~ Rose Petals ~
Earth dies, gradually giving away to the humans' constant cruelty. Our planet dried up slowly, making it inhabitable. All animals went straight to extinction. The Sun dies. The stars blink out, one by one. Our galaxy spins out of control, out of existence. The world as we know it, ends. Nothing is left. There is no time. Nothing exists and nobody is there to acknowledge it.
Suddenly, a flashing light with a huge boom goes off. The Big Bang. The universe is created-no. Recreated… The Sun is born. The Earth spins into orbit. Life appears for the first time. Humans develop. Time trickles back.
Life is back. The prehistoric times, the medieval times, the modern times…But this time, many people aren’t there to change history. In this world, guns were never created. Phones, computers…nonexistent. Planes, World Wars, nuclear bombs, even the continents themselves…are all replaced with something different. Swords and bows are the best weapons. People travel by foot or horse. Kings, queens, princes and princesses rule lands. Wars are clashes of armor and blades. It is a primordial time.
Perhaps a better one.
I was sitting by my window, enjoying the soft summer breeze. It brushed through my hair, rustling my bun. It wasn’t very well done, but my village friend said it looked "cute" since it was messy. Wavy strands felt loose around my shoulders and elbows, tickling my cheeks. I lowered my lashes, looking at the landscape. My window was up high, showing all the squished houses and vibrant, lush, green forest. Small flickering lights shone brightly as the sun rose, painting the sky a beautiful pastel orange. Blue and black ebbed the edges of the vast expanse of the sky, with small stars winking down at me, as if they were sharing a secret with me.
Far in the horizon, trees and wildness blooms. Rivers and animals run free. Flowers and mushrooms grow in abundance. Sunlight shine through thick foliages of leaves and small bunnies hide in copse of trees. Red, violet, blue…all the colors imaginable bloom through petals. Freedom reigns that world.
Sighing, I headed back into my room. It was vast too, with a high ceiling and decorated walls covered in tapestries. It sat in the tallest tower of the castle, thanks to my "naughtiness". A fireplace towered in the corner, with a crackling fire, illuminating my room with occasional flickers. My bed had red velvet curtains surrounding it, giving me more privacy. The way I like it.
Pushing away the servants that waved dresses in my face, I headed down the stairs. My black boots clicked on the ground, echoing through the halls that smelled of lavender and dust.
My father was lounging on his throne, as usual. He was picking his nail with an expression of utter boredom on his face. As soon as he saw me, his expression changed from surprised to frustrated to disgusted.
"Dahra. A dress wouldn’t hurt, you know."
I ran my fingers down my light pants. They clung to my legs, but they were comfortable. Plus, they were a nice shade of blue. "What’s wrong with this?"
"Everything. You’re a princess." he scowled.
"And you’re a king, but still petty and grumpy." I shot back.
My father slammed his fist onto the arm of his polished stone throne, losing his temper.
"Dahra! You little b-" he swallowed his cuss, suddenly looking guilty.
I sneered. "Go ahead, Dad. Say the same words you said to mom before she died."
The king wasn’t very old, but at that moment, he looked, tired, sullen, and so old.
"Wordless?" I asked, coking my hip. "Smooth, Dad. Real smooth."
"Go to your room, Dahra." he snapped his exhausted expression disappearing.
"Why don’t you make me?" I taunted, already walking away from the throne room. Walking away from this hellhole. Walking to freedom.
"When you return, I will put a lock on your door. You will not move from your room!" My father roared.
"Thank you, daddy dearest." I retorted. I gave him a little sassy wave and blew him a sarcastic kiss before I walked out.
The king shouted a curse, but I ignored him. He can’t control me.
I breathed in deeply, smelling the fresh odor and wild flowers. There was a hint of lavender and oranges, mixing perfectly with the sweet smell of honey and butterscotch.
Smelled like freedom.
As I strutted through the small, twisted roads of Edwinstowe. It wasn’t particularly a big city, but rather a humble village with happy habitants.
I heard a long string of colorful words on my left. Stopping mid-stride, I looked at who could curse so wonderfully.
Turned out a chicken pecked a small boy’s rear. Clutching his rump, the boy screamed more cuss words and bolted away, his enraged chicken at his feet.
I laughed. Okay, maybe not the happy habitants part.
Returning to my happy walk, I grinned. This is what life is. Going wherever you please. Doing whatever you please. No annoying parents hovering over you telling you to marry some stupid prince to maintain a good alliance.
I arrived at the town square, where a huge market took place. People, oh boy, so many people, milled around. Their clothing of all colors swirled before my eyes as they moved and shifted in different directions. The stands filled with merchants boasting about their product stood proudly above the people, with hand-made signs and advertisements. I breathed in deeply again, sucking in all this happiness and amazing smells.
As soon as I stepped one foot into the square, people turned their backs and started whispering.
"Is that the princess?"
"What is she doing in pants?"
"Haven’t you heard? She’s wild. Untameable."
"Wild? Maybe. But strong."
"Aha, beautiful. Yes, yes, if you say so. But dangerous…"
"I’ve seen her with her daggers. Not dangerous. Deadly."
