The question is: is destiny a who or a what?
Finding My Destiny
My life growing up was different than any ordinary princess, instead of learning to sew and meeting dozens of suitors, I grew up alongside my twin brother, and we were both taught how to rule and how to fight. The best teachers our parents could find taught us how to use a sword, bow, hand to hand combat, and other fighting techniques. Nobody knew of any this except my brother, parents, teachers, and some of the servants. My parents didn’t know what society would think about a princess who could fight and stand by herself. So, outside of the castle walls, I act prim and proper; letting my maids do up my long red hair, (which I usually keep in a braid out of the way) keeping my eyes down, and obeying the guards sent to ‘protect me’. Not that I need them, it is just for show. Why was I taught all of these things you ask? I didn’t know until my eighteenth year. The year my father died.
Over the years my brother and I grew more and more apart until we hardly talked to each other at all. I am the elder twin of about two minutes, but it still makes me heir to the throne of Aricia, although, there has been speculation as to whether I should be the one to rule and not my brother. But, there is a law that states, “The firstborn child of the King, whether female or male is the rightful heir to the throne.” Some council members think that because we are twins, regardless of the fact that I am older, the male should have precedence my dad disagrees and has made it clear that I am the crown princess.
Guawyn and I had just had our 18th birthday two months before the day our father died. It was sudden and unexpected, one minute he was sitting there lively and laughing next we were watching him burning on a ceremonial funeral pyre. After three weeks of confusion and apparent investigation of the King’s death, my crowning was still being postponed by the council. I started becoming suspicious and began preparing for the worst. I have been carrying my sword around with me concealed within my cloak, I also keep a few daggers on my person.
It was a beautiful sunny day portraying the exact opposite of what I felt. I was practicing my swordsmanship in a private courtyard when my maid and good friend Beatrix came out to and seemed to be in a rush,
“Your highness, I have kept my ears and eyes open as you requested, and one of Prince Guawyn’s page boys told me that he heard of a plot against your life. You need to leave the castle as soon as possible!” For some reason, I wasn’t surprised, since my father’s death I have seen my brother whispering in corridors with council members. They are the ones who keep postponing my coronation, and I have guessed that they have been plotting against me.
“Of course Beatrix, you know I have been expecting something like this. Please pack some food and clothes for me, I don’t want any fancy dresses, pack mostly men’s breeches and a few sturdy cloaks. Make sure you add my bows and extra arrows I will wear my sword. Ask one of the trustworthy stable boys to get my horse saddled, put the clothes and food at the back of the saddle. I will say that I am not well during supper and leave while they are still eating.” Beatrix looked at me fear for my safety flashed on her face but was then replaced by loyalty and protection. She nodded her head and hurried off to complete her tasks.
I sighed weary already of the events which were about to occur. Sheathing my weapon I slung a cloak over my shoulders and headed for the dining room. Before my father’s death, he sat at the top of the table with Guawyn and I sitting next to each other on one side and our mother on his other side. Now Guawyn and I sit across from each other with the King’s chair empty and our mother next to Guawyn. Tonight the dining room consisted of a few lords and ladies, some of the council members, my mother, and brother. I walked in, and the guard bellowed out my arrival,
“Announcing Princess Jacquelyn Alys Chamberlayn.” I nodded at the guard with a smile and sat down in my seat. My mother nodded a greeting and Guawyn ignored my existence. Supper began moments later; I ate more than I normally would in the first course and during the second course I excused myself because of a headache. I could feel everyone’s eyes on me as I left, I pretended to rub my sore head and left quickly. I have been preparing myself for this the last few days, so I have a pair of breeches and a shirt on underneath my dress. I ran to the stables ripping off my dress as I went. I hopped out of it and tucked my shirt into my breeches then ran full speed the rest of the way. I was panting severely when I arrived; I could see my beautiful dapple gray stallion waiting for me. He nickered expecting a yummy treat I always brought him, I quickly patted his nose and checked the girth and stirrups, then the stable hand came out and gave me a leg-up.
“Good luck princess, stay safe. Beatrix wanted me to tell you that she wishes you well and to be careful. She had to get back to the palace before someone noticed she was gone.” I nodded fighting back tears; I was leaving my Kingdom, which I haven’t done since I was very young.
“Thank you, I will always remember your kindness.” He smiled, and I squeezed Tempest into a slow trot, and we left my home.
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