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The Escape part 2
When I came to I looked over at my mother and saw that I had only imagined it. There she was, looking at me with questioning eyes. I started to sob. “I had a dream... We were in a cave... Every one of you except Daddy... was held... Hostage by the...Durmons... … cruel looking... all of you were... being harmed… in some...awful way... I woke up… only to see... Mother’s head gone… A gaping... Gaping hole where... It should be...” My sobbing interrupted every few words. I shuddered.
“It was only a dream,” Cooed my mother and Felicity.
Joseph pulled me into his lap and Boomer came and sleepily lay down on my lap. I was able to fall asleep only for a while and I got just enough sleep for traveling in the morning. As we got up Joseph seemed very sick. I went down to the stream and had to crack the freezing ice with a stick, rip a length of cloth off my dress soak it in the freezing water and bring it up to the barn and put it on Josephs head. He moaned a little but said it really helped. Finally in the early afternoon Joseph was feeling a lot better. We saddled up the horses covered ourselves in blankets, and packed some hay in the saddlebag for the horses. We got on the horses and we set off. As we were traveling we notice that we saw the Durmons flew out of nowhere! They were advancing extremely quickly. My Father immediately yelled over the wind “Rupert, Joseph saddle up we’re in for a chase!” Joseph smacked the horse and it sped up considerately. I was very frightened. “Who are those people Joseph?” I asked testily. “I have no idea Sophia.” He said with his jaw set.
I noticed I could see his veins popping out of the side of his arms and neck.
“It’s okay, we will be fine!” I soothed. “I don’t care about me it’s you I’m worried about! I cannot lose you!” He said angrily. “You won’t, I will be fine! I have to tell you something.” I yelled over the wind. “What is it Sophie??” He snapped angrily. “I can see the future and in the future we have a happy life and I know this will always be the same!” I cried out trying to be convincing. I was lying because I never saw that but I’m sure it’s true.
“Are you absolutely sure?” He asked questioningly. I told him I was positive. I gave his hand a reassuring pat. I noticed the men who followed had fallen behind and I gave a sigh of relief. He tried to smile and failed miserably. I just knew he was worried. So I just kept quiet so he could think. His jaw was still clenched and now his lips were pursed in a thin line. Then in the distance I saw an inn. When we reached the inn, I went to the innkeeper and asked him if we could keep the horses in the stable he had. He generously agreed and gave our horses’ food and drink. As we came to the door the Innkeepers wife ushered us in and said, “King Fredrick! Queen Olivia, Princess Sophia! Oh! Your husband to be Prince Joseph and King and Queen Rupert and Felicity! Welcome, we have just started to serve supper come and join the other guests. Tomas! You didn’t tell me we had royalty staying I would have made a big feast!” Mrs. Tomas Little chided. “Like I knew!” He said irritably.
Only after Mother convinced her we were fine and the dinner she was serving was fine did she relax, let us pay for a room, and sit down at the table.
Mrs. Little served a delicious chicken soup and warm bread with butter. We thanked the Lord and began to eat. The warmth that entered my mouth was bliss. After we had finished eating our blessed meal, he showed us to a room with three beds which were distributed likewise. I was tired and very full. I changed in the powder room with my Mother and Felicity. I then climbed warily into bed with Joseph. My Father came and gave me a hug good night. Then Mother did likewise. Joseph’s parents gave us each a hug good night and finally I was able to kiss Joseph good night. We then covered ourselves with blanket and fell asleep. I slept deeply and had no frightening visions.
The next morning I woke up happy and rested.
“Good Morning darling,” My Mother whispered when I sat up.
“The men are asleep; can you help us with cleaning up our room and getting ready to go? We have supply from the Inn’s kitchen and we paid for extra blankets and pillows. We also gained a horse because the Innkeeper was going to give it away besides, which has two more big saddlebags. I think since you are the smallest you should ride with Boomer and the extra provisions.” Said Felicity.
“We should be able to reach your aunts home in a week or less.” Said Mother.
In a short while we had to rouse the men and they were not all so agreeable to getting awake and were grouchy about eating only leftovers for breakfast that we had eaten the previous night. Joseph was grouchiest of all the men but that changed when he saw my face. He smiled brightly and gave me a huge hug. “Good morning, my lovely Sophia,”
He grinned the whole time as they packed. I wondered what he was thinking. I wished I could read his mind. But I could not. I sighed in my head and just began packing. I packed the horses but before I did I made sure that the horses had plenty of food and drink. They seemed to be extremely happy about that I then brushed their manes and they looked much better. I was last on my horse. I finally heaved myself onto the horse and hoisted Boomer upon my lap. He licked my cheek affectionately. I giggled and held him to myself with one hand. The other hand held tightly onto the horse’s reigns. As we started out it was a nice cool day and it was not to cold and so there was no need for heavy garments. I was just counting our stroke of luck when the sky opened and a bolt of lighting cracked in the sky and then it began to pour. The rain, lighting, and thunder scared the horses into a gallop quite fast. I held on with dear life to not only the horse but also Boomer for fear that Boomer may fall off the horse. The leather of the reigns was slippery so I had too grasped them tightly and I was very nervous about losing anybody. I decided what to do. I grasped my knees on the horse and let my hands go I was steady. Then I unhooked the saddlebags and they flew fast behind me onto the ground. Then I held Boomer fast to my chest, sung my leg over the side of the horse and dropped heavily to the ground. Obviously the sequence of events was much faster. It looked as if everybody had done the same because I saw Mother and Father not far off. Also I saw Felicity and Rupert just to my immediate right. I looked one more time and saw Joseph behind me. I got on to my feet doubled back to where my saddle bags were. Unfortunately the horses were no where to be found. I heard the men conferring what to do quietly. Soon they came over to us.