"A princess in pants and fights with knives? What type of princess is this?"
"One kind of a princess. Princess Dahra."
I rolled my eyes and I kept on walking. People parted a way for me, but didn’t stop whispering and gossiping.
"I bet she’s going to the forest again."
"No, she’s not. Probably going to the archery range. She practice her knives there a lot."
"The well, not the archery range. She’s always goes there."
I sighed. The people of Edwinstowe always have something to say about me.
The first stand I went to was the forger. My father confiscated my knives-again-and he must have at least a mountain of confiscated knives in his chambers by now.
Bjorn was a burly man with strong arms and a wide stance. He was bare-chested with a blackened apron with simple white pants, like always. The forger’s back was turned away, where he was facing the forge. It was melting some beautiful metal and he was about to craft something beautiful. As always.
Bjorn wiped his hands on a dirty towel and turned towards me. As soon as he identified my dark auburn hair and hazel eyes, he gave me a crooked grin.
"My favorite client!" he boomed as he spread his arms, dropping the charcoal-coated towel. I cracked a smirk and gave him a small wave.
"My lady, knives again, ain’t it?" the forger said with knowing smile. "How did you know?" I said with a chuckle. "Oh, my dear, I pay attention to my gorgeous clients." he said with saucy wink.
That made me laugh. I threw my head back, making my messy bun bounce. "Oh, Bjorn, I’m not gorgeous, please. I’m just a girl. Not all girls are pretty things, you know." I said with a teasing face as the forger fetched my pre-prepared knives.
"I know that," he said with a twinkle in his eye. "But you are beautiful."
Against my will, I felt my cheeks flush just the tiniest bit. I didn’t like it wen people complimented me. It made me feel weird.
Bjorn dropped a long object wrapped in white fabric. Smiling he said "At your service, m’lady."
I carefully unwrapped the soft fabric. Inside, there was a total of eight daggers. The double blade was a sharp, shiny silver, reflecting the morning light. The top part of the handle was a soft bronze flaked with bits of gold. Black leather wrapped around the bottom handle, where my hand would rest.
"It’s…beautiful." I breathed, turning the daggers around my hand. Bjorn bellowed a laugh as I inspected the blades. I passed my index lightly above the blade, drawing blood. I grinned. Perfect.
I meticulously re-wrapped the precious blades. "Bjorn, I-" I started, clutching the daggers and white wrap to my chest. Bjorn held up one hand and shut me off. "Hey, hey, hey, Lady Dahra. The best dagger thrower deserves the best daggers."
"Aw, please." I said with an awkward smile. Reaching into my money pouch, I pulled out a dozen of golden coins.
"You know what?" I asked. I pulled out my whole pouch and dumped its contents on the forger’s table. Coins spilled everywhere, shining brightly.
"No. Bjorn said firmly. "I don’t deserve this."
I shook my head with the tiniest of smiles. "You do. Now take it."
After arguing with Bjorn for a few stubborn minutes, the forger finally took it. "Thank you." I said, still clutching my knives. "You are too kind, my lady Princess." he said, bowing.
I waved his compliment away and bid him goodbye.
"Heyo!" I called at the boy. He looked up, then immediately blushed as soon as he saw me.
This boy was tall and skinny, unlike Bjorn. Wearing a puke green shirt and black pants, he flustered, holding a few reins of horses.
"I need your fastest horse plus reins and a saddle." I said politely. The boy mumbled under his breath and shuffled around. He grabbed a black leather saddle. The boy fumbled, dropping it. Before it hit the dirty ground, I swooped down and plucked it out of the air. Carrying it in my my left arm, I raised an eyebrow at the boy. He looked down and blushed harder. Relenting, I smiled. What a shy boy. "Reins." I reminded him kindly.
He looked up and saw my eyes. He nodded and scurried away, returning moments later with reins. I picked a horse then excused the boy.
As he walked away, I put the reins on the horse. It neighed, shaking its beautiful mane. I patted its nose and hugged its strong chest. I brushed my fingers through the horse’s black hair. I looked into its dark eyes and told it "Thank you."
The horse snorted and closed its eyes. The horse-a female-crooked her head, enveloping me in her pitch lack body. I smiled and petted her neck.
I strapped the saddle that matched the horse’s hair onto her back. She neighed one last time before I clicked my tongue and we were on our way.
I sat on my horse like a queen; head held high, back straight, eyes like an eagle’s.
I snatched up the cloak, as beautiful and purple as a violet. I rubbed the velvety material in between my fingers. I nodded and threw the rude merchant a bag of coins. He lunged for it greedily as I catered away, pulling the cloak over my shoulders.
Finally, I thought. Some peace and quiet.
I peered at the sun in the sky. It was barely up, but slowly inching to the middle of the blue expanse. I estimated that it was around 8 in the morning. I bit my lip. Still plenty of time.
