A New Beginning...

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She lay on the big four-poster bed. It was soft, but not even it could soften the harshness of the words which were pinned down upon her. She felt like she was a hostage in her own house and had been crying for a long time before she finally fell asleep. The words which the king told her had broken her down. The window was open. The winter winds mercilessly teased her and she shivered in her sleep…
After a few hours, there was a knock at her door. She was in deep sleep and did not hear this. The intruder knocked again, still no reply, so he let himself in; the door had no lock as the king did not trust her alone and there were two guards outside her door. The man came next to her and woke her up. She looked at him and almost fainted, it was her uncle, the same man who always had an icy tongue for her and she was afraid of him. He draped a thick fur across her body and told her to follow him, she did not want to but she didn’t dare tell him that and meekly went with him. He had told the guards that the king wished to see her and they didn’t want to argue with him so they let them go. He led her right across the throne room, but she was clouded with her thoughts that she did not notice this. They finally stopped at a big door and when she looked up, she almost jumped in horror, it was a door she knew, only too well, it was her uncles’…

He urged her inside the cold walls and she hesitantly went in, it was a place of torture for her and she remembered the nights after supper when she would be called here, to be punished for her misbehavior; being her guardian he saw to it that she grew up a well-mannered lady and did not hesitate to go to extreme measures to see that she followed, he was an iron-rod. He went straight to the fountain in the middle of the room and her curiosity increased as normally he would ask her to pull up her skirt and bend over while he took out the staff from the shelf and would ask her to cry out sins as he bestowed the strokes and then she was to wipe away the blood with her handkerchief and straighten her dress and promise not to repeat it and leave the room with as much dignity as possible. He pulled a handle in the fountain and the water stopped flowing, the marble parted to reveal a passage which had a set of wooden stairs and when she saw the man who waited inside her heart leapt with joy as she never expected to see him again and she rushed into his arms, fully expecting pain from her uncle, but to her surprise, he moved away to give them some space. The lovers held onto each other for a while and broke away, they turned to him. And before she could ask him how he was here when the king, her father had deported him earlier that morning, he commanded them to get a move on if they were going to reach there before her father noticed that she was missing and sent the army after them. This was too much for her and she asked him why was he helping them run away and he walked closer to her and looked into her eyes, ” Because I love you and want you to be happy. And my dearest, please forgive me for my cruel treatment to you all these years, but it will give you the strength you need to face the world and keep your head high.”

She burst into tears of happiness at these words and hugged him with joy and kissed his cheeks which were decorated with his bushy beard which tickled her and he kissed her small forehead and wished her luck on the journey, then turned to the man and warned him that if he ever made his sweet niece sad, he would taste his blade and beg for a quick death and he promised to keep her safe and happy, forever. They thanked him and he promised to visit her soon and set them off and closed the tunnel. They ran most of the way in fear of getting caught, but they did not have to worry much as they did not encounter any trouble and at last they reached a lake where a boat was waiting for them and the journey continued. She fell asleep, tired with all the action and he snuggled next to her. In the morning when the first rays of the sun came up, the boats-man woke them up with news that they had reached their destination. They thanked him for his help. An old couple waited for their new masters in front of the grand mansion which was to be their new home and they knew that he had taken care of everything to keep them forever happy. Later, when she looked out the window as the sunshine brightly lit up the glossy, snow-covered ground surrounding the lake when she sipped tea from a porcelain cup, she knew that the summer was near…

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