The Secrets of Kings: Episode 8

7:30 AM

Quinnella: Princess of Frowena

July 7, 1390, 9:11AM

As Quinnella crossed the palace to peek in upon her brother, she was very excited. She discovered, just the other day, that he really liked it when she would surprise him for the day by sneaking up on him and doing a “tickle attack.” It brought a smile to her face to think of his precious little face devolving into a bout of laughter. Technically she was not supposed to enter the Prince’s chambers without announcing herself and awaiting an okay from either the prince or his caretaker but she was not really one to follow the rules, and she was fairly certain the Veiled Lady would not yet have arrived to perform her brother’s daily lessons.
“Quinny...Quinny!” He would yell as he giggled. Quinnella just loved it but it also made her a bit sad to think of when her mother used to do this to her. She was sure that her mother was watching from the Kingdom Beyond and would be thankful that Quinnella was passing on the tradition to the child that she was never able to know.
She was nearly to her brother’s chambers, so she stopped, slipped off her clacking shoes and placed them just outside the door of his room. There was a winding hallway at the front of his quarters constructed out of large, hanging, tapestries. The Princess tip-toed through them until she was at the end of the first portion of the make-shift hall. She thought she heard people moving around in the room, and wanted to peek inside. She found a small closing there were two tapestries met. She slightly poked her finger through the space, just enough to open it so she could peek into the room. Only, she was completely unprepared for what she saw.
It was the prince’s morning for a bath, which the princess should have realized as it was the same day of the week that the Prince always had slightly less greasy locks but the bath was really nothing of note. The Veiled Lady was there in her usual frock but ungloved and the prince was standing there in a metal tub as the veiled lady helped to clean him. The princess recognized some things in this scene and what she saw, told her that she had been living at the center of a giant lie.
She let out a slightly audible gasp and pulled her finger from the gap she had created between the tapestry walls, thankfully, she was far enough away and behind the curtains enough that it was unlikely that anyone besides her could hear her as she released her breath. She backed away quietly and quickly from the chamber. Once she hit the daylight in the corridor, she felt a heaviness in her chest. She began to breathe erratically and mumble slightly. At some point during all of this, Ponce approached her and tried to get her to calm down. She could only make out certain pieces of what he was telling her, but he offered to help her leave the castle, so she  acquiesced and followed him to her room and took a seat by the window.
She heard him tell her to prep her things and that he would be back.
He waited until she made her way over to her wardrobe before he left. As she looked through her clothing, she could not really see the difference in picking out anything. She just wanted to leave and go to the North House, as Ponce had suggested so that she could be secluded. She would not be there with any intentions of impressing anyone. Therefore, she did the only reasonable thing she could muster in that moment and just randomly grabbed several dresses and undergarments and threw them thoughtlessly atop her bed. She then grabbed other things she would need: jackets, hairbrushes, pins, just a few bits of jewelry, her favorite toy from when she was a child… It took her all of three minutes to throw everything she wanted to take with her in a pile.
She walked lethargically over to the corner of her room, where her writing desk sat near the wall, but facing out over the rest of the room. It was one of her favorite spots, a little nook where she would read, learn, and even look out upon the world through her window. Her room, along with the rest of the royal wing, was several stories up and she could see for miles, both inside and outside the city wall and even a small piece of the sea port. She used to sit at this desk and write short stories about the people who used to pass by from down below. Little did she know at the time, that she was a part of someone else’s fiction. A fiction that was known both far and wide.
All of this made her start to wonder what else in her life had been lie. She had so many questions and she could think of only one person that might be able to answer them. She pulled out a piece of paper and a quill, preparing to write but before she could start, she heard a stirring just outside of her chamber. She put down the quill and looked outside. She loved Ponce, but he would always be loyal to her father and she thought it best that he never know  to whom she was about to write.
Ponce brought in a fat boy with brown curls and instructed him to pack the belongings that she had set out. Once he had situated the boy, Ponce left again, stating he would be back soon. The moment he was out of sight, Quinella took up the pen once again, writing feverishly, as to complete the task before Ponce would return. Once she finished scrawling, she folded, addressed, and sealed the parchment with her wax seal.
“Boy!” She called out from her corner of the room.
“Yes, Princess?”
“I have a very important, but top secret errand for you.”
“The boy looked around with slight confusion, certainly no one had ever entrusted him with something considered “top secret” before.
“I will pay you, but you must come over here quickly and swear to never tell a soul.” She warned. “Can you do that?”
“Yes...yes...M’lady…” He stammered as he approached her writing nook.
“Can you read, boy?”
“Yes, M’lady. Me father taught me.”
Quinnella pushed the parchment toward him. “Do you see who this is for?”
The boy read the name and looked at the Princess with suspicious eyes. “Yes. I can see who it is for.”
“Do you anticipate having means to get this out of the castle walls and to someone willing to deliver it?” Before he could say anything she reached out for her purse and secured a large handful of coins. “It is unlikely you will be able to keep all of this. I know that getting this letter to the recipient may require you to pay someone else to get it there, but I hope that you can keep most of it.”
The boy’s eyes widened in disbelief. This was likely more money than his entire family made in a year and the princess was wise enough to know it. “I will be sure it is delivered. I have heard whispers of people who still see him on the outskirts of the kingdom.” He said.
“Very good.” She said handing him the money first. He stuffed it into his own pouch and hid it under his shirts. He knew if anyone would notice how large his purse had grown over the course of the day, he would likely be accused of stealing. Once he had taken care of the money, the Princess handed over the letter, which he secured in his pants.
“Thank you, Boy.” She expressed with a slight nod. “Remember. No one can know.”
He delivered a slight nod back to her and turned to collect the last of her belongings and pull the trunk into the corridor. As she watched him drag the trunk, she quickly collected the rest of her coin stash into a large purse and affixed it to her waist.
Ponce brought in her tea just moments after that and, in just a few moments, she was made to feel as though everything was okay.

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