Anastasia was running, running as fast as her feet could take her. She did not know who or what she was running from, but she knew it was bad.
She could feel her heart pounding in her chest. She could feel the hot tears streaming down her cheeks. She had a burning sensation in her lungs, and was practically gulping down air. Her muscles ached from what seemed like hour of running.
It seemed every mile she ran, she went nowhere. She dodged the low-hanging branches. She heard a loud tearing sound and looked down to find a huge, gaping hole in her white lace night gown, which was a gift from her mother. It was now tattered and covered in filth.
Then, a terrifying, high-pitched scream pierced the pitch-black night behind her.
Maria thought Anastasia. They've got her.
She stopped running and turned and looked behind her.
I have to help her decided Anastasia.
She turned around, and ran the other way.
"Maria?" called out a frightened Anastasia.
What is happening? She thought.
She heard a crack of branches behind her.
"Maria?" she said. Though it was meant to sound brave and courageous, like the heroines in the stories Mama told her, it was more like a whisper.
Anya started to back up; she tripped and landed on her back, and yelped in pain. Her ankle was twisted in a funny directing, and there was a stabbing sensation in it.
A hooded man approached from a bush. He looked tall and muscular. The moon behind him was full, creating a glowing outline around him. Anastasia saw a gleam of light come from his side. She followed the light to fight a gun with a bayonet attached to it. He pointed it at Anastasia's chest.
She put her arm in front of her face protectively and winced.
There was a yellow flash of light, and Anastasia woke up.
Anya's eyes flew open. Her eyes were cold yet sweaty. She was breathing heavily. To reassure herself it was only a dream, she looked around at her surroundings.
Marie was in the bed next to her. There was a tall, wooden closet in the corner of her room, where she and Maria had stored there tiny and delicate dolls when they were younger. There was a long green chair by the tall, oak door frame. Next to that was a tall, white desk that Maria and she had used for practicing penmanship. Her King Charles Cavalier, Jimmy, lie at the foot of her bed, lightly snore. His crest rose and fell softly.
There is a huge window between their beds. The light coming through was blinding, even with the transparent curtain draped over it.
Anastasia decided to get up. She put on her corset filled with gems, under garments, under dress, and finally, a white lacey dress that had a pink, silk ribbon across where her bellybutton would be. She then went down the stairs and headed towards the Maple Room, where her father was reading the reports.
Anastasia, though now eleven, still hopped into her father's lap and put her arms around him and hugged him.
"Good morning, Papa," Anastasia said happily. She was always happy to see her father.
"Good morning, my little shvibzik," he responded back. The voice that barks orders at soldiers was always soft and gentle towards his daughters. He was in his military uniform and had his newspaper at his side.
"Papa," she said, "I need you to make me a promise."
He put down his reports and lifted his fuzzy dark eyebrows with curiosity.
"What would that be, my youngest daughter?" he responded.
She took a deep breath before starting. "I need you to promise me… that things will get better. That Alexei will heal. That he will rule forever. That his children, and their children, and so on will rule happily. That you and I and Mama and all the others will live forever. Happily."
The czar paused before responding. He pursed his lips, which were well hidden behind his beard.
"My dear," he started. "My precious Anastasia let me tell you something. Those books you read, by Dickens and those other authors of yours, they are false. No real life stories end in true happiness. You may have a great life, but somewhere disappointment will occur."
Anya's head fell with disappointment.
"However," he started." I can promise you will live a long, happy life. You will meet a handsome young man who you'll love. You'll have lots of children, and you will be a happy little Romanov."
Anastasia lifted her head, gave a hearty smile to her father, and pressed her head into his chest.
"I love you, Papa," she said.
The tsar gave a weak smile, "I love you, too. My little shvibzik."