The lost has been found! The Golden Rose Part 4


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.

“Alexia, sire.”

“You don’t usually clean up here, do you?”

“No, as I was saying, I’m filling in for Janine.”

“Ah.”

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.

“Sire-”

“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.

The Golden Rose Part III


The last part I believe! Sorry…

She had tried to remain quiet at first. Her sobs were swallowed, her cries repressed. However, after several hours of examining the room and finding no way out, she let everything go. Her screams and tears seemed to be torn from her for days, but the time was surprisingly short. When there were only a few hours until morning there was nothing left in her. No tears, no voice, and no feeling, except that of utter terror. It was with a heavy heart that she began to examine the walls closely. She started on the right and worked her way around examining every crevice and every crack. There was no window in this room only a small lantern that emitted little light. As the minutes ticked by, she grew more panicked and less thorough in her search for an escape. She was examining the left side, her heart slowly breaking when she found a loose brick. Excitedly, she began to wiggle it out. Hope filled her as she got it halfway out, but there it stopped. She tried to pull it out further, but it was stuck and refused to move. Her heart fell and again she burst into tears, pushing the brick back into its spot in defeat. As it returned to its initial position, a small door swung open and clouds of dust billowed up, forcing her eyes to close so no dirt would get in them. When the clouds cleared and she could open her eyes there was a small wizened old man standing in the doorway.

“Hello my beauty.” He croaked. She took two steps back and ran into the straw behind her.

“What do you want?” her voice was raw, barely a whisper, the result of screaming for hours.

“To help you, of course. I always want to help.” His voice cracked, and he cackled softly.

“Who are you?” she asked in her whisper.

“No one of consequence.” He giggled.

“What do you want?” she repeated.

“Your necklace.” He glanced at it with bloodshot eyes.

She stared at his face. It seemed familiar somehow. His hair was all white and unruly, spiking in every direction. Wrinkles covered his face and dirt covered his wrinkles. His clothes were rags that weren’t really a color because they were so dirty.

“You can’t have it.” Her hand went protectively over the gold rose pendant that hung at her throat. “My mother gave this to me.”

“No, that is my necklace. I made it.” His red eyes held hers captive.

“You made this?” she gasped. It was beautiful and she found it hard to believe a man such as he had made anything beautiful.

He looked at her shrewdly. “I spin gold. If you give me the necklace, I will spin all this straw,” he waved his weathered hand at the enormous pile before them, “into gold.”

“Really?” she looked at his frail body skeptically. Spinning was hard work and he seemed as though he would fall over if a breeze came by. “Prove it.”

He cackled and went over to the wheel. Out of the pile, he plucked one piece and sat at the wheel. Slowly he brought it through and then held it up for her to see. She snatched it from his hand, examining it closely. It was pure gold.

“I will do the rest if you give me the necklace.” His raspy voice grated over her. She thought about refusing, but she remembered her mother. Quietly she reached up, unclasped the necklace, and held it out to him. Greedily he grabbed it from her hold and began to spin furiously. Awed, she sat on a pile of hay to watch.

The next conscious thought was as a guard roughly shook her awake. She opened her eyes slowly, feeling old and not willing to move. As her vision focused, she saw the king and scrambled to stand. Except he wasn’t looking at her. In fact, no one was. They were staring at the huge pile of gold that sat on the floor before their eyes. She saw it and her mouth fell open. She hadn’t been able to stay awake; she was too emotionally exhausted. He had taken all of the straw and created a tower of gold that dazzled the eyes and awakened the imagination.

“Take it to the treasury.” The king’s deep voice broke the reverie. “Put it in the vault.” He swept out of the room. The guards briefly glanced at her, wondering what to do with her, when a young servant came scurrying into the room. His face was one of digust.

“You, girl, come, you are to follow me.” She could not help but stare. He was rather handsome with green eyes and light brown hair. His voice was pompous, and the tone said to anyone who mattered that he was better. His skin was eerily white and his entire being seemed to glow, in contrast to the dirt surrounding him. He was a vision of perfection.

She stuttered, “I-I beg your pardon?” and continued to stare stupidly.

