Beginning of an unfinished story. Here the misfit princess leaves the castle.
| Daphnea walked swiftly up the grand staircase, her long skirt swirling around her ankles. She was elegant and mysterious in her apparent aloofness. Looking straight ahead she glided out of sight. Her parents were only aware of her exit because she had told them she was going to her room. They continued to entertain their guests, silently and disguisedly relieved Daphnea was gone.
Daphnea turned down the hall towards her room, but instead took a small corridor to the left. She picked up her skirts and ran. If anyone had seen her she would be gone before they told the guards. Daphnea did not want to be met by any guard again. They were on strict orders that the Princess was not to leave the castle compound. Nor was she allowed in the basement, towers or servants’ quarters. The first time she was approached by a guard she had been in the tower. A handmaiden of her mother’s had seen her go in the door to the tower stairs. She was looking out at the panoramic view of the meadow and forest when the guard snuck up on her. He grabbed her roughly and carried her down the six flights of stairs. She struggled and eventually got her arm free to hit him. When she did he took out a leather switch and lashed her five times. He dragged her to her mother’s chamber and locked her in. When her mother walked in things only got worse.
Putting these thoughts aside Daphnea threw her self at the heavy oak door at the end of the corridor. She stopped for a moment to let her eyes adjust to the darkness. She heard a flutter of wings near by.
“Mul-ki!” she whispered in a sing-song voice, “Mul-ki, it’s me. Daphnea’s come to let you out.” The flutter changed direction, coming closer quickly. With a soft thud a large body hit Daphnea. She wrapped her arms around him as the giant bat creature hooked the claws on its wings behind her neck. “Aww, Mul-ki, I’m sorry. This is the first chance I’ve gotten to see you. I would have come sooner if I could have,” she explained to her unusual pet. She hefted the bat’s bulky body into a better position and carefully began to cross the room. Mul-ki refused to release his grip on Daphnea and she was forced to carry him through the long, dungeonous room. She slowed down and reached out her hand, waving it in front of her until she felt the rough wooden door. As she leaned against the door, its weight slowly gave in and angrily creaked open. Moonlight flooded in and Mul-ki pressed his head against Daphnea. Once she stepped out onto the soft grass Mul-ki unhooked his wings and took off. Daphnea stumbled backwards from the creature’s force pushing off. She quickly recovered and ran along below the dark shadow in the sky.
The cool air tingled her pale skin and the long grass begged for bare feet. Once Daphnea reached the edge of the forest she ducked behind a tree and crouching, pulled a bundle from its roots. She unwrapped it quickly and put it down. She stood and removed her corset and overdress, then her long slip. Standing in her short, lace slip and undershirt she carefully folded her clothing. She traded them for the contents of the package, a short skirt and tight top, both red, and a sheer black dress tied with a silk ribbon at the waist. Once she had dressed she called to the bat. He landed at the edge of the trees, but refused to approach the forest. Daphnea knew she was late and could not spend time coaxing the stubborn creature to follow. She told her pet she would return before dawn and turned to head deeper into the darkness.
“Arwooooooo!” Daphnea heard the gathering call. She scrambled through the undergrowth towards the sound. From another direction and much closer she heard another call. “Arwoooo,” she responded so the two of them could find a path towards the gathering ground. She spotted a boy younger then herself dressed in tattered pants and shirt two sizes to large. He cut over to where she was headed and slowed until she caught up. They nodded to each other but did not speak. Soon they could see the moonlight filtering down through the leaves; it was a field just a little ways ahead.
* * * * * * *
The man in the top hat and coat finished speaking. Some of the crowed headed off in different directions. Daphnea however pushed her way towards the tall man despite most of the crowd packing in towards him. He was speaking with a purple haired girl. He seemed to not care, despite her obvious eagerness at each of his words. She was also quite beautiful and looked dangerous. As he placed a hand on her shoulder casually she stood straighter and seductively flipped her long hair. That’s when Daphnea glimpsed a vampire-fang earring and slayer tattoo.
That’s why she’s here, Daphnea thought, she wants information. I’d wager she had to watch a lot of vampires walk into the mists just to get to him.
The man it the top hat looked up from the vampire slayer and sighted Daphnea making her way towards him. The crowd parted slightly at his gesture and the purple-haired girl melted back out of sight. Daphnea blushed at the attention but rushed forward through the path. She approached him bashfully, as if a young child. When she reached his outstretched hand she took it daintily and curtsied.
“I told you Lady D, if you continue to do that I will be forced to bow in return,” he chided her. Daphnea immediately stood straight and blushed redder.
“Sorry, it seems rude not to, M’lord,” she apologized humbly.
“And none of that ‘M’lord’ rubbish either. You need not be formal with me.” He turned to the crowd. “It is late my children. Many of you need to return to your homes before you are missed. Others, before you are found,” he added slyly with a wink. “Be off, and be safe until I see you again. Fair night!”
“Who were you talking to?” Daphnea asked, trying to sound casual. He stroked her raven black hair as he looked longingly at her face. “I suspect that question comes from concern that I would grant a vampire huntress an audience. And perhaps just a little from jealousy.” Daphnea looked at him startled, she was used to hiding things from her parents. It made her feel naked and vulnerable to be read so easily. If she did not trust him with her life…
“I know she’s a huntress. But I would never give her information to find an innocent vampire. I hinted about the general location of a vile and murderous vampire. If she slays him and lives to tell it will be far in the future. She has much traveling ahead of her.” As he spoke the pair wandered toward a trail into the woods. A few stragglers were making their way back along the paths they came from.
One creature stood out from the rest. He appeared to be a man except for the thick brown hair down his neck and protruding from his sleeves. Daphnea had never seen a werewolf at a gathering. Next time, she though, I will look for his green pants and red sash. Maybe he has never been to a gathering.