Blood Chronicles: Six (part one)
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. People paraded the snow covered streets, cheering, dancing, and celebrating the news, that the war had ended. King Bartholomew Price, of Eastern Lands, had signed a peace treaty. During the war, the Northern Kingdom had lost its king to battle, and his queen had died during childbirth years before the first arrow was shot. It was now up to Princess Bridget Mae, to lead the kingdom, she was their future, their leader.
As Princess Bridget rode her midnight black horse, down the streets, she saw the smiling faces on her people. They cheered for her, and wished her luck at the King’s ball. She rode past a woman with dark brown hair, who gave her a frightened look. Her dirt covered face was thin, and her dark brown eyes held Bridget’s stare, as the princess rode on.
Into the woods, the princess rode. Her guards at her side as they traveled further into the dark forest. The sound of hooves and heavy panting filled the night, and the silver moonlight, shed little light on the group.
“What was that,” spoke one of the guards. The group came to a halt, as a wolf’s howl emerged from ahead of them. Wolves were known to attack men, and leave nothing behind to find.
“Stay back princess,” another guard stated, “men, draw your weapons. Something isn’t right”.
Just as the third and final guard drew his sword, a dark figure darted out of the shadows and tackled him. The sound of his screams and snarling caused the horses to jump and buck in fear. His screams were cut off with a sickening snap, and Bridget watched as the wolf turned her way and snarled. In the dim light, she could see its beady yellow eyes, and blood dripped from its jaws.
“Princess run!” yelled the first guard. He leaped off his horse, and lunged at the creature. Bridget didn’t stay to watch the rest, but knew he’d lost, when a scream of pain echoed in the woods. Her last guard rode at her side, and they dodged around trees and rocks, heading towards King Bartholomew’s castle.
Then the worst of times began. Bridget’s horse came to a sudden stop at the sight of cliff. Her guard was unlucky, and he and his horse tumbled off the ledge and into the abyss, where his shouts of surprise silenced. Bridget stared down, and attempted to catch her breath. She pulled her brown and blond hair out of her face,and looked around the forest.
Out of nowhere, the black stallion reared up, and the princess fell to the snow covered soil. Her violet dress, becoming soaked, and splashed with mud. The horse ran off into the night, and Bridget screamed for help. Her green orbs scanned the tree line, her hot breath fogging in her face, and her heartbeat drumming in her chest. A pair of yellow eyes caught her stare, and the wolf emerged from the brush.
It growled as it neared, ears pulled back, and red teeth juted out from its parted mouth. Bridget fell to her knees, and tried to stay calm. She had nowhere to run, nothing to defend herself with. All she could do was hope that the wolf was no longer hungry. The wolf seemed confused by her actions, and began to pace around her, every now and then, snapping in her direction. The wild dog seemed to get bored with his prey, and began to walk away.
Bridget released her breath, and watched wide eyed, as the grey wolf got further away from her. She then made the biggest mistake of her life. Bridget began to stand, and a twig snapped beneath her boot. The wolf instantly, turned around and pounced at her.
The dog made contact with Bridget, and the two fell to the ground, at the edge of the cliff. Razor sharp fangs, snapped inches from her face, and adrenaline coursed through her veins. Bridget then saw her white knight. Her guardian angel, her savior.
A man appeared from nowhere, and buried his silver sword into the beast’s side. A cry of pain spilled from its snout, and the wolf darted off into the woods. The man leapt off his horse, and ran to the princess’ side. She gave him a weak smile, and then fainted into his arm
In the woods, the wolf crawled into his cave, blood coating his coat, and leaving a trail of crimson red. The wolf began to whine and tense, as his fur began to shift into skin, and his legs stretched into human arms. Within moments, where the wolf once was, laid a man. His long black hair stuck to his face with sweat, and he had a silver sword emerging from his rib cage.
The man gave a small, pained laugh, and then pulled the blade out with a grunt. The cut on his torso began to heal, and after seconds, the only sign of injury was the slowly drying blood. He examined the sword, and smirked.
“Not this time,” he said aloud. He then buried the blade in the ground, and sat back against the warm stone. As he sat there he felt something between his teeth, and removed a piece of purple cloth.
Upon seeing this, the werewolf began to laugh, and within seconds, he howled into the winter night. For the week had just begun, and the moon would soon set to it’s fullest.
