‘Dad please!’ Sibylla begged. ‘I already gave you an answer Sibylla and I won’t change my mind. It’s too dangerous for you.’ The king answered and his daughter sighed disappointed. She poked with her fork in her dinner.
‘Listen sweetheart, there are too many mages out there. They all want to kill you, you know that right?’
‘Yes I do, but if I go with my guards they can protect me. And besides I can disguise myself…’
‘NO! Sibylla how many times have I told you not to use your curse?!’
Sibylla looked at her father with a hurt expression. ‘Curse?’ She whispered. ‘IT’S NOT A CURSE!’ She screamed at him as she slammed her hands on the table. ‘I’m gonna go to my room.’ Quietly she left the dining room and went up the stairs. Her father, watching her leave, sighed. ‘Dylan, make sure she doesn’t leave her room.’ He told the butler. ‘Yes your majesty.’
The princes lay on her bed holding her teddy bear. ‘Why did he have to say it like that?’ The princess mumbled to the stuffed animal. She rolled to the other side. ‘I know he doesn’t like magic but still.’ She rolled again until she was on her stomach. ‘It’s not like my ability can kill anyone.’ She sat up. ‘I really want to go to the festival.’ She raised the bear above her head. ‘It’s for my birthday after all. And my 18th one too!’ She dropped the bear on her bed and stood up. Sibylla looked outside her window at the kingdom. She wanted to know what it looked like, but her father never allowed her to go past the gates surrounding the castle. Her kingdom, the kingdom she one day will rule and in the 17 years she had lived she has never seen it. ‘Ok! I have decided,’ she balled her fist, ‘I am going. Whether dad likes it or not. Oh…Dylan is probably outside. Then I’ll have to go through the window.’ She looked around the room searching for something useful to help her climb out of her room but didn’t find anything. She shrugged her shoulders, opened the window, looked down and jumped. The tree that stood by her window caught her. Sibylla held onto one of the branches, she let go and landed safely. ‘Wow, that surprisingly didn’t hurt at all,’ she looked up at the tree, ‘thank you mr tree.’ And she started to walk, towards the gate that had protected her for so long but that had also prevented her from seeing the beauties of the world.
‘She left your majesty.’
‘Through the window your majesty.’
‘SHE JUMPED!? AND YOU DIDN’T NOTICE? WHAT IF SHE GOT HURT!’
‘I’m sorry my lord. I should have paid better attention to her.’
‘Yes you should have. Now, where is she?’
‘I don’t know my lord.’
‘THEN GO LOOK FOR HER YOU GOOD FOR NOTHING BUTLER!’
The princess was in a forest. She had opened the gates, the guards were having lunch somewhere, and what she saw made her jaw drop to the ground. Wet grass glinstering in the evening sunlight. Little flowers that seemed to be playing hide and seek with the tall, elegant trees. With their green leaves hanging over her head they welcomed her into their forest. The sound of insects buzzing around her. Sometimes the rustle of an animal running away through the bushes. The smell of wet grass comforted her. All the colors around her amazed her. She’d heard stories, but she never expected her kingdom to look like this. It was beautiful. The most beautiful thing ever.
Sibylla took of her shoes to feel the gras between her toes. A big smile formed on her face and she giggled with sheer delight. She decided to run. Faster and faster she ran through the beautiful forest that she had yet to explore.
The town’s people were very busy organizing the event. Rumor had it that the princess herself might be present so it had to be magnificent. One person specifically was extremely excited. Pike, a seven year old boy, ran through the streets, jumping in puddles and getting himself dirty along the way. ‘Pike! Please stop that! I can’t keep washing your clothes for you!’ His elder brother called out to him while he was decorating. ‘I’ll wash them myself don’t worry brother!’ Pike screamed back with a cheeky smile on his face. Pike’s brother shook his head but he too had a smile lingering on his lips. He knew his little brother had dreamed of this day for a long time, to meet the princess. Everyone wished to see her, their future queen. The people of their world wanted to see her beauty and wanted to hear her kind voice. Every day and night the town’s people hoped the king would let his daughter attend the event..
‘I’M HOME BROTHER!’ Pike yelled out. There was no answer. ‘Brother, are you home?!’ The young boy looked around the small house for a bit. But there was no one to be found. ‘Maybe he’s still preparing for the event?’ Pike decided he would start to make dinner for when his brother is back. ‘Hmm…let’s see what we can eat’…KNOCK KNOCK. Pike looked at the door. He wondered if that was his brother but it couldn’t be, he had the key. KNOCK KNOCK. ‘Is anyone home?’ Said a female voice. It wasn’t a familiar voice for Pike. He debated with himself, should he open the door or not. He chose the first. ‘Hello lady. Who are you?’ Pike asked the girl in front of him. ‘My name is Si…uhm…Sy. I’m Sy. And I was wondering if you know anywhere I can stay for the night.’ She told him, the princess almost revealed her identity. The boy took a good look at her. He estimated her to be about 18 years old. She had short, wavy, light brown hair with beautifully big, deep green eyes. Full pink lips and a cute, small nose. Pike also noticed it had a few freckles on it. She was very beautiful. He shook his head to avoid staring and he said: ‘I’m not sure where you can stay, but my brother might know. He is not home right now, so if you want you can come inside and wait for him.’ Pike stepped aside indicating the girl to come further. She nodded, accepting his invitation and she went inside.
