Darkness hung in the air despite the warm breeze and sunshine. The streets bustled with people, and whispers hummed in the air. The whispers were about the same thing, although the topic seemed to be taboo. Rubbing the apple I had just bought on my skirt, I smiled, allowing the ideas to brew in my mind.
“Mademoiselle? A moment?” A plump vendor blocked my path.
“Yes, Monsieur? Can I help you?” I brushed a hair from my shoulder and took a step back from the man. You can never trust a vendor, and the few coins in my pocket had a purpose. I did not want them nabbed.
“No mademoiselle, you can help yourself. You should not be out on the streets. Not with,” he lowered his voice, “what is coming.”
Rolling my eyes, I pushed past the vendor. Calling over my shoulder, I said, “I think I will be able to handle myself, thank you.”
No doubt he was talking about the war coming closer to our little village. Being a woman, people kept telling me to protect myself. I didn’t want to. I wanted to go fight, to do something. I would be a better general than any of those other nitwits out on the battlefield. I could handle myself.
I rubbed the coins in my pocket. Just enough to purchase the armor I had been eyeing for the past few days...
I adjusted the pillows on the seat and plopped down on top of them. The already open window allowed the warm breeze to tickle my face. I smoothed my long dress over my legs as I tucked them under me. Despite the warm spring day, there was a sharp scent in the air: death.
I could see the dust clouds of the battle way off on the horizon. Listening to the constant “He said/She said” between the maids, the guards, and the knights, made me long to help.
My father, the king, and my brothers, the princes, were a part of the battle. But I being the delicate princess could not help. I had to stay here, locked in my room day after day, longing to make a difference in the never ending battle.
The bright colors of my room and the sunshine mocked the darkness in the air. They insulted the dark battle inside me. The insanity of the situation. The one who truly wanted to help, was stuck inside her personal prison.
I wanted to bang on the walls of my room. I wanted to get out. There may be battles going on outside, just in the distance, but the real battle was right here.
After my first attempted escape, the door had been locked. I was trapped in a room with myself for company. Myself and my thoughts. And the view of the battle and the smell of death.
The girl sits in the corner. She is crying; she is mumbling. Saying something about a war. For the past hour she has alternated between crying, mumbling and screaming.
Suddenly, she stops, looking around the white padded room, her eyes glinting with sudden determination. Standing, she struggles with the straight jacket, as if trying to outstretch a hand.
“I am not afraid,” she cries. “I was born to do this.” She pauses as if watching a scene from afar. Standing that way for many minutes, it seems that she has turned to a stone.
She crumbles to her knees and begins to cry. “Can I not win this battle? I need to win the war!” She wipes her eyes on her shoulder and straightens with a shaky breath.
“If only I could be free. If I can escape my prison,I could fight this war, this never ending battle. I might win, if only I were free.” Her tears turn to rage. She throws herself against the wall. Screaming, the insanity burns in her eyes.
“How could you do this to me. You trap me, restrain me, kill me. For what? My own good? Am I a danger to myself? YOU DON’T KNOW ME!” her anger subsides into angry breaths and she slides down the wall, giving into tears again.