Huddled in the corner, Helen listened to the hurried footsteps passing in front of her door. The queen’s voice ringed in her ear telling her not to come out of her chambers under any circumstances, but the noise and hustle frightened her.
She unbolted the door and peeked out. The palace had quieted down and the sound of thousands of horses trotting away reached her dark chamber. The guards were all gone and the palace was eerily empty. Helen crept down the dim, unlit hall to the queen’s chamber. It was dark and empty, and so was her king’s chamber.
Tears streamed down her pale face. Where did everyone go? Why did everyone leave? How could everyone have forgotten her? The maids’ chambers and guards’ chambers were all abandoned. Shawls, hats, and pieces of armour lay scattered around. From the watchtower, she looked out, but the darkness and fog covered everything. A dim light flashed somewhere near the gates and Helen called out for help. But the only sound she heard was her voice echoing in the infinite blackness of the night. She ran down the steep curving stairs and went out into the courtyard, calling and hoping she would find somebody.
A voice called her name somewhere far away in the outskirts of the courtyard. She went anxiously towards the voice. It grew louder and clearer, but when she thought she was getting closer to it, a loud bang sounded behind her and the walls surrounding the palace shot up in flames. More bangs followed, drowning out the voice calling her, and all around her were crackling flames.
She ran towards the drawbridge, but it was shut and bolted. The flames spread quickly and surrounded her. In the far away distance, horses neighed and swords clashed. Smoke enveloped her as she fell to the ground choking.
A knight on a horse came riding through the smoke. He jumped off his horse and caught Helen just as she fell to the ground. He opened his visor and she recognised him as Sir Edmond, the one that had found her when she got lost in the woods as a child, the one that had saved her from Travellers that had kidnapped her, and the one that she feared had forgotten her amidst this chaos.
Sir Edmond picked her up onto his horse and carried her through the smoke and out into the clear air. He draped his red cloak over her and speeded away towards the rising sun. Around them, swords clashed and bodies fell. Behind them, the flames lit up the western horizon.
He stopped and took off his helmet when they were passed the battlegrounds. He inquired if she was alright and informed her that she had to go into hiding until everything was cleared up.
“I am alright,” she answered, “as long as you are with me.”
They exchanged kisses and he told her that everything would be fine; he would always be there for her. They looked into each other’s eyes and smiled, unaware of a horseman riding up behind them. The horseman swiftly took an arrow and shot Sir Edmond, killing him and throwing him off his horse. The horseman laughed and grabbed Helen by the arm.
“Now princess,” he said with a laugh, “You are a fine prisoner. And you shall stay in the dungeon until we do away with you.”