Ok, I’m scared.
I really am getting death threats.
…I’m assuming the comments from dead people (Nietzsche, what are YOU doing here? And take Jung with you when you leave. His nonexistant dog scares me.) are a result of comment-button-abuse…*ahem* I think I’ll cave and just go ahead and post the first chapter before something bad happens. O_O
My chapter title WAS in a pretty font, but wordpress has issues and won’t use any fonts other than the default one on here. -_- *sigh*
…I very much dislike the fact that it skips an entire line whenever I entered to a new paragraph. It makes my post look wayyyyy long. …Hey. That might not be a bad thing, though, seeing how this is NaNo…can each extra line count as like two words or something? =D
The Makings of Adventure
“Alasse! Hey! I’ve been looking for you. Where’ve you been?” Netya questioned, running up to me as I walked into our secret clearing in the woods. The sun sparkling off the green leaves spoke of playful mischief, twinkling in my eyes. I whirled around and fell in the grass, my dress spreading an amethyst stain on the emerald green.
“I’ve been looking for you! Where have you been, Netya?” I countered, laughing up from where I lay. “What is it?”
She smiled and sat down next to me. “I need your help. Remember yesterday? Trying to get Thalon to swear secrecy to our…um, harmless little plot?”
I laughed. “Ah, yes, that. Harmless isn’t quite the adjective I would use, though,” I replied.
“Oh come on! No one would have died this time! Maybe…”
“Right. And you’re the picture of innocence. It wouldn’t have worked even if Thalon had sworn secrecy. The Guard would have seen through our disguise in a moment,” I said, smiling as I remembered our whispered plans to cut our hair, procure two uniforms, and masquerade as two young men to join the Castle Guard.
Netya frowned in mock anger. “Oh yes? Well, I thought it was a marvelous idea. No one would ever miss us! Well, except Mother…”
“That is exactly my point!” I exclaimed, laughing. “Our dear mothers would have noticed our absence within the very same day. The Captain of the Guard would have noticed the two extremely ignorant young recruits who happened to appear the exact day Alasse and Netya went missing. And I wouldn’t have been able to keep a straight face anyway, if I had to look at you in a Guard’s uniform all day…” I trailed off, looking pointedly at Netya and grinning.
“Hmph. You’re the one who would look funny. Short hair does not suit you, Alasse,” she replied, giggling. “It makes you look like one of the scullery maids.”
I rolled my eyes. “That’s alright. At least my hair is dark. Yours is so light it would make you look old,” I laughed. “And besides, if we had gone through with the plan, Thalon would have gotten in trouble too. Of course he’d be immediately suspected for complicity. He was saving his own skin by refusing to keep quiet. If we didn’t need him to get us the uniforms, we could have just not told him what we were doing.”
“Yea, I know. But he would have found out anyway. And my hair is not that light,” Netya protested. “I prefer the term ‘golden.’ Yours is just like…mud.” She grinned.
“It is not! It’s dark brown. Not mud. That’s light brown.” I laughed and ducked as Netya shoved me playfully.
Netya glared at me, eyes snapping with glee. “You’re just jealous.” She tossed her head, making the sunlight weave in her loose tresses.
“No. My hair’s better,” I said, swinging my long braid over my shoulder. “I can wear yellow dresses. This is an odd conversation,” I added, smiling. “What do you want my help with? Nothing explosive, I hope,” I said, eyes twinkling with mischief.
“Ok. Thalon wouldn’t promise not to tell on us yesterday so we couldn’t actually follow through with our plot, right? Right. I have an idea, though, to get him back for that…” Netya said in a whisper.
“Frightening. Your ideas scare me. What is it? Does it involve cutting our hair? Because I really do think I like mine.” I said, laughing.
“Nope! It doesn’t. We’ll take him captive! We’ll lure him here, and then we can jump on him and take him by complete surprise. And not let him go until he agrees not to mess up our wonderful plots. How’s that sound?” Netya asked, proud of her scheme.
“Lovely. But very difficult. Capturing Thalon would be a nearly impossible feat,” I answered, jumping up from the ground and grabbing Netya’s hands. “Let’s go!”
“Right. But I don’t think we’d better put our plan into action just yet,” she said. “It’s nearly noon. They’ll be looking for us back at the castle. How about we meet here soon after lunch?”
I nodded. “Yea, that’s probably a good plan. Besides, then we can have hours free to capture him and demand a ransom! Oh fun.”
Netya laughed and grabbed my hand. “Don’t say anything about it! We don’t want to make Thalon suspicious. Come on, let’s go.”
We left our secret glade, laughing, and ran back through the woods. As we drew near the edge of the forest, the trees began to thin and a shining vision opened before my eyes. After the dim, dusky light of the forest, the sunlight in the open air dazzled my sight so I had to blink. I stopped and shaded my eyes with my hand. Netya stood beside me, and we looked together over the fields and the shining moat to the castle. Beautiful and strong, it stood on a hill amid the sprawling bustle of a thriving town. Even from this distance I could see the people, like ants along the street, winding up to its gate.
