Chapter 2- Jump Between the Threads

John sat at the head chair of the long, diner table in the grand, bright room. A large window gave him sight, a cool breeze to cool him down. The room also had many candles, that gave the effect of a glow. Tapestries hung on the walls, as well many servants stood to the side, as they waited to aide their king. The table before him stretched on with plenty of food that he knew he would never be able to eat, but John didn't care. He sighed with boredom as he swirled the fresh milk in his golden goblet and looked out the opened window. He could see his friend, the sheriff ride towards the castle and smirked with delight. "At least some one with true entertainment," John muttered himself.

Suddenly, the servant who John sent to fetch for his niece earlier, slid into the room, his breath hitch from the run. "Your majesty," he panted, "The Lady Annabelle has arrived." As on cue, Annabelle walked out from the hallway, her head held high, and her breath was calm even from the rush. Roselyn stayed in the shadows and watched the young lady with amusement that shone in her eyes. John looked at his niece wearily "And what took you so long this morning?" John asked lazily as he watch his friend ride across the bridge into the castle.

"I'm sorry Uncle. I did not realize that you planned to eat breakfast early today." Annabelle apologized. Roselyn had to cover her mouth to quiet her chuckle. Annabelle had learn to became a wonderful actress with the way how she smiled sweetly at her Uncle, held her tongue back, and erase her strong feminist beliefs.

"Well next time, you should plan better. The citizens must know what the king wants, and they must be prompt about it." John snorted. Annabelle watched her uncle with her bright green eyes. His dark brown hair was slit back except for the lose curls at the end, and his beard was neatly angled, with a perfect moustache to match. Annabelle sat at the side of the table, towards the window, and folded her hands on her lap. "What are we going to do today?" Annabelle asked politely. John buttered his slice of bread and shook the crumbs off of his hands. "I plan on hunting again today, and the sheriff will join me as well."

Annabelle lifted the goblet to her lips, and with her eyebrows raised, she praised, "Well, thank goodness our town is in such good shape that our Sheriff is always allowed to take time off. Our people must truly love us."

John slammed his fist on the table and caused the food and everyone around him to jump. "Must you be like this?" John yelled at Annabelle, "I care for you, I shelter you, I guide you!"

Annabelle didn't say anything as she took a bite from her apple. "I meant no harm Uncle. In your distress, you must have interpreted my saying differently. I think I said it rather quite sweetly."

"Sweet as a poisonous apple. You are just like your father Annabelle."

" Thank you, your grace, for spending your time to give me such a compliment."

John face turned red with anger and turned his head away from his niece. He stroked his short beard angrily and listened the footsteps that walked towards the dining room. A servant appeared at the doorway, and bowed to John and Annabelle. "Sir," he informed, "Your friend, the sheriff, is here."

"Well send him in!" John's voice boomed. The servant bowed again before he left the room. Annabelle sighed silently and looked at her nurse with a plea for mercy in her eyes. Bored, Annabelle began to tap her fingers on the table, as her minded began to roll with thoughts. She dreamed of being a heroine, not being tied down, traveling, and being independent. Annabelle's lips came up into a smirk as a thought came to her mind. Perhaps she could skip hunting today. "Uncle," Annabelle whispered in her gentlest voice, "I am afraid I can't join your hunt today."

John turned his head towards Annabelle and asked sharply, "And why not? You will disappoint our old friend."

Annabelle bit her lip, but smiled with her green eyes as she answered, "I am on my monthly, and I'm having terrible cramps."

"Already?" John asked suspiciously He looked at Roselyn. "Is this true?" he asked.

Roselyn looked up at the king and nodded her head, "Yes it is my lord." Her eyes darted to Annabelle as she asked. "Her ladyship is still young, therefore they will be irregular."

"But she is at marriage age!"

"Some are slower to become at an regular cycle, your honor."

John stroked his beard again, then shook his head with disappointment. "Alright, for now you may pass." Annabelle bowed her head for thanks and once again became quiet. Her eyes wander to the colorful fruit that lied before her in a beautiful carved bowl, and Annabelle sighed as she picked a ripe green grape.

The castle air was still and quiet, as the servants held their breath, afraid to disappoint their king. With annoyance, Annabelle threw her grape back to her bowl and blew at her hair with frustration. It had many years since Annabelle had seen her father, almost a decade, and when he left, the joy of the people and castle left with him. Her uncle, was not suppose to claim the throne as a king, but Annabelle's father did leave him in charge while he was gone. Yet, John seemed to erased his brother from his memory, and claimed everything before him as his own.

Slowly, and rather quite loudly, the footsteps echoed in the stone hallway as they walked towards to the diner room. Annabelle felt her stomach drop as she knew who it was. "My King!" a loud voice boomed as the man entered the luminous room.

John stood up from his chair, and welcomed his friend with outstretched arms. "Christopher, my friend." Christopher was a tall man, as he towered over John, with he gray hair that curled at the end, his rough beard, and his blue beady eyes stared at Annabelle. Annabelle squirmed under their cool gaze, and gave her attention to the mysterious forest she saw out the window.

"Please, have a seat." John gestured to a seat. Christopher murmured a thanks, and as he sat in his chair, his cold eyes never left Annabelle.

"Every morning, you shine brightly like the sun, and your voice is just as sweet at the morning birds, dear Annabelle." Christopher grinned, his crumbling teeth showed. Annabelle cringed slightly, but smiled graciously and nodded her head, "Thank you, Sheriff Christopher." Christopher grinned again, and took a sip from his goblet.

