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I am walking down a trail. To where I have no idea the scenery is dark and menacing until I reach a canyon. I look across it and see my grandmother.
“You know it’s coming my dear.” She says as she acknowledges my presence.

“What is coming grandma?” I ask confused.

“A danger, and a blessing.” She looks grim.

“I don’t understand.”

“Something will come to you my dear and when it does you must protect it or everything will fail.”

“I don’t understand!” I scream at her.

“She is everything and nothing, something you must protect and guard, for it is her and her alone that holds the key.” She gives me one last sad look before throwing herself into the canyon.

“No!” I wake up screaming. Every night for the past two years this dream had visited me. I look around. Maria is still asleep, thank heavens.

I silently light the candle and make my way downstairs to fetch some water from the bucket near the door. That is when I hear the yelling.

“John, I just can’t take anymore. We’re full to capacity.”

“Elaina we’re desperate Sir. Rogers’s didn’t know of any other place.”

“John you can’t they could burn the entire place down if they knew.”

Curious I sit in the shadows on the top of the stairs. I blow out my candle and watch the firelight dance.

“Good Night! And I believe you know how to let yourself out?” Mrs. Riley turned and stormed out of the entryway.

The man looked up, and he was looking at me. He motioned for me to come closer. Terrified I did.

“Oh, please don’t tell Mrs. Riley I was only going to get some water when I heard you fighting and I was oh so thirsty so I waited…” he put his hand over my mouth.

“I am not going to tell Elaina. I need you to do something for me.”

He took his hand off my mouth. “What is it that you need my to do sir?”

He sighed and stepped into the range of the light. His face was hardened with loss and his eyes seemed wary. “What is the youngest child in the nursery right now?”

I thought back I was frightened to tell him but he looked dangerous, “Two days ago a baby girl was left on the back doorstep of the orphanage.”

“Good could you go and get her for me please.”

“No, that is where I draw the line sir.” I stared at him defiantly.
“Miss I am under orders of Sir. Rogers please go get the child.” His eyes looked murderous.

I ran up the stairs and felt my way to the nursery. The newest arrival was in a room with three other children. I silently opened the door taking care not to trip over anything in the dark and felt my way over to the crib in the corner.

“Come here little one.” I whispered as I lifted her out of the crib. She was such a tiny little thing. “I’m so sorry.” I kept whispering as I carried her to the stranger down stairs.

“Good could you place her in the basket near the door?” she whimpered as I set her down but quickly fell back to sleep.

“If you hurt her I will alert the entire town.” I threatened.

He looked as if he had been expecting this, “Don’t worry miss. I can’t promise her safety once she is out of my hands but I will make sure that she is taking care of.”

I turned to leave but he caught my arm. He pulled a bundle out from under is coat and placed it in my arms. I looked down in shock.

He handed me a roll of paper then left, taking the other child with him. I stood in front of the firelight and started to un-roll the papers with one hand. I read them in complete silence. It was a letter from Sir. Rogers who is the king’s most trusted advisor. The entire royal family is dead and in my arms is the only survivor. Princess Aurelia Maria Annvalencia.

I rename her Auri, and walk up the stairs just as someone starts to bang on the door. I run up to the nursery and place the child in the crib. I head back to the stairs and look as Mrs. Riley answers it. A group of men is standing there and they have torches. Quickly I run back to the nursery grab Auri, and make my way out the back door. We reach the grass just as the house catches fire.





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