Chapter One: Liz
It's funny how when you're used to being looked over how weird it feels to finally be seen. I had just gone into a small village to buy some supplies. That's where he saw me. I was in line to buy refills for my salt and spices. The boy was standing not too far away from me, leaning on a wall. He was in a soldier's outfit, complete with sword and all. He had dark brown hair and bright blue eyes. He had a kind face, looked slightly muscular and fairly broad shouldered. I could tell that he was actually seeing me, not just looking through the space that I was occupying. I smile at him, hoping that he would think that I was just a normal person. That's when I saw the poster he was standing next to. It was a wanted poster. My wanted poster.
Before you make assumptions about me, let me tell you why I'm wanted. On the poster, it says "For crimes against the Queen." No one questions what these crimes are or which queen it was committed against. My crime was that I survived. I escaped. The queen it was committed against isn't even the actual queen. She took over eleven years ago after she killed the royal family.
So, when I saw him looking at me and the poster, I knew I was in trouble. I tried to walk away without looking like I was running away. I guess it didn't work. He started to follow me on my way to the woods. When I was out of sight, I turned invisible. Not really invisible, but mundanes wouldn't be able to see me. I stood stalk still because they could still see me move stuff around. A few seconds later, he appeared again. He looked right at me again. I thought that he was just looking through me, but then me started walking toward me. I started to run, but he caught me before I had gotten ten feet.
I could have escaped him easily, but it didn't seem fair. This boy was no older than me, and he was expecting me to be just a normal girl. As much as I would have loved to prove him wrong, I didn't fight back. I had thought of a better idea.
I could escape the prison just as easily as I could have escaped the boy. I would let them tell the Queen that they had me. Then she would know my position. But I would be long gone by the time she received the message. So I let him take me back to the prison. I pretended to fight back and act disappointed that I had gotten caught. Well, I didn't have to pretend that I was disappointed. I just had to hide the bewilderment.
It had been years since some one who wasn't in my circle had actually seen me. You might think that I am in a cult or something. I'm not. My circle, though incomplete, consists of three others of my kind. That makes four of us. We need six to stand a chance against the Queen. My circle and I are connected telepathically. I had to shut that part of my brain down when I turned invisible. I decided to keep it off when I got captured so that they wouldn't get worried.
I turned visible again when we got back to the village. I wanted this new plan to work, and I didn't want make everyone think that the boy was crazy. I needed to figure out how he had seen me, and for that I needed him. This close to him, I could tell that he had a strong chin. He was also more muscular than he had first appeared, and slightly less broad shouldered.
By the time we actually got to the prison, the boy had said nothing to me. When he told the warden that he had caught the Elizabeth Firesword, the warden went ecstatic. He kept thanking the boy for helping. Why are you thanking him like that? I thought. Isn't it his job to catch criminals?
I was thrown in a cell immediately. A wooden cell. Well, this will make breaking out easier. They didn't post a guard outside of my celluntil they brought me my first meal. It was awful, just hardly cooked rice and some type of soup that looked like it had nothing in it but water. I tried talking to the guard, asking questions about the town. He never responded, so I gave up. I sat in silence in my cell for what felt like days, but was probably only a few hours. That's when I saw the boy again. He was still in the soldier outfit, but this time he didn't have his sword.
He took the next shift as my guard. And the one after that. And the one after that. I watched him for the first few hours. I studied his habits, how he paced across the floor and fiddled with the keys to my cell when bored. I was trying to learn about him, but he gave nothing away. So I tried a different approach.
"How did you recognize me?" I asked with a tone of hurt pride. I wanted to sound like I was praising and insulting him at the same time, but it just came out with a praising tone.
"I was standing right next to your poster. Also, your reward is so high that the King has asked all of his soldiers to keep an eye out for you," He responded. He acted like catching me was no big deal. But it was. I had only been caught once before, but that had been ten years earlier.
For the next few minutes, nothing was said. I was about to ask him his name when he asked, "Why are you wanted, anyway?"
I wanted to tell him the real reason, but he wouldn't have believed me. No one ever did. So, instead I said, "For crimes against the Queen." He didn't buy it. The look on his face looked as if he was asking Do you really think I am that stupid? But instead, he said "What crimes?"
That's when I decided to tell him. Not the whole story, just the parts he needed to hear. "I escaped. I ran away before she could catch me and marry me off to her son, Nathanial."
"Posters of you have been up for years, and you are hardly of marrying age." He was smarter than I had given him credit for. Not many people actually read the name of the wanted person, just look at the picture. My picture had been changing as I grew older, but it changed enough so that hardly anyone would know I was the fourteen year old girl who had "run away" four years earlier.
"So, why does your charge keep changing? Last year you were wanted for theft, but now its just 'crimes against the Queen'." Well, I knew this had been inevitable. If he had realized that I had been wanted for four years, then I knew he would have notice that my charges were changing.
"They change because the Queen doesn't want anyone to know that she still hasn't found me. It would be humiliating to let the public know that a eighteen year old girl had been evading her for four years." I knew this would affect him, I just didn't know how. His face showed the amusement of a boy who had just been praised for something he didn't do.
"So then why did I catch you? If you've been on the run for four years, you're probably very good at evasion." It was a praise, an insult, and a question all in one.
I was about to answer when the other guard came back. "Your shift is over," He said. "I'll take it from here."
"See you later, then," the boy said before he left.
The next few hours were the worst in a really long time. The silence was suffocating. I just sat there, waiting for the other boy's shift. That's when I got an idea. I spent the rest of this guard's shift playing tricks on him.
Every few minutes, I flashed my "angry" eyes at him. He would stumble back, gasping. Then I would turn invisible. "Where did you go?" the guard yelled the first few times. I would always reappear within seconds, just enough time so he would know that I disappeared. I was right in the middle of this cycle, the being invisible part, when the first guard walked in. Right then, the second guard snapped at me. "Stop it with these devilish tricks! Show yourself!"
"She's right in front of you," the first guard said. That's when I turned visible again. The guy gasped again and fell against the wall. He started murmuring to himself about how I was a demon in disguise.
"If it's this much trouble for you, I can take all of her shifts until someone comes for her"
"Thank you, sir. Thank you," The second guard ran away as fast as he could. "What's his problem?" I asked the first guard. He just stared at me, like maybe the other guard might have been right. Then he just sat down in front of my cell, facing me.
"My name is Daniel," he said. "It looks like I'm going to be your permanent guard for a while, so you might as well know my name."