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The Princess in the Tower

Author's note: So this is actually like a story within a story.  In another book I was writing, the main...  Show full author's note »
Author's note:

So this is actually like a story within a story.  In another book I was writing, the main character was reading a book about Princess Hannah and Sir Frederic, and I figured, "Hey, I can work with this!"  So this is the story a main character in another story was reading, if that makes any sense at all.

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Chapter Two

Hannah was woken by golden beams of light, and slowly she opened her eyes and propped herself up on the bed. It had taken her a long time to get to sleep last night, but she had finally managed it as the first birds had broken into song. Now a breeze fluttered the curtains she hadn’t noticed before on the window, and her stomach growled.
Looking around at the tower, a gnawing that wasn’t associated with her empty stomach took hold of her insides. There wasn’t a thing in this tower
sorry for the repetitive boring chapter names
that felt familiar with her, and the dragon’s words echoed inside of her head: It is far away from your kingdom, about half a year’s journey on foot for you humans.
Hannah groaned and flopped back down on the bed. Six months. She had to wait six months, assuming her father had sent someone immediately to rescue her, and they ran into no obstacles. Rolling onto her side and staring at the blank wall, she squeezed her eyes shut and felt hot tears roll down her cheeks.
Everything caught up with her. She realized what a predicament she was in and how long she would be in it. She realized that she was alone, in a tower far away, with a dragon living beneath her. She realized she was hungry and there wasn’t any food. She realized all this and started to cry.
Sobs raked the little princess’s body, and she didn’t try to stop them; indeed, she couldn’t stop them, not even if she tried. Tears flowed down her cheeks, soaking the pillow underneath her fair head. In the back of her mind, she heard Teacher’s stern voice telling her to get a grip, but she pushed it away.
“I’ll never see you anymore,” she sobbed into the pillow. “Why should I listen to you?”
But then she realized just how unladylike that sounded, and how upset Teacher would be if she said that to her face, and Hannah began crying anew.
“Little Princess,” a deep, rumbling voice interrupted her cries, “why are you crying?”
Princess Hannah wiped her cheeks and hiccupped, but didn’t turn toward the window, where she knew the dragon was looking in at her. “Why do you think, Sir Dragon?” she said. “I’m far away from my kingdom and my family and my friends, and I’ll never see them again. And I’m hungry.”
The dragon gave an amused growl. “Do not say you’ll never see them again. A prince will come and save you. I’ve seen it many times, why should you be any different? And if you open your eyes and stop feeling sorry for yourself, you’ll find food eventually.”
Hannah sniffed and sat up. “What do you mean?” she said. The dragon, however, didn’t respond. As Hannah looked at him, she thought she saw his one visible eye crinkle as if he was smiling, and then he was gone. Sighing, the princess decided he was right about one thing; it was no use feeling sorry for herself.
Tentatively, Hannah placed a foot on the dusty wooden floor, and then the other one. She stood up and explored the tower, leaving her sorrows and her tears in the rumpled bed.

Exasperated, the king shook his head. “How many times must I tell you, Frederic?” he said. “You cannot go after Hannah.” Frederic immediately started to protest, but the king put up a hand and silenced the boy’s tantrum. “I appreciate the gesture, but you’re too young. I’ll send Sir Harold along with some other knights straight away. We will get her back, I promise.”
“I know that, sir,” Frederic said. “But all the same, I would like to learn how to become a knight, if only knights are allowed to rescue Hannah.”
The king regarded the young carpenter, then nodded. “Very well. I shall find a knight who can teach you his ways. But until then, please don’t do anything rash.”
Frederic bowed and gave his promise, then hurried from the room, feeling lighter than he had in hours. It had been only a night since Hannah’s capture, and Frederic never stopped pleading his case to rescue the young princess. Now that the king had finally agreed, he could relax and talk to his mentor.
Racing to the carpenter’s house, he went over speeches in his head until he found one that sounded appropriate. He gently knocked on the door, and when it creaked open, all of his speeches disappeared.
“Frederic,” his mentor said, surprised. “I wasn’t expecting you today. The whole kingdom’s taking a day off due to the princess’s, um, er… loss, and I figured you would too.”
“I’m not going to be working for you anymore,” Frederic blurted in a small voice.
His mentor blinked. “What?”
“I will no longer be training to be a carpenter under your study. I… I’m becoming a knight to rescue Hannah.”
The carpenter blinked again and then burst into laughter. “You can’t be serious!” He said as tears of mirth rolled down his cheeks. “You? A knight? But you’re so small! And besides, what can you do to stop a dragon?”
Frederic stood and silently received the mockery, and when his old mentor had settled down a little, he quietly finished with, “I’m quite serious, I will be a knight, people grow, and I’ll do what I can to stop a dragon.”
He turned around and left without another word, not even glancing behind him as the carpenter made a hurried apology and a plea to stay and work with him. Frederic ignored him.

