Beth smiled and removing the book from under her arm , placed it in its space.
Now she could go home!
Turning to go, her gaze was caught by a brightly coloured book on the other side of the room. She stopped and frowned. The book wasn’t familiar. Nor was it in a protective case like all the others in the room.
Unable to quench her curiosity she walked over to the colourful item. She read the lettering on the cover, “Bring Me To Life…”.
It looked ancient but was too brightly coloured to be centuries old.
Her fingers traced the cover caressingly as she felt an overwhelming urge to read it. She screwed her fingers into fists to stop herself.
She wasn’t trained in how to look at old books without damaging them. She couldn’t do this as much as she might want to.
Open the book…
Beth frowned. That was not her voice in her head. It was someone else’s.
Read the book…
It’s time to be read again…please…
She pressed her palms to her skull, trying to stop the voice.
Read the book…please…
The urge to open the book was growing inside her again. She gritted her teeth as her hand reached for the cover.
Give in. You wont win against me.
Was the voice right? Would she lose her sanity if she fought against her wishes?
Beth stopped fighting and she flipped the cover open.
She scowled down at the book but her curiosity got the better of her and she started to read.
Princess Elizabeth, fondly known as Lizzy by everyone in the castle, pulled her shawl around her head and shoulders and moved to the window. Glancing down she frowned at how many floors she had to descend. At least three.
With a little huff she threw a leg over the balcony and began moving down the trellis that ran from her balcony to the ground.
She hoped her dress wouldn’t rip, she had no idea how she would explain it to the maids.
“Ow!” She hissed as a thorn cut into her alabaster skin and created a bead of blood.
If only her father had agreed to let her go out to see the Kingdom by night, she wouldn’t have to be sneaking out the window and getting her fair skin pierced by needle-sharp thorns.
As she reached the ground she rubbed her hands together to remove the dirt and set off into town.
She was entranced by the joviality of the people outside the tavern and the candles flickering outside all the other little buildings.
Happy with her little trip she started back the way she’d come.
“Well, well, what have we here?” A raspy voice said from behind her and she spun to find two rough looking gentlemen.
She gasped when she saw one had a knife, the other was holding a length of rope.
“She’s a pretty little thing, ain’t she?” The other said and took a step closer.
Lizzy in turn took a step back.
“No need to be afraid, love.” He called.
She tensed and took another careful step backwards.
“I wouldn’t run if I were you,” the one with the knife said and tossed it into the air. He caught it again with the handle and repeated the motion, showing her he was handy with a blade.
A movement in her peripheral vision caught her attention and she moved her head slightly to look properly. A shadow moved closer and she waited, wondering whether they would help her or not.
The figure moved from the shadows and he flicked her a glance before focusing on the two men. “Do you not know you shouldn’t threaten a lady?” He asked smoothly.
The two men looked at each other and seemed to deflate. They put their weapons away and held up their hands. “We’re sorry Will,” and hightailed it out of there.
Lizzy just stared in surprise.
Whoever Will was he scared the rougher characters in town.
“My Lady?” He said, his voice warm.
She met his gaze, “You know who I am?”
He smiled and she was taken aback at how handsome he was.
“Of course, Princess. I‘ve admired you from afar.”
Leanne Crabtree © 2011