I have done so many things that are of the creative nature, but I go about it in a logical manner...sad, huh...So, I never fully feel creative. I never feel like I just let my right side of my brain be in charge for a little while.
Well, I do try to believe I can be creative and that is the reason for the title and why I post here. I decided maybe I would share something with you. I will first say that I am an avid reader so I know this is not "good", it does not have enough of what a reader needs to "see" the story forming and put themselves there seeing the characters. But it is my start at something that I hope to someday publish if I can ever find the time and the creative juices to really do it.
So, I present to you what I am calling "The Maiden's King", the title will mean nothing by what you read, but I hope to make the title self evident as the book unfolds to the reader...
The Maiden’s King
“People thought of me as gauche, well, I guess I was now that I think of it,” laughs Raelina as she tells her story to the young maiden lying under the wooly furs in the corner.
The young girl had recently been caught rummaging through the old woman’s private residence, while the old lady was out getting some willow bark for the aching that she had begun feeling in her bones. Tobias rummaged through the box of jerky looking for the biggest pieces to take with her. Her pockets stuffed with everything from a sock to the common trinkets she found lying around the old lady's house. However she didn’t hear the lively squirrels barking their greeting, she didn’t hear the latch open or the creak of the old rosewood door, she didn’t even hear the old rogue stand behind her watching curiously as a young person dug through her box of dried jerky. “Take care to get the peppered ones they keep you warm." Only then did Tobias know she had been caught. The girl tried to run, but the older woman, still strong from her days as a rogue and fighter, was easily able to catch and hold on to her. The girl of course was not very polite and did not take to being held down by this old woman. She reminded Raelina a great deal of herself in her younger days. That is why Raelina decided to keep the young girl around for a while. Of course, Raelina knew that a young girl such as this would not stay with an old woman on her own, there would have to be a good reason. Was the girl hungry? Did she need a warm place to sleep? What would keep her around for a little while? An offer to train her maybe, oh, but if she is as arrogant as I was she would not believe that she needed any training.
“Get off me you old fool”, shrieked the young girl, “before I break those old bones of yours.” Tobias, thinking to herself, this is a great mess I have gotten myself into now. How was this old woman able to retain me so easily? She is fast and strong for a woman in her fifties. I could learn a lot from her, but I am sure she will turn me in to the king’s guard. This place of hers is really nice. I wonder how this old crow came to have such beautiful things.
“No, I will not get off of you until you tell me who you are and what you are doing in my home”, retorts Raelina. Knowing exactly what the girl was doing there. She was so thin she obviously had not eaten a good meal and a very long time.
“I am not going to tell you who I am and I know you are not a fool enough to not know what I am doing. Anyway if I tell you who I am that is something else for you to use when you turn me in to the guards.”
“What if I tell you I will not turn you in?” Asked Raelina.
“Yeah, right and why wouldn’t you, you have something to hide yourself? You must with all these beautiful things. I bet you stole this stuff from the King himself. I’m right, aren’t I?”
“No, I do not have anything to hide. You obviously do not know who I am. But, you were right on one account, many of my splendid possessions were my prizes from my earlier life as an adventurous young rogue who could fight better than half the warriors in the King’s land.”
Well, that explains her stealth and strength, Tobias thinks to herself. And what does she mean; I do not know who she is anyways. Out here in this house in the middle of no where, how could she be anyone of importance? She must be bluffing. “Well, who are you then?” Tobias daringly asks.
"You are the one who is rummaging through my things and you think I should tell you who I am before I identify the little rat in my house? Well, why not, I have nothing to hide. I am Raelina Ragingheart. Does that mean anything to you?"
“You are a liar; everyone knows Raelina died at the hands of a Dragon.”
“Oh, that old tale. I thought people had stopped telling that tale ages ago.”
“Okay, prove that you are Raelina.”
“I do not have to prove anything to you. You are nobody. I could have you locked up just for being in my house uninvited.” Raelina thought about this for a second. Hmm, this could be the very thing that could convince her to stay here for a little while. “Okay, I’ll make you a deal. I’ll prove who I am, but it will take some time. You stay here and live with me until I have proven to you who I truly am. While you are here I will teach you.”
“Me, stay with you, in this house?” Tobias laughs. “Why should I? I am free. I can do whatever I want whenever I want. I don’t need the likes of you, a liar and who knows what else.” But, Tobias thinks to herself, it sure would be nice to eat well for a while and to sleep in soft furs. What would it hurt?
“Free, you won’t be very free once I have you in the King’s dungeon, now will you?”
Well, she has a point there. “Okay, I will stay for awhile, but I do not need you to teach me anything. I will stay and help you. I am sure in your old age you could use some help.”
“What, old, who is old? I’ll have you know I am as fit as the day, well, never mind that. I don’t need help from a little bit of nothing maiden who has the manners of a swine. You stay; we will work out what you will do here as we go. Deal?”
