what if the words in a book could take you to another place - literally?
Chapter Fourteen ~ Leylina
Leylina had a lot to ponder as she walked back to the palace.
“I don’t understand,” she held her cloak closer to her neck. It was almost after sunset, and a cool breeze was crawling through the city. Leylina sensed that a storm was on its way.
The raven had, once again, taken its place on the princess’s shoulder. She stroked its wings.
“I need answers,” she said, firmly. “But I don’t even know where to start looking for them.”
Soon she reached the palace gates. She climbed up the walls, and as she jumped down she heard the awful sound of ripping fabric. She glanced down at her dress and swore. The hem had torn, and there was no way to cover it up in time - she would have to get into the palace without anyone seeing her, or they would ask questions.
“Oh, why me?” She said, sighing. “If mother sees this...”
She strode around the palace, keeping near the wall, until she could see her bedroom window. The only way to get to her window would be to climb the wall and then jump onto the branch of a tree. And the only branch that looked to be within reaching distance from the window looked awfully close to breaking.
“This,” she said to the raven, as she began to climb the wall. “Is not going to go well.”
With great difficulty, Leylina managed to get through the window of her bedroom and into the room itself. She quickly got changed into a new dress, brushed her hair and washed her face. A knock on the door caused her to jump.
“Who is it?” She asked.
“It’s just me, Leylina. Wéline.” She breathed a sigh of relief. Wéline was one of the maids. “You got any dirty laundry, dear?”
Leylina opened the door and gave the elderly woman her laundry basket.
“Thank you, Wéline,” she said. But before the maid left, she remembered the torn hem. “Oh, hang on a moment.” She grabbed the dress and handed it to the maid. “Would you mind fixing this? It’s a rather large tear, but...”
“Sure thing, ma’am. You been out and about lately? How’d you get this ugly rip?”
Leylina’s heart skipped a beat. “I...uh...I’m not sure. I don’t even remember doing it. I only saw it this morning.”
Wéline studied her face for a second before shrugging.
“I’ll get it fixed for you in no time.” She closed the door behind her.
Leylina breathed another sigh of relief. She put some shoes on and walked down the hallway to her mother’s room. She hadn’t seen her all day and didn’t want her to think something was up.
She opened the door with care, and saw her mother sitting on her bed. A box of tissues sat beside her, and tears streaked her face. Leylina gasped.
“Mother?” She said.
The Queen looked up, startled. “Oh, darling Ley. I’m so sorry you had to see me like this -”
“What happened?” Leylina rushed to her mother’s side.
“I’m fine, I assure you. It’s nothing you should worry about.”
Leylina yearned to know what was wrong, but knew she shouldn’t press her mother for answers.
“Isn’t there something I can do?” She questioned.
“Please, don’t worry yourself over nothing,” the Queen smiled through her tears.
“Is it...father?” She asked quietly.
Her mother looked at Leylina and stroked her cheek.
“Oh, I wish he was here. I wish he could see how beautiful his little girl is.” the Queen said. Leylina wasn’t sure whether that was a yes or a no.
There was a silence.
“Have you had dinner yet?” Her mother asked.
“I’m not that hungry, actually. I was just going to go to bed.”
Her mother sat up a little straighter and smiled wanly, still facing her daughter. She looked so strong, so powerful, so beautiful. Her mother was one of the kindest, yet bravest people she had ever met. Her very own mother was the person who taught her, just by looking her way, that beauty is never just on the outside - to be truly beautiful, you need to have the right qualities, deep down on the inside. You needed to have every quality her mother did.
Leylina stood up and, kissing the Queen on the forehead, said “Good night, mother.”
Her mother reached over to her bedside table and took a single cup of tea from the tray, folding her legs over one another as she did so. Leylina looked at her soft hands, of the way they had held the teacup as she drank. The way she crossed her leg over the other every time she sat down.
“Good night, Leylina.” She replied.
The princess left the room. As she shut the door, she smiled to herself. She loved the way her mother say “good night” as if it were a song.

Keep Reading

Chapter 15

Chapter Fifteen ~ Tasmin

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