I'm running. Tree branches whip around my face, giving me gashes along my cheeks. The wind is blowing heavily. I trip over my gown, it being to long that it drags on the ground. I fall into the slimy mud. I can hear the hounds that are chasing me bellow into the night as they get closer. The hounds are big and black, almost wolf like. They tower over me, one lunges at my neck...
I wake up in my large queen bed, gasping and slightly sweating. My usual perfect blonde hair in a matted heap. My bright green eyes scan the room as I realize what just happened was a dream. I get up off my bed and walk over to my dresser, looking into the oval mirrior. I stare at the replica of my face, my flawless skin slightly red and my eyes with a scared glaze over them. I turn away from my dresser and walk over to the doors of my balcony, walking out onto it. I look out over my village. The only sound heard is the trickle of water in the distance.
"Princess Amelia? Is that you?" A boy's voice asks. I turn, my hair blowing in the breeze.
"Yes? James? What would you like?" I ask, looking at the boy. He is taller than me, standing at 6'2. His green eyes a little darker than mine, his hair the same color.
"I heard you come out here, is anything wrong?"
"No...I came out here for fresh air..."
"I know it's more than that Mia. You can tell me, I'm your brother."
"Well....I had a bad dream...probably because I've been cooped up in this castle for so long..."
"Mmhmm." He looks up at the rising sun, "You should start getting ready for the masquerade. It is tonight..." He looked at my hair and my nightdress. "And you need to start getting ready, pronto." He chuckles.
"Oh be quiet." I smile and walk back into my room and into the hallway.
I stand, Looking at my perfectly fitted Masquerade dress, It's light blue color glinting in the mirrior.
"Ahh, Princessa, You look wonderful." Peirre says. Peirre is my hairdresser, always making my hair one of a kind.
"What hairstyle do you have in mind today, Peirre? An amazing up do?"
"Well, Princessa, I was thinking an elegant messy bun." Peirre motions to a chair at a dresser. And I sit down. He runs a brush through it, making it silky smooth. He takes a blue ribbon in one hand, and in the other he gathers my hair, putting it up in a messy bun. "Now for the final touch..." He takes a light blue Masquerade mask, and puts it carefully on my face. I smile into the mirrior.
"I love it Peirre! Thank you!"
"It's my job Princessa." He smiles at me. "Now, Don't you have a ball to get to?" He takes my hand, and kisses it. I satnd, and walk out of the room, down the stairs, and infront of the ballroom balcony door. James is standing there, waiting for me.
"You ready, Mia?" He asks, looking at my finished hair and dress. I nod, and he links his arm in mine, and we walk out onto the balcony together.
"Please welcome, Princess Ameila and Prince James!" My father says. Everybody starts to clap and cheer. I smile, waving to them. They go back to their talking and merry-making. My father walks over to me, and James makes his way down the steps. "Ameila, You look stunning." He says, hugging me.
"Thanks dad, This ball is amazing!"
"I'm glad you like it, It's all-" People crash through the windows, shouting orders at each other. "Ameila! Go, Run!" He tells a guard to guide me out the back door. "Once you get through the doors, Mia, Run into the woods, you'll be safe there. Keep running until you reach the next village over, someone will guide you from there. Hurry! Go!" I run along side the guard, who is escorting me out the back door of the palace. We stop at the door and he opens it.
"Go Princessa, We don't have much time!" I run out the door towards the woods. I stumble. Stupid heels. The thought runs through my mind. I run into the woods, hearing the howling of dogs. This all seems to framiliar... I run on, the bellowing of the dogs getting closer. My ankle gets caught in a tree root, and I fall forward. I roll over, as a pack of dogs tower over me. One lunges at my neck...
I close my eyes, not wanting to look. I feel the weight of the dog being pushed off me, and I hear a man grunting in pain. I open my eyes. The other dogs advert their attention to the man, who is wearing a Shadow assassin uniform. W...why would he help me...? The man fights off the dogs, and they go yelping away. He walks over and helps me up. "Are you okay?" He asks me. Blood trickles down from a scratch on his forehead and cheek.
"Y...Yeah...I think so..." I answer. A striking pain rises up my leg as I put pressure on it. "It's just...my ankle...from when I fell..."
"Well, those dogs will be back, and there will be men looking for you...We need to hurry and get you somewhere safe..." He picks me up gently and I lean my head aganst his chest. H...He's so muscular... "Hold on tight..." He instructs me, and he climbs up a nearby tree, and into a large hole in the thick trunk. He gently puts me down. "Let me see that ankle..." I kick off my heel, and he gently looks at my ankle. I wince when he touches it. "It's just sprained...You'll be fine. We'll stay in this tree for the night, and we'll make the journey to the closest town in the morning." He sits next to me. There's gashes in his clothes where he got scratched and bit.
"Are you hurt?" I ask him, brushing my fingers along the scratch on his cheek.
"I'll be fine, Princess."
"Please, Call me Ameila. And you are?"
"The names Jasper."
"Well Jasper, It's nice to meet you..." He nods, and leans aganst the tree, closing his eyes. I snuggle up next to him, for warmth, and he puts his arm around me protectively.
"Ameila, I will keep you safe." He whispers, and I nod off into sleep.
Publication Date: 06-23-2013
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