin rushed over to the bed and threw herself down upon it face down. Then she started to cry. Releasing all the tears that she had been holding in from worrying about her father and from becoming frustrated with Prince Owen.
As relieved as Quin was that Prince Owen wasn’t keeping her in the dungeons she didn’t like being held captive in his castle either. For behind a locked door nobody could naturally feel free. So until someone was sent to unlock the door Quin felt like she was a prisoner in Prince Owen’s castle.
*** Thirty minutes later***
Quin had finally managed to release all of the tears that she had been holding inside. Then she recomposed herself and wondered over to her bedroom window and pulled open a long blue velvet curtain and tied it open with a long golden rope.
After Quin opened the curtain the sun shined brightly through the clear stained glass and lit up the room Something that slightly brightened up Quin’s temporary bedroom and made it feel slightly more cheerful.
Quin opened the window and perched herself on the thick and sturdy stone ledge of the window ceil and peered out the window. As Quin peered out the window she saw a tall and square bell tower in the center of some green hedges and assorted flowers in what appeared to be a garden.
“So that’s the garden area… I wonder how my father is doing with our garden, I hope that somebody will help him while I’m gone, and I hope that he isn’t alone.” Said Quin out loud to herself as she let out a soft sigh and continued to gaze out the window.
As beautiful as it was outside Quin couldn’t help but to worry about her father. For by the way that the townsfolk had treated her she knew that it had to be even more difficult for her father.
“If I can get Prince Owen to let the townsfolk know that my father is innocent then it will clear the name of Dale Nimble… but Prince Owen is so stubborn, how on earth am I going to get through to him?” Asked Quin out loud to herself.
After Quin said this there came a soft knock on her bedroom door. A knock that Quin knew had to be from one of the servants.
“Yes, come in.” Replied Quin as she got up from where she had perched herself at the window ceil and wondered to a dew feet in front of the door just as the door clicked itself unlocked and a tall and slender woman with short black hair and big dark blue eyes stepped inside. She was wearing a dark purple cotton dress and a white apron so Quin automatically knew that she had to be one of Prince Owen’s servants.
“Prince Owen sent me for you miss.” Stated the servant politely.
“It’s Quin and what’s your name?” Asked Quin politely as she introduced herself to the servant.
“It’s Flora, and if you’d follow me Miss Quin Prince Owen has a few things he’d like to ask you before supper.” Informed Flora as she lead Quin out of her bedroom and back down the hallway and then down the stoned staircase.
“Flora can someone be sent into town to declare my father—Dale Nimble’s innocence?” Asked Quin curiously.
“That’s something you’re going to have to ask Prince Owen… I’m sure that your father is alright.” Reassured Flora as she sensed how concerned Quin was about her father.
Flora lead Quin past the foyer and through a long and narrow stone archway hallway that was decorated much like the upstairs hallway except it didn’t have any oil paintings hanging on its walls. At the end of the hallway there was a dark brown oak door with hand carved spiraled edges with the letter I and K engraved inside of a spiral edged circle in the upper center of the door.
“I and K? What do those letters stand for?” Asked Quin curiously as she allowed her fingers to briefly trace the etched outline of the I and the K engraved onto the door.
“Iliana Kingsley, the initials of Prince Owen’s departed mother.” Informed Flora politely as she opened the door and led Quin into a noisy and busy kitchen with about two to four other castle workers. Workers that were gathered around a white, giant porcelain sink, and a black iron wood burning stove.
Along with servants in the kitchen a few were entering and exiting a pair of light oak double swinging doors with silver serving trays that were filled with assorted dishes. As Quin peered more closely at the double doors and their small purple velvet curtain that was covering a circled opening in the upper window revealed itself. A circle opening that looked like it had once had glass inside of it.
“Why are the kitchen windows missing their glass?” Asked Quin curiously.
“We got sick of replacing them every time Prince Owen had one of his fits… now let me introduce you to your fellow associates.” Said Flora as she politely changed the subject.