“Follow!” He cried and quickly walked out of the room. After a quick glance at the guards, who were filling a huge bag with gold, she followed the man.

“Quickly!” he called behind him and she ran to catch up. They went up the stairs and the higher they got, the cleaner it was. As they rose, the man got visible more comfortable and Alex got visibly less. She was filthy, covered in bood and dirt. Surely she would make a mess of anything clean. When they reached the top, he opened a white door and beckoned her through. She did so and was immediately seized by rough hands that threw her into a tub of boiling water. They scrubbed her roughly and quickly, only allowing her to surface for large gasps of air. Then the two burly women packaged her into a large, course towel. The pompous man reappeared and motioned with one finger for her to follow. He strode swiftly with her waddling behind him. The next door opened to reveal a strong looking seamstress. Alexia winced. She had bruises forming from the two other women.

“Outfit her with the proper attire for a level one maid. His Majesty wants to see her when you are finished, so send her to the throne room when you are done.” He looked at Alexia, sniffed, and quickly exited the room. The seamstress shook her head as he left.

“Don’t mind Lionel.” Her accent was rough. “If he werent’ that way, he wouldn’t be Chief of Staff and Ceremonies.” She brought Alex to the center of the room. “My name’s Cynthia, and I am a lowly seamstress out of many seamstresses.” She smiled. “And you will be a lowly maid, out of many maids.”

Alexia returned the smile hesitantly. “I’m Alexia.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Alexia.” Cynthia said retrieving her tools.

An hour passed by and Alexia didn’t notice. Cynthia was kind to her and helped her find work clothes with ease as she entertained by recalling anecdotes about her first days in the palace.

“Well lass, it looks like you’re done. Come, I’ll take you to the grand hall myself.” Alexia looked in the mirror. She was clean and smartly dressed. She smiled brightly.

“Come lass!” The smile disappeared when she remembered where she was going. She hurried to catch up with Cynthia. The trip to the throne room was short. When they arrived Cynthia opened the door and whispered, “Good luck,” before pushing her through.

Lionel was there, whispering in the king’s ear. The door closed behind her with a soft click and Lionel’s beady eyes latched on to hers. He straightened and motioned toward her. The king turned his head and fixed her with a menacing stare.

“Come here.” His voice rang in the empty hall. She timidly walked forward until she stood right in front of him. “You have done a service to your country. In exchange for this service, I offer you employment here, in the castle, as a maid. What say you?”

Alexia stared, unbelieving. It was obvious what he expected her to say. But could she?

“I would be honored,” she curtsied, “Your Majesty.” The words had escaped from her lips. “Thank you.”

“Good. Lionel will place you where he deems you will be of the most use.”

Alexia rose and glanced at Lionel’s ungainly expression. His nose went up in the air and he sniffed. “Certainly, sire.” His voice was solicitious, but his face showed his utter contempt for the task. “This way.” He speedily traveled the expanse of the room. Alexia ran after him, knowing that if she didn’t he would leave her behind.

***

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 wasa 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.

The Golden Rose Part II


Here’s the second part…

Twelve Years Later…

Alexia awoke, being shaken violently.

“Up, you lazy cow!” her father shrieked in her ear.

She slowly sat up and dressed. She would have washed her face, but it had been long since she had been denied water for washing.

“SPIN!” he screamed, pointing to the wheel and the pile of hay. He then left on his short, stubby little legs and she could only be grateful.

This was her daily routine. She was awakened by her father and made to sit and try to spin straw into gold. Lately he had taken drastic measures and taken away things. Washing water, clean clothes, good food, rags, and even the sight of her mother were now denied to her for failing to comply with his ridiculous request. For the first few years of her teenage life her mother had tried to plead with him, but her mind was slowly unraveling and she could hardly put two coherent words together let alone try to stand up for Alexia.

She slowly sat on the hard wooden stool and picked up a piece of straw with her scabbing fingers. Working with the straw everyday had made her fingers bleed, and since she never stopped, they never healed. She sighed and began to try to spin. Excuses were useless, this was the gift she was expected to have, but she knew it was completely foreign to her. Reasoning was useless. Her mother could no longer talk coherently, but her father was well and truly mad. He had always expected it of her.

