Evangeline gazes out of her window, observing the scenery of Holy Ember, like she does every morning. It’s a beautiful city flowing with bountiful parks, beautiful landscapes, and gorgeous homes and buildings. It always feels like a utopia of sorts. Nothing is ever out of place, and with everyone in the city always working together, the city never looks anything less than astonishing.
But on this morning, as she had for the two weeks prior, the city charm did not have its usual effect. Not only is she to be wed to a stranger in the week to come, but she also felt a coldness due to her past trauma. She could not get over the kidnapping and the events thereafter. Nate had just finally got over his illness caused by whatever was thrown his way as he was running for help, and poor Eve is still in the infirmary, unconscious.
“It’s time for breakfast darling,” a voice came in from her bedroom door. “Will you please come down to the dining hall?”
It is her father, King Ewan. He is a short, old man with white hair anywhere he still had hair. The king is in his sixty’s now. He and his late wife had had their daughter at an old age, to the point where it seemed like a miracle when they finally had Evangeline.
“Coming father,” she exclaimed, “just let me get dressed first.”
She slipped out of her cozy pink pajamas and put on her usual princess gown she wore when making public appearances. Then she left her bedroom door and headed down to the dining hall, as her father asked.
“Ahhh. Why in the gown today my dear?” the king asked. “Do you plan on going somewhere?”
“I was hoping to go see Eve today father. I was going to ask you last night, but I finally was able to sleep at a decent hour. Would it be acceptable to go visit the infirmary?”
“Of course, you can go see Eve, but please take Lynna’s guard with you. No ditching her.” He said with a chuckle.
“Oh father, such a kidder.” She said with a fake smile. Usually, his quips like that amuse her, but lately it has been hard for her to manage amusement for anything.
The family finished their breakfast, and the Second Guard were all ready to escort the princess out for the day when King Ewan stopped them.
“Hold on kiddo, I almost forgot.”
“What’s wrong father?” She asked.
“Oh, nothing is wrong darling, but your mother’s necklace was finally fixed.” He showed her the trinket and as she got an excited look to her face, he motioned for her to turn around. It was the first time in while he seen that kind of look pop up on her face, really it was even before the incident. “I love your smile darling” he whispered as she hugged him.
After the nice embrace he looked down upon his daughter and finally asked the question. “Are you sure you are okay? I know that this betrothal is a lot to handle, especially with the added stress of everything that happened.”
“I know it is what is best for our country, father. And what is best for our country… is really what is best for me” she said while half turning away from her father.
That is the answer he wants to hear, but Ewan also knew that is what she thought as well. He didn’t really believe her but what what should he do? She is such a kind girl, and just wants to do as she is told. She wants what is best for the city, but he often wonders, is it what is best for her? He looks at her situation and can’t help but wonder what his late wife went through. Yes, their union ended up loving, but he knew that she was forced into the union as well, to keep the peace. Holy Ember must always have peace.
“Be on your way darling, just wait outside for a minute as I give Lynna her tasks for the day.”
Evangeline walked outside and started to wait for Lynna so they could be on their way.
“Have you decided yet, My Holy King?” Lynna asks after making sure the princess was out of the room.
“I don’t want to tell her anything if I can help it, Lynna. I know it may be a mistake, but she has been shielded from the world her whole life. No need to worry her with outside troubles. Magic is not used in the palace, and never will be.”
“Always such a professional Lynna! Look I understand your qualms with this decision, but when that time comes, we will manage. Please make sure to keep her safe as always.”
“Yes, My Holy King. Good day.”
Lynna is walking with Evangeline in the middle of the group while two guards walked in front of them and two walked behind them. This always used to make Evangeline a little uneasy, but she is pretty much used to it now.
“Am I ever going to get an explanation of what happened that day?” She finally asked Lynna as they entered the infirmary.
“Listen child, what happened that day was just a disaster, nothing more, nothing less. I know a lot of unexplainable things happened, to that I am sure. Maybe one day we will understand it. For now, go comfort your friends and pray for miss Eve.”
Every time she brought up the question, she got a similar response. With a disappointed look she walked away from the Guard and went into the room. Eve just did not look like Eve. She is just lying there, like she is in a deep sleep. She looked so calm and yet… disturbing. It looked like she would just wake up any second. Then they could do everything they used to do.
“Oh, Eve…” she said softly.
A little while later Nate and Angelica came in to see Eve and sat with Evangeline. They all just hovered around the bed, completely silent. After what seemed like an eternity of nothingness, Nate finally decided to speak.
“Has anyone found out what happened to us?”
“Yea, like… what did that man do to Nate, and I still don’t even understand what you described Evangeline.” Angelica said sorrowfully.
After a long pause, Evangeline finally looked up from Eve. “And our parents, our guardians won’t even try to explain it to us… It’s like they think we are just children without a sense of the world at all. Maybe if we weren’t confined to these palace walls, we would know something. This is freaking ridiculous!”
Angelica and Nate just stared at her, almost to the point of tears. They understood her feelings, and the inability to really express them in this palace environment. They had always been shut away from not only the outside world, but even from the outer city itself. They were always told that is the Holy sacrifice they had to make to be in the position they were born into.
They sat in silence for the remainder of the morning. What else could be said? Their friend is not waking up and their understanding not becoming any clearer. Then Evangeline finally broke the silence with a whisper.
“I am going to the penitentiary tonight.”
The others were shocked. The prison cells were not only outside of the Palace walls, but in the middle of the city.
“How do you plan on doing that? They never let you out of their sight!” Nate whisper yelled.
“I will figure it out, Nate! I need to know what is going on. My mind is so lost, and my father nor your mother will do anything about it. They say I will know when I need to, or when I am older, when I take rule. That is not good enough anymore!”
“What are you even going to do at the jails anyway?” Angelica asked.
“I am going to ask my kidnapper… what the hell happened to us!”
They all gasped. They had never heard such language come from the princess. As they were trying to comprehend what the princess was saying, Lynna came in to fetch Evangeline.
“Time to go princess, it’s time for your supper.”
“Yes Lynna, good day to you all.”
“Good day,” Nate and Angelica harmonized.
The walk back home was a quiet one. All Evangeline could think about was getting answers. How could a person’s arms just change color? How can a cage just suddenly appear out of thin air? And why will no one tell her anything? That is the most frustrating thing. Nobody would tell her anything. Is it them trying to protect her? Do they think of her as a child? Now she was forced to break every code she ever lived by to find answers. But being in the dark was just too much to bear anymore.
Evangeline has on her blue pajama pants and dark blue tank top, as these were the only things she could think of that would make her not as easy to be seen. She knew her guard would be changing at this hour. It was her only chance. She said goodnight to Kris, the daily guard while she studied, and at the same time said her good evenings to the night watcher, Mase. She then closed her door, listened to make sure they were still talking and once she confirmed it, she took off out her window.