Hi everyone! This is the first chapter of my first story here on fictionpress, but I've had this story written for a while. It's a bit cliche, but I worked really hard on it :) It'll only be a couple of chapters, but it's just a starter story! I hope you guys like it!
Chapter One: A Princess and a Peasant
The blistering sun shone down on the promising summer day. Aurora sat on her balcony, staring out at the splendid view of the flourishing kingdom that she loved so much. The lake separating her from the rest of the world shimmered and flowed in perfect rhythm with the beat of Aurora's throbbing heart. The houses seemed like mere spots on the horizon, and the people like small dolls. A slight breeze brought small salvation from the heat of the day. Aurora had the undying desire to walk over the bridge on the lake and let her be exposed to the cruel, beautiful world. But, she knew that such a thing was not possible.
Joy came to her in the form of an ink, quill pen and a piece of parchment. With those tools, Aurora had the power to unleash all of her emotions and thoughts and dreams. Like the breeze blowing through the heat of the day, writing was her salvation. Everything rushing through her mind was let out on paper.
Aurora tried to hear the sounds of the people in the distance, but to her expected dismay, she only heard the familiar noises of nature. She felt that was too often times disappointed with what she couldn't do. However, she knew there was nothing she could do; she was, after all, a princess. And as such, she had duties. In Aurora's mind, however, she could never properly fulfill those duties in her current state. How was she, the princess of the kingdom, going to help her people if she was constantly cooped up in the castle?
A knock on the door pulled Aurora out of her mind and back to reality. It was a harsh rap that startled her. Reluctantly, the young girl stepped back into her room, closed the window, composed herself properly, and sighed.
"Enter," she said, no emotion portrayed in her silky voice. At her command, the wooden door swung open to reveal a short, thin man with thick facial hair standing in the hall. Aurora recognized him as a butler of the castle.
"Oh. Good evening, Gusteau." She greeted politely. He simply nodded.
"Your mother and father have summoned you for an early supper, Princess Aurora." Gusteau replied.
"Thank you. I shall be down after I am dressed properly." Aurora said, holding back an irritated groan. Without another word, Gusteau scurried away, shutting the door behind him. Once he was gone, Aurora moaned and leaned against the wall. Not wishing to anger her parents, She made the decision to prepare herself for supper. She moved to the mirror to examine herself. The corners of her mouth were slightly turned down and her eyes were instinctively narrowed. There was nothing she could do; skipping supper was out of the question. If she did, her parents would have an extremely unpleasant fit.
Aurora slipped on her most comfortable dress. It was long with different hues of purple for the sleeves and elegant bottom. It complimented her silhouette and flowed perfectly, like her other dresses. She had managed to convince her parents to keep from getting her the heavy, extravagant dresses. Simple and elegant was what Aurora liked.
Before stepping out of the door, she swiped her brush swiftly through her light, glossy, long brown hair. As she made her way to the dining hall, she found herself dreaming about living outside the castle and being able to make her own choices.
The castle halls were bustling with activity, but the click of Aurora's high heels on the tile floor stopped them in their tracks. It didn't affect the princess's proud stride; she was so used to this kind of treatment. She was, after all, the princess of the kingdom. There was complete silence except for the sound of Aurora walking through the halls. Her journey to the dining hall felt like centuries instead of minutes.
"Good evening, Princess." Her father greeted as she entered the door into the grand dining hall. Aurora plastered her most charming smile onto her face and nodded. Her parents, the King and Queen, sat beside each other at the head of the long table. Food was in such abundance that it seemed to Aurora like decoration for the table rather than food.
"Hello. She kept her reply concise. Without another word, she sat across from her parents at the other end of the table. Awkward silence filled the room as the three ate their supper. Once they had finished without a word being said, Aurora felt guilt tie a knot in her stomach. Though her plate was clean, she had barely put anything on it in the first place. Much food had been left untouched, and Aurora knew that it was going to go to waste. Her father sat contently, a smile on his face and his hands rubbing his plump stomach. Somewhere out there, was someone starving to death while the royal family wasted food? Aurora took a deep breath and finally decided to take a chance.
