The Stars Will Guide Us

Knights and peasants alike fell to their knees upon my father’s arrival. He towered above them all, lying to save face. This war had destroyed our kingdom and we did not have the gold to recover. I knew my father would deceive them all until he couldn’t anymore. Once the famines and disease were in full bloom, we would be killed.

I stood next to him, ignoring every word. I knew his true plans. I was to be given to the prince of our enemies, in exchange for gold. I was the peace offering.

Trying to argue with the king was useless. As he told me of the deal the night before, I sat emotionless. My ladies stood next to me, silent tears rolling down their cheeks. I would miss them.

In the crowd, Sir Thomas kneeled, the only knight whose head was not fully bowed. He met my gaze. I could see the fire in his eyes. My love for him ran deep, and he felt the same.

“We must run,” he whispered in the darkness. My hands trembled at the thought, and he brought them to his lips. “I will never let you go, my Princess.”

The idea was thrilling; I knew I could survive on my own as Sir Thomas taught me the skills to do so. We could live beyond the kingdom, or live in plain sight, blending in with the villagers. It would not be easy, but it could be done.

So I stood, stone-faced, waiting for the announcement to be over so that I could run. When the moon reached its peak in the sky, Sir Thomas and I would make our escape.

As the crowd cheered for whatever my father had said, I smiled politely, trying hard to keep up appearances. After all, I was the king’s daughter for now. I still was expected to participate in these shows of royalty.

I entered my room to see my ladies in waiting putting items into a bag. “My Princess,” Lady Amanda greeted, her voice a whisper despite us being the only people here. “We have prepared a bag for you, as promised.” She paused to look behind her at the other women before continuing, “Are you sure you want to do this, your highness? The kingdom relies on its Princess, and if Sir Thomas isn’t here and another battle breaks out…” There was fear in her eyes.

I placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. “The kingdom will survive.” I said this with confidence, but knew in my heart it just wasn’t so. The king wasn’t the only one who knew how to lie.

Lady Amanda seemed to relax, letting her shoulders fall. “Will you need anything else from us, Your Highness?”

“Yes,” I said. “Do not let anyone into this room unless it is Sir Thomas.”

“Understood.” Lady Amanda curtsied briefly before grasping my hands. “Cassandra, I will miss you dearly.”

“As will I, my dearest friend.”

My ladies did as they were told, turning people away as I prepared for the night. Gathering the dagger I had stolen from the knights, the bag on my bed, and changing into peasants clothing, I was ready to leave before the sun had set. I decided to lay down for a nap before Sir Thomas’s arrival.

“Cassie…Cassandra…wake up!”

I opened my eyes to complete darkness. My ladies were gone, and there was not a light to be found. I blinked a few times before turning towards the voice calling my name.

“Cassie, are you ready?”

“Thomas?”

The dim glow of a candle was all that illuminated my love’s face as he sat on the windowsill. A bag was hoisted over his strong shoulder, and his sword rest on his hip. “My love, we must get going,” he whispered to me. “The moon is high, and the stars will show us the way. Get up, my sweet!”

I got out of bed and grabbed my belongings. Taking Sir Thomas’s hand, I stepped out onto the ledge of the castle, where he had prepared a rope. “I’m surprised no one is here to catch us,” I mused, grabbing onto the rope tightly.

“My knights are on our side,” Sir Thomas said as he guided me down the wall. When my feet hit the reliable ground, I sighed, relieved. The two of us hurried into the night, hands clasped, hearts racing.

Buck, Sir Thomas’s steed, was waiting patiently by the gates. “This is all too easy,” I mumbled to myself as Sir Thomas pulled me up onto his horse.

“Do not say such things,” he responded. “You wish to jinx our good fortune?” I just shook my head, gripping onto him tight as we rode off into the night. No one was coming for us. We were leaving this place behind.

I closed my eyes, not wanting to see the castle town. I didn’t want to see a thing until we reached our destination. Sir Thomas was silent as he steered Buck, taking us past rushing water and through the forest. I could feel the wind whipping at our bodies as we sped through.

Finally, after what seemed like hours, we slowed down. “My love,” Sir Thomas said. “We are here.”

I opened my eyes and saw that we were approaching a modest cabin, the windows dark. “Is this…ours?”

Sir Thomas nodded, smiling down at me. I smiled back, feeling my heart swell with the feeling of freedom. We got off of Buck and stood staring at the cabin. It was almost too good to be true.

“I love you, Thomas,” I finally said, looking up at him. His eyes found mine, his smile framed by his black beard. “Thank you for everything.”

He leaned down to kiss me. I obliged. Later on into the night, we found ourselves in the cabin’s bed, a fire slowly putting itself out in the fireplace. His arms were wrapped around me as soft snores escaped from his body. I laid quietly, unable to sleep. The excitement of what was to come took over my thoughts. It was the first time in my life where I didn’t know what to expect. Anything could happen!

As the sky began to turn from black to blue, I decided to get up and walk outside to smell the fresh air. The crisp morning greeted me, bare feet on wet grass. Morning glories sprawled over the cabin’s side, attaching it to the tree next to it. I watched the sun rise. It was a beautiful morning.

Suddenly, I heard a trumpet. Instantly I froze. A trumpet sounding in the forest was never a good sign. I turned to go back to the cabin but stopped as I saw two men standing in front of the door. They had the crest of the neighboring kingdom, the one I was supposed to go to.

“Halt, Princess Cassandra,” one of the knights said, his deep voice sending a shiver down my spine. “You are wanted in Asteria. As per your King’s request, you are to be wed to Prince James tomorrow morning. You must come with us to complete the peace treaty and fulfill your promise to our kingdoms.”

“N-no!” was all I could muster before they began to approach. I stood, terrified, frozen.

“Stop!” From the cabin, Sir Thomas flied, brandishing his sword and striking one of the men. I hurried to the cabin, grabbing my dagger and bag. Buck stood watching, unamused by the turn of events.

“Good boy,” I said, strapping my things to his saddle. I took my dagger and turned to fight. Instantly, I knew we would never win. More men had come from the forest, and Sir Thomas was trying his best to fight them back, landing killing blows and dodging the swords of others. He looked to me and cried out, “Go north, my love! I will meet you in Revalia!”

“But Thomas!! I can’t leave you behind!”

“Go!!” He turned his back on me to fight. I knew this would be the last time I saw him, but there was no time to cry. I untied Buck and climbed atop him, racing away from the battle. I could not go with them to Asteria. I would never be a prize of war.

Revalia lay waiting for me, beyond the forest. I had no time to waste. I had to make it there on my own.

Hello everyone! Thanks for reading! This short story is based on a dream I had the other day. I want to get better at writing certain genres, and medieval royal stuff is definitely on that list. I might write more on this little story, but this is where I’ll leave it for now.

If you liked what I’ve wrote, feel free to follow me on here by subscribing to my Medium page. You’ll get an email every time I post! If you want to follow me on Twitter, feel free to do so as well. I mostly retweet memes and such, but I also post blogs on there too.

Thanks for reading, everyone! I’ll see you here next week with something new!

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Mary B. Golubich

I write stories, as well as music, movie, product reviews and monthly wrap-up journals. Basically, if you can think it, I can write about it.