A sudden knock at the door startled her from the tranquility of her own mind. Two men in soldier’s garb entered.

“Are you the wench known as Alexia, independent in her own right?” the man on the right asked.

“I am Alexia,” she replied, “but I am not independent. My father takes care of me.”

The one on the left laughed. “You expect me to believe that midget is your father. You look nothing like him.”

The right one shook his head. “You are under arrest for failing to pay your taxes to the crown, which is required by all independents.

They took her and bound her wrists, ignoring her feeble protests.

“Wait! No!” she struggled, especially when they passed by her father, who was grinning maliciously.

“The king always wants…profitable people.” The guards said as he threw into the big cage wagon.

***

They carried her wriggling form in the main courtyard of the castle. As soon as she entered, it seemed as though all eyes fixed on her. A small group of noble ladies passed by, giggling at her filthy appearance and smell. She held her head high until a handsome young count walked their way.

“Fallen in the world, Casper?’ he asked the guard. “Carrying the painted about now are we?”

As they laughed, her head drooped in humiliation. Her eyes were shut tight even when they reached the door. They threw her onto the tile floor, her knee bled, her hands stung, but her eyes did not open.

“Look at me.” The words were compelling, in a deep baritone. She slowly raised her head and looked at the handsomest face she had yet seen. She had never had an opportunity to see many handsome men, so that wasn’t saying much, but he was handsomer than all the young nobles in the courtyard. He had black hair that came to his shoulder. On his marble face, there was a black beard, cut perfectly. His eyes were as black as pitch and possessed no trace of mercy or compassion. He stared at her.

“This is the girl?” He did not remove his eyes from her dirty face, but directed the questions to the guards.

“Aye, my lord. This is the girl said to make straw into gold.”

She looked back sharply. Apparently, her father had relayed his suspicions and demands. Would the king relentlessly pursue the spun gold as well?

“Go to the dungeon, make sure everything is prepared.” The guards left. “I have long searched after the one who is able to spin gold. It is an asset invaluable to my kingdom. Now, I have the being that does such things. Your silence confirms you.” Her eyes bored into the floor. “I will tell you, that if you are lying, and you do not have this…gift, you will be killed, as well as your father and mother.”

She looked up quickly and stared in horror at that stony face. “Your—” she cut off, her voice gravelly and dry. She swallowed and tried again. “Your Majesty, my mother—”

“Is in no danger, if you are telling the truth.” The guards returned and the king finally tore his gaze from her face. “Let’s go.”

They grabbed her again, and again she was dragged through the castle. They went down many levels until finally they reached a door made of stone. It was open and she was unceremoniously tossed inside.

“I will be back in the morning. That,” he pointed to the straw in piles around her, “should be gold. If you fail to turn it ALL into gold, your mother’s life will be forfeit.”

The door was shut and barred and she was left alone with her tears.

The Golden Rose Part I


I was describing this and decided to post it…WARNING: It isn’t finished. I might finish it one day, but as it is now, it is incomplete. No complaining that it isn’t done…lol. Here it is my Rumplestiltskin story.

He paced the room in the disquiet around him. The waiting overwhelmed him. Finally, a cry pierced the silence. He dropped into the chair, relief making his shoulders sag, but only briefly. Then, at the thought of his newborn child, he jumped up and ran into his room, where his wife lay behind the bed curtains.

When the nurse saw him, she smiled and walked to the doctor, conferring briefly. She returned to him holding a screaming bundle. The smile was now nonexistent.

“It’s a girl.” She said solemnly.

“A girl!” he took his child from her smiling. Seeing the expression on her face, his smile slid and he whispered, “What’s wrong?”

“There have been some…complications. It would be best if you took her elsewhere.” The nurse quickly returned to the doctor and his wife, Anna.

Quietly he walked in the decorated nursery. His wife had spent months fixing this room to perfection. There was a gold crib placed in the center of the strange circular room. He had created it himself. That was his gift—he could spin anything into gold, provided of course that it fit into the spindle. He had finished fashioning the crib only a week before this joyous day.

“She couldn’t wait.” He murmured, sitting down in a rocking chair. He looked at the small creature in his arms. She had quieted and was now sleeping. He kissed her little forehead and began to gently rock.