"Father, look at all this food." She began. The king nodded with a grunt. "Instead of throwing it out, do you think perhaps we could give it to the poor hungry peasants?" In response, her father let out a loud, hearty laugh.
"You can't be serious, Aurora!" he chuckled. Aurora's brow was furrowed and her mouth was set in a straight line.
"Think about it. They work so hard and barely get anything. We don't do anything and get everything we want!" she argued stubbornly.
"Darling, that's how hierarchy works. It's meant to be that way." the queen interrupted as her husband nearly choked on his chicken.
"But it doesn't have to be that way! We are supposed to be good rulers!" Aurora shouted angrily, startling her parents. They opened their mouths to respond, but the princess stormed out before they had the change. Anger boiled inside of her dangerously, and she mumbled to herself as she stomped to her room. Whether her parents approved or not, she was going to do something to help the peasants.
The sound of the pen gliding across the clean paper greatly comforted Aurora as she sat on her bed. Her brown hair, which was usually soft and well-furnished, was now spread out in knots on her many fluffed pillows. Her satin dress was strewn out on the floor, marked by ugly wrinkles and small frays on the ends. These thoughts didn't even cross her racing mind. The open window let in a small evening breeze that sent chills through her bare, slender body. It eerily blew the slightly transparent silk curtains in the flowing, graceful motions. Distant voices whispered outside of her tightly shut and locked door, but nothing disturbed Aurora as she passionately drew her dreams with words. She wrote her goals, emotions, dreams, and some ideas to help the peasants. If she couldn't give them food or fix their problems directly, the princess was ready to listen to the families about their problems. In Aurora's mind, that was the job of a princess.
Her heart suddenly throbbed, sending a pang of pain through her body. It wasn't physical pain, but emotional pain much more agonizing. Solitude seemed to be taking control of her life; she needed someone to love. Being a princess kept her hopelessly cut off from the rest of the beautiful world, and romance was something she constantly found herself craving. She never let those thoughts disturb her, for she knew that it wouldn't happen anytime soon. Sometimes, Aurora wished that her Prince Charming would come rescue her from her dismal world of passivity. He would take her traveling all around the world, and he would assist her as she made her kingdom a better place. After one month, he would take her hand in his, kneel onto one leg, pull out a wonderful diamond ring, and ask for her hand in marriage. She would, without thinking twice, accept, and they would live happily ever after.
A small distant scream reminded Aurora of where she was; in her room, daydreaming about a Prince Charming that didn't exist. With a sad sigh, she glided over to the window, making sure to hide herself from the world outside. The scream came again, making Aurora wince. It was a cry of anguish, and she could tell that, whoever was screaming was in anguish for someone else. Aurora could simply tell. Her heart throbbed once more, only for the peasants this time. Terrible images began rushing through her head; sick children, hungry families, dying workers, helpless women, boys and girls Aurora's own age working themselves sick…
As if by magic, and idea popped into Aurora's head. An involuntary smile grew on her face, and she hurried to ready herself. Her appearance was of minimal importance, so she slipped into the same dress she had worn for dinner. With some unexpected difficulty, Aurora worked the brush through the numerous knots in her hair. She didn't bother powdering her face or pinning back her hair; the hurry was too great.
Not wishing to be recognized, Aurora put a brown, hooded cloak over her dress. She examined herself in the full-length mirror for five full minutes, proud of her work. Then, with a smile on her face, she pulled the hood up to hide her face and began making her way to the kitchen.
The sun was finally beginning to fall below the horizon, bringing relief to all peasants slaving in the fields all day.
And still, their hard work barely ever paid off. Food was scarce and expensive, and the taxes were ever increasing. The people of the lower classes were barely scraping by, and still they worked in the fields under the blistering sun from dawn until dusk.
