So I found this last night and typed a bit up. If anyone ever read this story on here and liked it (I can only think of one person) here’s another part for your reading enjoyment. I can see the end so clearly, I might have to write it up instead of leaving this story unfinished. I hadn’t remembered how twisted I made the poor old man. Anyway, enjoy!
Alexia was named a level one maid. She cleaned everything on the lower floors. The task was daunting, but she was not alone. There were three other level one maids who worked as well, Kiara, Maria, and Sarah. They trained her and taught her the ropes of palace life. Within two weeks the four had established a routine. Alexia cleaned the south quadrant, Maria the north, Kiara the east, and Sarah the west. The bottom floors were cleaned by lunch. Usually, after that, Alexia would go help the level two maids. That kept her busy until night fall, for the level two maids had much more to do They were in charge of all the royal chambers. There was dusting and straightening and mopping to be done and there were only three level two maids. They were very arrogant and gave her the menial tasks, but Alexia was just grateful for work. It allowed her to escape from her imprisonment. For she knew that’s what it was. The king did not want her to escape and every so often Lionel would appear to make sure she was on task and still there. After about two months Alexia had found her stride. Al of her fellow maids found her soothing and peaceful to be with. Peace seemed to emulate from her and she was easy to talk to. She found herself a confidante for half the palace servants. People came to her just to get something off their chests and always left feeling light-hearted. For Alexia’s part, she was glad that so many people found her relaxing. She felt like she was right where she was supposed to be.
One day, one of the level two maids had fallen ill. Alexia gladly filled in for her and took over her chores for the day; which included cleaning the prince’s rooms. Alexia was just finishing when Prince Camden himself came storming in.
“Of all the nerve!” He yelled. Alexia jumped and backed in to a corner. “Treating that man with such disrespect!” he picked up a vase and threw it against the wall. Alexia winced as it shattered. It was obvious the prince was not aware of her presence. She cleared her throat, but Prince Camden was completely oblivious. He continued on his tirade, walking all over the glass on the floor.
“Um…excuse me. Your Highness.” She said only just loud enough to be heard. Camden whirled around and stared at her. “Would you like me to leave?” She asked curtsying. “I was just finishing up, but…” she trailed off.
As he looked at her he understood immediately who she was. He had heard the gossip about the girl who gave off tranquility, like some sort of drug. He felt it now, calm and somewhat serene. His temper completely dissolved.
“Who are you?” he asked quietly.
“Oh, I’m just filling in for-”
“Your name.” He clarified.
“You don’t usually clean up here, do you?”
“No, as I was saying, I’m filling in for Janine.”
Alexia glanced at the door., the floor covered with glass, and back at the prince. He too glanced at the floor.
“Oh, I apologize, I didn’t mean to make more work for you.” He trailed off as he looked around and realization swept over him. “You were done.” He glanced at her again and noticed her nervous stance.
“Well, you can go. I’ll send someone else in to clean up this mess.” He dismissed her.
“With all due respect, sire, but I’d rather do it myself.” She murmured.
His gaze never left her face, so he saw the blush as it spread rapidly over her cheeks.
“I’m sure I could find someone who would do it. You have undoubtedly finished your work for the day.”
“Sire, really, I wish to do it myself.”
“Why?” He stared at her in disbelief.
“I would end up doing it later anyway.” She shrugged. “It will be easier to do it now.” Her words were simply put, but her face was bashful. All this the Prince found extremely perplexing. A rap at the door broke through his thoughts.
“Very well, you may stay and clean it, if you want.” Camden opened the door for the servant.
“Sire,” he bowed low, “the King requests your presence immediately in the throne room.
“I will be there as soon as I can.”
“He says it’s urgent.” The man wrung his hands and straightened a little. “He says you should come immediately.”
