A Hard Night

I was asleep in the carriage, well at least until we came to an abrupt stop and I rolled off the seat and onto the floor. "Ouch!" I exclaimed, my head hitting the bottom of the seats. I got up and looked out the window, it was already dark. I stepped out of the carriage and walked to talk to Simon, in the driver's seat. He was starting to get ready to climb down from his spot when he saw me standing there and not sitting in the back of the buggy.

"Ah. Princess, I was just going to go back and talk to you. Where will you be staying tonight?"

I rubbed the back of my head, "I'm not sure." I said, looking around at the surrounding area, "Where are we exactly?"

"Sonfolk. Do you know anybody around here that you could stay with?"

I shook my head, "Being royal, I never really had friends outside of the castle area." I explained, "Is there a tavern around here?"

"Yes. Just a little while away from where we are right now."

"Good. I shall stay there for the night then."

"Very well. I can take you if you'll just…" he gestured to the carriage.

I smiled, "Already done. Oh! And Simon?"

"Yes, Princess?"

"Thank you so much for doing this for me."

"Anytime, Princess."

I once again got in the carriage. We began to move again and I sat, mulling over all that had happened today. Everything happened much too fast. It almost seemed impossible that all this could have happened in the matter of one day. One brother's death, another's crowning, me leaving the castle… then I remembered Patrick again. To think that I would never see him again was too hard to believe. The reason why was even worse, but I tried to block that part out the best that I could.

None of that really mattered at this point anyway. Now I was looking out for myself and myself only. What exactly was I going to do after this? I didn't have a solid place to stay, Gerard probably had people searching for me at this very minute, and I had no idea how the hell I was ever going to get him off the throne. I knew now that this was going to be a very long and hard journey, but if I made it this far in one day, who was to say that I couldn't do all these other things quickly? I knew I was getting my hopes up for nothing though, crushing any optimism that I had before.

When we had stopped, I sighed. This was probably the last of any little piece of my royal life that I had left. I got out as Simon opened the door for me. "Thank you so much, once again." I said.

"You're welcome." He said, "If there's anything more I can do for you, don't hesitate to ask. Trust me, I want Gerard out of that castle just as much as you do."

"I guess I have an ally then." He laughed as I said it, "There is one thing I want to ask though."

"Hmmm?"

"Would you be willing to come and work for me?" I asked hopefully.

He laughed, shrugging, "I don't see why not. You seem like a nice enough boss." He paused, "Plus it would be damn funny if Gerard came out of the castle to go somewhere and he didn't have any transportation."

I also laughed, "I really can't thank you enough."

"It's not a problem! No problem at all, Princess!"

"Can you wait for me here tomorrow morning?"

"Absolutely."

"Thank you. Good evening, Simon." I said with a curtsey.

He laughed. "Imagine that… the Princess of Incantria curtseying to me. Well, good evening, Princess." He said with a tip of his hat.

I turned to walk into the tavern as he drove off. I pushed open the doors only to be greeted by the baring of lutes and flutes and drums and the shouting of drunken civilians. Lining the top of the bar area was a balcony which ran around the entire building. I had assumed that those were the rooms. I walked up to the large, dirty looking woman at the bar. "Excuse me?" I said quietly, realizing that I was probably going to have to shout if I wanted anybody to hear me. I spoke up, "Excuse me?"

She looked me over like I was some filthy animal off the street, "What can I do fer ya?" She growled.

"I would like to stay in a room." I said in reply.

"Yer in luck. I have one room left. But I wouldn't expect anything too fancy 'cause I aint got the money to keep the place up to yer people's standards."

"Whatever you have will be just fine. How much is it for one night?"

"2 silver pieces."

"Is that all?" I was amazed, "I'll give you 10." I said, slapping my money down onto the bar.