“The main cook over there is Pierre.” Stated Flora as she pointed towards a short and plump French man with a black handlebar mustache who was stirring pots over the stove and muttering in French to himself.
“I believe you met Tate and Helga already, the tailor, and one of the castle servants, there is another red haired castle servant around your age named Annette who along with her dark haired gardener brother Drake work here as well, as well as our castle guards Burt and Boris, and the lead castle guard Jonah.” Informed Flora.
Then two servants with silver trays passed them. One who was tall and slender with dark brown hair and another who was shorter with blond hair.
“The dark haired one is Dale and the lighter haired one is Hans, they along with the others I have mentioned and whom you have met are the main servants at Kinsley estates—or Owen’s castle as Prince Owen would prefer to call it.” Informed Flora.
“Lyle has informed us that you are going to join him and prince Owen for supper in the dining room, then afterwards you can met with any one of us in here and we can arrange servant protocol.” Informed Flora as she lead Quin towards the double swinging kitchen doors just as Pierre dropped a pot of bowling water onto the floor and exclaimed “Ma Ma mia!”
At this remark Flora departed from Quin and rushed to aid Pierre in cleaning up his unintentional mess. This left Quin to make her way past the double swinging doors into an elegant dining room.
A dining room with well polished light oak floors and tall roman styled white pillars that stretched out towards tall stone archways all the way to the ceiling where an enormous and brightly lit glass chandelier hung.
Beneath the chandelier was a long light oak and well polished table with a dozen matching hand carved wooden stairs with alternating purple and green plush velvet cushions sitting on them. The cushions matched the colored cloth napkins that were placed beneath well polished silver silverware next to gold rimmed white porcelain plates with the initial O. K. etched in gold lettering in the middle of them. The gold rim around the white porcelain plates matched the gold rim around the tall and clear crystal wine glasses.
As elegant as the table arrangement the food was twice as elegant. Food from turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, fresh fruit, apple pie, cranberry sauce, and several other dishes that were arranged on elegant silver platters that aligned the table all the way to where Prince Owen was sitting at the far end of the table with Lyle standing in a chair on Prince Owen’s right side.
“Glad that you can join us Quin.” Greeted Lyle warmly.
As Quin gratefully joined Prince Owen and Lyle by sitting in the chair on Prince Owen’s left side the castle servant Hans entered carrying a silver platter with a midsized and golden brown chicken on it. A chicken that looked and smelled delicious.
“What… that bird is far to small take it back!” Ordered Prince Owen as he took one look at the chicken and immediately sent it along with Hans back to the kitchen.
“Honestly it’s hard to get good help now a days, help that I hope that you are well suited for.” Remarked Prince Owen as he gestured towards the food and nonverbally instructed both Quin and Lyle that it was time to eat.
If Quin or Lyle hadn’t caught prince Owen’s hand signal the hurried and slightly careless way that he served, slopped and overfilled his dinner plate with food indirectly informed them that it was time to eat as well.
“Why you certainly are hungry this evening your majesty.” Commented Lyle politely as he carefully served himself the right portion of food onto his plate without spilling and creating a mess like prince Owen had.
“Naturally, I do work hard.” Agreed prince Owen after he swallowed a big mouthful of food that he had scooped off of his plate.
Quin tried her best to ignore prince Owen’s poor table manners as she served herself the proper proportions of food like Lyle had and then returned her plate back to its proper place in front of her and started to eat in proper portions and bites like Lyle was. Something that she wished that prince Owen would consider doing as well.
“Your majesty if you don’t mind would you please slow down, that way you can savor the taste of your food and provide a more pleasant eating atmosphere for those around you.” Suggested Quin politely.
“Savor the taste of this—are you serious?” Asked Prince Owen after he swallowed another big mouthful of food.
“Very serious your majesty for like it or not manners matter.” Replied Quin as she waited till she was finished talking and cut a proper portioned size of meat off of her turkey that she had served herself and then picked it up with her fork and eat it displaying good table manners in the process.