I petted Onyx’s mane. I named the horse after the sleek black stone, as beautiful and polished as this horse. Onyx took my soft pat as a command and started galloping. I guided her to archery range. People backed away as they saw my dark cloak and horse bolt through the streets. My cape flapped behind me as Onyx’s strong hoover thundered through the badly paved streets. The small roads were twisted and skew, but Onyx had no trouble running through them. And I had no trouble navigating them.
The small packed houses flew past me as I finally broke into the fields. The archery range was far away from Edwinstowe, to its north-west. It was practically in the forest. The tall regale trees wrapped around half of the court. The targets-which were haystack with crudely drawn circles-were lined up on the far end. The close end, where I was standing, had a few people. They were all novices shooting arrows all over the place. I laughed as a small boy of 12 shot a well-aimed into hi father’s lower back. His father shouted a curse as some blood trickled down his back.
Now concerned, I tied Onyx to a nearby tree. She gave me an affectionate neigh before she trampled and started eating the vibrant green grass. I turned around and headed towards the man.
He was kneeling, trying to tear his shirt off to see the wound better. I frowned and I tapped him on the shoulder.
He turned around with a pre-prepared scowl on his ghoulish face. I knew he couldn’t see my face, and his scowl deepened.
“What do you want, boy?” he snapped.
Many people think I’m a boy. No proper lady...scratch that. No lady would wear pants or a cloak. They would sit there with their dresses and ruffles, pretending to be perfect and pretty. They screeched when mud got on their stockings, wailed when their corsets wasn’t tight enough, cried when a man decided to abuse them.
I never truly understood why women never stood up to rude men. I knew nobody saw girls as their equal, but its not men’s fault. They will keep treating us as objects if we don’t fight for ourselves.
Shaking off my thoughts, I said “The arrow.”
Before the blond man could throw another rude comment in my face, I ducked down and pulled the arrow out.
He screamed and tried to punch me out of reflex. I sidestepped, noticing how slow this man was.
I rolled my eyes as he rubbed the wound. Ripping my sleeve, I gave him the comfortable fabric.I pressed it where the arrow hit him, applying pressure. The man relaxed, his pain receding. After a good half minute, I took his hand and put over the fabric. “Keep it there for a bit more,” I instructed him. “If it still hurts, swing by the pharmacy.”
The man grunted. “Thank you, boy.”
He looked down as saw my unblemished, small hands. He frowned again. I tucked them under the cloak as walked away.
“Hey!” he called. “Who are you?”
I turned around. I was now about ten paces away from the man and his son, who was hiding behind his legs. “No one,” I replied. I pulled my hood back just a bit, revealing the full oddity of my iconic eyes. “But not a boy.”
“Princess! Forgive me for my rudeness!” he pleaded as I headed away once again. I waved off his surprised apology. Just because I am royalty doesn’t mean people have to be my special little pet.
I moved far away from the man, all the way to the other side. Here, it was shady and cool, since it was under the forest’s protection. I kicked off my long black boots. It took a bit of time because they reached up to my knee and there were a few pockets sewn in them, so I can stuff knick-knacks in them.
I pulled out the marvelous daggers. I attached six of them on my thigh strap, where it was hidden from view. My long shirt covered my upper half of my thigh, but my cloak covered everything. That’s why everybody thinks I’m a boy. They can’t see what I really am under.
I flicked my wrist, sending my first knife flying. I embed itself in the haystack with a soft thud. I smirked as I saw it landed right smack in the middle of the target. I sent the second one flying, except this one was just a bit too high, pinging off the first dagger I threw. It then landed a bit lower.
I grimaced. Not good enough.
I held my third dagger in between my thumb and forefinger. Gripping it tightly, I aimed well before I threw it with all the precision I could muster.
With a loud smack, the dagger stuck on the handle of the first dagger. Oops.
I stuffed some daggers in my thigh strap and a few in my boots before I headed towards the target. I was barefoot except for my heel. I fashioned my leggings so that it wrapped around my heel with a hole in it. It made running easier in boots and less painful too.
The grass tickled my feet as I made my way to the target. I pulled out my third knife, then assessed the damage I did to the first one. Pulling it out, I rubbed the cut-up leather. Not to back. With a couple of stitches, this dagger with be as good and sleek as new.
I gathered all three of my daggers, then walked back to my original spot.
A branch cracked behind me. I turned around, two daggers already prepared in my hands.
It was a boy. Just like me, he wore a cloak. He was dressed all in black, blending in with the darkness in the trees. He had a bow strapped to him back. His hand rested on a tree, watching me silently. I couldn’t see him under his hood, but I could tell he watched me for a long time. Probably the whole time.
“Hey!” I called as he receded back into the forest. “Hey!” I repeated my forcefully as he ran into the darkness.
Quickly I slipped on my boots and put one dagger back. I kept one dagger in my left hand just in case. Then I followed the mysterious boy into the copse of trees.
Before I fully emerged into the trees, I looked back. Nobody saw me, not even that man.I left no trace behind.
Then bolted into the forest and left Edwinstowe, as if I were never there in the first place.
Author Notes: I'm obsessed with daggers. Help XD This is the second story with a girl that throws daggers I need to stop lol