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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Snip Part 4

It was midnight. The long reeds by the river made mysterious sounds as the wind blew gently through them, and high up in the beech tree by Arabella's room, a Nightingale sang eerily.

The moonlight shone softly through the diamond - paned windows and into Arabella's bedroom.
Inside the candlelit room, Arabella was placing a few useful things into a red-and-white spotted hankerchief. These included a couple of candles, a handy teddybear, some bread and cheese that had been 'borrowed' from the kitchen, various bits of string, a pocket knife and a tinder box. Arabella bent over the bundle and tied it into a knot, then slung it onto a good strong walking stick (borrowed from her grandfather). Suddenly, a low whistle sounded from outside her room.
At this signal, Arabella grabbed the bundle and stick, and threw them out of the window, then climbed out herself, onto the stone ledge. This particular beech tree would have had to be at least as old as the Queen Mother herself and was excellent for climbing, having many thick branches close together.
Of course, Arabella got down without any difficulty at all. The old beech tree was as good as a staircase and was a very useful escape route for whenever Arabella was 'locked' in her room.

Waiting at the bottom of the tree stood a young man. His blond hair was cropped closely to his skull and his greenish - blue eyes were almond shaped and scowling.
"Took your time, didn't you." Danny (the Gardener's son) spoke morosely, but he took the bundle from Arabella chivilrously.
Arabella frowned. What right has that upstart of the Gardener's son to be speaking to me like that?
"I jolly well came as quick as I could! Bet you couldn't get down the tree that fast."
"No, I meant you took ages to decide to run away." Glancing up at Arabella, he saw that she was getting angry. He quickly tried to explain.
"I don't exactly love my job as a stable boy you know. Whadya think, I'd much rather go join the circus with you then stick around here cleaning smelly old horses."
Arabella drew back with a start.
I hadn't thought about this. With her chin in the air, she exclaimed:
"You're not coming with me! Noone's coming with me. I'm going by myself!"
Danny's eyes widened with horror.
"What? You can't go off by yourself! You need someone (like me) to help you. You wouldn't know the first thing about the world outside this castle."
Arabella folded her arms defiantly and glared up at him.
"Of course I would! I've been planning this all my life, nincompoop! If you wish, you can come and save me if I'm in any trouble." Arabella added that last part with a curled lip, which showed how much she thought of damsels in distress, and the heroic deeds of derring-do done by chivilrous Knights in shining armor.

"So you won't let me go with you Bella."
Danny appeared very melancholy, as he stuck his (rather large) hands in his pockets, and stared hard at a patch of daisies on the grass.
Bella looked slightly regretful.
"Sorry Danny. Mabye you can come next time. Wait... there isn't going to be a next time. I'm not coming back. Well, I might come back, maybe. Maybe in twenty years I'll come back and I'll have such amazing things to tell you of everything I've done! I'll bring you back skins from the dragons I've killed and I'll show you my hoards of dragon-gold. Anyway, I better go, it's getting early. Where's the horse you promised me?"
The gravel crunched under their feet as they walked silently to the stables. At the smallest end stable Danny stopped.
"Do you mind taking Clara? She's a bit slow, but she's the only one we can spare at the moment. Hillary's been taken for Princess Pearl to ride... and Clara's already twenty years old. But if you treat her right, she'll do anything for you."
It's not exactly a black stallion.
"Any horse is fine." Bella said, choking back disapointment. After all, it wasn't Danny's fault.
What's happened to Danny lately? He's got some muscle in those arms of his. Maybe he took my advice to do fifty press ups each morning. And he cut his hair! He looks much better. I would feel much safer if he came... but this is something I've gotta do on my own.

Bella swung herself up onto the horse. Turning to Danny, she sighed.
"Bye Danny."
"Wait, I've got something for you." He dashed into the little cottage to the right of the stables and in a moment he was back with something that was long and apparently heavy.
Somewhat soberly, he held the thing up to her. She clasped it with one hand, untied the string around it and drew back the thick green cloth that covered it. Inside was a sword that gleamed with a silver light in the darkness.
Arabella gasped.
Around the hilt were intricate celtic patterns and two coiling dragon heads that met and twined around each other. The blade was straight and the edge was sharp. It was a truly beautiful weapon.
"Thank you." Bella choked.
"It was my father's, he gave it to me. I reckon you need it more than I do."
Arabella looked her thanks.
"Bye." She said again.
Then, without another backward glance, Arabella rode into the gathering gloom.


Blogger Livi said...

yay!!! Snip part 4! This is a fantastic story!!

11:21 am  
Blogger Lydz said...

Thanks Livi! I've finally thought out almost all the rest of the story. It's so exciting!

5:17 pm  

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