In Want of a Home

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Summary

Aurora ran away from home when she was just sixteen. Leaving behind an abusive family, she finds herself caught up in a war between two rival kingdoms and falling in love with a prince.

Genre:
Fantasy / Romance
Author:
FTomlinson
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
2
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
16+

Beginnings

Aurora groaned as she heard the cockerel from outside her window announcing the dawn. Rubbing her eyes with the palm of her hands, she heaved herself from the bed. It was cold this morning, the mud walls not doing much to keep out the cool air. She quickly threw her day dress on over her shift, lacing it up and pulled on her thick, woollen stockings. Moving over to the fireplace, her numb fingers struggled with the flint until at last the flame caught. She stayed crouched by the fire watching it flicker to life and warming herself. When her legs started to numb from the position she was in, she walked over to the rickety table and picked up the large, copper kettle from where she had left it the night before. Hanging it from the hook above the fireplace, she began to shuffle around looking for something to eat. She settled for some bread and a bit of cheese, sitting down to eat her meagre meal at the table. When the kettle started to steam, she took it from the hook and poured herself a cup of tea. She ate quickly and then tidied away the remnants of her breakfast. Exhausted, she laced up her boots and threw a heavy cloak over her shoulders.

It wasn’t fully light outside, but the village was awake. The blacksmith nodded at her as she came out from her door, his anvil already being out to use. She picked up the bucket from beside the door and walked to the well at the centre of the village. Tying the rope onto the handle, she lowered the bucket into the water below. She had started to warm up as she heaved the full bucket back up and carried it carefully to the trough. She repeated the process for each of the water troughs until they were all full and then set about filling up the food troughs. All around her, her neighbours went about similar tasks, sparing her a smile. Not much was known about Aurora. The rest of the village had lived there since they were born and would live there until they died. They lived in their fathers houses and everyone of them was connected through someone’s marriage. Aurora on the other hand, had only arrived a year ago with no family and no possessions. Mrs Harlowe had been living here then, an old widow whose only sons had died in a war. She had taken one look at the starving girl and taken her into her heart. It had been a rough winter since then and the cold air got into Mrs Harlowe’s lungs. She hadn’t recovered. Aurora lived alone now, quietly going about her life as Mrs Harlowe had before her.

The sun was high in the sky by the time she was able to rest a little. Settling down on a tree stump with a drink, she saw Frederick, her only friend here, coming over. She smiled and beckoned him over with a wave of her hand.

‘Good morning Rory,’ he said as he settled down next to her.

‘Good morning Freddie,’ she replied holding out an apple to him. He took it and bit into it immediately. ‘Did you get your morning chores done?’ Frederick lived on the other side of the village with his seven brothers and five sisters in a house the same size as Aurora’s one room building; to say that it was crowded was an understatement. As the middle child, he was often overlooked and shove to the side, neither as strong and useful as his elder brothers nor as beautiful and delicate as his baby sister.

‘All done, I just came out for a bit of peace,’ he replied. ‘I was getting a headache! Sonia stole Rachel’s doll, and the wailing was something else. How goes your work?’

‘I need to take the eggs to market,’ she replied, biting into an apple of her own. ‘Hopefully, I’ll make enough to buy some food for a few days, my cupboards are pretty bare.’ Frederick gave her a sympathetic smile. He understood her hardships as he was living through them too. In fact, the entire village was. It had been a hard winter, and that had taken its toll on them all. The harvest the previous year hadn’t yielded as much food as they needed and with a large part of their income going in taxes to the crown, things had never been bleaker. It wasn’t uncommon for Aurora to go several days without a meal and in Frederick’s house, with so many mouths to feed, he couldn’t remember the last time he had felt full.

The walk to the nearest market took about an hour and Aurora didn’t have a horse to make the journey quicker. Frederick waved her off as she made her way down the dirt road, basket of eggs on her arm. The sun was high in the sky by then, but it wasn’t late enough in the year for her to feel it’s warming rays. Aurora was thankful for her thick cloak and sturdy boots as she slowly made her way to the nearest town.

When she arrived, she had a look at the different stalls, admiring the trinkets and exotic foods that were on offer. She managed to trade her eggs for enough to buy a loaf of bread and tucked it into her basket. She decided to take the long way back home, there was still plenty of light left, and she had no one to rush back to. Rather than following the road, she cut through the woods towards her favourite spot. She passed underneath the canopy of trees and down the gentle slope towards the river that marked the boundary between the Kingdom of Euralia, where Aurora lived, and the Kingdom of Teora on the other side. She sat down on the bank by the river and looked across. Teora looked no different from Euralia. It had the same green grass, the same blue sky, and the same tall trees. Sitting here and looking across the river reminded her about where she had come from.

Aurora was sixteen years old when she ran away from home. In her home, she wasn’t wanted anyway. Her father was cruel and spiteful, and her brother was a younger version of him. Her mother had died when she was small; she couldn’t remember her at all. Growing up, everyone had told her she looked just like her, but she had never even seen so much as a portrait of her. Aurora’s most defining feature was the mass of auburn curls on her head that seemed untameable. This had come from her mother apparently, as well as her striking green eyes. She sighed deeply, taking one last look across the river into Teora, promising herself she would never go back.

Aurora made her way through the woods the rest of the way back to the village. The sun was getting low by then and Aurora set about her evening tasks, making sure all of her livestock were shut away securely. She relit the fire and hung the freshly filled kettle. When the water was hot, she used some to make herself a fresh cup of tea and then the rest to wash herself. After, she settled herself down by the fire, drying her hair. She took out a book of fairy tales, the one thing other than the clothes on her back, that she had brought with her from home. She enjoyed the magic that they brought to her normally repetitive life. Opening it to her favourite story, she lost herself in tales of princes and princesses, good overcoming evil and magic and wonder, not knowing that her life was about to change.

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Further Recommendations

Supastef: Ok so far, boss is a bit slimy though,coming on strong too early, almost assault

Sophie: The story so far has been mostly well written, the plot hasn’t been left with any gapping plot holes and I am patiently waiting the next update

LynnMarie Lupe-Martini: Love this story is there another part to it

dionnan01: Can not wait for this story to go on. I have read one book till now (Trapping Quincy)and I will read everything you write.I can find everything in your novels, I laughed, I couldn’t let the i-pad down till I finished the story. I am addicted to your way of writing, never stop!

Soni: Okay I like every characters in this story love d way u describe the whole wedding process Anabiya is such a cute little spoil girl I like her bt Mushtafaa is no joke and love making description is good 👌 I like it 💜 and ur story line is good too pls keep going 🤞And I m going to reaur story "Nev...

Edna Garza: So good couldn’t stop reading

Mary Ann Rogers: Loved it 🥰I’m still crying.

Timothy: I liked everything about this book.the twist turns and romance..I'll recommend this to my wife

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Lissy: This book was amazing. I love the characters you are adding, and of course the originals as well. I am so glad I started on completed books because I would have went crazy waiting by now

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