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The Ring and The Coin Purse

By mmadson All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Fantasy

Blurb

“Rose dear...Talia gives her daughter a weary look, you really need to pay better attention. Don’t you know by now ---- we’re not from around here.”

Prologue


The prince and princess run into the giant maze they chanced upon. He goes right and she turns left. 

Let’s see who gets to the end fastest, he shouts. He races ahead alternating looking backwards and sideways to catch a glimpse of her - there she is - long golden red strands catch his eye on his left so he continues right. Suddenly he slows down— something is wrong! He looks behind him and sees bright light but forward where the end of the maze is near, the light is fading. It’s a trick! He turns around but hears behind him an excited shout “we have the princess!” Oh no —- he runs back towards the darkness.

When he reaches the end he skids to a stop —his chest nearly  pierced by the sharp points of the Tirent spears. The soldiers’ armor clank as they quickly surround him. “It’s the Prince! His long hair confused us.”

The princess also noticed the sky turning darker further into the maze so she cautiously thread back to the maze entrance hoping her prince was doing the same. Then luckily the premature shouts that they had captured ‘the princess’ alerts her that a trick is at play. To avoid falling into their trap at the start or at the end, she cheats by cutting though the tangled brush at the side of the maze using the silver knife she pulls from her boot. Once through, she sneaks around to where she can get a view of what’s going on.

Her prince is heavily surrounded by soldiers wearing the emblem of the evil Queen, Teres. They are dragging him further into the darkness …and he’s not fighting. oh….he believes they have her and hopes to rescue her, she concludes. Oh dear, this is a pickle we’re in she thinks to herself. She looks at the ring that sparkles on her finger — 'I cannot risk this being taken." She peeks outside the maze and more soldiers have arrived — searching for her no doubt. The prince will have to be rescued another time. She must get home to rally help so she dashes to reach the cliffs but before she can leap, a lasso of chains rattle in the air above. They rapidly fall about her legs tightening upwards intending to wrap her snug like a sausage. She turns and sees the Tirent Captain riding up to her on his black beast. He grins as he gloats “gotcha.” Then his grin fades. Before the chains can constrain her, she takes the silver knife still in her hand; and in one swift move, she slices her throat as her taunting emerald-green eyes meets his flashing red tinted pupils. With her life blood draining away, she gives him a wink as the ring disappears from her finger; and to torment him further, she waves her ringless hand at him, grinning as she collapses at his feet. He screams in rage— “the queen will have my head for this!”

And he was right. The Tirent queen is not satisfied just having the prince. “He’s useless without the princess. It’s the RING we need. HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU IMBECILES, SHE MUST BE BROUGHT TO ME ALIVE!” So with that she waves her hand and the Captain’s head rolls.

As for the prince, she cocks her head at him, 'his dear princess is dead' she taunts him. He shrugs. He already knows. He felt her life blood release the ring.

Queen Teres stares coldly back at him. Her red eyes flashing. "You're the one they call 'Richard'.  What a weird name."

"It's a translation," Richard replies. 

Queen Teres looks Richard up and down.  "Is your appearance a translation too?"

Richard puffs out his chest and smiles his best rakish grin.  "I find I get more compliments in this outfit."

Queen Teres who has no sense of humor stonily retorts "What is it with you Neynrt's....you have so much power and you won't share it with us.  Why is that?"  

Richard just laughs.

She purses her lips and looks haughtily back at him.  "You think we can't be trusted...that we'd misuse the power?"

"If past history is any indication, then yeah we know we can't trust you" Richard replies back in a firm voice.

The Queen waves her hand like she's batting his accusation away. " It's all propaganda.  We're just curious about other worlds and that blue planet you Neynrts love so much is so inviting." 

Richard looks at her warily, "You already go there. We know!"

"Yes...but.. we are limited.. she whines.   We want what you have and I assure you we'd cause no harm.." the Queen trails off... then snaps her fingers.

"We'd be like tourists!" the Queen announces with a big forced smile and waves her arms upward towards her court of evil followers.

"TOURISTS" they shout back in unison while waving their weapons in the air.

Richard is not buying their sell.  "I just don't feel the sincerity." he says.

The Queen's fake smile abruptly disappears.  "Throw him into the dungeon! Let him experience our land's hospitality."  

The soldiers grab him by his arms and toss him into a nearby hole -- "let him take the express route," they chortle.

The Queen then yells merrily as he falls tumbling down deep into a cavity of metal and stone whose only opening begins to slide shut “we’ll see who if anyone comes for you.”

He laughs back at her as if she just said the funniest thing, his voice carrying through the crevice up to her ears, “well, I hope you’re the patient type, because it’s going to be awhile.”

Meanwhile —- far far away, Aalis feels something settle in her palm. She unfolds her hand and sees the Ring - it’s sparkle gone. “Grace!” she cries out.

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