THE LAST PETAL- PT 8

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CHAPTER EIGHT

150 years before

“Lady Stone!” the Prince called out for the lady roaming around castle ground. The ball was over however the lady wanted to enjoy with her siblings so she stayed behind.

“My Prince!” The Lady exclaimed not having expected the prince to show up next to her so abruptly.

“Where are you headed Lady Eliana? ” the prince asked curiously. It was the middle of the night and he had not expected anyone to be strolling around in the hall. The guards that were posted every other corner were supposed to be the only ones out.

“Oh-I-uh I was searching for this -uh I lost one of my rings during the dinner. I was just out to find it by back tracing my steps.” Lady Eliana fumbled on her words and it had Prince Drake suspicious for a fleeting moment but he ignored it.

“Well then, I should accompany you on this hunt my Lady.” Prince Drake said not wanting to leave the lady alone. She had caught his interest and there was no way she was slipping through his fingers.

“Really my Prince, there is no need.” Lady Eliana said alarmed making the prince want to go with her even more.

“A lady should not be alone at night. Hence even if you do not want me to, I have to go along with you because it is the honorary thing to do. ” The Prince stated cleverly leaving no room for the Lady to escape.

“Fine then. You shall accompany me this once. ”

*

Another dinner, how like the beast, Margaret thought as she ascended the stairs she was now accustomed too. This spot was the spot of trouble. Whenever they sat down together to eat, something terrible happens.

Like always Margaret has to wait a while for the beast to appear. This time however she was not alone. People she had not seen before surrounded her. A tall man similar to Elber with his pale skin and red eyes stood next to her guarding. It was not like she could out run the people in a manor she was yet to get accustomed with. There were more chances of her ending up in her favourite book than finding an exit in the Wellington manor. The manor was purposely made like a labyrinth so that no intruder could get to the people inside easily. A labyrinth also was the best place if you needed to escape quickly. The manor was more of a fortress than a place for a person to live.

As the moments passed, Margaret’s heart rate increases. The lord was not planning to let this be easy on her it seemed. He was sure to make her mind think up a hundred things that could go wrong in their meeting. Maybe that was not his plan. Maybe he just was late. However Meg found that hard to believe. The Lord always had something going on. Right now his purpose seemed to be to make her miserable.

The time passed. A minute, an hour and another hour. Margaret waited. Every second seemed like an hour and an hour an eternity. Where was the beast? No one answered her or even bothered to talk to her. It was like in the middle of the huge room full of creatures, she was invisible.

Soon, she was taken back to the dungeon her stomach still rumbling and waiting for the food she was promised but not served.

The beast was toying with her. What other reason could there be for him to order her presence but not show up? There seemed to be no one the beast feared. At least she could recall no one as such. How did he even come to be? He was straight out of the fairytales. The short tempered evil of the tales that every child fears. The one parents talk about when they want the kids to go to sleep. ‘Go to sleep child or the beast would take you away for being a bad kid.’

Sitting on the cold floor, all Margaret could think of was her family’s warmth and how she was glad her father wasn’t sitting where she sat now. At least they wouldn’t be worried for her because of the letter she wrote. Meg wondered if she could get Becka to give her the magic mirror. Becka agreeing to that was hard to imagine. Becka would only give her a pointed look. She was a prisoner, she couldn’t exactly make demands.

Maybe she could escape. Take one of the people working as a hostage and run out of the manor into the world of freedom. Shaking her head at the ridiculous idea, Margaret waited for the beast to show up. There was n way she could be strong enough to pull of that plan. Even if she did take a hostage, she did not know a way out of the manor nor did she know the way back home. The beast however knew just where she lived.

Laying on the straws in silence Margaret wished for something to happen. Something exciting that did not entitle her sitting in a rusty prison cell. Maybe someone should have told her, be careful what you wish for.

The fire was dim. Margaret Roland sat cold and blue on the dungeon ground. Her body was freezing and there was no sign of a knight in shining armour around to help her. Having had no contact to the outside world in the days following the dinner Margaret sat depressed and craved a being to just come to show their face even if it’s for a moment. The dinner had left Margaret wondering what happened to the beast however the curiosity did not last as hypothermia like state took over the following night.

Like the day before, she was not expecting anyone to visit her for more than dropping the food outside while she slept. It was quite a surprise to Margaret when she heard a female voice call out to her in the dizzy spells. It was a surprise she couldn’t make out anything of as she did not remember a thing after that.

*

Hot. Burning. Cold.

What was happening Margaret did not know. Her eyes were sore and refused to open just like her clenched fists and any other part of her body. Her throat was clogged and needed water. Her body wanted to throw up and was confused whether to take a dive in ice cold water or to go and burn in the fire. Soon Margaret gave into the turmoil and fell asleep.

*

“Tg lev sí.. ” There were words around her. Words that made no sense. Words that kept on repeating and repeating until she could make out more of her situation and start to unfreeze. The first thing she realized was that the area around her was not one she had seen before. It was just too bright for that. She was definitely not in a dungeon and it was sunlight that was illuminating the room.

The next thing she noticed was that the room was awfully colourful and her body and now her eye ached too. The ache was more of a throb and seemed to lessen every second.

A constant stream of words “Tg lev sí” flowed in the room. The more it flowed the more Margaret could notice. First her senses to see became clearer and clearer. Then her ears could hear the words more carefully. Her body was tingling all over as the things took place simultaneously at some moments and at some they seemed to not be happening at all. One thing was constant though. She could not make a thing about what was going around. The questions where there but not there still as the feelings overwhelmed her. She was hot and cold together.

“Tg lev sí, rest, résí,” and she was out again.

