• ɕhapter 4

    Ʈhe princess's beautiful laughter echoed through the corridor as we walked along toward supper with the queen. I already forgot what I had said to make her laugh, but I laugh along with her anyway. The worn tapestries on the wall move from an unfelt breeze, blowing throughout the narrow stone archways of the castle.

    Outside the large, arched windows that look out into the courtyard, the autumn sun was just beginning to set, the bright hues of orange, red, and purple, showing on the horizon. The trees and wild flowers swayed in the crisp autumn breeze and colorful leaves slowly fell to the ground. I enjoyed it even more then I normally would have. Near death experiences tend to do that to a person.

    As the princess and I grew closer to the dining hall, smells of roast lamb and many other foods filled the air. It smelled splendid. Excitement filled me, but then I remembered that the princess and I were eating with a queen who wanted my head and the second I blinked, the excitement vanished like a leaf blown on the wind. I seriously doubted that even the princess could save me a second time. Not from someone who wanted me dead so badly.

    After we turned another corner, the corridor ended and a set of thick, wooden doors stood towering over us. The princess looked over at me then she reached up and fixed my hair, trying to make me look more presentable for the queen, I suppose. Her touch was so light and gentle. I blushed once again and she smiled, running her soft, smooth fingers over the heated spots on my cheeks. My eyes darted over to the doors for just a second but the princess must have noticed, because she nodded and hooked her arm around mine again. She lead me up to the huge doors. The princess then touched the doors - she didn't push, only touched - and they immediately swung open. She lead me into the large room but paused once we were inside the doors - which closed behind us - as if to let me take it all in, so that's what I did.

    The dining room, like everywhere else in the castle had old, cracked stone floors and walls which were covered in plush rugs and colorful tapestries. In the middle of the room, was a large, dark wooden table with enough chairs for eighteen but only three places were set with silver plates and goblets.

    Surprisingly, the queen wasn't at her spot at the head of the table yet. I glance over at the princess and I noticed, she looked slightly worried. I suppose it was unusual for the queen to be late to supper. I jut shrugged lightly and gestured for her to take a seat, then I remembered that I was supposed to pull the chair out for her. I blushed lightly, embarrassed that I had forgotten, and went up behind one of the chairs and pulled it out for her. She smiled faintly, worry still clouding her eyes, then sat down. I pushed her chair a little closer to the table for her then walked around the large table to my spot straight across from her. Then, just as I was about to take my seat, the queen came in. I quickly stood up to my full height then bowed, trying hard not to anger her. I heard her take a seat, then I finally sit in mine, avoiding looking at her.

    "Good evening, mother." the princess said, her dry voice echoing around the large dining hall. Then before the queen could respond, the huge doors burst open and in walked a parade of servants, each one of them carrying a large plate of food. They set the large silver platters of roast lamb, fresh bread, and many other things that I didn't recognize down on the table and my mouth started watering. It all looked so tasty, I had never seen anything like it. I couldn't wait to eat! I looked up at the princess, my eyes pleading, but then I notice the look on her face. Her face was pale and her eyes were wide, and she was looking at her mother. I felt the hairs on the back of my neck rise, and the prickling sensation of eyes on me made me shudder. Slowly, I looked over at the queen and fear instantly gripped me.

    Her eyes had gone from their usual sky blue to an odd purple and she was smirking. 'What's going on? Why does the princess look so scared?' I thought. I quickly stand up and stumble back a few steps, tripping on the edge of one of the plush rugs on the floor and falling to the floor. The queen starts laughing, the sound echoing through the room, sounding eerie and truly evil. A shudder ripped through my body and it felt like I was frozen in place. I couldn't move.

    All of a sudden, the queen stood and before I knew what was happening, I was being pushed up against a wally, the queen clinging to the collar of my shirt. She pulled me forward then pushed me back against the wall so hard that black spots swam in and out of my vision. 'Ouch...'

    "What do you think you were doing?" the queen yelled, "Kissing my daughter, the princess. Who do you think you are?" She slams me against the wally again and I feel something warm start to run down the back of my neck. 'No way, I'm bleeding?' I thought, panic starting to course through my veins. Then I notice the queens hand, she had pulled it back, making it look as though she was going to hit me, but there was one major difference. There was something black swirling around it. It looked like something out of a fairy-tale. Crap....

    It was black magic.

    Dedication: This chapter, or rather this entire story, is to all those who love an evil queen and a little bit of magic.

    Acknowledgements: Special thanks to my editor and friend, 13sanosuke13. Thanks for making sure I got it done on time, Sano~!