The Land of Fear and Hope
CHAPTER
1
A Quest
“Have you heard anything more about Cavet?” I ask my best friend Zayden. He works in medicine and always has news.
“Remember how I was telling you that they were worried it might be magical?” Zayden said, his voice dropping to a whisper, as he pretended to fold laundry next to me.
“How’d he get a magical illness?” I ask. “No one’s really sure, well maybe they are. The king and queen seemed like the knew but I didn’t say anything. They didn’t seem to want to tell me.” Zayden said, looking at me and smiling, knowing what I was going to say.
“I can’t believe you didn’t ask.” I say, sighing. But he knew I wasn’t surprised he didn’t ask. I was really just surprised that a lot of people wouldn’t ask when god knows I would.
“Do you think it could be a curse?” I ask. “Maybe,” Zayden says, a bit unsure. “But who would curse someone in Hope?” He asks finishing my own thought.
“Maybe it’s someone from Fear.” I say mockingly.
There’s a myth that says that Hope doesn’t occupy all of the world that the world is in fact split down the middle, and on the other side, right at the end of Hope is another land called Fear. But it’s just a myth. There have been countless people to prove that.
“Excuse me, are you Winter James?” A small, timid voice asks from behind me. I turn to see a small girl. She’s probably 16 like me but she looks younger. She had mousy red brown hair, that was falling into her light blue eyes.
“Yes.” I say, rather unsure as to why she’d be asking. I’m not often unsure, I’m a very confidant person. Although Zayden always says that my impulsivity is a side effect of that. Mostly to tease me or guilt trip me. I’m not one for plans unless they’re mine and off the top of my head and done in the moment. Once when we were eight one of my “plans” ended with Zayden breaking his wrist. I don’t think he’s ever quite forgiven me for that.
“And are you Zayden Moore?” The small girl asks Zayden shyly.”
“Yes, is something wrong? Is it the prince?” Zayden asks calmly. But that doesn’t make sense. Why would anyone need me to help the prince? Zayden’s the physician. It’s only logical that it’s something else. Which is why what the girl says next surprises me.
“The king and queen have requested your presence.” The girl says nodding at us then scurrying off.
“Okay, what did you do?” Zayden says turn to look at me in an accusatory fashion.
“Nothing!” I say mock defensively. I smile and punch him in the shoulder. “What did you do?” I ask smiling, and Zayden smiles back. Then together we go to speak with royalty.
When we reach the royal hall two guards open the doors and gesture for us to step in. We walk down the long room on a royal purple carpet. It’s more like walking down an aisle than through a room. The path we walk is thin, not too thin but more like a hall. The path is thin because the walls are lined with seats like bleachers. We walk all the way down stopping at the thrones in surprise.
Instead of the king and queen sitting proudly in their thrones, they sit on the ground. The king is hugging the queen who holds the youngest prince, who is no more than 3. The second oldest child is a girl. She sits next to her brother the oldest child of the royal family.
“Your majesty,” Zayden begins, “is something wrong?”
“Our son is sick.” The king says tearfully. “Please, help us.” The queen says, also crying.
Zayden knelt next to the king and queen, taking the small boy from their arms.
“He seems alright.” Zayden says, frustratedly. “Well I mean he’s in a coma but he has no reason to be. He’s breaths are normal, his heart rate stable. I don’t understand what could’ve done this.” He says, running his hands through his brown hair, shaking his head.
The king and queen went to a corner and seemed to have a heated but quiet argument. I knelt next to Zayden to try to help. I knew there was really nothing I could do. He was trained in medicine, I was simply a maid. But I could at least calm him down.
I place my hand on his shaking shoulder. Zayden is smart, he always has an answer for an ill person or their family. And I knew that the fact that he didn’t have an answer was driving him mad.
“Is my brother going to be okay?” The daughter of the king and queen asks, tapping me on the shoulder.
“He’s going to be fine.” I say smiling and giving her hand a squeeze, hoping I could keep the promise.
The king and queen walked back over, the king looked rather upset and the queen looked quite triumph, so I guess she won the argument.
“Our son isn’t exactly ill.” The king begins. “Many years ago, a man from another royal family became um upset at our family. So he hired a warlock to place a curse. The prince born in 50 year will fall into coma like state. And it seems that the curse has taken hold of our son, Cavet. We ask, well my wife here asks that you,” he says gesturing at Zayden, “and you,” he says to me. “Would go on the quest necessary to save our child. He finished, looking at us with uncertainty.
Zayden and I stood there in shock for a moment. A quest? But why is? A servant girl and a physician? Where was the logic in that?
“Allow me to explain a bit further.” The queen says stepping forwards.
“Our son William,” she says gesturing to her oldest son, “would accompany you. You would travel through land that even we do not know well. But we have picked you because we believe you can do it, we trust you, and should the occasion arise, where we can no longer trust you, we hope that the fact that the word of say a maid would not hold. We don’t want anyone knowing about the curse. And we do trust you. Picking you was more out of skill than job state but I’m sure you understand.” The queen said smiling kindly at us.
“So will you take the quest? Should you succeed you will of course be given whatever you wish.” The king says looking at Zayden and I eagerly.
“Um wow,” Zayden says just kind of staring at the king and queen. I wanted to remind him that staring is rude but I couldn’t figure out a way to say it subtly.
“Could we have some time to talk and tank about it?” Zayden asks looking at me, and I nod. Some time would be nice right now. It was to exactly that I didn’t want to help it was more the traveling through places that even the king and queen don’t know well, thing.
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