Bridget woke up slowly. Her green eyes attempted to focus on her environment, as she sat up. Her dark blonde hair sticking to the side of her face, and her head throbbing. The princess looked around the room. Dressers and desks ran along the bright yellow walls, and an oversized rug took up most of the floor. She laid in the middle of a king size bed, with pillows as big as her, and the same yellow was the choice for the comforter.
Covering up with a loose blanket, Bridget stood and made her way out of the room. She wandered the halls searching for any signs of life, but found no one. She then entered a large room with a dome ceiling. Multiply couches covered the floor, and the same ugly yellow spread throughout the room. The middle of the room was occupied by an old wooden piano, and it gleamed in the morning sunlight.
“You’re awake,” came a voice from behind her. Bridget turned to see a man with curly black hair standing in the doorway. She recognized him from the previous night. The man who saved her from the wolf.
“Yes,” she replied quickly, “I wasn’t quite sure of my eventful night, but seeing you has confirmed my thoughts. I am Princess Bridget Mae, of Northern Kingdom”.
“Hello Ms. Mae, I am Prince Jackson Price of Eastern Kingdom, son of King Bartholomew Price, of Eastern Kingdom,” he replied bowing. Bridget smiled at his cheesy entrance.
“Must you always address yourself in such way,” she asked laughing.
“My father insists it,” he said returning the smile, “But I prefer people call me Jack”.
“Will do, Jack,” she spoke as she hugged the blanket closer. The prince seemed to notice this, and leaned into the hall and called for assistance. A woman entered the room and began to lead Bridget to another door.
“Will I see you again,” she asked looking back.
“Not a single soul could stop me from finding you,” he replied matter of factly. The two shared a smile, and then the princess was led out of the room, and into yet another yellow room.
The woman began to dig in a chest, and soon pulled out a slim green dress. It was simple, no poof and no shoulder pads. The woman laid it next to some brown boots, before giving the princess a bowe and exiting, closing the heavy, wooden door behind her.
Bridget quickly got dressed, and braided her long hair. As she was pulling a brown shawl over her shoulders, she winced in pain. She examined her right shoulder and found a bite mark. The wolf had bitten her through her dress and coat, and she never felt it in her adrenaline high. But something was odd about the wound. It appeared almost healed, as if it had happened days ago, instead of mere hours.
She then realized the only explanation. She was attacked by not just a wolf, but a werewolf. Demon of the night, and slayer of men. A nightmarish creature, that took the form of both man and beast. Bridget paced the room, frantically thinking about what to do. If the people found out, they would burn her. And if she didn’t find a cure, she would turn into the blood thirsty beast she feared.
Just as she sat down in a purple chair, the door swung open, and a man walked in. He had short spiky hair, which was uncommon in the kingdoms, and his green eyes focused on her.
“Princess Bridget Mae,” he spoke softly, “I am Xander Kingsley, Prince Jackson’s servant and friend. He wishes for the two of you to meet over brunch tomorrow, and asked for me to pass the invitation forth”.
Bridget smiled at him, and nodded in reply. The young man smiled, and began to exit when she stopped him.
“Mr. Kingsley, when would you say, is the next full moon?”
“In three nights my lady,” he responded just before closing the door behind him.
Three days is all she had. Bridget soon came up with a plan. Hunt down the wolf who bit her, and demand answers. If that did not work, she would run away into the woods, where she would cause no harm. Or if caught, she would die at the hands of her people.
Bridget entered her castle and ran to her library. There, she hoped to find a map of the woods.
As she dug through numerous books and scrolls, she only found stories and logs. The hours passed and Bridget soon found herself reading in the afternoon sunlight. She collapsed to the ground, and held her face in her hands.
“Ma lady,” came a questioning voice. Bridget knew it as her best friend and assistant Penelope. The girl walked into the room, and sat at the princess’ side.
“What is wrong,” she asked. Bridget looked up at her, with tear filled eyes, and told her the story about the chase in the woods. After she got to the part where the wolf attacked her, she pulled her shawl off and showed her the bite mark.
Penelope’s eyes went wide, and she stared in disbelief at her friend. By now, the wound was almost fully healed, and Bridget quickly covered it back up. The two then hugged as the sun began to set, and day one came to an end.