Tower of Dreams

She held her breath. It felt like the right thing to do at the time. Her weight was melting away, slowly at first but more and more quickly as the seconds passed. Soon, her heals lifted from the carpet. Her toes stuck to the floor for a moment and then they too let go.

She floated free and continued to hold her breath. She looked around her room at the furniture and big canopy bed. She could see the top of the canopy now. It had worked. She laughed.

Kicking her legs and waving her arms, she traversed the room and flew out the window. At first this gave her a fright for she was dreadfully high as she drifted out the window of the tower. The battlements, stone courtyard, and small fruit trees were visible under the full moon light, far beneath her.

She noticed then that her nightgown had turned to liquid silver as it flapped in the gentle night breeze. She wondered if the soldiers below might see her, shining above them. Would they know it was her? What would they do?

The impulse to get moving faster seized her then. She stretched her arms wide and lay as flat as possible. Her speed increased. The cool night air pressed against her pale, young face and her eyes watered slightly. Tears of joy, perhaps.

Her recollection of home had grown cloudy over the intervening years. While she could sometimes remember the roads from her father’s land to this castle, her grasp on the way was slowly slipping away. She knew it but fought against it.

Now, she flew following the ribbon of the carriage road below. It would be a long trip, even with this gift of flight. She heard the calls of owls in the forest below. I am going home, she thought.

 

A sound of a steel fist smashing against thick oak woke her from her dream. Keys rattled in the locks. Someone was opening her door. Her heart beat frantically in her chest, as she desperately tried to blink back sleep. What could this be?

The black knight entered her room, visor down, bloodred plumage flowing from the crest of his helm. She had never seen his face, she realized. He threw a bundle of rough clothing, servant’s clothing, onto her bed, a heavy mass pinning her legs under the blanket. The cold reptilian voice said, “Put those on. You’re leaving.”

 

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