‘Pike, I’m home! Sorry for being so late. I was still helping the others prepare…oh’ Pike’s brother stopped in the midst of his sentence as he saw the unexpected quest sitting at the table, chatting with his little brother. ‘Who’s this Pike?’ He asked Pike with a raised eyebrow. Pike looked at him with a guilty expression, he knew what he had done wrong.
‘I’m sorry brother. She asked if we know a place for her to stay. I told her you would know so I offered her to wait for you.’
The elder brother sighed: ‘I’ll let it slide this time, but you should be more careful ok?’
‘Yes brother. Thank you!’
‘So…how about introducing our guest to me?’
The girl, who up till now had stayed quiet, stood up and said: ‘My apologies for intruding, especially this late at night. My name is Sy and your little brother already told you the reason of me being here. What is your name if I may aks?’
‘My name…ah right! I’m sorry, my name is Adan. And you already met but this is Pike, my little brother.’
Adan and Sibylla made eye contact and they both noticed the other’s eyes to be beautiful. He looked in her green ones, they resembled the village’s mysterious and magical forest. She seemed to be drowning into his bright and brilliant brown eyes. ‘Uhm…a place for you to stay…’ Adan nervously broke the eye contact, ‘this time at night there is a small chance that there will still be room in the inns. I suggest that, if you want, you can stay here but…not longer than one night. Tomorrow you can sleep somewhere else. How does that sound?’
Sibylla nodded, agreeing to his proposal. ‘Thank you.’ She whispered while she blushed a little.
The guest room was a small but cozy and cute room. Only a bed and a tiny wardrobe fitted in it. Pike, who had guided Sibylla there, wished her a good night and went to his own bedroom. Sibylla entered and dropped herself on the bed. She had run through the forest for a very long time so now she was exhausted. And then she met that handsome man. When he had entered the living room and was scolding Pike, she took her sweet time to take a good look at him. Short, curly, chocolate brown hair with here and there some blond stripes. His face had a stern but nice look, in her opinion he was very good looking. Despite him wearing a t-shirt it was obvious he was well built. And then you had those beautiful eyes, so deep and sparkling. In that short moment of eye contact something happened, like a sort of spark. She wasn’t sure what it was exactly, but she made a promise to herself that she would find out. She kept on wondering for a while and then she finally fell asleep.
The next day seemed to pass by in a flash. Sibylla had thanked the brothers and, although reluctantly, went to find another place to stay. She roamed around the town for a while, admiring its aesthetic. When she had arrived the day before she was afraid she might have to use her ability to prevent people from recognizing her, but as she had been locked up in the palace for her entire life no one knew what she looked like so that was not necessary. And she had asked Adan if he had some other clothes for her, her white dress with golden decorations on it might attract too much attention. Now she was wearing a long simple grey skirt with a white long sleeved shirt, that Adan’s neighbor let her borrow. Her previous clothing was put in a bag and she carried it with her. For the rest of the day she was busy finding an inn with a open spot, but due to the her birthday being the next day everyone wanted to be there, obviously every single inn would be packed.
Sibylla had given up, it was getting dark and she started to slightly panic. At some point she decided she would go to the main square where the festival would take place. First she told herself is would be no fun for her if she already knew what it would look like but she was just too curious. And besides she could use some distraction.
‘Wow…’ Sibylla was astonished. The towns people had build stalls around the fountain located in the middle of the towns square. Every stall was decorated with candles and it lit the place in a beautiful light. Flowers were woven into wreaths and garlands and hung from houses and stalls. She noticed they mainly used sunflowers, her favorite. ‘It’s so pretty…’ She whispered. Then suddenly she felt a presence behind her and someone said: ‘At midnight it’s even prettier, the moon will be at it’s highest and the water in the fountain will reflect it’s light, like magic.’ The voice was familiar, that deep and calming voice belonging to….
‘Hi,’ he smiled at her, she loved his smile, ‘did you manage to find somewhere to stay?’
She sighed: ‘No, unfortunately not. Everything is packed.’
‘Hmm…I guess we could have seen that coming…you know what? I thought about it a little bit and…uhm…if you want,’ Adan put his hand behind his neck avoiding eye contact, ‘you can stay with us for a while. For as long as you want even!’ He looked at her nervously. Hoping it didn’t sound weird and that she maybe would accept his invitation.
The night before they had talked a little after Pike went to bed. The conversation was just small talk, they shared memories of when they were young, they talked about their parents, although she didn’t seem to be happy talking about that. But the entire time he just noticed her full, pink lips as she talked and the way she smiled, it was a very cute smile. And after she had left he felt something in his chest. He wasn’t sure what is was but he for sure knew he wanted to see her again.
‘Sure! I would love to!’ She giggled and showed him the brightest smile. He sighed in relieve, Adan tilted his head towards the direction of his house, indicating for them to go and they left.