Annabelle however, avoided his watchful gaze, by staring intently at her own goblet. Her eyes narrowed down slightly, angry at the position that she was placed in. She feared Christopher may asked her hand in marriage, and her uncle, would more than likely to accept and be thrilled. Annabelle kept her thoughts to herself as she listened to the two friend engaged into a conservation.

"We have trouble again, my friend." Christopher said with his mouth full of food.

"Is it that boy again?"

"Aye. He's causing more and more trouble. Stealing, that's what he's doing."

John sighed and swirled his drink in his hand, thoughtfully. "And you can't get rid of a little boy?"

"Why, he's a tricky little boy. Uses the woods for his tricks."

John slammed his goblet on the wooden table and caused Annabelle to jump. "Then," he whispered angrily, " I suggest that you attack him when he's not in the woods." John stood up from the table and looked down at Annabelle and at the sheriff. He turned around, his red robe twirled, and the his golden crown gleamed in the sunlight. His angry eyes were smothered with darkness, that Annabelle knew too well. She sighed slightly as she waited patiently for the birth of the storm.

"He is gaining support from the folk." John shouted, "He is a threat to my throne!"

Christopher stood, and shook as his nerves rattled inside his body, "I can get rid of him! I promise." John turned around to look at his friend, and nodded his head slowly. His eyes lightened again as the anger left them, and his breath was light as he answered, "Very well." John looked at his niece and raised an eyebrow. "And I suggest that you go back to your room. Your womanhood must be causing you pains, and I don't want blood everywhere. It's disgusting."

Annabelle bowed her head and stood up slowly. She picked up her dress, not to drag on the floor, and walked to her nurse, Roselyn. The shadows swallowed Annabelle into a world where she was in control and the torches on the stone wall, lightened Annabelle's way. She coldly walked out of the room, and ignored the stares that bore into her back. Roselyn fixed the buttercup in Annabelle's hair and smiled at her, "What would you like to do, my lady?"

Annabelle looked at the short nurse and smiled warmly. "I can walk to my room, myself thank you." Roselyn bowed her head and walked away with a smirk on her lips. "Be careful my lady. The hawk does not have a temper to tempt!" Annabelle placed her hand on the nurse's shoulder and whispered, "And that's why G-d gave the animals disguises. Don't worry. I will be safe." Roselyn nodded her head again and began to walk away, but then quickly turned around to ask the princess one more question. "Do you need me to give more clothing?" Annabelle shook her head and shooed the nurse. "No, I still have a fresh pair. Now go!" The princess watched her nurse walk down the hallway, and as her shadow ran slowly, danced on the stone walls.

Once Roselyn was out of sight, Annabelle picked up her dress to move quicker, and a made a turn to the gardens. As she walked towards the doorway that welcomed Annabelle with fresh light, she giddied with excitement, and breathed in the fresh air that blew gently in the hallway. Roses grew on the outside of the stone doorway, and protected Annabelle with their sharp thorns. However their lovely smell, drugged Annabelle into birthing a smile that showed two small dimples on each rosy cheek. The sun glowed on Annabelle's pale skin, and the birds scattered the grounds and skis, with their voices full of song. The princess quickly walked on the leaf covered path towards a willow tree. She reached her hand inside the hollow knot, and pulled out servant clothing.

Annabelle looked around to see if anyone watched, then quickly ran behind the tall tree that mothered the young woman's spirits. She quickly unrolled the clothing on the grass, and slipped her royal red dress off. The gray, simple smock hung loosely on Annabelle's frame, that draped to her feet. Next, Annabelle took off her fine, ruby slippers and switched them fine a dirty pair of boots. Finally, switched, Annabelle peeked around to tree, and saw that it was safe. She rolled up her gown and placed it deep in the knot. Annabelle grabbed the faded red cloth, and wrapped it quickly around her hair; she didn't want to risk someone to recognize her. She laughed to herself at the thought of a princess dressed in servant's ragged clothing, just to feel the earth's breath on her face, and the warm smile of the sun. Curious, Annabelle looked down on the puddle that she stood in, and looked at her reflection. She smiled with satisfaction. Her green eyes were visible, but her blond hair was hidden. A couple of freckles shown on her face, her rosy cheeks were healthy, but suddenly Annabelle frowned. Her face was clean, and a lower class person would not have a such clean face. Annabelle quickly dipped her hands in the water, and rubbed it on her face. The mud dried quickly, and left dry dust on her face. Finally at peace, Annabelle grabbed the last piece of long, black cloth to use as a belt around her plain smock. She didn't want to risk it slipping off her body. Annabelle looked at her reflection and smiled; she enjoyed the style on her. Suddenly there was a clutter near the garden, and Annabelle felt her heart froze. She stood still, and wished with her heart, and prayed to any higher power that she would not be seen. Scared, Annabelle covered her face, and quickly, but quietly walked out of the gardens, past the draw bridge and into the green, misty woods. Annabelle felt a smirk on her face and turned around to look at the busy castle. No one would come into these woods, that she knew.

These woods were believed to be haunted with witches, ghouls, werewolves, robbers, and the treacherous fey. Yet, Annabelle could escape the song they sang to her; it was the deadly addiction that Annabelle loved. She quietly slipped into the green woods, and closed the world behind her back. Annabelle, planned to have an adventure.


chapter two!!!!!...so what do you guys think? a keeper?? TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK! PLEASE AND THANK YOU!!

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