I am not a queen. Rhea furiously rubbed the dry, earthy mixture of ash and clay into the ruff of pale fur across her front and the soft pale velvet of her ears. If she had any hope of escaping the suffocating walls of the palace tonight, she had to act swiftly.
She snatched a ragged moss-colored cloak from underneath her goose-down bed, threw open the window through which the moonlight shone beckoningly, crept out onto the ornate sill, and slid down the creeping vine that grew along the palace walls.
She fancied herself a swashbuckler of sorts, and wished she were allowed—or able to find—a belt and dagger to conceal under her cloak. But not simply to satisfy her fantasy; a dagger would not be so ridiculous a thing to have where she was going.
When she reached the ground, she pulled her cowl over her head, wrapped her cloak tightly around herself, and scampered from shadow to shadow until she reached the walls of the palace courtyard.
Built at least five times her height of polished river stone, the walls offered little purchase to the unfortunate mouse wishing to scale them. But a few seasons of experience and careful exploration had rewarded Rhea with exclusive knowledge of the best possible escape routes. As well as the knowledge that going over the wall was not one of them.
Finding a smooth, clay-colored stone, she pressed her ear to a small seam between two stones and carefully for any sounds from the other side.
All’s quiet. She promptly pressed her shoulder into the small red stone and pushed with all her might, shoving it completely out of the wall. Then she wriggled herself into the narrow passage and out the other side, replacing the stone with a swift, habitual nonchalance.
She darted a quick glance down the cobblestone street on which she now stood, and seeing no one around, she threw back her cowl, lifted her nose to the sky, and breathed deeply.
I’m finally free. She felt the oppressive walls of the palace fall away from all around her as she gloried in her moonlit freedom. The cold stone walls could hide many secrets, it was true; but she was not one of them.
Lantern light danced on the shimmering stones beneath her feet as she walked swiftly and silently through the nearly empty streets. She kept her cloak wrapped tightly around her body, her head ducked down, and her face concealed in her cowl. The odd passersby dotting the streets never gave her more than an uninterested glance; from the way she walked to the color of her cloak, it was obvious that she was nobody important.
Which was exactly what she wanted.
“This kingdom was built eleven-score years ago on the pursuit of freedom and unity. Now it is nothing more than a wasteland ruled by an incompetent king who ignores the pleas of his starving people!”
Rhea could hear the impassioned shouts before she even entered the dimly lit hovel that sat discreetly between two stone storehouses near the edge of Noblehigh; the gathering place of rabble-rousers.
How the fiery zealots had managed to stay within the walls of the Noblehigh region of the kingdom without receiving severe punishment from the Kingsguard, Rhea had no idea.
“Probably because they’d riot if they were banned,” Rhea remarked to herself as she slipped silently through the doorway into the den of rebels, casting a wary glance over her shoulder before closing the door behind her.
New story that I'm totally in love with!
I know it's got kind of a weird premise, but bear with me. I'm really excited about this one. Let me know what you think so far!