She stared into his eyes, and she saw fire.
He stared into her eyes, and he saw stars.
"Xavier, why are you here?" I clench my hands on the end of the table. My best friend sits in front of me with a pale and annoyed expression. "I didn't ask you to come, you know."
"Last night in your sleep you said I had to meet the Majesty." I even wrote it on my hand in case I forgot when I fell asleep.
Xavier rolls his eyes, staring out the window of our car. The dark iron train stations for at least half an hour. If I'm supposed to meet his Majesty he better make it quick, or I'm not going to be able to meet until next week.
"I was drunk and high, so you can't pin this on me." Xavier says.
I scowl. "What?"
Xavier bites his lips closed.
This morning I got up to board the train to the border for the second time in my life. But before I could leave the manor, Xavier ran up behind me.
I have no idea why he wants to come so badly, but it's been five hours and he still isn't here.
I look out the old window to see the bridge, completely empty, and no ferry in sight. I always found it astounding how in the dark of night, I could see the shining sun and pearly clouds rolling across the blue sky on the other side.
"Xavier, why did you want to come?" I ask again.
He ignores my question and points out he window. "Look, a bird."
"What!?" He whirls to me, exasperated. He's hiding something, I know he is.
I clench my jaw. "There is no one coming, is there?" I tap my foot under the table, my arms crossing.
Xavier blinks and doesn't responds.
I'll take that as a yes.
I feel like a fool. I had actually read into all the nonsense Xavier was spatting! He was drunk and high! Nothing he said contributed to anything real. But then why didn't he stop me? I know Xavier is one for pranks but this is too far.
Suddenly he stiffens and I stop. What's wro-
I look out the window to see the ferry approaching, with waxed mustache at the helm. There's a man in a cloak and, some girl.
He doesn't look anything like the King. I feel frustrated. It must have been a prank, how stupid of me to believe it! Why do I always look into these things? First when Henry said pigs were flying, then when Thaddeus told me to break a leg when I ran to the bathroom. Now Xavier!
I sigh and pinch the bridge of my nose. If only I was as good in analyzing as I am in wa-wait where did he go?!
My head shoots up when I find Xavier gone. "Xavier?" I call. I she pranking me again. "Xavier?!"
I roll my eyes and slide out from my seat. He isn't in the car, he probably went to the bathroom or something.
I go from the first car to the second, then to the third where I find Xavier walking towards the exit. "Xavier!"
He does a double take. "What are you..?" He looks out the window. I follow his gaze and feel myself freeze when I look out onto the bridge.
The man in the cloak and the girl stand outside, having a deep conversation. Why did I not see it before?
That's the enchanter and, Josie..
At least now I know who the pretty billy goat and the troll are.
Jerny board off the ferry and onto the bridge. It's refreshing and breathtaking. I can feel my heart beat rapidly. I'm about to partake in the most reckless act I've ever witnessed.
The other side of the bridge is dark. The sky is black, not blue, and faint lights are visible through dark clouds. Stars..
An iron train rests on the other side, with no people visible.
"Where is he?" Jerny mumbles. I don't see him anywhere, was it some kind of misunderstanding? Or maybe he's sitting inside.
Jerny shakes his head and turns to me, his eyes intense. "Now listen, Josie. I'm putting you in his care. Trust him, he is a good person."
Xavier or Jabeth? I almost ask. But I know who he means. "Okay."
"Keep your head down, and don't talk to anyone you don't know. Your goal is to stay with Xavier until you reach Jabeth. Once you're with him, you will be safe."
I furrow my brow. "How do you know?"
Jerny looks at his feet. "I just know."
I want to ask him how he knows. I have so many questions and so little time, for all I know the train is about to-
A whistle blows, signaling the departure of the train.
Both me and Jerny gasps as we watch the wheels turn, slowly but surely the train moves away from the bridge.
"No!" I start forward, but Jerny grabs my arm and shakes his head.
Suddenly the doors of the caboose burst open, and two men flood to the back balconey.
Jabeth and Xavier.
Both Jerny and me seem surprised that my fiance is here, but all I see is confusion in his gaze, while Xavier is panicking.
"What do I do?" I call out, my hands are cupped around my mouth. With every passing second the train moves away. I'm losing my chance!
Jerny sighs beside me. "It's too late, Josie."
A while ago, I would have given in instantly. But if anything has taught me these past years, is it's never to late to do the right thing. And I know this is right. For my kingdom and my people.
"Not if I have anything to say about it.." My voice is so quiet he almost misses it.
"Josi-" he goes to grab my arm, but I dart out of reach. I grab the doctors bag and fling it as hard as I can towards the train. Xavier nearly catches it.
This is a terrible idea. If all goes wrong I'll fall into the clouds, never to be seen.
With on quick breath I sprint for the edge of the platform. Xavier narrows his eyes, confused while Jabeth just stares at me.
I push all I can into my sprint, until I reach the last inch of marble. With all my might, I jump.
For a second, everything seems to be in slow mo. Jerny, racking his brain to conjure a spell to save me from my infinite doom. Xavier, eyes wide and panicking as he watches me hurl through the sky towards the train.
But I'm too far away.
"Josie!!" Jerny rushes towards the edge.
I reach for the bar, but miss by a foot and I drop towards the clouds..