Beside me, Netya sighed. “Beautiful, isn’t it.”
I nodded. “Yes. Being the daughter of a court lady isn’t so bad, really. So long as we have the forest to escape to,” I said, looking back over my shoulder at its beckoning darkness.
“Mhmm. And speaking of which, we’d best be hurrying. Our mothers shan’t like it if they find we’ve been in the woods again all morning. ‘Learning to be a proper young lady,’ indeed!” Netya exclaimed in disgust. “I’d much rather run adventures in the forest and learn to wield a blade like Thalon! Maybe someday I shall run away and join an outlaw band and run the woods for glory and adventure!” she sighed wistfully.
I smiled at my friend. “Mm. You would be a perfect outlaw princess. Until you found a spider in your bed!” I laughed, poking her. “You wouldn’t last through a night in the forest.”
“Ha, and I suppose you would, though, hmm?” She laughed back. “You wouldn’t, neither! ‘Oh Netya, whatever shall I do? There are twigs in my hair!’” she mimicked, picking a piece of grass from the sleeve of my dress.
I smiled. “Alright, so maybe neither of us would last long. Still, I’d rather risk it than spend the rest of my life in a court being analyzed under a magnifying glass by everyone I meet.”
“I know. I don’t see how Mother can stand it. Still. There is something to be said for it,” Netya said, pointing. “Look at the castle! Look at the town, and the moat, and the fields! And it’s all ours!”
I grinned. “Yes. It is. As long as Mother doesn’t find out we’ve been missing since sunup this morning for the third time this week. If we’re late for lunch again, we shall get a beating!”
Netya rolled her eyes at the heavens in exasperation. “Too true. Let’s go.” She smiled at me, a roguish gleam in her eyes, and added, “First one to the moat wins!” Laughing, she took off across the field, a crimson streak through the grass.
“No fair! You always get the advantage!” I called, and ran in pursuit. Our laughter rang in unison to the sun.
Still laughing together, our faces bright and hair disheveled from our run through the fields, we arrived back at the castle. I carefully scanned the gate for signs of either of our mothers. Seeing the coast clear, I motioned to Netya. We edged under the archway, the portcullis shining cold and strong above our heads. Netya crept secretly ahead, opening a door in the wall that led to the armories, stables, and eventually the rest of the castle, and slipping inside. I followed.
Shutting the door behind us, we turned and ran softly down the long hall. We both knew the passageways of the castle by heart, and could make our way through it without being caught if we needed to. We slipped by the doors of a guardroom, a passage to the stables, and one of the kitchens undiscovered. Many twisting flights of stairs and soaring stone halls later, we reached the section in the keep for the families of the court, and slipped into Netya’s room.
“Now,” I said, ushering her over to a mirror, “do something about your hair, miss. Hurry, they’ll be missing us soon!”
She nodded and picked up a brush as I ducked into the small passage that connected my room to hers. Very convenient for urgent late-night meetings to plan the next escapade to the forest. I ran a brush through my own hair, braiding it neatly again. Straightening the purple silk of my gown and running my hand down the skirt to smooth the wrinkles away, I walked to the window and looked out. My room looked across the moat and the fields beyond, away from the forest. I could see the villages dotting the country, smoke rising from the kitchen chimneys of the houses. I smiled. Such a beautiful country.
As if reading my thoughts, Netya called through the passageway, “My window looks over the forest, Alasse! I can almost see out secret glade.”
“Oh, you couldn’t see that from here! It’s too small,” I replied. “From this far away the trees look like a solid mass of green. I know, I’ve tried to find it from here before.”
“Well, I could see our glade from here if it was bigger, anyway. All you can see is the fields.”
“Yes, but they’re so beautiful! Not as nice and free as the forest, but still. One can’t have everything, I suppose. And the grass is very pretty when the wind blows. It looks just like the sea, making waves against the castle wall,” I smiled. “So. What about trading rooms for a week?”
Netya gasped. “Oh Alasse, you know we couldn’t do that! Mama wouldn’t like it. And I like my view, thank you very much,” she said, coming through into my room. “Yours is so very boring, sea of grass or no.”
I smiled at her. “Maybe I like boring? Although…that can’t be the case, or I wouldn’t keep you around…”
She laughed. “Very true. Nothing’s ever boring as long as I’m around. I do love getting you in trouble, Alasse.”
I grimaced. “Tell me about it. And you’re going to do it again, too. Let’s go find our mothers. They must be wondering where we are by now.”
Netya nodded, “Yes. Lets.”
Yes. It’s lame. I am well aware of that. =) But hey. What can I say. I don’t have time to edit! Yet anyway. *cough*
Oh. those of you insane enough to actually read this whole thing. I need title suggestions for my book. If any names spring to mind, let me know. I’ll continue to post chapters (maybe. If the dead people come back O_O) so you don’t have to base your ideas off just the first one. =P But yea. Suggestions = welcome. =)