Familiar Things of the PastThe darkness surrounded us as we ran and it seemed to be endless. I still heard one of the two horses crying and trying to reach its feet, even though it only had three legs left. I kept my eyes on my brother’s back like he had told me to. The air was drenched with blood and death. His hand squeezed mine tighter as he led me around a tree. He stopped for the first time and I could tell he was breathing as hard as I. He pulled me closer to the tree and pushed me into a small hole in the lower part of it that I had not even seen. I could not tell if the moonless night or the snow falling was a key factor in affected my vision, but I had a feeling that tears was the main cause. My brother kept his head out of the small hole as I watched, but I grabbed onto his fur coat when an arrow split a tree. He set his hand on my head and caressed my hair like he usually did to clam me but never moved his gaze from outside. We were rabbits hiding from hunters, except these hunters would not go for any other rabbit; they had to have us. “Hold your breath.” My brother whispered so quietly that I almost missed it, but when I finally realized what he had said I quickly pulled my hands over my nose and mouth as he pulled his head inside the hole. He pulled me to one side of the hole and held his breath. For the first time the woods were silent, but that made me even more terrified. A branch on the ground somewhere close snapped under the weight of someone and I had to keep myself from gasping. They were onto us. I sat there and waited as I hid my teary face behind my brother’s coat. If they shot him first I did not want to see it. Thankfully the person who had come for us walked away. I let out my breath and was relieved for just a moment before I realized we were still not far from death’s grasp. My brother finally turned to me and his dirty blond hair moved closer to his eyes of the ocean, “We cannot stay here. We will have to split up.” His blonde hair showed around his face from under his wool knit hat, as his blue eyes seemed to be as distant from me as the sea.
I squeezed his arm closer to my chest and stared back to him, “Don’t leave me.” I pleaded, but he shook his head and I knew I could not stop him.
“I will go towards the carriage, Felicia. You must go further into the woods. Don’t stop until you reach Alethia. If you hear someone, hide in a bush or tree. Once you reach the capitol you must hide somewhere, find a job, and go by a fake name. I will come for you in a week or so since it will take a long time to go around the other side of the mountains,” He did not give me a chance to protest before he had pulled me out of the hole behind him. He slipped something on me and I felt coldness on a small area of my neck. I looked down to see my brother’s necklace he had been given by my father just a few hours ago. I looked back to him and wanted to hold onto him and never let go, “I will find you by this necklace so don’t leave the city until I come for you,” He kissed my head and then took a few steps away, “Go back into the hole of this tree and wait until you can’t hear anyone near you.” He then sprinted a few feet away and after many trees separated us he seemed to disappear in the darkness. I heard my brother yell something as another arrow fired.
“Brother.” I whispered in a cry as I squeezed his necklace in my hands. A thud rang in my ears.
I woke up and realized that someone was knocking on my room’s door so I quickly sat up and ran. I opened the dark oak door to see a girl of my age with glasses that stared at me as her deadly brown eyes of a stranger glared at me, “If you stay in bed any longer you will be fired, Miss Faith.” The girl informed me.
“Thank you, Miss Lily. I will hurry.” I quickly shut my door and looked down to my chest. Between my breasts lay the beautiful necklace I was hoping to see and I sighed with relief. I quickly went over to my bed covered with only a sheet and blanket to keep me from freezing at night. I picked up the clothes I had set out the night before, a corset and simple dress made for a maid. I had slight difficulty with my corset, but once it was on it was simple to slip on my dress. Today I was wearing a light brown dress that had white lace up the front, white sleeves of ruffles, a white ruffle collar, and white lace where the end of my dress touched the ground. I slipped on my workers shoes and went out the door. I picked up my dress and ran down the hall made of cobblestone until I reached a familiar door. I walked into the young prince’s room to see him yelling at an older maid that just looked at the ground, but the prince stopped yelling and both looked to me. The young boy with black hair and brown eyes face seemed to brighten as he ran over to me and hugged my waist. I hugged him lightly as the older maid walked out of the room with relief that I had given her a chance to escape. When the prince let go of me I went over to his dresser and took out a nice white shirt, a pair of deep black pants, and a nice dress shirt to go over his long sleeve white shirt. I went back to him and slipped off his night clothes before putting the new clothes on him. He slipped into a pair of black shoes by us after he was dressed and turned to me.
“Does this suit me?”
I nodded, “You look much like the older prince,” I said as I walked over to him. I brushed a piece of black hair back to place and smiled to him, “Speaking of which, I am sure the older prince is here now. He was supposed to arrive early this morning.” The prince ran out of his room and led me with him by grabbing my hand. He ran and I tried to keep up while pulling up my dress with only one hand until he finally stopped when we reached a fountain near the front gate of the castle. The young prince then pulled me towards the young man that was 2 years my senior riding a black stallion. The older prince smiled as he saw his brother and quickly got off of his horse. The young prince finally let me go as he ran over to his brother. The young prince embraced his brother and I could tell they truly had a bond more than just blood and name, but my observation was stopped when a galloping steed almost ran me over. I quickly took a step back as the white steed finally stopped just a few inches from me. Once I calmed down I looked around the horses head to see General Aaron looking down to me. I quickly bowed and tried to hide my flushed cheeks. When I looked up to the man again he smiled and I knew he had seen me blushing, but I held myself from running or blushing again as he descended from his steed and walking over to me. He bowed to the two princes and smiled to the older prince.
“Welcome back, Prince Luther,” General Aaron said formally and then looked to me again, “Miss Faith, you speak Parethish, correct?”
I nodded, “Indeed.”
“There is a captive of war I just encountered, and it seems there are not very many people left that speak Parethian, which is all this man speaks. We are trying to find out why he tried to assassinate our middle prince who was out of the country but no one knows what he is saying at all. Could you talk to him?”
I stared to the general and slowly nodded, “Well I do not speak very much Parethish, but I will try to talk to the man.”
“But Miss Faith!” The young prince yelled and I turned to him with curiosity, “You said you would teach me a new song today!”
I smiled to the young prince, “Indeed I will, young prince. But first I must assist General Aaron with this matter. I will come teach you after I am done, all right? You can ask your brother all the questions you have while I am gone.” The young prince pouted, but his brother smiled to me.
“You may go Miss Faith. This will give us some time to catch up.” The older prince assured me and I smiled a thank you before turning to General Aaron who held his hand out to me. When I took his hand he lifted my petit body onto his horse and then got on in front of me.
“Hold on tight Miss Faith.” He said quietly and I lightly held onto his waist, but when he put the horse to a run I had to squeeze myself closer to him in fear of falling. I closed my eyes and tried to not think of my fright, but it was over soon enough. The general stopped in front of a building where captives were held and then helped me off of the horse. I followed him into the building and down a white hall until we reached a metal door that had a guard in front of it. The guard bowed to the general and then let us past. When the general opened the metal door I saw there was a wooden table with a wooden chair on either side. On the farther side sat a man in tattered clothes that used to be a pair of riding pants, a white shirt of a workingman and mud covered riding boots. But I could not think that this man was dirty, even though his whole body was covered in dirt and grime, because of his familiar dirty blond hair and blue eyes. I slowly walked over to the table and bowed to the man who just frowned to me. I sat in the chair across from him and looked back to the general.
“I shall handle it from here.”
“Just call if he does anything odd.” General Aaron said with an angry looked to the man before shutting the door after him.