Runaways

By
Across the wide Atlantic sea, over the rolling green hills into Scotland, stood a magnificent castle, with beautiful towers and strong walls. It was a stunning sight. The castle’s outer beauty hid the cold and melancholy feeling inside. This feeling was the worst in the dungeons, where sat Mary chained to the wall. She had been in this cold, dreadful cell for about a week, just waiting to be hung at the gallows any day now, for doing nothing wrong.

Mary was a poor servant, who worked hard for Prince Matthew. The Prince fell in love with Mary but she couldn’t love him. The Prince Matthew was a cruel man, and he made terrible punishments for his servants. He even sent his own parents away to a castle he built for them, in a far distance country so that he could rule alone. Furious at Mary, the Prince framed her of stealing his beloved sword, so she was thrown into the dreadful dungeons. Will, the royal horseman, was the man who won Mary’s heart, and did everything to free her. He begged, pleaded, and even offered money to release her but he was sent to the dungeons too, by order of Prince Matthew.

“Oh good you’ve made it, I was worried you couldn’t get here,” whispered Mary through the iron bars of her cell door, as her chains clinked as she tried to get closer.

“It took me longer to get the keys from Jack than planned. He had to hit the guard, in the head to get them to me,” Will answered quietly, as he tried to find the right key to open the door.

“Jack is a wonderful little brother to you. He took such a risk to help us leave.”

“There we go,” said Will as he found the right key and squeaked the door open. He rushed in to unlocked Mary from her tight fitting cuffs.

“Let’s go. We have only an hour or so before morning,” Will said, as they rushed out of the cell into a dimly lit hall, up a stone spiral staircase, walked over the knocked out guard on the floor, and into a larger hallway.

“Which servant’s passageway did you say we’re going to take?” whispered Mary as afraid the walls could hear.

“This one,” said Will as he walked up to the large embellished tapestry hanging on the wall across from them. As he lifted the larger corner, a small wooden door appeared.

“Jack and I found this years ago when we were little. We found every hidden passageway in this place that I don’t even think the Prince knows about it. We’ll find Jack at the stables with the fastest horses ready, just as planned,” explained Will as he opened the old door, and they disappeared behind the tapestry.

Unfortunately Mary was right to whisper, for the unconscious guard had come back from his sudden nap and saw and heard everything.

In the old forgotten passageway Mary and Will crept along the walls in darkness, until they came upon a door at the end of the hall. Will open a small window in the middle of the door, took a peak, then closed the window. He opened the whole door, to another hallway that split into two other halls. When Will closed the door, Mary realized the door was covered with an old painting so if you walked by you would never know what was behind it.

“This leads to Prince Matthew’s chamber,” whispered Mary as she gestured to the hall to the right. Will only nodded as a reply and led them down the dark passageway to the left.

Through the door at the end of the passageway, into the massive library, the stain glass windows cast down colorful beams onto the floor. Carefully stepping over books and scrolls, around chairs and tables, they went though the room that appeared to be made of books. In the back of the library there was a door that opened to the northwest tower’s staircase and descended down them.

Through a wide hall with many doors on each side, then through the last door on the left, they continued into the dining hall. Down the long room, as they ran they glanced at the plates and food from the nights feast, still scattered around the room. Into the kitchen that was full of people hours ago, now stood empty, as Mary and Will crept though the castle.

Across the courtyard into the moonlight their shadows danced along side of them. They finally got through the giant castle to the stables, just outside the castle walls. Will stood in the open doorway and whistled into the stable and a faint whistle answered back.

“Jack, are you ready?” Will anxiously called into the stable.

“Here’s the horse you wanted and your hat, Will. Mary, here’s your cloak. The families both say good bye,” said Jack as he handed them their only belongings they would need.


Jack was a few years younger than Will and obeyed whatever Will said. He planned the whole escape with Will when he was the night dungeon guard.

“Thank you, Jack. Tell the families that we’ll miss them and send them our love,” said Mary to him as Will checked out the health of the slick black horse. They then jumped on the horse, ready to ride off.

“Good bye Jack. Take good care of Mother,” said Will as he shook hands with his little brother for the last time.

“Bye, Jack,” Mary said and they dashed off into the night. They rode into the woods, jumping over logs and under branches, as they rushed through the night. Not long after they started, they soon were being chased.


“Will! I think we’re being followed,” she shouted up to Will.

Soon the clinking of the henchmen’s armor grew louder and the thundering of the horse’s hooves grew closer.

“Don’t worry, this will lose them,” he yelled back has he made a sharp turn into a thicket of giant evergreens.

“Where did they go?” asked one of the henchmen. The group spilt up, searching through and around the evergreens thicket.

“There’s their horse.” One of the henchmen caught a glimpse of the black horse bolting from the left of the evergreens.

“Continue to stay split apart so they can’t get away. You two after the horse, you three to the right, then three of you to the left, and we’ll try to get ahead of them in the other direction in case they went that way on foot!” commanded the leader of the henchmen. They took off as soon as their orders where given. Unfortunately, the black horse took off so fast and its color caused some confusion in the dark for the henchmen, which was just what Will wanted.

“Our horse should be coming back soon,” whispered Will to Mary up in the thickest evergreen tree.

“There it is,” Will said as they climbed down from one of the trees and they were off again. Will’s plan to lose the henchmen also caused their horse to be slightly tired.

“Come on,” Will said in a pleading tone to the horse, “just to the bridge.” They came upon the old wooden bridge. It creaked with every step, as they rode over. This was the way to the next town. Under the bridge the river’s dark waters were too wide and too deep for a horse to jump or wade across.

“Okay. Now you can rest for a while,” he said to the horse.

After crossing the bridge to the other side, Mary and the horse went to rest near the edge of the river. Will went back across to the other side of the bridge and then he started a fire. He fed the fire, making sure that it wouldn’t blow out, and it soon turned into a roaring blaze. He quickly crossed back over to Mary and the horse. They were ready to leave, but before leaving Will looked back.

“The fire should cut them off, and give us the advantage. I know that they will meet back near those evergreen trees that are just up the path from here. This bridge is the shortest way to get to the next town and the next bridge is far from here. This should give us a good head start,” said Will. “Say good bye, Mary.”

Looking over the trees, a big hill towering over all but on top was a magnificent castle. Turning their backs on the fire, they galloped towards town, where there was a small boat in the harbor, waiting to head toward England. In town they gave away their horse to a poor man, and boarded the small boat. As they sailed away they looked back at Scotland for the last time.





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