“Okay, it is a deal. And I guess you might as well know my name is Tobias. Tobias Skylace.” Winter would be setting in good soon and Tobias wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth. She could stay here until it warmed up again and who knows she might get some good stuff off this old lady and have her living money for the summer. Yeah, this will work just fine.
Or so she had thought. Early the next morning, before the sun was even good and up yet Raelina was waking the girl. “Come on get up! There are things to be done and if you are going to stay here you are going to pay your way,” chimed Raelina.
“Leave me be you old crow. The sun has no yet shone itself. I will do my bidding as I like. I will not be ordered about by the likes of you.”
Raelina laughed to herself, hearing herself in those words. This girl has spunk, but she will not last long without some self-discipline. “Then you can get that carcass right out of my house. I am not going to have a freeloader here. I worked hard my whole life for what I have and won’t be disregarded by the likes of you.”
Tobias was feeling hungry and knew she had no jerky or bread left in her pouch, especially since the old biddy took her sack yesterday when she was caught. She could leave and steal food else where. She had done it before, this would be no different. But down deep for some reason she felt a need to stay here. The night before she had a dream. She saw herself in beautiful clothes, the clothes of a Lady. She almost wanted to laugh. A Lady, right, she would never have such fine things. But, it seemed so real. And she knew this old woman was the key to all of it. “Okay, okay. But I want to eat first. You can’t expect a person to work without food.”
“Well, that is a good place for you to start. You can draw some water in a pot and I will boil us some eggs. Then we will head to the market.” Raelina was pleased. She knew the girl needed to stay here. She had no one and no where to go for the winter and she was hungry.
They ate a meager breakfast of boiled eggs, cheese and bread. Then Raelina showed Tobias where the horse and buggy was and introduced her to her stable boy Ginan. Tobias did not realize this woman even had a stable or someone working for her. Yet, they just ate such a common breakfast. How odd.
Though she does not know it, Raelina was born to noble blood in a very small kingdom in a far away land. The people of this kingdom were very happy. They were ruled by a benevolent king. In turn they were happy to work hard to provide hearty crops, of which some of the best whine was created in all the lands. They enjoyed their lives in this peaceful land. Of course there were more than just farmers. There were blacksmiths, bakers, butchers and tailors. In addition to these you were sure to find an apothecary, an artist or two, and the local witch, wizard, or both.
Magic played an important role in this kingdom. The monarchy believed his kingdom to be well protected from intruders because of the protection spells cast at each full moon. Due to his belief in the protection spells the kingdom did not have a very large army to put up a defense if an opposing force were to break the protection spell.
Raelina is the daughter of the king and queen of this kingdom. She was born in the winter months, earlier then was expected. Due to this early birth there was much concern as to whether she would survive. The queen, herself having the fairy blood, prayed to the Goddess for the life of her child. What the queen did not know in those early days was that the life she was asking for would come at a very high price. Raelina made it through that winter. In the spring the king held a celebration for the child’s birth and survival. It was a glorious affair. The king who had always been somewhat of an introvert and rarely entertained was so happy and proud that he invited peoples from the neighboring kingdoms.
The king’s brother was the monarch of one of those kingdoms. Due to his own wife’s difficult pregnancy he decided not to attend the event. He instead sent a messenger to give his regrets and to deliver the child’s baby gift, a silver comb with a pearl handle, very rare to these land locked kingdoms.
After the celebration ended the king decided to visit his brother to thank him for the gift and provide support and comfort to his brother at the time of his wife’s delivery. The king took his whole household, which took ten carriages to transport. As the caravan prepared to depart the king had his most trusted wizard cast a protection spell on the travelers to ensure their safety during their travels. Their route would take them through some treacherous terrain, an area that had many hiding places for those that may wish to cause them harm. With the spell cast and the king feeling confident of his people’s protection they began the five day journey to his brother’s castle. They would travel for six hours each day and break when the sun had begun had begun it’s descent for the day. Tents were put up each night to protect the travelers. A full meal was cooked each night for the royal family. Though the king did trust in the power of the protection spell he felt it necessary to post four sentries surrounding the camp each night.
The first three days of the journey went well. Traveling is never a very comfortable undertaking, but the king found himself pleased with how things were progressing. On the fourth night he called for the head of the sentry in charge and told him that the guard could be reduced to two sentries. The sentry dared to argue this with the king; however, the argument did not last for long as the sentry was aware of his position and that the king would have his way. After this night the king would regret his fool hearted decision to relax the guard in this unknown land.
For the last four days a band of thieves had been following the king’s traveling party. One scout they had sent closer to the camp the first night had learned of the party’s destination. The thieves were then able to plan their course. They watched for the first three nights learning of the habits and weaknesses. By the fourth night they had developed their plan and were prepared to put it into action.