• Chapter 1, the Lost Child
    There was once a far away land called Kentania where King Vladislav and Queen Melony ruled the land. It was a cold evening in March when a horrid business came to pass.
    The Queen’s father was catching a horrible disease from all the cold. The Queen’s mother sadly had already died from it. That chilly evening Queen Melony and her husband kneeled silently by his bedside. He was having a coughing fit.
    “Oh father” Melony cried hugging him gently.
    “Melony, “the old King said between coughs. “The kingdom is in good hands now and it brings me joy to know you are happy. Vladislav, you take care of her.” He said contently.
    “Yes of course your majesty.” Replied the King respectfully. The old King slowly smiled, shut his eyes and his head fell to the bed.
    “Father!” Melony cried. Now in her agony and pain, the King put his arms around his wife to comfort her. She wept and for that evening, she tightly clinged to her husband, for she had no one else to now cling to.
    Nina, another maid had been married to Garrett for quite some time. Unfortunately, he was a knight. He had been sent to battle and never returned. Nina had lately had a baby, and called him Paul. But when Garrett never returned, Nina had no money to support the child.
    So on that moonlit night, she ran into a rather hidden part of the woods where there was an orphanage. “I love you so much Paul” said Nina while cradling her son. “But you must understand that I can no longer take care of you.” She finished softly.
    She hugged him tightly and knocked on the orphanage door. She left the crying baby on the porch and ran out through the moonlight, never to be seen again. She could not go back to the castle and admit she had lost her baby.
    The two sisters, Carolynn and Ivy were owners of the orphanage. They lay peacefully in their bed until Ivy said “Did you hear that sister? It sounded like a knocking at the door!” The two women ran out in their night-gowns with a lit candle. Slowly Ivy opened the modest wooden door with its brass handle. Carolynn immediately saw the crying baby. She picked it up and cradled it in her arms.
    “Shh everything’s going to be just fine.” soothed Carolynn. “Everything’s going to be alright.”

    Chapter 2, in the springtime
    It was April 7th and a beautiful spring morning. Spring is well known for new life springing up. Well, new life wasn’t exactly springing up today. There are many other words that would describe this event better than springing but there was indeed new life. Among the beautiful songs of birds there was a not-so-beautiful song being cried out, cries of pain from Melony.
    “Aaaaaagh” she screamed. Melony had been getting fatter and it wasn’t because of too many cookies. After the beautiful baby girl was produced the King walked in. He had been patiently waiting out in the hall listening to the not-so-beautiful song she sang. Melony and Vladislav both smiled as they admired their new baby.
    “What should we call her?” Vladislav said. Sunlight streamed through the window, shining on the baby.
    “Nica, yes, her name shall be Nica.” replied Melony. Melony held her child in her arms while Vladislav smiled a happy yet nervous smile.

    Trumpets blared and a proclamation was made “The King and Queen have had a child! All hail Nica the new princess of Kentania!” declared the servant. Vladislav and Melony rose to the main balcony and held up their child for all to see. The crowd of workers and peasants all cheered for there was a royal baby, Nica.
    That afternoon, Melony told Vladislav to fetch Josephine and Carmen. There was a third someone accompanying them. Their 6 year old girl, Esther.
    “Josephine, my trusted servant, your husband and of course Esther.” She stopped to pat Esther on the head. Esther smiled. She continued “Would you please do me the honor of being Nica’s godparents?”
    “Oh my dear, I cannot thank you enough!” replied Josephine “Thank You”
    “My wife and I, we would be honored to be her godparents.” Added Carmen
    “Gosh, thanks Queen Melony!” said Esther, bouncing with excitement. Carmen and Josephine smiled at each other, their little girl in between them.

