“Mommy, Mommy! Lookie what I made!” The young princess cried, skipping quickly to her mother in glee. Evelina leaned down with a soft smile as the young Rosye held out her tiny hands, clasping the edges of a small crown of flowers. “You can wear this as your new crown!” Rosye declared, her mother smiled wider and softly took the flower crown out of her daughter’s hands and held it to up to level with her face, then stops. She looks down at Rosye and lowers her hands, resting the crown on her small, ash blonde hair, made almost golden by the sun’s rays. “I believe that it would look much better on the young, queen to be.” The queen smiled and pulled her hands away, folding them in her lap.
Rosye looked from side to side, looking almost deep in thought, before quickly looking up at her mother, smiling from ear to ear and shouting happily, “Because I’m a princess!” “Yes, my dear,” Evelina beamed her controlled, dignified, royal laugh she always did when outing in the public eye. Rosye turned away on her heel and sprung down the stone walkway of the street, separated by tall, layered houses and taverns down as far as the eye could see. She twirled and practically danced around carts topped with everything from cloths to produce, wheelbarrows filled with hay, and men rolling barrels of various assortments across town. Rather than phrases like “Hey!” and “Watch it!” being shouted at the child, she was greeted by the many kind voices of the villagers, speaking to the princess with, “G’day, princess.” and “High morning to you, small majesty.”
“Don’t run off too far, Rosye!” Her mother hollered from her resting place, now reading her book. “Yes, mother!” Rosye shouted back, not turning behind her, not wanting to obstruct her way to her favorite spot in the whole kingdom. Well, maybe her second favorite spot. She raced to the end of the street until she met a dirt path that lead down two ways. Rosye took a deep, slow breath before charging straight through the paths into a bustle of grand trees and bushes alike. Jumping over small bushes and quickly climbing over larger ones with ease, as she had done this many times before, she reached her destination. She rested her hand against a large standing tree, its branches high in the air, out of her reach. She looked all around the tree, yet she couldn’t find it. She ran over to a certain bush and pushed her hands into the tender leaves, pushing her hands apart to create a hole that opens to a small hole in the ground, empty. “Odd… I would have sworn I left a bag of coin here yesterday evening…” Rosye lifts her hand to her chin and tilted her head, seemingly perplexed. Then, suddenly, she heard a “Clack” sound. She quickly lifted her head and swiveled around on her toes, her gaze meeting a man, a peasant holding a rope that was tied onto the muzzle of a pack mule, who smiled at the princess, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a small sack, tossing it into the air and catching it with a ringing sound that could only be gold coins clacking together. He turned his body away and both the sounds of his worn soles and the clopping of the hooves of the mule are all she heard as they strolled down the path.
Rosye quickly bounced to her feet and sprinted over to the side of the tree, smiling widely as she saw a tall ladder leaning against the wide tree. She only took a moment before ascending the steps of the ladder until she could reach the lowest branches. She gripped the closest branch to her and hoisted herself up until she could place her foot on that branch, reaching up further and began to climb the limbs of the massive tree, rising to the top. After what took several minutes, she lifted her head over the green shrub of the top of the tree, closing her eyes so she wouldn’t see until she was fully situated as she wanted to be. She fumbled around the tops of the branches before sitting down on one of the more stable arms of tree between her small legs. She squinted her eyes, letting them adjust to the bright light of the golden, yellow, and orange sun. As she opened them, she made a grand smile as she viewed over the tops of all the houses and buildings in her beloved village. She let the breeze rush through her shoulder length hair, raising her arms as though she was trying to touch the puffy, pale clouds above. She allowed her chin to lift up to the sky and take the all the light blue and pink sky in, she was even able to notice a black feathered raven soar across the sky, probably looking for its morning breakfast. “Breakfast sounds good!” She thought. She looked back across the village for a moment longer before descending down the wooden limbs of the tree, carefully trying not to cause any tears in her gown or have leaves or twigs sticking in her hair. Her mother would throw a fit if she found out Rosye did this every Sunday morning. She’d be even more upset that she had been stealing petty change from her father’s swear jar to pay for the man who brings the ladder. She smiled to herself as she lowers her feet to the tall, wild grass bellow.
Rosye heard her mother calling for her from a distance, getting closer. Not wanting to have her secret hiding place be discovered by her, she tore off down the streets once more. Her back facing to the trees behind her, she waved at everyone who greeted her on her way back who had not the first time. What was odd is that she noticed everyone was staying further away from her, they seemed dimmer, almost dark. Their heads were hung lower than before and when Rosye took a closer look, she noticed many of their eyes were glazed over in what looked like they were cadaverous. The whites of their eyes were a bit gray and their pupils are dilated on some and shrunken on others. Some villagers even were slack jawed. “This is odd, even for peasants…” Rosye thought to herself, before all the towns people suddenly shuffled quickly to the sides of the road, far away from the princess. This caused Rosye to come to a sudden halt, she opened her mouth to ask what everyone was doing. In her innocent mind, maybe everyone was just playing a game? Rosye almost turned her body around, when she noticed she couldn’t move her feet. That’s when she heard an ever increasing noise of the shrill caw of a raven, going in for its kill.
That’s when everything went black.
She numbly felt her body fall to the stone ground, yet it felt like dropping down onto a pile of freshly puffed pillows she’s always had in the castle. When things started to slightly come to color, she noticed she was looking very closely at a few blades of grass extruding out from the gravel, pale gray pavement. While she could barely move, she slowly touched her finger and traced it across the edge of the plant’s blade. A ringing in her ears she suddenly noticed had started to become increasingly deafening. As it began to lessen ever so much, she heard the gasps and cries of her town and footsteps rushing towards her the direction of her head. Then, she heard a ever familiar voice becoming louder and louder in the distance, crying out, “…Rosye!... Rosye!... Rosye!”
Rosye’s head snapped up, drool rolling down her chin from her open mouth, down pooling in an ever impressive size on her desk. Her mother rolled her eyes and slapped the instructing wand to the map with a loud “Crack!” “You must learn to pay better attention in class! I know you want to be a priestess, but even priestess must know their history of the kingdom they serve!” Evelina laid the wand down into her hand and gave her daughter a stern, motherly look. Rosye noticed she seemed to be getting a lot of those lately. She sighed heavily and let her head of messy hair fall back down onto her wooden desk.