“The Fate of the Princess”

Published 1 month ago -


A Short Story Submission…

Madelynn Johnson, Staff Writer

The two were silent for a while before he spoke. “…I keep having this dream.” The man—who is looking out the window at the night sky, his hands behind his back—perks up slightly. “A dream, you say?”

“That is what I just said.”

The man is silent for a moment until he realizes that the silence is meant for him to continue. “…It is always the same dream, but one thing changes sometimes.” Again, silence. He licks his lips before continuing. “It always starts with a white doe. Sometimes she is silver, but the first time I had the dream, she was white.” Silence. “She is always grazing in the forest alone. Then I hear dogs barking. Hounds, specifically. They find the doe and chase her…The hounds are always gray and black.”

He seems to be rushing through his explanation now, as if he is caught up in the hunt as well. “They always get close to catching her, but then she seems close to escaping. Just before she can run out of the forest, she trips. The hounds howl as they lunge at her. Then I wake up.” The man remains silent for what seems like ages, his head bowed in thought. He shivers from the cold of the room, his bare feet and pajamas not retaining any of his body heat. The man still does not answer. “What does it mean?”

Finally, the man turns, his blank face ghastly in the faint moonlight. “I could be wrong, we will only know in time. But given the recurrence of the dream, I assume this matter is pressing, as it should be.” He pales almost as much as the moonlight. “Why is it pressing? What’s wrong? What does it mean?” The man slams his fist down on a nearby table suddenly, making him jump and shut his mouth. “…You should be in bed. Return to your quarters, Quint.” Quint went to protest, but a single glare from the man was enough to stop him. He hung his head and turned, leaving the room.

Once he was gone, the man’s firm, authoritative presence left him. He leaned on the table for support, his eyes wide. His heartbeat quickened and he had to take deep breaths to help calm himself. “…It cannot be…Not her…Anyone but her… And he is just a boy…A foolish, foolish boy…” He paused and gulped before shakily standing and brushing himself off. “It is settled then…” He murmured. “He must be trained. He must be prepared to take up this task.” He turned to glance out the window at the night sky again, sighing shakily. “…Else the princess will fall…!”

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