Several beads of sweat burdened Tristan's face as he bent over the crops of the field. His breathing was steadily becoming more labored and his eyelids blinked ever so slowly. But Tristan was determined to keep working until the sun was completely disappeared. His family desperately needed crops to sell for money, and most of it went toward taxes to the landlord.
Stopping for a moment's rest, Tristan looked up at the fantastic castle towering over his meek village and the rest of the kingdom. His eyes instinctively narrowed in anger and resentment at the nobles and royalty inside the castle. While they were feasting and making themselves fat, the peasants were barely making enough money to buy one meal consisting of bread and cheese. Their stomachs were constantly growling and their ribs showed. Tristan felt thankful that he worked hard enough to gain strong muscles and a good metabolism, but others weren't so lucky. He was young, only seventeen years of age. In a few months, he would be eighteen and a man. His muscles and strong structure helped him work harder in the fields, but as for the other men…
A frightened scream cut through Tristan's thoughts, and he looked around urgently for the source of the sound. Almost instantly, he saw Jack, one of the older men working in the fields, fall to the ground.
"Tristan, come 'ere!" Martin shouted. Without thinking twice, Tristan dropped his tools and rushed to the old man's side. Martin, a large, bulky man and a leader of the village, quickly joined them.
"Goodness, I told 'im he was too old to be working!" he shouted in angst as Tristan kneeled beside Jack. "Tristan, m'boy, watch him while I get a bucket of water." Martin ordered.
As he ran to get the water, Tristan closed his eyes and shook his head angrily. He couldn't imagine how terrible the King and Queen were to let their subjects work like this. The princess was probably no better; probably a spoiled brat who got everything she wanted. Each day, Tristan's hate grew stronger, threatening to burst from inside him.
One day, he promised himself. The monarchy will pay for all of the pain they've caused us. One day soon.
The sun was all Tristan needed to awaken the morning after Jack fainted in the fields. A groan escaped the young peasant's lips as he stood up and groggily rubbed his eyes. He could hear the sounds of the house below him, and an involuntary cough came out of his chapped lips. At the time, he thought nothing of it…
"Good morning, Tristan." He was greeted downstairs.
"Good morning, Mother." He replied with a warm smile.
"I'm sorry, darling, but we have no breakfast today. The old woman apologized. Tristan shrugged with another cough.
"It's fine, Mother. I don't mind, really." He chuckled. His mother shook her head guiltily, and without warning, Tristan fell into a fit of coughing. He attempted to stop himself, but to no avail.
"Oh, Tristan! You are ill!" his mother cried, rushing to his side. He shook his head but was unable to respond. "You mustn't go into the fields today. Your face is flushed and burning. Oh, my dear," she said, pressing her hand to his forehead.
"I don't have a choice, Mother. If I don't go work, we will not be able to pay our taxes!" Tristan argued stubbornly.
"Tristan, my darling—"
"Mother, I will be fine. Don't worry." He comforted, holding her hands in his. Not wanting to continue the conversation, Tristan hastily put on his hat, grabbed his tools, and walked out the door feeling as strong as ever.
The sun was barley up when Tristan and the others began their work. He felt no different and was convinced that he was not at all sick. Good-naturedly, he laughed off the ordeal of the morning. He worked for two hours before the sun was high and blistering in the sky. Like any other day, the heat was an obstacle for Tristan. However, he found himself having more trouble breathing than usual. After another hour, he could barely lift his arms and he was wheezing dangerously. Tristan was determined to keep working. He had no other choice…
Suddenly and without warning, all strength left him, and his tools dropped from his hands. The world around him began spinning as he fell to his knees in the middle of the field. The heat became unbearable, and he moaned before slowly lying down on the ground.
"Tristan!" Martin's voice calling his name was the last thing Tristan heard before everything went black.
I hope you guys enjoyed it! Give me some reviews on what you think! I guess it'll depend on whether I update or not... if I get reviews, I'll update! Haha thanks guys!