The sun was beginning to rise, the land covered in a blanket of fresh, white mist. The usual scent of morning dew was lurking about and instantly welcomed by the princess’s senses. She drifted in and out of her thoughts, watching as leaves fluttered in the wind and birds whooshed by the tower. Free. Clenching her eyes shut, she savored the faint rays of sunlight caressing her skin and the wind brushing against her face before backing away from the window. She told herself the outside world was a dangerous and formidable place, but her mind secretly disagreed with her mouth.
The princess had been locked in a tower for nearly her whole life. She didn’t have many childhood memories or friends. In fact, she could scarcely remember what her family looked like. Did they look like her or was she an alien compared to them?
Being somewhere around the age of twenty, the princess was beyond ready to escape. To have a little taste of life before she perished and the memory of her dissipated. Then again, she didn’t believe anyone remembered her anyhow.
She sunk down to the floor, running her fingers through her hair and placing her head in her hands. How could she continue to live like this? She loathed the world and how it could move on with such grace and beauty while she was stuck here, doing and being nothing.
If the world could even move.. wasn’t it flat last she checked?
Even if it was, that didn’t change anything. She’d never get to see the edge of the world, she’d never be able to escape that awful tower and sneak past the dragon who guarded it.
Eventually, the light in the room started to fade, rain sounding beyond the walls of the tower, bashing to and fro and spraying her in a thin wall of mist. There were now thick, dark clouds visible through the window, showers of icy pellets cascading down through the sky and, miraculously, straight through the window. The princess lost all thoughts, her heart rate increasing and chest heaving. Even the mere sound of rain brought back the torturous memory.
✦ ✦ ✦
“Wake up!” The man spoke impatiently, shaking the dozing girl. She yawned, stretching her limbs and smiling drowsily at her father. His eyes shimmered with regret, but he still managed to grip his daughter’s hand and yank her from underneath the covers. He dragged her alongside him, his vexation growing every time she tripped over her feet.
They rushed down the palace stairs, the small princess just barely becoming aware of her surroundings. The king stared ahead grimly, refusing to meet his daughter’s eyes. He still hadn’t the slightest idea if what he was doing was right. He may never see her again. As he pondered this thought, he realized it was for the best. As long as his daughter was safe, he would be alright with the consequences that would follow.
The palace doors were quickly opened for them and the queen stood waiting, a small child in her arms. She cried, the little princess gazing at her worriedly.
“Mommy, are you okay?” The small girl whispered, her voice hushed and nurturing. Her mother gazed down at her through teary eyes, heartbreak flashing across her features. She turned away, entering the palace doors without gazing back. But even so, the worrisome face of her small daughter would stay forever implanted in her mind.
The king glanced at his daughter before handing her to one of the waiting servants. Unable to cope with the guilt eating at his heart, he turned and quickly disappeared into the castle. It took the princess a few moments to realize what was happening. Her screams bounced off the wet stones lining the castle bridge and she fought against the servants iron grip.
“Mommy, Daddy!” She cried, her voice nearly inaudible in the howling wind and rolling thunder. She was barely able to see through the mixture of rain and tears blurred in her eyes. But as she gazed back at the castle, she could tell the doors were shut and her parents weren’t there. Didn’t they love her? Had her unwavering request for bedtime stories finally deemed her as unwanted? Did they decide to replace her with her brother? The small princess couldn’t find the answers to her questions.
The servants hastily tugged a blindfold over her head, tossing her into a horse-drawn carriage. The little girl shivered, her clothes glued to her figure. She constantly wiped her nose, hugging herself tightly. She had never felt so alone and, despite her parents betrayal, all she wanted was to be holding her mother’s hand at that moment. Rain pounded against the sides of the carriage, and the little girl could hear the horses hooves clicking against the cobblestone road. Leading her away from her home. And the poor little girl cried herself asleep.
✦ ✦ ✦
The princess sobbed, pulling her knees to her chest. Hadn’t they told her they loved her? Was it all a lie? Yet here she was, so many years later, still without the answer to this question. She could feel her clothes clinging to her skin, the air thick and bone-chilling. She hugged herself, feeling suddenly desperate for human interaction. For a distraction. Yet the horses hooves still seemed audible, clicking beneath her and leading her away from her family. Her kingdom. She clutched a pillow in her hands, drowning in her own tears. And once more, the princess cried herself asleep.
Yet she remained completely unaware of the two, yellow, beady eyes that watched her in worry as she drifted into unconsciousness.