Isra was such an odd name for a child, especially one from royal descent. At a ripe age of 13, such high expectations were placed on her for she would be the Queen someday.
However, she differed from her mother in many ways. Children should be seen and not heard, no one ever let her forget it. Her mother constantly reminded her that it’s always been that way. Rebellious preludes slowly tore Isra away from her family.
Her mother’s vacant, grey eyes bore into her before the curtain call. Any talk of adult things drowned out Sunday’s sermon with the help of locked doors.
The princess grew annoyed with being ignored. Sounds of anguish reverberated from the other side. Screams of agony emanated from the living alcove. But only her parents were in there. No kings of foreign nations. No queens of Saigon bent on revenge.
Perhaps some wars were fought at home.
Her long, blonde hair swayed valiantly as she jolted towards her bedchambers to collapse in seclusion. But before she reached her anticipated destination, Isra decided to trek out of the castle grounds instead. The bellowing wind sighed when the main doors were pushed wide open in a frenzy.
A lot of Isra’s studies were indoors and free time was hard to come by. But whenever leisure left holes in her daily routines, she treasured the outdoors. Birds intrigued her the most due to their fragile yet omnipresent nature. Wings granting the ability of flight, able to fly away at any time.
A bluejay landed on her index finger while she meandered down a hidden dirt path protruding from the open space and into the emerald canopy stretched over her. It bobbed its head instinctively in that awkward movement that most animals have mastered. Melodic chirping made Isra giggle soundlessly. Inevitably, it let go and dove into the open blue towards the heavens from whence it came.
Where the light recently bled through the openings made from newly bloomed leaves on outreached branches, a rush of cold air undulated heavily until it was as if the moon took its place prematurely.
Suddenly, a handsome yet middle-aged man stood against the bark of an evergreen tree. Obsidian locks spilled out of his hood. His hair may have been long but there was no essence of femininity surrounding his persona at all. Green eyes peeked out from beneath the fathoms of his robes.
The young girl’s mouth formed an “O.” All the air had been sucked out her lungs yet vehement attempts occurred to regain all oxygen. Fear took its toll. Isra saw the foreigner reach lucratively for a dagger held snugly in the robe tied around his slender waist. She didn’t wait for him to take anymore steps closer than he already had. Thank the Lord Isra chose not to wear the uncomfortable heels her mother wanted her to that day. These wooden shoes sufficed for running away from strangers in the woods. She dared to peek behind her to acknowledge that he didn’t even budge. Her glance aimed forward once more, but to her utmost dismay, Isra tripped over a makeshift snare. Ultimately, the snare enacted a net to snatch the princess straight from the earth to mid-air. A ravenous shriek escaped her chapped lips. The woodsman, she realized he was, strutted towards her before her vision failed her….
(To be continued in… “In Distress”)
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