    Chapter 3, Confusion of the missing man
    The man woke up, he had a nasty headache. Dried blood caked part of his hair. He had had this headache since the first time he woke up a few months ago. He had woken up with a rock next to his head. With these headaches came visions. Flashes of battles, and women. He had no idea what these visions meant. His thick beard and long hair were scraggily and dirty.
    He began the day as he usually did. He stood up and began hunting. The man crept into the forest and waited for an unsuspecting meal to come walking by. There it was an ugly wild boar. He want wanted this to go as quick and painlessly as possible, so he simply stabbed the boar in its chest. The man slightly squinted his eyes at the horrible sound of its pain yet he needed to eat.
    A quiet woman stood inside her home, washing dishes the old fashioned way, with soap and water. She hummed a lullaby that had no purpose now. All of the sudden she heard a terrible noise. It was an unearthly groaning of pain that made her eyes squint at the sound of it.
    She went outside with her shovel to investigate. First she looked at the man, then at the pig, then at the man, then back at the pig. “What are you doing with my food!!!” she screamed. “What’s your problem huh? Do you know who has to hunt that food? ME! And I’m very tired. I don’t need nosy little scroungers stealin’ my game!”
    The man was quite confused now. Suddenly the woman swung the shovel at his face. He ducked just barely enough to miss it. “aagh” he half-screamed.
    “What’s your business here!” she loudly asked, still swinging the shovel at his head.
    “I-I-I just” he stuttered trying to dodge her blows. “I didn’t know it was your food, I’m sorry if I caused any harm. I would appreciate if you didn’t aim that thing at my head, I already have somewhat of a headache.” He finished.
    “Oh” she said embarrassed. She tucked her hair behind her ear. “Um, won’t you come in? “ She asked gesturing to the open door. “We might as well use that boar you’ve killed.”
    “Um, yeah. Okay.” He said nervously. After all, this perfectly kind woman had just tried to knock him out with a shovel.
    So that night, the man and the woman prepared the boar together. The man carved the meat and the woman washed it in the well. Eventually, the woman told the man to go get some mushrooms. (They weren’t poisonous) So he collected the mushrooms, cooked them and then they had dinner.
    Both were very full and tired, so they decided to call it a night. The woman walked into her room and the man looked around, somewhat confused. Suddenly something was in his face. Warm, fuzzy, soft.
    “It’s sheepskin” said the woman in the doorway. “G’night!”
    “Good Night!” he called back.
    The next day, he woke up the sound of something frying. He seemed to be on the floor, and when he opened his eyes, it was so bright that he had to squint.
    “Good morning sleepy head” said the woman in the kitchen.”Could you make yourself useful and go fetch some water?”
    “Uh, sure.” He replied.
    So he went out to the old well and drew up the bucket. He crept in silently with a mischievous smile on his face. He quietly snuck behind her and dumped the whole bucket of freezing water on her head! She turned around with the smile on her face meaning “Revenge time.”
    She pried the bucket out of his hands and he took off running. He looked back at her with an “uh-oh” smile now. She also filled the bucket with icy cold water and took off running after him. He tripped over a twig and fell on his back. He sat up. Where did the woman go? All of the sudden she pounced on him and poured the water onto his face. Both of them were on the ground laughing so hard that it hurt.
    That night, she poked her head out her door. “Good Night” she said with a teasing smile.
    “Good Night” he called back.
    The woman fell into her bed completely happy. Meanwhile the man lay on the floor, thinking. He recognized her face. Who was she? Well, might as well just go to sleep. He thought.
    The next morning, the man and woman met each other in the main room. Th woman noticed the blood on his head. “Oh, my!” she exclaimed. “What’s that on your head!?”
    “What’s what on my head?” he said.
    “There’s blood on your head! I think we should be getting you a haircut. And I think it’s about time we get rid of that beard of yours.”
    There she was using the knife to shave his beard. Another flashback came to the man. Swords. Swords flashing in the air. She shaved the last bit of hair off his chin and dumped it in the can. She looked up. “Garrett, is that you?!” she yelled. Garrett. The word bounced in the man’s head. Suddenly, his memory flooded back to him.
    “Nina!” he yelled happily. He picked her up and swung her around the room. “Nina, I love you so.” They kissed for they had not been together for a long time now. But they were together now, together at last.
    They sat on the floor together happily. “Garrett” said Nina urgently. “I have something to tell you.” Garrett nodded. “Well, while you were gone, I had a baby. And I took him to the orphanage.” She broke out crying. “I miss him Garrett!”
    “Nina, Nina!” said Garrett. “You said you left him at the orphanage. Didn’t you?” Nina nodded. “Well, then we can just go get him.”
    “No, I can’t face them and say I lost the baby. I just can’t” she replied.
    “But Nina, I’m here!” he said. Nina smiled at him.