“ I will come in a moment.” Camden did not even glance back at the servant. His gaze had once again fallen on the lovely servant girl. Relief had crossed her face, the moment the servant had entered. Camden was flummoxed. Most maids threw themselves at him, wanted his attention; something he did not think that he wanted until now. She was so relieved that she was no longer the center of his attention. Her attitude spoke volumes; she wanted him out of the room. It was such a new thing for him that he couldn’t even begin to comprehend it.
“Yes! I’m coming! Go!” He bowed to Alexia. “Forgive me for the damage milady.” He smiled and walked out the door, closing it behind him.
Alexia sighed in overwhelming relief and began to clean the glass, unaware that the Prince was right outside the door listening to her.
A year passed in much the same way. Alexia rarely saw the Prince and was to preoccupied with work to realize that he was secretly stalking her. Random gifts found their way into her meager room. Gifts that she couldn’t keep and often ended up selling since she couldn’t return them. One gift she kept. It was a ring with a budding rose. It reminded her of her mother’s necklace that the old man had taken. She wore it on a chain around her neck and didn’t really show it to anyone. Many of the girls wished to see it, but Alexia was so quiet that most didn’t ask.
Her life was relatively normal now and she was happy, something she hadn’t experienced much before. It had been a year to the day when the guards came to her room.
“The king demands to see you.” One said, grabbing her arm. They proceeded to drag her out of her room and down the hall. She didn’t struggle or resist, but a feeling of dread cam over her. If the king was calling her, in the middle of the night, that must be bad. She hadn’t seen the king since that horrid experience the previous year.
When they reached the throne room she was once again thrown to the floor. Her knees stung and her eyes watered. Before she looked up she heard a familiar sniffing. When her head finally made its way all the way up, Lionel was standing next to the king before her. She bowed her head again, thinking. Maybe it wasn’t about the gold, maybe it was about her doing something wrong in her duties.
“Take her to the room.” The King dismissed her easily and continued his discussion with Lionel.
She was pulled down the stairs, tears pouring down her face, and pushed into a big room filled to the ceiling with straw. In the middle was a spinning wheel. The door closed and she just stood there in shock for a moment. Slowly, she slid to her knees.
“What now?” her voice cracked. The straw was wall to wall this time, there were no secret doors accessible. She stared at it all in utter horror. She didn’t move, barely breathed. An hour passed, then two. At the end of that hour she heard a creak. A rope unfurled in front of her and she looked up in time to see the little old man come down from the ceiling. She looked at him in shock.
“Hello, my darling, my Rose.” He cackled.
“How do you know?” she finally asked. “Where I am I mean. Who are you?”
“That’s not important my lovely Rose.”
She looked at him and then whispered, “Yes, yes I need help.”
“I want your new ring.” He said, his eyes latching on to the chain around her neck.
“My ring?” her hand covered it protectively. “Why?”
“It’s a good value. Pure gold, real diamonds.”
Her jaw dropped. “Real diamonds?” she pulled it out and examined it. They certainly looked real, but she had figured that they were all fake. “I can’t.” She said.
“They are still holding the one you call Mother.” His voice cracked. “They will kill her.”
Alexia’s face changed from one of disbelief to one of genuine fear. “What?”
“Oh, yes. They keep her in a furnished room, a pretty room and have her fed three times a day. When they bring you here, they hang a noose outside her window, so if you fail they can kill her quickly.” He related with such glee that Alexia felt disgusted with the old man. And afraid.
“Are you happy that she might die?” she asked coldly.
“Oh no, no, of course not,” his smile was still in place, “only happy to be needed.”
She yanked the chain off her neck, but didn’t hand it to him. “You can spin all of this into gold?” she asked dubiously.
“Yes, yes!” he thrust his hand forward impatiently.
Her hand reached out over his and her fingers reluctantly peeled back one by one. The ring dropped.
The little man cackled with glee and jumped on to the the stool. He rapidly pulled straw through the spindle as Alexia watched. He went faster this time, finishing on whole pile before she fell asleep.