This is my entry for TIWC #5. You can find the prompts here. Grace, I used only 2 of them. They are highlighted.
Elanora’s heart sank. How would she ever get home now? She thought of home, trying to preserve every memory in her brain forever, for she knew she would never see it again. Then she happened to glance at her watch. It was almost 5:30! Her mother got off at six. What would happen if her mother came home to an empty house? She would call the police, and they would search for days for a girl who was already home. But not the right home. Suddenly all her self-pity vanished into a hot, protective anger. She would go home to her mother. And she would get the key.
“I will get the key. Just show me the way,” she stated firmly. To prove it, she crossed her arms and stood solidly. She thought she had won when her Majesty spoke.
“No! Darx would kill you without a second thought. I will not send children to their deaths. You are not going and that is final. Now leave me.” And with a wave of her hand, everyone turned to go.
Everyone except Elanora. She stood where she was, fuming mad at being called a child. Who was the girl, anyways, who thought she could tell me what to do?
“I will get the key!” She repeated, yelling at the top of her lungs. “You just wait! I’m going home to my mother, whether you want me to or not!”Everyone turned to stare at her. But her Majesty just sat, astounded that anyone dare defy her. A look of anger passed over her pretty face, but then she composed herself. Elanora, satisfied with her Majesty’s obvious anger, turned to go. But then her Majesty stood to her feet and cried:
“I, Queen Helenara, forbid you to go!”Then she sank back into her throne, looking exhausted. She waved her hand to one of the ladies-in-waiting. The younger woman leaned down as Helenara whispered something in her ear. The woman turned to Elanora and said softly, “Come with me. I am to show you to a tent.”
Elanora followed her out of the willow grove and back into the green valley. The lady-in-waiting led her farther down the riverbank to 10 or 12 red and gold or red and blue tents staked out near a ferry crossing. The tents and the river where very beautiful, but what caught Elanora’s eye was the beasts tied to hitching posts outside the tents. They weren’t horses or camels or mules, but dragons. Dragons of all shapes, sizes, and colors. They all wore saddles and had long horns and spikes and teeth and claws to match. She gazed up at their 15ft height, astounded.
The lady in waiting walked straight past them, but Elanora circled around. She had no wish to be near a beast who could easily eat her whole, plus could breath fire. The young woman lifted the flap of one of the smaller tents, revealing where Elanora was supposed to stay. Boxes and barrels littered the floor, and sacks labeled ‘beans’ or ‘flour’ were strewn about the dirt floor.
Elanora flipped her elbow length wavy brown hair out of her matching brown eyes. Obviously Queen Helenara hadn’t taken any liking to her. The woman was sorting through a box of old clothing, it seemed. Finally she found whatever she was looking for and turned back to Elanora. She held out a bundle of tan-and-white clothing to her.
“It gets rather cold at night now, so you might want these,” she explained kindly. “Oh, and there’s blankets in that crate over there. I must get back to my mistress. Dinners when the bell sounds.”
Elanora looked down at the bundle in her arms. It was a simple, yet beautiful tan dress with poofy white sleeves. A reckless plan was forming in her head. She slipped it over her head and cautiously lifted the tent flap and peeked out. All was clear. She ducked back inside and snatched a leather knapsack, stuffing it full with jerky, dried fruit, 3 loaves of hard,flat bread, and ugh-salt pork! Oh well, she thought. I need all the food I can get. she glanced at the stacks of swords and turned to leave. But after a second thought, she chose a small knife with a belt and sheath. Then she crept out into the coming dark.
She had snuck past the last tents, carefully avoiding the servants scurrying everywhere, when she glanced over her shoulder. Wham! She fell backwards, the whole world spinning before her eyes. Then her brain clicked back on and she stuck out her arms to block her fall.
She looked up into the surly face of a royal guard.
“What are you doing out, little miss? Who are you?” He demanded of her.
She sucked in a breath. What now, she thought. She sprang past him and ran into the woods. She could them yelling after her. They called her a traitor. Maybe she was. All she knew was that she did what she had to do.