Story about a rather...unusual princess.
|“Cato, how are you this beautiful morning?” the sharp, clipped voice of princess Moira ranged through her queen mother’s room.
The unfortunate target of her ‘wrath’ was her kingly father’s advisor, the famed and wrinkled Cato. In his youth he had been quite the lush, drinking wine like a babe suckling at his mother’s breast for milk. All the kingdom knows him as he had a rather horrid incident with the queen’s wedding ring somehow ending up in his silk pocket…
Since he is the queen’s best friend the entire stolen ring debacle has been shut down, buried twenty feet under, sprinkled it with murky death water…ah, but mouths still talk in decadent hushes, and walls have ears.
“What does it look I’m doing, your majesty?” Cato asked in a droll voice, not minding at all the stack of yellowed, blank papers near him.
“Staring at a bunch of papers.” Moira answered sarcastically, while rolling her eyes.
“Nothing escapes the sharp eye of the Star of Fate it seems.” Cato said in a sardonic, velvety voice.
“Stop calling me that.” Moira grumbeled “Just because the entire kingdom says I was born with the destiny to tell people about their fate doesn’t mean it’s true! Or that it will actually protect the kingdom…”
“You seemed perfectly capable to tell your kingly brother that if he eats cookies with marmalade every morning his health will deteriorate faster than this kingom’s leadership”
Moira adored the sound of mutiny against the king so early in the morning.
“One has no need to be a seer to tell Thomas about his grissly fate. Alas he does not yet know the importance of self-control” Moira said casually, one corner of her mouth lifting.
“He’s a fine lad though, isn’t he?” Cato asked, feeling in a jovial mood.
Moira has long suspected that her brother is actually her half-brother, yet still that knowledge hasn’t dimmed her affections. Tommy was her incorrigible, glutton of a little brother. Nothing will change that.
“Since these are only a bunch of papers, do you mind if I do …this?” Moira asked as she heated the papers with a candle, revealing the message for the queen’s eyes only.
Moira scanned the poem quickly.
“My dear rose devoid of thorns, how I wish I could cradle
Your ebony hair like midnight, soft like kitten’s fur
And gaze everyday at your emerald jewels, thou minx
Let us talk freely, no games, no tricks…”
“My mother would surely be impressed.” Moira said with a smirk.
“Blasted girl! Can’t an old man have privacy?” Cato asked, his cheeks reddening.
“Sorry, uncle Cato. I just worried about your’s and mother’s safety. You remember the poisoned letters father sent her when she refused to present herself to court in her ill state. And fire detected the poison.” Moira said wisely.
“I’m not your uncle, girl.” Cato said with a fond look in his eyes.
“You’re as good as.” Moira decided then felt an overwhelming desire to hug the old advisor. Acting on her instincts, she embraced him fiercely. It felt like an eternity but she could finally feel him patting her back. If only Cato had been her father, instead of a roly-poly tyrant, who chopped your hands if you so much as dropped one of the grapes from his plate . Admittedly they were juicy, plumb red grapes, the most expensive in the kingdom, but it surely didn’t warrant mutilation.
Before Moira could ask Cato teasingly about the date of his wedding with her mother the door was swung open. In stormed the royal guard Ferdinand, or Ferdy as Moira used to call him in her younger years. He looked frantic, eyes wide, fingers shaking.
“Your majesty, there has been a coup. The king has been beheaded.” Ferdinand said.
Cato gaped not quite believing his words while Moira barely abstained from saying Let’s have a grand party then!
Them’s fighting words spewn from traitorous lips and Ferdy has always been a bit..too loyal to his king, because he helped him when he was but a starving orphan to become what he is today. Nobody knows exactly when the king’s heart had begun to shrivel up like forgotten persimmon and die like a wounded sparrow not reaching warm countries. They say it was the day his mother died or the day his true love perished and he had to remarry Moira’s mother instead. Other said he must have made a deal with the fae, perhaps goblins, and might have lost his soul.
If you asked Moira it was complete poppycock. The bastard must have been born a bastard and if option three , the most fallacious one, was actually true, Moira could only bemoan the fact that he was not force-fed goblin food, as he would have had no choice but to stay in the goblin realm.
