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The Lost Prince

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Her eyes bore into mine, sin-green and taunting. She crooked a hand, beckoning me forward. I walk, slowly, hesitantly, afraid of the consequences that might result from my choosing to follow her. Her blood red lips turned upward in a sinister smile as I make my way forward. She turns, and without waiting to see if I was still following, took off at a brisk pace. I walked faster to keep up with her. We walked through many streets, first in Venice’s heavily populated tourist districts, then into areas with less and less people. Finally we ended up in a old abandoned candy shop. The windows were boarded up. The sign that once proclaimed it to be Giavani's candies was now coated in a layer of graffiti and dirt. The lady, who’s name she had told me was Mary, opened the ruined door and stepped into the dim interior of the shop. I followed close behind her, hesitant to enter such a foreboding space, but to curious not to. She kicked a threadbare rug off it’s spot on the floor to reveal a small hatch with a worn brass handle attached to it. She opened the hatch and climber down the ladder that was inside. Once she had reached the bottom of the ladder she pulled out a flashlight and flashed the beam up at me. I took this to mean that I was supposed to follow now, and so I did. Once I reached the bottom she turned from me and led me down the tunnel, using her flashlight to keep us from stumbling. After we had walked in silently monotony for about 15 minutes we reached the end of the tunnel. At the end it was more of a cave than a tunnel, seeing as it was vaguely circular and at least 20 ft wide. The interior of the cave was furnished and well lit by several antique-looking candelabras. A rich red rug turned the caves floor into a soft, plush surface. A four-post canopy bed sat in the far region of the cave. A table and chairs were nearer to us, more towards the center of the room. A small kitchen lay to our right. It had all the makings of a hidden home. Which could have something to do with the fact that that was exactly what it was. As we walked into the room I realized that we were not alone, as I had first thought. In one of the high backed regal-looking chairs sat a small child. He was pale and sickly in appearance. His size should have placed him at he an age somewhere near 8, but his world-weary eyes told him to be several years older.

“Have you brought me a friend?” The boy asked.

“No, my lord Napoleon I have brought you something much better.” Mary replied.

I looked from Mary to the boy. Their conversation was making me nervous, but I wasn’t about to back out now. I had agreed to help them and I would stand by my decision.

“What is he then?” The Prince Napoleon asked.

“An ally” I replied, no waiting for Mary to answer.



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