    Chapter 4, New Beginnings
    “Nica!!!!!” called Esther. Oh, mum and dad are going to think it’s just lovely that I lost the princess. She mumbled to herself sarcastically. Esther was 14 now and if you do the math, I think you know how old Nica was. “Nica!!!” she called again. Nica was Esther’s responsibility since everyone else seemed to be so busy.
    Meanwhile, Nica was looking around in the forest. She saw some beautiful wildflowers by the path and picked them. “Pretty.” She said. She walked around for a while until she came to a wall of plants. Ivy, blackberry vines, trees. Behind that, there was a clearing and Nica could see it through a small opening in the wall.
    Nica saw a boy with scraggly brown hair. He looked about her age. He was rather dirty but Nica didn’t notice. While whistling he was chopping wood on a stump. Nica picked up two sticks and pried at the wall of vegetation making the hole bigger and bigger. It produced a rustling sound. The boy jumped and dropped his ax to the ground. “Who’s there?!” he shrieked. Now he could see Nica’s face.
    “I’m Nica. And you are?” she replied.
    “Uh… P-p-p Paul.” He stuttered. “Where did you come from?”
    “I’m from Kentania Kingdom. I’m the King’s daughter.” She said calmly like it meant nothing.
    “Oh, your majesty I did not realize I was in presence of royalty. Pardon me.” Paul slightly bowed his head.
    “Paul, it’s ok. You wanna be friends?” said the princess.
    “Sure” said Paul.
    “Great” replied Nica. They shook hands. Suddenly a voice called Paul.
    “Paul, time to wash up for dinner!” it called.
    “Yes Miss Phung!” he replied. “I gotta go Nica. Nice meeting you though.”
    “You too” she said “Bye”
    “Bye” Suddenly Nica heard a voice calling her too.
    “Nica!?” it asked. “Is that you?” She hid behind a tree. “Nica. Stop that foolishness. I can see you.” Nica slowly rose from the tree. “Nica, you really had me scared for a minute there. Not only was I concerned for you but I would be in a whole lot of trouble if your parents found out. Please try to stay in my sight.”
    “I’m sorry auntie Esther I just met Paul. We talked and it was so much fun.” Nica replied. Kids and their imaginary friends these days. Geesh. Esther thought.

    9 years later…
    “Oh, Paul stop that!” Nica laughed. They were in the river splashing each other. Later they scrambled up the maple tree that they knew so well. Now they sat on a very sturdy branch and swung their legs back and forth to dry out their garments. “Well, don’t you think it’s about time we head home before folks suspect something?” asked Nica. (They lived quite near to each other.)
    “Probably.” He replied. “Race ya.” He said. They dropped down from the tree and ran through the forest. A scenery of mixed green and brown flashed past them as they raced neck and neck. Their feet were light and free until… Nica made a giant leap in front of him just in time to beat him.
    “Well, see ya tomorrow.” She said giving him a hug.
    “Love ya.” He said. Meanwhile someone was watching the both of them. In a cloak disguised as a commoner was Nica’s devious little sister Lynn. The other day, she did not allow her to play with her new makeup and she wanted revenge. So she was spying on Nica to get her in trouble.
    Paul walked into the Lucas Manor. Greeting him were the servants Garrett and Nina. “How was your day son?” questioned Garrett.
    “Oh, I’m just happy is all.” He replied. Nina scruffed up his hair playfully.
    “Alright. But first we should go and finish our rounds. You too.” She added. Oh mom and dad are going to be so angry at Nica when they find out she has been making due with the likes of a commoner! Thought the young princess as the manor door was shut. She ran home to tell her father the news.

    Chapter 5, Unexpected and Unaccepted
    The kingdom’s council chambers were full of wealthy visitors to discuss a very important matter, the future of the kingdom. In other words, they were discussing the marriage of princess Nica. Every wealthy Lord and Lady were there, even Lord Peter and Lady Esther with their many sons and daughters. That included Jocasta, Sebastian, John, Colin, Ascabena, Cameron, Emma, Emily, Christian, Baily, Kira, Megan, Olivia and Teresa.
    All of the sudden a young girl burst through the doors. “Father!” she yelled. “Nica has been with the likes of a commoner!”
    “What?” he asked in a deep tone. “I’m very sorry everyone the meeting will have to be interrupted. Please enjoy the refreshments.” He told the crowd. Lynn told all but probably exaggerated and fibbed a few parts. Even so, the King was outraged. As soon as his daughter arrived home and everyone else left he had a first calm conversation with her.
    “Nica, Lynn has informed me you intend to marry a commoner.” He began.
    “Marry? Oh, it’s nothing like that. We are only but friends. And he is no commoner. He lives in Lucas Manor for heaven’s sakes!” she laughed.
    “Oh, but Nica” he spoke to his daughter. “As your sister tells me, he works at the manor.”
    “No, no, no!” she yelled. “He can’t!” she choked on angry tears. He had lied to her. All these years together had been a lie! She just couldn’t take it anymore. “He lied to me! How could he!” she yelled. She fell on her knees in misery. Her father tried to comfort her. He wouldn’t normally mind that Paul was a commoner, but he had broken his precious daughter’s heart and that was the ultimate crime, high treason. He would find a punishment and since he was king, no one would get in his way.

    That night…
    Nica climbed down the same tree her mother had many years ago. She walked slowly, trying to catch up with her feelings. She was very confused. Part of her heart was on fire, purely angry with Paul. The other part missed him dearly. She saw a group of dark figures coming towards her. She had no idea of what to do. Should she run? Should she walk closer? It was too late. They had already surrounded her and started searching for any valuable money she had. Now it was clear to Nica, these were gypsies. She screamed but after a second her head was afflicted with pain and her vision blacked out.
    The next day Nica woke up with a headache. She had no idea where she was. All she knew was she was definitely lost and with strangers. They were gypsies, and she had no idea what they would do with her.