“Oh, look at that!” Hannah said, shocked. “But that wasn’t here before!” She was staring at a hot bowl of porridge that she discovered resting on a stool. Cautiously, she reached out a hand and stuck a finger in the middle of the bowl. Pulling it out, she first sniffed the porridge on it, and then hesitantly licked the porridge off. She squeezed her eyes shut and waited to drop dead from poisoning, but nothing happened, so she deemed the porridge safe to eat. Picking up the bowl and sitting on the stool, she discovered a spoon in her pocket, which she drew out and used to finish the porridge.
“Wow,” she said, smacking her lips contently, “that was surprisingly good. But now what?” She got off of the stool and looked around, spotting a wardrobe by the bed. The tower was circular, so there were no corners, and the protruding wardrobe seemed strange to Hannah, who lived in a square room. At least, she used to live in a square room. Curious, the young princess opened the door to the wardrobe and found it full of lovely gowns. Pulling one out, she quickly tried it on and found that it fit her perfectly.
“Oh!” she said, filled with wonder. “It’s a magic tower!” she realized. The dragon had told her that the witch Morgan used to live in the tower, and she knew that witches were magical, but she didn’t think the magic would have stayed. But the food had appeared when she was hungry, and this wardrobe was full of clothes that fit her just right, so she figured it must be a magic tower!
Hannah gave her new dress an experimental twirl and gently hung her old dress up in the wardrobe before closing its door and rushing to the window. The height no longer bothered her. “Sir Dragon!” she called. The dragon, however, didn’t respond, which upset Hannah. He was the only one she could talk to, and being a very talkative princess, she needed the conversations.
“Great,” she moaned, turning away from the window and the bright outdoors. “Now who will I talk to?” She thought for a moment and then got an idea. If this tower could give her food and clothes, would it be able to give her a companion? It was worth trying.
Closing her eyes, Hannah thought over and over about Frederic, or Teacher, and wishing they were there so that she could just talk to them. She opened her eyes wide and looked around, but the tower was still empty, save for her.
“You called me, Little Princess?”
Hannah squealed with surprise and jumped, spinning around to stare out the window. The dragon was looking in at her, perched on a rock that jutted over his tavern. “You startled me, Sir Dragon!” she scolded.
The dragon dipped his head. “My apologies, Princess. I did not mean it.” Hannah thought he was smiling.
“Why do you call me princess?” Hannah asked, cautiously stepping closer to the window. “Don’t you know my name?”
“I have not learned it yet, Princess,” the dragon said. “You have not told me.”
“Oh, I have been terribly rude, then!” Hannah said, ashamed of herself. “I am Princess Hannah Belle the First, future ruler of Cyndira. And what is your name, Sir Dragon?”
“I am afraid I don’t know, Princess Hannah Belle the First, future ruler of Cyndira,” the dragon said.
“Oh, just call me Hannah,” said the princess, perching herself on the windowsill so that her feet dangled out of the tower. “But how come you have no name? Everything must have a name. Otherwise it is nothing.”
“Do be careful, Princess Hannah,” the dragon said, stretching out a great paw incase Hannah fell. “No one has given me a name. For, all though I’ve asked all of your ancestors for their names, they have never asked me for mine, and no one has told it to me.”
“Well that was dreadful rude of them,” Hannah said. “Would you like me to name you?”
“Sir Dragon will do nicely,” replied the dragon.
“But that isn’t a name; it is only a title.”
“And yet a title is the closest I have come to a name, and I like it when you say it.”
And so it was settled. Hannah agreed to continue calling him Sir Dragon, and Sir Dragon agreed to call the little princess Hannah. But he could not stay for long. He said he couldn’t keep his captives company for too long, because that was the way the curse worked. When Hannah asked why, he answered that Morgan wanted the princesses that fell under her curse to be as miserable as possible.
“Then why do you even try to talk to me, and why are there clothes that fit me just right, and why does food appear when I’m hungry?” asked Hannah, trying to keep up with what Sir Dragon was saying.
“Because,” replied the dragon slowly and patiently, “I do not want you to be completely miserable, and the witch wants her victims to live through their misery, otherwise they have no misery at all.”
Hannah shivered and drew her legs up. “How dreadful,” she whispered. “I’m really liking this Morgan less and less.” She looked up to say something to Sir Dragon, but he was already flying away, and Hannah didn’t know where to. Sighing, she swung her legs back inside of the tower and stared at it, bored out of her mind and wondering what to do next.
Chapters:   « Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 18 Next »

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