ASMSG Scifi Fantasy Paranormal Emagazine March 2014 - Page 34

SNEAK PEAK OF THE ESCAPE OF PRINCESS MADELINE Kirstin Pulioff My favorite new way to start the week… a teaser from one of my stories. Stay tuned for an exclusive look into my new YA Fantasy, Dreamscape: Saving Alex. But, until then, enjoy a piece from my original fairy tale, The Escape of Princess Madeline.King Theodore jumped from his bed. Beads of sweat slid down his temples, as his heart threatened to beat out of his chest. Howling wind forced its way into the king’s chamber, extinguishing the dim candlelight. Braving the cool stones of the castle floor, he walked to the windows at the far end of his chamber, where a soft tendril of smoke danced above the blown-out candles. Relighting them, he watched the soft orange flames flicker in the wind. Now awake, he leaned over the windowsill, peering into the courtyard below. Nothing stirred in the darkness. Small flecks of glittering light reflected off the garden’s fountains. Around it, dark cobblestones curved and disappeared into the growing shadows. Looking past the courtyard, beyond the castle walls towards the eastern mountains, he watched the rolling hills disappear under a wave of fog. He let out a great sigh, wishing memories could fade the same way. King Theodore wrapped his velvet robe tighter as the wind blew against his face. As his eyes sought clarity from the outside, his mind wandered back to the nightmare that plagued him. Every year on the eve of his children’s birthday, King Theodore relived the same dream. The warm summer breeze and the horn’s song greeted him as he stood at the window. A line of royal visitors and merchants lined the rolling hillsides on their journey to Soron. In anticipation of the summer tournaments and royal births, attendance doubled, bursting the seams of the small kingdom. Peering into the courtyard below, he watched the frenzy with a smile. Under colorful banners, people ran back and forth, carrying bundles of fabric, bouquets of wildflowers, and piles of farm produce. The smells of freshly-baked breads and pastries wafted up, mixing with the spicy blend of the wizard’s incense. A soft tap on the shoulder brought him back to the room. “My King,” the wizard Elias whispered. “There’s nothing more we can do for her. The queen has passed beyond the grasping hands of our magic.” King Theodore’s heart dropped. The room filled with sage and sandalwood spun as he looked at the group of wizards surrounding the bed. Stumbling forward, he dropped to his knees, cradling Eleanor’s pale hand in his. “My life, my love, I am lost without you!” The king wept, burying his tear-stained face in his hands. “We knew this day was coming, my lord,” Elias said, sharing a look of concern with the other wizards. “The mirror warned that a sacrifice was necessary to protect and save the kingdom. She died for you. Giving her life to bring you these wonderful 34 | P a g e children and save...” Elias stopped, as his eyes connected with the kings. The tears froze on King Theodore’s face. His jaw clenched at the wizard’s words. “She did this for me?” the king bellowed, heat rising in his cheeks. “She sacrificed herself and left me alone for my benefit? How dare you! Thiswas not a sacrifice she needed to make!” King Theodore stood, and looked the older wizard in the eyes. His face deepened in anger until it matched the red in his velvet robe. “Hear my words, great wizard. Thiswill not go unpunished.” Waving his arms ab