“Ladies, we will need to walk to Aunt Lila’s”
Joseph said quietly. “What!?” Cried my Mother incredulously. Her eyes looked ready to pop out of her head. “But that’s more then two DAYS on a horse” I said exasperated. “It will be at least twice that time on foot!”
Complained Felicity “ Well ladies we will have to make do, so take off your many layered petticoat, dress as men and follow our lead pretending to be a man.” Said Father
We girls went behind a bush and changed into men’s britches and frocks. Then we pulled hair into hats and rubbed dirt on our faces and hands. Then I went out from behind the bush neatly placed my cloths in the pack I brought. Then I transferred all our food and belongings into several of those and gave one to every body. Then we set out on out on foot with Boomer at my side to my Aunt Lila’s home.
As I walked along with Joseph I thought about what had happened. I walked along with Joseph leading and the others towing behind us. We stopped a bit later to rest. I fell to the ground exhausted and Boomer curled up right next to me and fell asleep right away. I lie beneath the starry sky and fall asleep to the sounds of the night
The next morning I woke up to the birds chirping happily. I refused to put on the men cloths. Every one was awake except Daddy. I shook him gently. He didn’t move. I shook him a little harder and he did not budge. I felt for breath there was none...
“Joseph!” I screamed “JOSEPH COME HERE DAD IS DEAD!”
“ I DON’T KNOW HOW I DIDN’T SEE THIS COMING!!”
I screamed as he came running with Mother and Felicity in tow. When Felicity and my mother saw his body Felicity’s faces turned chalk white. And I didn’t think a face could get whiter but Mother’s did.
Mother and I collapsed sobbing on his dead body. I couldn’t make sense of anything... Last night Dad had been helping us to get to Aunt Lila’s home and now I saw his lifeless body there on the ground. Mother sat down on a stump a couple feet away sobbing into her hands and I sat right there thinking hard tears stains streaked my dirty face. I had almost given up all hope when Joseph kneeled over my father and poured something into his mouth.
“You also don’t know something about me... I am a sorcerer. I can heal anything and anyone; I was waiting to tell you because I haven’t needed it yet.”
He looked up at me and he was looking at me with the most love I had ever seen on anyone’s face and I knew he had wanted to save his powers for when we really needed it. I just hoped it worked. And as if my prayers were answered my Dad opened his eyes.
“That was a strange dream... I dreamed I was dead. How odd... Hmm clearly I am not. Thank goodness!”
My mother raced over and flung herself into his arms. I went over kissed his cheek and then Joseph grabbed me by the hand and we went for a walk.
I brought some breakfast with us.
“Don’t thank me” he said cutting me off
“I was doing what any good husband would do... saving his wife, you need your Father and I was not going to let him slip through our fingers and die. He needs you and you and your Mother need him. If you’re not happy, how can I be happy?”
I gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek and I handed him a large chunk of bread, cheese, and meat.
Just then a little girl and boy stumbled out of the forest, looking scared.
I exclaimed as I saw them.
Then I said with out thinking
“Do you want some bread and cheese?”
“Yes please Missus!”
Said the little girl and boy in unison.
I gave them a loaf of bread two large chunks of cheese, mat, and I filled a flask of water in the stream nearby and gave it to them.
I whispered urgently.
“What is it darling?”
He whispered back. He popped a piece of bread into his mouth.
“We can’t let these poor little children wander the forest! Especially ALONE!”
I said trying to stay calm. I just could not let these children die out here.
“Okay here’s what we will do... We will take them to your Aunts home and try to find an orphanage for them.”
Joseph said confidently.
I went over to the two young children.
I said to the little girl, she was stuffing her face with bread.
“How would you like to come with me to a nice place in the country? You can have whatever you need and when we get there I can run a bath for you and your brother, a nice warm bath and you can live in a cozy house with me.”
I didn’t tell them that they may end up in an orphanage
“I would like that...”
She said quietly with a cute little lisp.
“So would I...”
Said her brother with an equally cute lisp. Then I looked at the both of them as they stuffed cheese meant and bread into their mouths with their chubby little fists. They were both missing their front teeth.
“What are your names?”
Joseph asked coming over and sitting on the ground next to me because I had sat down with the little girl and boy.
“I’m Jason and this is Meghan but I call her Meggie every one did until our dad kicked us out of the house and told us to never come back.”
Said the little boy trying to make himself sound all grown up. But his face looked sad like he needed a hug so I hugged him and Meggie to me. Meggie seated herself on me and lay down with her head in the crook of my neck. She smelt like the forest.
“And just how old are you two?” I asked quizzically.
Jason held up five chubby five chubby fingers. His hand drooped and I knew he was exhausted.
Then Meggie started giving off little snores. Joseph took Jason into his lap. Jason fell asleep a second later. I shifted Meggie into a position that looked as if I were cradling a baby. I just sat there looking at the innocent face of a little girl who deserved to be loved not kicked out of her home. I decided then and there those two weren’t going any where near an orphanage.