“Forgive me if I don’t shred a tear. Dry eyes you see…” Cato said while Ferdy sputtered before glaring and rapidly informing the princess.
“Your majesty, the’re planning to kill the entire royal family, we have to get you to safety.”
Moira gaped. She had always been kind to the folk outside the palace, had made sure they had food and had sent guards to rebuild shelters. She even spent time with the orphans and read them stories while giving them much required affection.
They sprung in action, Cato dragging a reluctant Moira by the hand wherever Ferdinand was leading them to.
They found her beautous mother and a sullen Thomas with her in a chariot with a finely dressed rider in the front.
“Sissy, they didn’t let me get any toys.” her little brother winged.
“It would have taken you an eternity to choose, little bother.” Moira said while ruffling Thomas’s ruby hair.
Moira and Cato enter the chariot, however, in the blink of an eye, they were surrounded by enemy soldiers.
They were dressed all in black, like the night had enveloped them lovingly, however they had the sign of a medusa on their forearms. She couldn’t remember the significance but cato ‘s eyes widened in understanding.
Ferdinand was about to fight twenty soldiers singlehandedly and most likely loose with grace and nobility.
But Moira could just not take it, she could not let such a good man perish because of her. Quick like an arrow she jumpes out of the charriot, takes a fallen sword and disarms one of the intruders.
“Moira!” Everyone, sans the intruders, scream at her.
For once she is actually glad her deceased father forced her to learn sword-fighting instead of knitting with a silver needle.
The chariot is gone, the rider not listening to the pleas of Cato and the queen mother’s nor caring about Thomas’s tears.
Moira and Ferdinand fight as hard as they can but…they are soon overwhelmed.
She wakes up alone in a cold, damp dungeon, mold festering in the corners.
‘Well isn’t this the model of hospitality?’ Moia thought
“Finally awake, I see.”
She recognized the voice, her father’s second cousin, the heartless duke Sans coeur. She should have known he was behind these attacks. The medusa had always been his ideal flag in the past.
“Well done, duke. You have finally learned to make the difference between an awaken captive and one who feigns sleep in order to not gaze upon your ugly visage.” Moira said while smiling.
“Insolent fool! I could kill you by just snapping my fingers.” the duke said.
“If that were true I would have been dead already. We both know how much you hated my father.” Moira said.
“Your father was a heartless swine!” the duke screams.
‘Says the man with the monicker Sans coeur’ Moira thinks.
“For once we agree on something.” the girl says, lips turning upwards.
“I have kept you alive for one reason girl, you will become my little seer.” the duke says.
‘Why does everyone want to use me like a tool?’ Moira asks herself, feeling tired of all this crazyness.
“Come closer.”Moira says and the duke complies.
“I have seen your future.” Sans coeur looks interested “You will soon be spit upon.” Moira said.
“What?” the duke asks finally snapping out of her 'spell'.
But it was a little too late as Moira spit upon him, not fearing repercussions. Sans coeur growled and sent towering monkeys that were supposed to be guards to beat her. Moira endured valiantly until one day she decided to make a deal.
“I will be your ‘little seer’ as long as you fulfill three requests.” Moira said feeling glum
“Name them.” Sans coeur said.
“You will not attack the remaining royal family, nor the ex-advisor named Cato, you will not take over my birthplace and under no circumstance will you use my powers for evil” Moira said in an arid tone.
“...very well.” the duke said and they shook hands.
Twenty years have passes since that faithful day and surprisingly, the duke has kept his word,. Moira has been able to identify many spies and help many of the townspeople. It was strange how she considered this place a warped sort of home, yet one withouth colour, as all the people in her life were away from her.
Today she has made the request to travel for a couple months to find her family and stay with them…temporarily.
Her wish was granted.
She traveled by horse, leaving ashes behind, rode faster than anyone had the decency to so late at midnight. She encountered dragons whom she slayed, avoided cannibalistic witches, made friends with dwarfs who showed her the way outside this complicated labyrith she has made trying to find her family.
Finally, after months of searching, a small yet agile young lady knocked on the door of a modest house.
A charming old lady opens the door, glass of milk in her hands.
The milk spills…
“Moira?” the woman asks.