Katherine of Carpenchia: Episode 2


Icy cool autumn air blew around the pillars and trees of the royal garden, chilling Katherine's skin. She shifted her feet anxiously and peered out over the path leading up to the castle. Where was Celine?


"Would you like to wait inside, my Queen?" offered Elsie. Even she was cold, and she wore thick long sleeves. "It would be nice and warm!"


Katherine shook her head. "No. I must be here when Celi-" She squinted suddenly. Was that carriage-?


"CELINE!" she shrieked, joy welling up inside her. (Elsie was a bit startled.) Katherine leapt off the brick and ran quickly towards her best friend.


"Katherine!" cried Celine.


They met and embraced. Oh, it felt so good to Katherine to have her best friend home again!


"I've missed you so much!" cried Katherine when they finally broke apart. "Oh, you must tell me about Marigo, it's been years since I've been! And how are William and Kattie?" she added, referring to the Marigan lord Celine had been married off to and their little daughter, named after Katherine herself!


"It's hot, as usual," admitted Celine, "I do miss the coolness of Carpenchia. But Kattie has learnt to walk! And William is so proud of her."


"Well, you can tell me much more about it as we walk in the gardens," Katherine decided. "Tom is just finishing redoing them, and they look very splendid!"


"I do miss the gardens," Celine confessed. "They are very lovely in Marigo, all sorts of bright and big flowers, but here is the fauna I grew up playing in."


Katherine nodded. "First, though, we must see your luggage inside."


"Elsie?"


Elsie immediately ran up, her braids sticking out and flying behind her. She skidded to a halt right behind Katherine. "Yes, my princess - Queen!!" she corrected herself anxiously.


"Elsie, you will carry Lady Celine's luggage to her quarters," Katherine instructed.


"Oh, my maid will help you with that!" Celine exclaimed, not wanting poor Elsie to have to do everything by herself. "Caihanna!"


Like magic, a servant appeared at Celine's side, the most beautiful and fearsome Elsie had thought she had ever seen. Her eyes were sparkling hazel and her skin the color of milk and coffee (suddenly, with her straw-colored braids and pale white skin, Elsie felt very plain standing next to her), but her features were drawn together in an intimidating scowl. 


"Elsie, this is my maid, Caihanna," Celine introduced. Caihanna did not so much as smile. "She will help you carry my luggage."


"Oh-okay," stuttered Elsie, then regained her composure. "Yes, my Lady Celine!" She thought she saw Caihanna roll her eyes.


"Perfect," said Katherine. "You two get going with that. To the gardens, Celine!"

___


Katherine and Celine strode leisurely side by side into the gardens, breathing in the sweet smells of hyacinth and rose. The grass was soft under their slippered feet, and ancient trees loomed up on either side, decorated at their base with ruffles of green bushes. 


"You must tell me all about Marigo," announced Katherine. "How," she chuckled jokingly, "has it fared since I left?"


Celine laughed. "Well, but still in want of the Queen Katherine," she smiled. 


Suddenly, Katherine thought she heard a noise behind her, like someone walking. Perhaps it was Tom? He should know better, she thought, her brow drawing together, than to interrupt two royal ladies strolling! She turned. "Who-"


Out of nowhere, a figure very much not Tom grabbed Katherine and gripped her throat. Katherine gasped and choked, she tried desperately to call to Celine but no sound came out, she sputtered and felt the blood trapped in her head heat her face up horribly -


And then she felt the world falling, and dizzying pain shooting madly up her back and in her head as she hit something solid.


Meanwhile, Elsie and Caihanna had heard a commotion and rushed to the scene as soon as possible.


Elsie shoved down an arm that had meant to come up and punch her.


Caihanna grabbed the other arm and twisted it back so the assailant was rendered virtually motionless.


Leaving Elsie the ability to give a sound kick in the stomach.


Screeching, the girl managed to wrench free of their grasp and ran off.


"After her!" shrieked Elsie.


"No!" instructed Caihanna. "We must tend to the ladies Celine and Katherine first. Otherwise someone else could try to get them. There could easily be more."


Suddenly remembering her Queen, Elsie shrieked and plopped down beside Katherine, shaking her desperately. "My lady!" she wailed. "My lady Katherine, wake up! Say anything!"


Katherine slowly opened her eyes, fighting against the pain in her head. "I'm all right," she said. "Help me up, please."


Meanwhile, Caihanna was brushing off Celine and readjusting her curls. "Thank you, Caihanna," murmured Celine.


"Now we must go after her!" cried Elsie.


"No," said Caihanna, "Now we must bring them back to the castle. She's probably long gone, anyway."


Celine glanced down at the skirt of her dress and began brushing dirt off it. Her eyes spotted something laying on the ground - something that had not been there before.


An immaculate white handkerchief, trimmed in lace.


Celine knew it did not belong to her or Caihanna and Katherine didn't carry handkerchiefs and it didn't look at all like Elsie's, which was tan with light blue cross-stitching. So she picked it up and tucked it in her pocket.


"Ready to go back to the castle, Lady Celine?" inquired Caihanna.


Celine nodded. "Yes."


When the four of them arrived back at the castle door, Caihanna gave Celine's curls one last touch up so it looked like absolutely nothing had occurred.


Elsie did the same thing for Katherine.


As Celine and Katherine went in, Caihanna turned around to Elsie. "That wasn't bad back there," she said. "Where did you learn?"


"Oh, just my brothers," blushed Elsie. "We'd roughhouse all the time on the farm. I'm the only girl, so I had to learn to hold my own."


Caihanna nodded. "You know, you're not so much of a castle brat as I originally thought you were," she remarked bluntly. Then she turned around and swept inside after Celine and Katherine. After a few seconds of standing there shocked, Elsie quickly followed.

___

What do you think? Things got a bit more exciting this time ;).

PLANT A TREE.

HUG A DWARF.

AND REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE ALL VERY BEAUTIFUL PICKLES.

Namarië,
Ellie

4 comments:

  1. Oooh the suspense!!!! I like that little tidbit about Elsie and her brothers. And Celine's curls! My little sister has Caroline and no matter how much I try, her curls will never be restored to their original state.
    ~Kathryn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much!
      Aw, that sucks. :P

      Delete
  2. Hi Ellie, cool series. This is a really good idea!

    I'm hosting a really exciting competition called NerdBuZZ and would love for you to check it out, and maybe join?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

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