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“Oh my baby, my precious baby,” came the cry of Queen Melinda. She lay in one of the best rooms in the palace with her face buried in the purple silk bed sheet. The old nurse who had just delivered the news of this terrible miscarriage had her head down starring at her shoes her head hid her guilty face. Queen Melinda’s sobs could be heard throughout the kingdom and every man, women, and child stopped to mourn for their extremely unfortunate queen. The women had lost her husband earlier that year. She was pregnant with a kingdom to rule. She had been forced to marry Lord Henry, an evil man who had just lost a wife to a sickness or so he said and had a young 2 year old son. Henry stood in the back of his new wife’s room watching her cry doing nothing to help control her sobs. The nurse took one look at her king and he gave her an evil smile she snapped her head down wiped a tear from her eye and left the room.
The nurse climbed down two flights of stairs to her own room in the back of the servant’s quarters. She opened her small closet and pulled out a small whicker basket, inside was a small baby girl. She took one last look at the queen’s baby girl and covered the basket with a lid leaving just enough room for the small one to breath. She held the basket under her arm and walked out of the palace. She ran through the villages surrounding the palace. The baby woke up and began to cry but the nurse kept on running past homes and stores the sun was a sliver in the sky. From every corner she heard people talking of the poor queen and her dead daughter still she kept on running. She stopped at a small village home on the outskirts of the city and knocked on the door. A young woman answered the door with a puzzled look on her face. The nurse handed the basket over to the women and uttered through gasps for air, “the princess….king wanted to kill her..his son be prince…take her.” The women peeped in the small crack in the basket and smiled then shut the door. The nurse looked at the shut door for a moment breathing heavily then with a heavy sigh slide into the cover of darkness back to the palace.
10 years later
Every which way 10 year old Grace Carpenter looked she could see excited people. She stood looking on to a road standing behind a rope. Her little sister gripped her hand her face showed her excitement. It was five year old Noel’s first parade. Grace had forced her way to the front determined to see that Noel’s first parade would be her best. Now they stood at the front Noel faced Grace, “When does it start?” she asked. Before Grace could answer a trumpet was blown. Every mouth shut and every head turned to the root of this sound. A short fat man wearing a red outfit was blowing on a trumpet that glistened in the sun. Grace could tell he was part of the King’s court because he was well dressed not like the rest of the people in the kingdom. A baby cried next to Noel and his mother stuck her finger in his mouth to quiet him. The fat man cleared his throat and unrolled a large scroll. He read in a bellowing voice:
This is a an official letter from the King
Grace rolled her eyes as did many other people around her did. Of course it was official they all knew that.
From this day forward no parades, birthday parties, or any fun arrangements are banished from the kingdom.
Grace gasped and she heard thousands of other gasps around her. Noel squeezed her hand harder.
We understand you may not enjoy this but never the less you must follow these orders. King Henry does not want any of you having fun while his wife is in a state of despair.
What followed this Grace was not quite sure. She numbly walked Noel back to her house. While the young girl cried to herself, Grace did nothing to ease her pain, she was in a lot pain herself. They couldn’t have fun that just wasn’t fair.
In the days that followed the king’s army went to every signal house collecting bags upon bags of toys and games. When they came to Grace’s house she quietly sat on the couch watching as the soldiers collected all her dolls in her collection and even Noel’s bear she sleep with every night. Noel cried but Grace stood as firm as a rock determined not to let the King spoil her life.
That night at dinner Grace and her family sat in silence. Muffled sobs were coming from Noel’s side of the table. Grace looked around the table at her sad family. “How can they do this.” She half yelled to her parents.
“The king can do whatever he wants. He’s in charge,” her father remarked.
“What about the queen?” asked Noel sadly. Grace’s mom fidgeted nervously in her seat. Her husband eyed her sending her a secret message to stop. She stopped abruptly and sat her hands in her lap. Mr. Carpenter motioned for Noel to come over to him. He picked her up and sat her on his lap.
“About ten and a half years ago,” he started. “Our kingdom had a different king.”
“You mean not King Henry,” Noel asked with her eyes filled with curiosity.
“No a different king his name was King Charles. He was a wonderful man he helped us commoners and was wonderful to everyone. He was said to be our best king.” Mr. Carpenter gave Noel a smile. Then the smile quickly turned to a frown. “But then one day he suddenly died. No one knows why. One day he was fine the next Queen Melinda woke to find him gone.” Grace thought about that poor queen waking up to find her husband dead. She had heard the story before but never with so much detail. “So Queen Melinda was forced to marry King Henry. She has never been happy since. Even though when Queen Melinda had to marry King Henry she was given full power over King Henry she still is unhappy. I do not think she cares about the kingdom anymore.”
“Is that why King Henry takes my toys away.” Noel asked childishly.
“Yes” replied Mrs. Carpenter. “Now it’s time for you two to go to bed.” Mrs. Carpenter said quickly like Mr. Carpenter had said too much already. But Grace knew there was more to the story her teacher Ms. Salazar had told them this part of the story already accept there was another part about Queen Melinda having a baby that she was pregnant with while King Charles was alive. King Henry told the Queen it had died and when the massager told the kingdom he said it had died because Queen Melinda was so broken hearted after her first husband’s passing. But everyone said Queen Melinda took the death of King Charles wonderfully so it made no sense that the baby would die that way. Grace sighed as she walked to the small bedroom she shared with Noel she would ask her mother later.