“She loved roses.” He said again examining the room covered in rose wallpaper. “So that’s what we’ll call you, Rose.” He sighed. “You know, I wanted a boy, but you’re perfect.” He gently rock in the chair, murmuring to Rose, waiting for news of his Anna.

***

The cemetery was full. He stood at the front, cradling Rose, and watched them lower the cold, dead body of his wife into the unfeeling earth. He turned and walked out of the cemetery, trailed by the wet nurse, Lily. As they entered the manor, Lily looked at him timidly.

“My lord, I can take her if you wish.”

“No, she’s the only part of Anna I have left.” And he walked up the stairs.

***

Five Years Later…

“Daddy!” a little girl stumbled down the stairs.

“Rosie!” he scooped her up in his arms and hugged her tight. She looked up at him.

“Did you have a good trip?” she asked in her precocious manner.

“Yes, it was very good.” He replied smiling at her. “Were you good while I was gone?”

“Yes.” Her eyes lit up. “We made cookies!” she squealed. “You have to have some!” she wriggled and he let her down so she could run to the kitchen. Lily walked down the stairs.

“All was well?” he asked.

“She was fine.” Lily said softly. “But Mayor Parley stopped by again.”

He sighed. “What did he want?”

“He knew you were gone but wanted to talk to Rose. I told him to return when you did.”

“Then he likely knows I’m here.”

She looked down. “Will he never stop?”

“No, he’s a greedy man, Lily. Greedy men also tend to be desperate men.”

Rose ran in. “I put some cookies on the table for you! Come on!” she caught his hand and pulled him into the kitchen.

***

Rose was asleep. The black of night surrounded him as he sat in his old chair by the glowing embers. He pondered on his town, the town to which he had brought business and wealth. The people who were once content with their share. Ever since Mayor Parley had arrived at his position the people had come to hate him, envy clouding the eyes of reason. Where once they had respected him, they now perceived that he was someone to despise. For what? Wealth he could never give them.

The house suddenly shook as someone pounded on the door.

“Rumple! Open up!” the voice was a deep bass and it shook the door. “We know you’re in there!”

“You can’t hide your secret forever!” this voice was high and squeaky.

He rose and opened the door. The entire town stood at his doorstep. “I can do what I want with my ability. I have bettered all your lives. What more do you wish from me?” His voice was filled with anguish.

“Tell us your secret!” There were two men in the front: a large man, rather like a giant, and a tiny one, who had spoke. “We know that you can give us the means to spin gold.”

“It is a gift, not a power merely anyone can hold.” He said patiently, as though speaking to his five-year-old daughter. “I have said this before.”

“I told you!” he spoke to the crowd, his shrill voice carrying. “We must take drastic measures!” he nodded to the big man, who stepped up to the door and pushed ‘Rumple’ aside.

“What do you mean?” he asked and then realized the giant’s goal. He ran up and clawed at him screaming, “NO!” he was thrown off quite easily and then a man came behind him to hold his arms.

“Steady Stan.” Came a strong voice behind him.

“This is what our friendship comes to John?” Stan replied, “You holding me like a dog?” he struggled fruitlessly. There was a scream from above and the big man came down cradling a wriggling girl.

“Daddy!” she shrieked, tears streaming down her face.

“I’m here, precious.” He said. She slowly calmed down, but remained stiff, reaching for her father.

“Daddy!”

He looked at Parley and whispered, “May I say goodbye?”

Parley examined him and nodded. “No funny business.”

He was released as was Rose and she ran and hugged him ferociously. “What’s going on?” she asked him, sobbing.

“Daddy has to go away for a while, but I need you to be brave.”

“I’m scared.” She whispered.

“I am too.” He replied. He pulled a necklace from his pocket and held it out to her. “It was your mother’s. Keep it always.” It was simple; a rose pendant on a gold chain, but it glowed. “If you keep it on, I will always come and find you.”

“That’s enough!” Parley’s voice grated his ears. The unrest had grown outside. “Take him to the pit.” Then he was being dragged away. Away from his life, the only reason for living. Her cries filled his ears.

***