Her eyes widened at the money. She scooped it into her hand saying, "Thank ya so much!" She shoved the gold down into her shirt, "I'll have one of my men show ya to yer room." The woman looked around the pub until she finally rested her eyes on a man with a scarcely dressed woman on his lap. "RULF!" the woman at the bar yelled. "RULF COME HERE!"

The man shooed the woman from his lap and got up to walk over to us. "Yes, ma'am?" Rulf said to the large woman at the bar.

"I would like you to show this young lady to the last room. She'll be stayin' the night." She replied.

He looked at me in a way that made me uneasy. "I can do that." He said, "Follow me, Miss." He winked at me.

I walked behind the man, across the pub area and up the stairs. We walked around the balcony area where there were in fact rooms. He stopped at one of the rooms and then turned to me, "There ya go."

I tried not to look him in the eye because he made me uncomfortable and rightly so. "Thank you." I murmured, walking past him, into the room but he stopped me in the doorway, pulling my body close to his.

"Ya don't have to go in there all alone." He whispered in my ear. He began kissing my neck seductively.

I gasped and pulled out my dagger, holding it to his throat. "Let me go. Now."

He laughed, showing his rotting teeth. "Pretty little thing got a rough side too, eh? I like that." He refused to release me from his grip and he began pushing me back into my room. I tightened my dagger to his throat to the point where it was now breaking skin. "Ow!" He cried, pushing me away from him. "What the hells yer problem?"

I pointed my dagger to the door, "OUT!" I cried.

"Fine! Fine! I'm goin'!" He walked out the door, only to stop and turn on his heels and look at me again, smirking, "But if ya ever need a good time…"

I walked over and slammed the door shut, locking it. I sighed a breath of relief. Something told me that I'd find it hard to sleep tonight with all the wackos downstairs. I walked away from the door and looked around the room: One wooden wardrobe, one window, one not so soft looking bed, and two mice crawling around on the floor. It certainly quite a downgrade from the castle, but on such short notice, I had to be thankful for whatever I could get.

So now I had to take care of something… not being recognized. I was lucky that nobody here knew who I was, but I couldn't keep taking such chances. My dress was much too expensive looking to blend in with the rest of the people around here. Perhaps there was something that somebody had left in the wardrobe. I opened it up and surprisingly, there were indeed a few different sets of clothes, most of which were men's. There was, however, one lace up corset with sleeves, a skirt, leggings, and shoes. These would do nicely. I pulled them out of the wardrobe and laid them on the bed. They were perfect. I slipped off my dress and put on the newly found clothes save the shoes, knowing that this would probably be my only clothes for a long while. They were fairly comfy and from what I could tell, they looked nice on me. I shoved my red and white dress into the wardrobe, adding to the tavern's current collection. Now I needed a mirror, but there were none. I just wanted to cut my hair, but apparently that would have to wait. Now, I'd just have to go to bed. I was tired anyway. I pulled my long hair out of the elegant bun it was in and slid into the rough blankets of the straw bed. I shuddered as I did so. This was disgusting. Absolutely revolting. I turned on my side toward the window and closed my eyes, falling to sleep rather quickly despite all the noise downstairs and the memory of all that had happened today.

I hid behind a building, my pulse racing. Booms, flashing, screaming, it was all too much! I covered my ears, screaming in fear. I saw alight in the darkness, coming my way, slowly. I dropped my hands from my ears and everything was silent. The entire world became light and I looked around the building at all the destruction. Dead men, women. and children lay in the streets, but not from the war, from starvation, and disease, and various criminals who plagued the streets of Incantria. And who was found walking overtop of all of them, smiling at all he had caused but Gerard.

The world darkened again and now I held a musket in my hand, charging at my brother. He pulled out a sword, showing me my reflection. "Now, now sister. Play nicely." He said, pointing the sword at my throat.

I gritted my teeth, "I'm done doing what you want."

"Well, now isn't that unfortunate?"

He shoved the sword closer to me and I pulled the trigger of my musket. My brother tumbled to the ground and everything was light once more, but now, I was alone.