Sleep wouldn’t come to Persephone that night. She could hear every noise the castle made as it settled throughout the night and even the restless crashing waves through her closed window. Her thoughts racing on how her escape would work if Doogue and Harbrum knew her plans. A barn owl screeched from a nearby tree, making Persephone jump. Her nerves were fried and she couldn’t think beyond her fear of leaving her home for the dreaded prince Jarren. Her mind drifted to the village doctor’s story and her heart sank thinking of how anyone could be so cruel as to send a mother and child to their deaths.  

Persephone walked to her window, opened it with precision so no noise was made, she poked her head out and peered out over the kingdom. The lotus fields waved  with the ocean breeze that carried in her favorite aroma. Although far too late for any wanderers; the street lamps flickered their flames, giving a soft glow to the peaceful little village. Her eyes wandered to the rose garden and a flash of moving purple caught her attention. A robed figure stood under the archway, seeming to admire a cluster of roses entwined with wisteria blooms. Just then a strong surge of botanicals filled Persephone’s room; without thought she found herself pulling her supplies from under the mattress and walking to the hidden exit on her floor. 

The tumble onto the grass was soft and surprisingly soundless. Persephone pulled herself off the ground and ran behind a large bush. The hooded figure was no longer in the archway and Persephone became panicked. 

“So you came after all.” a chuckling voice spoke from behind her.

 The princess flew around to find herself face to face with Harbrum,”What are you doing out here?”

Harbrum’s face contorted to a mischievous grin, “The real question is what are you waiting for? I’m here to take you away, we can save your kingdom if you just follow me. We don’t have much time here, once we leave this land I can explain everything.” 

Persephone didn’t know why she had nothing to say but she didn’t, she merely nooded and  extended her hand to Harbrum. He took it with grace and placed a gentile kiss upon her royal ring which shinned as bright as his eyes as he looked into hers. “You’re a very brave young woman, I’m honored to work by your side. Now be quiet, I must summon our escape.” He reached into his robe and pulled out a small sliver flute which made no sound as he played it. He placed it back in the robe, took her hand, and guided her in silence. Words didn’t feel safe here, she would wait until he spoke to say anything further. They walked in the unlit back roads of the village towards the ocean shore where a small boat was docked on the sand.

The kindgom drifted further away as the currents lapped the boat’s sides and pushed them out to sea. Her gaze drifted from the lotus fields to the bright moon and then to the cloaked purple figure of Harbrum who sat with eyes fixated on the princess and lacked emotion. Suddenly he smiled and Persephone felt weak, she had been here before…was this a dream?

To be continued…..

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