She sighed heavily, head resting on her fist as she stared out the window. Again. The view was breathtaking. The tower was high enough to nearly tickle the clouds. Harlee could see the tops of every tree, little birds flying out from them periodically. And just beyond the trees was Lake Micah. So calm, and slick as glass, that it was unnerving. Though it was beautiful, Harlee truly believed no body of water should continually be that still. She could only imagine what dark magic lay hidden in it’s depths.
This must be what Repunzell felt like, she thought, allowing herself to sit and daydream. Glancing behind her at the locks lining the only door in the room, she couldn’t help but feel a burning flame of hatred for the story. Except SHE had a way out. “Stupid girl,” she mumbled, throwing a pebble to the trees.
Pulling her from her own mind was a variety of clicks coming from the door. Great.
If judging a book by it’s cover were an accurate way to go about things, Malkom would be perfection. He had the features that not only told of beauty, but of courage, of strength, and determination. The set of his jaw cried out that he was afraid of nothing, while the softness of his eyes was reassuring. On the outside he was a loving, genuine human being.
Reality, however, tells us not to judge a book by its cover. Malkom was the precise reason as to why. The human heart doesn’t like to assume that something so beautiful on the outside, could possibly be anything but beautiful on the inside. Malkom was a spider, drawing innocent people into his web of lies and deceit. What looked like a man who was willing to protect you against anything, was really the reason you needed to be protected in the first place.
“Hello darling,” Malkom said, sliding each lock back into place.
Jace could see the guard quickly awaken as he approached, coins jingling in his pocket.
“Evening your highness,” the guard said, standing tall and at attention.
“Relax, Edmond,” Jace said, taking his hand and slipping a heavy gold coin into his grasp. “Nothing happened here, isn’t that right Edmond?”
“Yes, of course your highness. Nothing at all.” Edmond moved to the side and let Jace pass as he tried to hide a slight grin spreading across his face.
Jace walked casually down the palace steps, keeping an eye out to make sure none of the other guards were around. Most of them asked too many questions and many liked to tattle. Edmond was one of the few that knew there was no harm in bribery. Jace quickly made his way across the lawn, hiding behind a shrub here and there as guards passed, finally reaching the woods that surrounded the kingdom.
“Peace,” Jace said, letting out a sigh of relief.
Most people wouldn’t consider the sounds of the wild to be peace, but more of an annoyance. But for Jace, this was the only peace. This was where he was able to think, able to live. The cool air blew across his face and awakened his senses. The feeling of a thousand eyes all around him let him know that he wasn’t alone.
And he loved it. He loved the challenge set before him, knowing that his prey could set traps for him just as easily as he for them.
A twitch of a branch up ahead let Jace know that his first kill of the morning was waiting for him. Slowly, he reached over his shoulder, pulled an arrow, and readied his bow. His arms steady, he released the arrow and watched it sail with undeniable grace, hitting his target dead on.
Jace stopped dead in his tracks. Many times had he been surprised in these woods. He’d underestimated his prey often. This, however, did not change the fact that his prey was not supposed to speak clear english.
As Jace began to regain his footing, a man emerged from the bushes, an arrow protruding from his shoulder. He had wild, black hair, shooting out in all directions. There was a look of pure chaos in his eyes, as though he’d lived a life where he knew no boundaries, no consequences, and no regret. Jace knew that of all things, regret was always last on Max’s list.
“Ow-ah!” Max said, gesturing dramatically at the arrow sticking out of his shoulder. “What the–. Wha–,” he stammered. “WHY?!”
“Of course not,” Jace should have known better than that. Just like he should have known better than to have expected to be alone today. Not with Max anywhere near town. “What are you doing out here anyway? You can’t possibly be hunting, not after your ordeal with my father. ‘There will be no more galavanting about in my woods for you, boy’” he mocked with a chuckle.
“First and foremost I stand by my plead of innocence! I was fair and just in taking the life of that goat! It was out for blood!! Be it property of the King or not, that beast was mad. What goat chases a man if there is no vengeance in it’s eyes,” Max mumbled, bitterness ringing clear in his voice. “Your father, on the other hand, had no business taking my knife.”
“Which is why I went and retrieved it,” Max said with a smirk, holding up a beautiful, onyx handled knife.
“Maxwell! He’ll be furious when he finds out!”
“If, he finds out. Besides,” Max stated, pointing his knife at Jace. “It’s my favorite knife. If he wishes to punish me he may take one of my lesser weapons.”
Jace rolled his eyes. Rotten and illogical as he may be, Max was the best friend Jace had ever had. And for an orphan, he was spoiled to the core.
Stay weird, y’all XOXO ❤