The king’s brother and advisor teamed up together. Together they killed the old king, and poisoned the princess which caused the queen to go crazy with grief and kill herself, but why did they do that? What could possibly cause them to do such a thing? It just didn’t make any sense.
Eveline slipped off of her horses back, and gently stroked its nose while the information she had just heard swam around inside her head. There had to be some kind of reason all of this happened, she just couldn’t figure it out.
“What do I do?” Eveline whispered to herself.
“I don’t know,” Joshua sighed, coming up to Eveline, and placing his hand on her shoulder.
“I can’t do this,” she said meekly, looking into dark eyes.
“Yes you can,” he took both of her shoulders and turned her so she was looking straight at him, “I know you can do this.”
“But I can’t! I don’t understand any of this,” Eveline cried, pulling away from Joshua’s grasp, “Why did all of this happen? It doesn’t make any sense!”
“I know that. Dr. Paterson and I have been trying to figure it out for years and still don’t fully understand it. But I believe that you can figure this out. You can get to the bottom of all of it and put an end to it.”
“Why? Why me?” she asked, looking at him, “When you and Dr. Paterson can’t come up with an explanation, can’t figure any of it out, what makes you think I’ll be able to do any better?”
“You’re special,” he said simply, “If anyone can do it you can.”
He helped Eveline back onto her horse and led her back to Dr. Paterson’s house. He was sitting on his couch, waiting for her. He motioned her to a chair as she walked into the house.
“Please, have a seat.”
“Thanks,” Eveline said, sitting on the edge of the couch.
“How are you feeling?”
“Confused,” Eveline admitted, “I don’t understand any of this. Why would they do this?”
“Power?” Joshua asked, sitting down and handing Eveline a mug.
“That would make sense. After the queen died, the advisor convinced the king to marry his cousin. A while later, the king died, putting the new queen in charge until her son grew of age. The queen later had the advisor take her place until her son was old enough to take charge for himself.”
“So, the advisor did it for power? What about the king’s brother?”
“I have no idea, the advisor must have convinced him somehow, though it didn’t do him much good. Shortly after the king died the king’s brother disappeared, never to be heard of again. Many say he died.”
“So, what am I supposed to do?” Eveline asked, placing the mug on the coffee table.
“You need to get to the bottom of all of this,” Dr. Paterson said, “Only when we get to the bottom of this can all of this be understood and this can all be dealt with. Our lives can go back to normal, and we will no longer have this cloud of darkness hanging over us.”
It was getting late by the time Joshua and Eveline left Dr. Paterson’s house and headed back to the castle. As they headed back it started to rain, drenching the two of them within minutes.
“So, what do you do at the castle?” Eveline asked while they rode along.
“Oh, nothing much,” Joshua shrugged, “It doesn’t matter.”
“It does to me,” Eveline pleaded.
“I guess you could say I’m a floater.”
“What does that mean?”
“I am an assistant to whoever needs me. One day I work with the historian the next day I work in the stables and so on and so forth.”
“Oh, well that must be fulfilling.”
They walked into the castle, dripping water with every step that they took.
Eveline basked in the sunlight, letting her mind wander while she carefully worked on the blanket that she was making for the child that Penelope was expecting. She watched as Elaine and Harper danced gleefully in the sun. The light catching Harper’s hair swept Eveline into another time.
She was standing in the corner of the dining hall. There was a tall man with dark wavy brown hair. His blue eyes twinkled with enjoyment at the merriment that was going on around him. In the middle of the room there was a tall woman, dancing. Her brown hair flew behind her, and her brown eyes danced. The young man was watching her intently.
She danced gracefully across the floor until she was too tired to go on. She stopped and headed onto the balcony. Eveline followed her out. The woman was leaning on the balcony when the young man walked out.
“Hello,” he said.
“You’re Majesty,” she said turning around, and quickly curtsying.
“Please, stand,” he said, taking her hand and helping her to her feet, “You danced wonderfully.”
“Thank you sir,” she said, looking down at the ground.
They talked for a little while longer, and then he led her down the balcony steps and into the moonlit gardens.
“Eveline!” Elaine laughed, “Earth to Eveline!”
“What?” Eveline asked, coming back to the present.
“What happened?” Harper asked.
“I don’t know,” Eveline shrugged, “I was just sitting here, and then I was spacing out.”
“You’ve been doing that an awful lot lately,” Harper said in concern.
“Don’t worry. I’m fine,” Eveline promised.
They didn’t have time to start worrying or fussing over her any more. Jordan was running to them, shouting excitedly as he did so.
“What’s wrong?” Elaine asked.
“Your parents, they would like to see you,” he panted, “Something about Penelope.”
The group hurried into the castle and rushed into Penelope’s bedroom where their parents were waiting.
“What’s wrong?” Elaine panted.
“Her health has been declining rapidly,” the doctor said, standing up and putting his stethoscope around his neck, “I don’t think she’ll be able to make it much longer.”
“What about the child?” Charles asked behind her.
Eveline turned around. She hadn’t noticed him standing there.
“The child is doing well under the circumstances,” the doctor said, “But it won’t stay that way for long,” the doctor walked toward Charles, “With Penelope declining like this, it will affect the child. In order to save the child, we’ll have to get it out and soon. If we don’t then we may very well lose both of them.”
Charles nodded slightly, “Alright,” he said with astonishing quietness for someone his size.
“I’ll give you guys a few minutes,” the doctor nodded and left the room.
Eveline stood there watching as her family crowded around Penelope’s bedside. Her heart broke into pieces. When her turn came, she walked slowly to the bed and sat down lightly on the bed. Eveline took Penelope’s weak, fragile and cold hand in her own.
“You’ll be okay,” Eveline whispered, “I’m going to fix this,” she said even more quietly.
Eveline lightly kissed Penelope’s feverish forehead before standing up and hurrying out of the room.
Eveline flew out of the room, down the corridor and up the steps and into the tower she met the ghost the first time.
“What do I do?” she called into the empty room, “How do I make this stop?”
She spun around in circles, wildly searching the room for her ghost friend. Over and over again she called out to him, searched for him in the dark shadows of the room, but each time just left her more and more alone, and more frantic.
“Eveline, Eveline!” Harper called, rushing into the room.
Harper grabbed Eveline’s upper arms, forcing Eveline to stop her wild turns.
“Eveline, look at me,” Harper said, gently giving Eveline a shake.
“Where is he?” Eveline cried, “Why isn’t he here? Why won’t he come to me?” Eveline asked, her eyes still scouring the room.
“Eveline,” Harper whispered.
“Why isn’t he here? Why isn’t he coming to me?”
Eveline laid her head onto Harper’s shoulder and started sobbing. Harper soothed Eveline as best as she could, before she maneuvered her out of the room and into her own chambers.
Eveline bolted upright in bed, her heart racing. She knew what she had to do. She also knew that if she so chose to go through with this there would be no turning back. There would be no escape. It would be a one way journey.