Grace fell asleep almost instantly that night but, Noel tossed and turned without her bear. Grace woke up about an hour later to the sound of Noel tossing. She heard her parent arguing in the other room so she slipped into her slippers and tiptoed out her door to investigate. She stood looking out into the family room she slipped noiselessly behind the couch and listened to her parent’s conversation.
“Why did you tell that story,” Mrs. Carpenter’s soft voice asked.
“It would have made them more suspicious if I had simply said no” said Mr. Carpenter back. “Besides I didn’t say anything about Grace.”
“Still don’t you think they’ll wonder?”
“It won’t matter the Queen thinks she’s dead, the King thinks she’s dead. The only other person that knows besides you and me just took it to her grave.”
“The nurse died?” Mrs. Carpenter sounded shocked.
“Yes, I thought I told you.”
“Um..no you didn’t.”
“Well sorry o-kay but now you know there is nothing to worry about.”
Grace’s legs were falling asleep but, she hardly noticed what were her parents saying.
“Good I’m glad she gone,” Mrs. Carpenter sounded relieved. “With the King plotting more wicked deeds to us I was afraid she might get desperate.”
“She would never turn Grace in; she loved that child like her own daughter.”
“That’s not the only thing I’m worried about though, the old lady at the fruit market gave Grace an apple because she looked just like Queen Melinda did before all her problems took place and when I visited Grace’s school Ms. Salazar said Grace looked like she could be a princess with her lovely face and stuff.” Mrs. Carpenter’s lip quivered. “I just don’t want King Henry finding out, think of what he would do to her. Would he try to kill her again like the nurse said he wanted to do with her.” Mr. Carpenter put his arm around her to comfort her and Grace slowly slide back to her room.
Grace lay awake in bed for hours thinking of what to do. Her parents were just saying that she was a princess the lost daughter of Queen Melinda. If that were true Grace may be the solution to all the problems the King was causing the Kingdom. She lay thinking and came to an agreement in her mind that she must go to the queen before he took anything else away from them.
The next day was another message from the king but this time he was forcing every boy over the age of twelve to join the army. Grace knew she had to act soon. She walked down her road which was located at the back of the Kingdom to the grand palace. She decided the best way to get in was to pose as a servant girl. She had her best friend Delight who’s older sister was a maid help her. She didn’t tell her why just that she wanted to see what being a maid was all about. It sounded pretty stupid to her but Delight’s sister Delaney was happy to let Grace take over her job for a day.
The day after that Grace went in for her first day on the job. She had no idea were the Queen was located in the palace and it took asking four different people to finally get directions there. Apparently her needing to get Queen Melinda’s laundry was not a good excuse but nevertheless she got there. She stood looking at a big wooden door for about a minute rehearsing what she was going to say. A million what-if questions went through her mind. What if the queen doesn’t believe me? What if the King kills me? What if….? She made herself stop and in two daring moments Grace was standing in a beautiful room with a purple silk bed spread. On the bed was a drained faced women who looked about 60 but Grace knew she couldn’t be much older then 35. “The laundry is over there” the women announced.
Grace didn’t move the Queen rolled over as if she didn’t care. “Um….” Grace began but her mouth would move no more. She regained herself. “Queen Melinda” She started again with more enthusiasm. “My name is Grace” she couldn’t tell if the queen was even listening. “I may be your dead daughter” there she said it and the queen didn’t even flinch. “My parents told me that” well her parents didn’t really tell her but she figured it didn’t mater.
“That what” the queen suddenly flew alive “go tell the queen you’re her daughter so that everything will all be better and we’ll get our toys back, right.”
“No, not at all” Grace was surprised but held her ground. “I came here by myself to tell you that because it’s true. Your nurse dropped me off at my parent’s house so the king wouldn’t kill me.” She wasn’t sure if that was true either but it sounded good. “Everyone says I look just like you and I am here not because I want to be a princess but so you will become alive again and help your suffering kingdom.”
Just then the door flew open and King Henry bounded in like a leopard and grabbed Grace. Grace screamed.
“Her lost daughter you filthy lying child, I told that nurse to kill that baby and there is no way that you are a princess.” King Henry eyed her maids outfit and unwashed hair because the king had ordered they could only have showers once a month.
“You wanted to kill my baby.” Queen Melinda sounded shocked. She pulled herself off of the bed which looked like it took a lot of energy and grabbed Grace away form King Henry.
“No, that’s not what I meant.” King Henry stumbled over the words to get him out of this mess but the queen did not believe him. She called in the King’s army to get rid of King Henry and since she still had power over him her wish was granted. After Grace’s story was verified by her parents her whole family came to live in the palace with her. Grace and Noel became princesses and the Queen restored her kingdom back to it’s glory day. The whole kingdom had Grace to thank for being brave and taking a stand against evil and the kingdom made a holiday after Princess Grace in which there would be a parade so Noel would get to see a parade after all.