I wrote this short story for my dad for Father's Day last year. I thought you might enjoy reading it. I am warning you that I am just an amateur writer, but at least I actually finished this story.
The King's Daughter Part I
One dark, cold night in the shadows of the august, stone castle, stood two dark-hooded figures. One was a former prince who was of a great position in the king's court, and the other was his wife. Each longed for a child, but sadly the woman could not give birth. Because the prince had plotted to take over the throne, he was banished from stepping into the court forever. The enraged prince sought revenge ever since.
The two were alerted when they heard soft footsteps and faint panting. "Raphael," the woman whispered. They heard a twig crack. "Raphael, who could it be?"
"Shh," he answered. "Dear, let us hope that it is the messenger with a good report."
The footsteps became louder and louder. "My lord," a medium height figure said. It was one of the very few loyal spies of Raphael's.
"You have word, Tibias?"
He bowed. "Yes," he answered, his breath formed small white clouds as he spoke. "The queen is in labor. The king has arranged for mounted messengers to declare the word throughout the village, most of them guards. Soon the cavalcade will pound through the gates," he said still panting. "You need to make haste before your brother's guards come back to their posts."
"My brother is a fool to send so many of his men," Raphael snorted, much louder than he intended.
"Shh, if we are found here-" the former prince stopped his wife with a wave of his hand.
"I have heard enough from you. You keep quiet, and this plan should work perfectly."
Raphael praised Tibias for the good work. Tibias pulled out his hand towards Raphael. He sighed.
"You will get your money when our work is completed."
"But you may not make it out of the palace alive, but I might with no money in my pockets."
Raphael sighed again and handed him a small pures filled with jingling coins. "I'm going to regret this," he thought aloud.
The three went over the plan. It was simple. They would each sneak in through the back. Raphael's wife and Tibias would stay quiet and distract the guards if necessary, while Raphael sneaked into the king's chambers.
Suddenly, a loud deafening blast of the royal horns could be heard. The sound startled the three. Horses neighed and the earth quaked. "The king has born a child this early morn. A girl! A girl!" The messenger shouted excitedly.
After the stampede passed, Raphael led the "troop" to a small veranda just below the king's balcony. He threw a rope and tied it securely to the railing, and up he climbed.
While the others stayed on the veranda, Raphael would sneak inside.
He pressed against the heavy doors.
"My dear," he could hear the king's deep voice was filled with rapture. "We shall name her after her great grandmother, the queen of Navarre, to whom my father was very fond of. Jeanne." There was a boisterous laugh from outside the door. The king and queen were startled. The door was suddenly opened, and Raphael entered.
"Raphael, my brother?" the king said once he realized it was he. "Guards, guards," he bellowed. The sly prince thought quickly and locked the door. He smiled an evil smile. The king backed away in disgust.
"You have banished me from your court, and now I shall take revenge!" He walked to a small crib and took the small bundle inside it. The bundle started to wail. The king and queen gasped. "Please, I will give you anything that you ask of, but please just do not hurt our daughter," the king pleaded. Raphael smiled wickedly.
"Now my brother submits to me because he thinks of me as a threat," he said. The three suddenly heard a pounding at the door. Raphael hastily opened the door that led to the balcony and started to climb down the rope.
Surely, the king would not summon the guards to cut the rope for fear of hurting his precious daughter. Then, Raphael's wife screamed and a crashing of a jar could be heard. He looked down on the veranda and saw a guard pulling his wife by the hair. The former prince gulped hard and resumed his climbing.
Months passed since the kidnapping. The king sent a search party all over his kingdom, but the search was unsuccessful. The queen died shortly after Jeanne's birth, leaving the king heartbroken. What he did not know was Raphael was hiding deep within the forest just outside the village. The king imprisoned Raphael's wife and soon executed her once he found out that she was an accomplice to the plot.
Years passed, and Jeanne grew up with the peasants and commoners. She had no wealthy luxurious and no sumptuous silk clothing. All she had were rags on her thin figure. Raphael moved her into the village, once he thought they were going to be safe. He disguised himself and changed his name. Grieving over the death of his wife, he became a helpless drunk. Jeanne lived in a small one-roomed apartment where the conditions were miserable. Raphael changed Jeanne's name to Lillian, and she believed that he was her father. She, of course, never knew of her past.
One day, a day like any other for Lillian, there was a celebration in the middle of town. "Long live the King! Long live the King!" the crowd shouted. She heard a person say, "The king, he is coming home in his coach."
Lillian had no intention of trying to see the king, and she was about to turn back; but a strange feeling overcame her to stay. People pushed her to the front. She tried to fight the tide of people with no success. Since she was in the front, she had a fairly good view of the king's coach. As the coach passed she saw the king waving, but not smiling. He looked to have a heavy heart. Then his eyes fixed upon hers! She tried to avoid direct eye contact but could not do it. He gazed deep within her eyes. The eyes, they were so familiar. They reminded her of something.....
The whole moment seemed to be in slow motion. Lillian only heard the muffled roar of the cheering crowd, and the carriage was a blur. A wry smile crossed his face. She did not smile back.
A few days later, Lillian was passing a shop and saw something in the window that stopped her. There was a sign that read: Maiding Service at the King's Court Needed. The sign was not very formal. Lillian had an idea and rushed home.
Find out what happens to Jeanne in my next post. Hope that you have a great day.