Peeking through the hallway window, Liliana stood on her toes to get a glimpse of the world outside. The day had been restless with a strong breeze constantly beating against her parent’s estate.
Raised in the very lap of luxury, any outsider would have assumed the daughter of a duke to be spoiled beyond any commoner’s imagination. She lives in a huge house, has staff to wait on her, and never wants for anything!
In that moment as her tiny brown eyes danced along with the movements of the trees, entranced by their ever continuous sway, what Liliana wanted most of all was to finally go outside.
“You should get away from that window, Miss!” her nanny, Melba, said, “What if one of those trees broke in half and came crashing down on your head? It’s best to keep your distance.”
“I think there is a great enough distance between us,” responded the distraught child, “If one should fall, I’m sure it would miss the house completely.”
Melba huffed in annoyance, “Must you always find time in your day to disobey me, child?” she laid her hand’s on Liliana’s shoulders, gently peeling her away from her looking place before leading her down the great hallway.
Passing by tapestries and paintings of family members long since passed away, along with ancient flower pots or other important art pieces, Liliana had grown bored of all the fineries she constantly was told to appreciate. In her eyes these things served no purpose - except to maybe plague her every step as various eyes always seemed to follower her throughout the day.
The whistling shriek of a quick breeze that swooped by another window made Liliana shiver, but not in fear. Her imagination always kicked in when something exciting or different happened to catch her interest. If she could go outside the walls of her home, to the side facing the massive amounts of trees and untouched lands, she would let that wind sweep her away wherever it wanted.
“Melba...” Liliana spoke in a soft, coaxing sort of way, “do you think we might take a turn out in the garden?”
“Not with this storm coming through.” scoffed her nanny, “The rain is sure to start pounding on our heads at any minute.”
“Tomorrow maybe?” inquired the desperate child.
“And get one of your dresses all muddied up? With you probably getting a fever from all that moisture?” shaking her head, she added, “No, I don’t think so.”
Scrunching her brows together, Liliana tried to hide her rising frustration, “The day after?”
Melba opened the door to her charge’s bedroom, shuffling the both of them inside before answering, “I’m not sure, but I supposed a stroll in the front garden would be good for your lungs.”
Liliana twiddled her fingers as she prepared for her next question, “Actually,” she began softly, “I thought we might go behind the-”
Daring to look up and see her nanny’s reaction, another chill ran down Liliana’s spine, however not from the wind. Melba’s face was twisted in a terrifying scowl and her lips quivered as she held back whatever biting words she was holding back. Her expression alone said enough to silence the little miss, but she needed to make her point known.
“I have spoken to you about this before.” Melba practically spat, “At length I have explained to you repeatedly what one thing you must absolutely not do.” turning on her heel, she marched over to the wardrobe in the room and yanked out a nightgown, almost tearing it in her anger, “How many more times must I repeat myself until you fully understand?”
Liliana gulped as she stood frozen to the floor. She had been rehearsing her argument in her head, trying to piece together the best way to change the rule, but when Melba got began speaking to her like that, Liliana lost all resolve to do anything.
Roughly getting changed into her new outfit, with Melba still seething, the room felt colder than ever.
“Those woods,” her nanny finally continued, “are not for playing in. They are not for idolizing. They are not for fun. You stay far, far away. Do you understand?”
“But why?” the words slipped out before Liliana could reign them back in and swallow them back into the pit of her belly.
Melba’s bright blue eyes darkened as she scrunched her brows together, “In this land there are mysteries and secrets that no one dare speak of. This...”
Taking a deep breath the calm her rising, agitated nerves, the nanny continued, “We can’t speak of this...” suddenly becoming gentle again, she petted the child’s cheek, “Don’t go in there, do you understand?”
Liliana nodded weakly, appeasing the grumpy middle aged woman’s concerns.
“If you won’t give me a good enough excuse,” the child thought, “I’ll just have to investigate it for myself.”