    Chapter 6, Paul proves himself
    Paul sat on the hard stone floor of his cell. He was to be executed tomorrow. This was it! He was going to die. Without even being able to say goodbye to Nica. What an idiot I am. He thought. Lying to her. What was I thinking?! He was playing with a piece of broken glass when suddenly the sun streamed through the window then through the glass and burned him. “Ow!” he exclaimed. Wait, he could say goodbye to Nica, he could explain everything! Why didn’t he request it to the guard in the first place!?
    “Sir, Sir!” he called. “Can you request to the King that I speak to her majesty the Princess but one last time?” he asked.
    “I’m sorry Paul, but she’s not here. She’s been missing since last night. The new maid went in to wake her, and she wasn’t there! She is believed to have been taken by gypsies.” He explained.
    “Oh, please let me be free!” Paul cried. “I need to get to Nica! Save her!” he slowed down. “Ask for her forgiveness.”
    “I’m sorry Paul, but my duty does not allow it! I would help out but if I let you escape, I will be given a worse execution than you by law of the King!” the guard practically shouted.
    The guard walked to his seat in silence, then fell asleep. Hmmm, well now that the guard was out of the away he only needed a way out of the cell. Paul looked at the black spot on his pants where it had burned. Of course! That was it! He simply needed to aim the light towards the jail bars and he could carve a way out! So he started the task and by the time the jailer woke up, Paul was already gone far into the woods.
    Paul knew how to deal with gypsies. He had confronted a band of them and dealt with them when he was a kid. Well, he wished it had gone that way. Carolynn and Ivy had actually dealt with them. But that’s beside the point.
    He knew where the main group camped and of course he assumed they were the ones who captured Nica. As he expected, there they were, sorting out their loot.
    Paul rose from the bushes. “Where’s the girl!?” he shouted at them.
    “What girl?” they asked.
    Nica sat in her tent and she heard a familiar voice. Was she dreaming? Was Paul coming for her? If she was dreaming she wouldn’t be able to tell. She ran out of the hut. “Yes! I am here Paul!” she shouted joyously, her hands still bound. The band leader looked in disbelief. She tackled the girl which knocked her to the ground.
    “You’re not getting away today girly!” She shouted.
    “Urg!” Nica grunted in frustration.
    “Oh yes she is!” said Paul. One by one band members challenged him. He punched and kicked until almost everyone was knocked out.
    Then, the leader. She surprised Paul by pulling out a dagger and stabbing him in the chest just barely missing his heart. Paul’s eyes shut and he slowly fell to the ground.
    Nica ran and kneeled next to Paul. “Paul!” she cried. She softly touched the wound. He winced. “Oh sorry!” she said. She walked up to that leader, grabbed the dagger out of her hands and stabbed where it would not kill her but cause lots and lot of long, deserved, slow pain. Now with the gypsies knocked out, Nica loaded Paul onto one of their donkeys and the three of them began the journey through the woods.
    Chapter 7, Happily Ever After- Finally
    Meanwhile King Vladislav paced the front courtyard. He was so worried for his daughter he almost became sick. Melony elegantly walked through the doors.
    “Sweetheart, you should get some sleep. I’m sure she’ll be home by morning.” The queen said soothingly. She wrapped her arms around him lovingly.
    “But-“he started.
    “Come dear. I’m getting lonely in there waiting for her on my own.” She interrupted. The King reluctantly turned to walk. But wait, could it be? He heard a jingling noise. He turned to see a figure-three figures- riding towards him in the sunset.
    “Nica!” he yelled. He ran to the donkey excepting her to be rescued. But then looked up and noticed it was the other way around. He embraced Nica and spun her around like he did when she was a little girl. “I was so worried about you!” he said.
    “I’m perfectly fine father. But I’m afraid Paul is not.” She said urgently.
    “Oh that Paul. Did he not rescue you? You rescued him!? How did he get out!? “Why-“he questioned.
    “Father, I’ll explain while the doctor works. We need to hurry.” She replied.
    They scurried off and as she said the doctor looked at Paul while Nica explained everything. The first thing Paul saw and heard was Nica and Vladislav smiling down at him and the King saying “Paul my ol’ boy, you got the girl!” he said joyfully.
    His automatic response “Thank You! Thank You! Thank You so much your majesty!” Nica pulled him up from his bed. She smiled silently at him for a while and then… she kissed him passionately. Paul was surprised for a second there but then he just melted into it.
    The End ;P
    Hope You liked it! Your friend,