*

It could have been days, or a month.Margaret woke up warm with the smell of freshly cooked food. This feeling was a perfect day was something she did not remember. If she did it was long since forgotten.

Margaret stretched and got out of a perfectly soft and warm bed that was worthy of a princess. It felt like she could spend a lifetime there however her body seemed to have a mind of its own when she got out. Again her body seemed to have a mind of its own as she made her way out of the door and through various white and baby blue halls until it stopped right in front of a special door. The door opened on its own accord before Meg even had a chance to get to know what was happening.

“Finally, you are awake! About time you were.” A voice called out. It was shrill and seemed quite young and happy just like its owner in front of her. A tall, oval faced woman clad in a white and peach gown wearing an even brighter smile.

“Come sit down, I have cake and some tea along with some of my specialties for you to eat. Sit fast now.” Margaret waited a moment and got a pointed look making her sit quicker than she had ever before. The lady could have her face transform from an angel to devil’s in a millisecond.

As Margaret ate the pastry a few questions flowed through her mind. She dared not ask before she had finished because the lady seemed very adamant about her eating. She kept on looking at her as she ate and all Margaret could remember was the devil’s look she got when she had hesitated sitting even for a second.

“Now, go back to sleep. You need it. ” And Margaret’s body stood up again, rotated, opener the door and started walking without listening to a single one of Margaret’s commands.

“But what-stop-what is happening – why, who are you?” Her body stopped but not because she wanted to. The dark haired lady seemed to be in command of her body.

“You have questions..,” the lady muttered, “Of course you have questions, shh go sleep for now.” The lady commanded and her muscles moved again.

Margaret Roland stared at the lady in front of her. She couldn’t believe her ears. What was this lady going on about? Witches? Castle? Curses?

As ice answered to the lady’s command in front of her, Margaret had to believe what she had just heard. As she sat back on the seat the words were ringing more than clear in her head just like all that had happened since she woke up and demanded answer to where and with whom she was.

“Meg,” the lady had started her first words since she had woken up, “calm down you are with a friend.”

“Sit back and listen clearly. I have not done this many times but I would like to explain the circumstance you have found yourself in to the best of my abilities. I would like you to listen in one go without any questions in between. Would you do that Margaret?” The lady ended her words with a threat making Meg nod without a thought. The white hair did not go well with a sharp eye. The made Margaret squirm.

“Well then. Listen well. A life depends on what you do. The life of the man you know as Lord Wellington.” Margaret’s interest perked up and she wanted to question however decided not to and kept on listening intently.

“The one you know as Lord Wellington, the one you may think of as a beast is not one. Do you know his name?” Margaret gave the white haired lady a blank stare.

“Speak up.” She commanded. Bipolar was the first thought in Margaret’s mind.

“Damon, Dante, Drake, I do not remember exactly. I have only heard it once before I think. ” Margaret said getting a little scared of the so called friend in front of her.

“It’s Drake Adam Wellington. Also known as Prince Drake by the masses.Some even know him as Prince Adam.” The lady let the words set in for a while, “However those who knew him have long since passed. ”

What is this lady going on about? Was all Margaret could think.

“It was about a century and a half ago. Do not give me that look and listen,” the lady scolded. ” Prince Adam was a young Charming man. His brown hair, his gray eyes, his scent. They drove girls mad left and right.

It was during a ball that the main event took place. It was probably from before that. It was a girl from the castle. A girl who had seen and loved the prince from near and a far, or so she thought.

I am not making sense am I? ” The lady sighed and continued with her monologue without looking at Margaret.

“This kingdom, it was once known as Alera. It was the most prosperous kingdom of them all. Alera, the Kingdom of snow and fire. Alera the most beautiful. The Kingdom made me fall in love with it before I even step a foot in it. The Kingdom you know now is just a fragment of what it used to be. All because of one person. Funny isn’t it? How a person can cause such a demise.

Her name was Elena. Elena Stone. She was the daughter of the Captain of the guards. Along with her brother she would play with the prince when they were young. Along the way she did not know when she fell in love.

Then came Eliana. Her cousin, someone who she was always in a competition. Who knew when a healthy competition would turn into a full out war. A war that has taken countless lives and hostages.

Eliana and Elena, they both fell in love with the same person, the prince. Funny thing was he never knew, not until it was too late to turn it all around. He never cared for anyone’s feelings you see? He was one of those men who leave you heartbroken. You know they will leave you heart broken yet you go ahead anyway and give your heart to them.

Too bad, Eliana took the heartbreak without a regret but the same could not be said for Elena. Nobody won. Not the prince, the girls, the country. Elena however, she couldn’t take the loss. She wanted the Prince to suffer. Does love really mean wanting the person you love to suffer just because they did not love you back? Eliana did not share the same mentality and there you have the full blown war. Elena cursed the Prince. Eliana tried to take it away.

That’s where you come into the scene Margaret.

There is the custom of the Rosa. A magical rose, I am sure you know of it. Elena cursed him to find a girl to fall in love with knowing that won’t happen. She plucked the Rosa for herself. If before the last petal fell the Prince came to value love and fell in love, he would be free to go. Free from the curse, free to rule. However if he could not fall in love, he would die. Elena knew he wouldn’t fall in love with her, she had a tiny hope Now that his life was on the line and she was the one with the Rosa.

Eliana didn’t like the set up. She knew no one could be forced to love. As the petals fell, she altered the curse. She couldn’t undo the curse because only the cursed and the one who cursed had the power. ” The lady stopped talking and her eyes glazed over. She was remembering something as she gave Margaret to came in terms with what all she had heard.

“What.. What did Eliana alter?” Margaret asked quietly. Her voice seemed to ring through out the room because of how deadly silent everything was.

“She just gave him years of torment worsening the curse. ”

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