“You’re the one who needs to learn manners girl, the way you behaved earlier and the way you behaved in the courtyard the other day was very uncivilized… and someone like you has no place in telling someone in my position of power what to do, it’s not the way that things are run.” Informed prince Owen arrogantly in between mouthfuls of food.
“The name is Quin prince Owen, it is Quin and regardless of what class I might be associated with I have proven to have better manners then you, now if you’ll excuse me I am no longer hungry.” Replied Quin as she became disgusted and lost her appetite.
Quin had just gotten up to leave when prince Owen objected and held up a hand. “I didn’t dismiss you, you are to stay to the end of this meal, nobody leaves before me, that’s not the way that I run things around here!”
“Sorry Prince Owen but it’s time for things to change around here.” Objected Quin as she got up and out of her seat and started to head out of the dining room.
“Stop or I’ll have my guards return that man you call your father to the dungeons and I’ll have you arrested for disorderly conduct!” Threatened Prince Owen as he stood up violently from his chair.
Quin stopped in her tracks and turned back to face prince Owen to shocked to speak for a moment. For as much as she hated to eat with someone with bad manners like prince Owen the last thing that she wanted was to have something awful happen to her father.
Quin silently walked back to her seat next to prince Owen and looked prince Owen close and straight in the eyes. So close that she could see the black pupils of his dark blue eyes widen slightly as if he was sad or frightened. Something that apart from his furrowed brow and slightly jutted outward chin told her that prince Owen wasn’t really angry but hurt.
Something was troubling prince Owen for as strong willed as Quin was prince Owen was reminded of his mother Queen Iliana. A mother who he had lost ten years ago along the side of his father king Evan. Someone that due to prince Owen’s closed heart he hated to be reminded of.
“I will stay if you can assure me that my father Dale Nimble has been returned to his village safely and that as I serve out my term her as you have agreed his name will be cleared.” Stated Quin as she politely took her seat beside prince Owen who had sat back down in his seat as well.
“Your father means a great deal to you does he, I can assure you that he has been returned to his homestead as I have instructed, but I can’t guarantee that his name has been cleared.” Replied prince Owen in a surprisingly polite tone of voice. A tone of voice that also matched his eating mannerisms.
“That will do for now thank you your majesty.” Replied Quin as she lifted up her wine glass and added.
“May your leadership stand firm and strong as the reign of prince Owen shall be known to all the citizens of Irlantica.”
Lyle lifted his wine glass in agreement. Something that at first prince Owen hesitated in joining in as well for he hadn’t expected Quin to be as nice as she was being towards him.
“Cheers.” Agreed prince Owen with a smile as he Quin and Lyle clinked glasses with each other. Thus finishing Quin’s cheer.
After Prince Owen smiled Quin smiled in return. Upon seeing Quin smile prince Owen could feel a warm feeling inside of his heart. A feeling that he hadn’t used for so long that it slightly scared him.
“Okay… you are still going to be a servant here for a month Quin, don’t think that any flattery would lesson your sentence.” Informed prince Owen.
“Of course not, I wouldn’t expect that.” Agreed Quin as she prince Owen and Lyle finished their meal civilly and then prince Owen dismissed Quin to join the other servants in the kitchen.
As Quin headed towards the kitchen prince Owen watched her silently as if somewhat awestruck by her. Something that to Lyle who was watching was a rare thing for prince Owen to display.
“Are you feeling alright your majesty?” Asked Lyle politely.
“Yes, of course… there’s just something about this Quin, she’s not like the other maidens of the kingdom I have met… you go on ahead Lyle, I can retreat to my chambers by myself tonight thank you.” Said Prince Owen as he dismissed Lyle in a somewhat politer mannerism.
Lyle not wanting to ruin prince Owen’s good mood walked away and smiled. Then when he was out of earshot from prince Owen he said. “I think I’m going to like having lady Quin around.”
After Lyle said this he met up with Quin who was cleaning dishes with Flora and he placed a hand gently upon her shoulder.