I have recently entered a contest on a website I follow, Go Teen Writers, and I wanted to share my entry with y’all. It is the first 1000 words to the book I am writing, A Queen is Knighted. My book is not finished, but as I recently posted, I have over 6 chapters written. Also, this is only the second draft, so it will be edited one or two more times before it is ever published, just thought I would point that out. Okay, so here it is!
A Queen is Knighted
Thunk! Thud! Bang! These were the sounds that woke me at two a clock on the morning of my sixteenth birthday.
I had not slept very well that night, whether it was excitement or dread that kept me awake I know not. Excitement because I would have been another year older; dread because I would have had to have a huge ball to celebrate it. I’ve never liked it when the whole kingdom celebrates me; my only birthday wish was to have a quiet evening with my family, in private. But, when you’re the only princess of Tunock, turning sixteen is a huge deal and you will never get any privacy outside of your own room, maybe not even then.
Of course, dread and excitement were not the only possibilities that could have aided my sleeplessness, the argument that I had accidentally overheard that night between my father and my brother was what most likely refused to let me sleep.
Zack wanted Father to give him the kingdom, as a king, now! He’s already the prince and nearly twenty years old, and a very noble prince at that. He shall inherit the kingdom on his twenty-first birthday or upon Father’s passing, whichever comes first, though I prayed that it would be his turning of age.
I just couldn’t understand why he didn’t want to wait, plus, it was quite out of character for Zack to be impatient for the throne, he typically seemed more interested in marrying Princess Alayna from Willmington and ruling that land instead of our humble Tunock, but then, he would cause a family feud. For though cousin Alayna is the eldest and should she marry before her two brothers turn of age, she and her husband would be entitled the crown of Willmington; but Uncle William, or rather King William as he prefers to be called, would never allow such a thing, even if the throne stayed in the family. He would not rest in peace until Ruben or Timothy, his sons, ruled after him.
Straining my ears to hear Father’s response to such a surprising demand from Zack, I breathed a sigh of relief when Father refused him, loudly, so I shrugged it off and went to bed without listening further or giving the situation another thought. Later, I wish I had stayed. Maybe I could have done something to prevent what lie ahead.
Thunk! That sound came again, only much louder and I heard a muffled scream. I quickly sat up in bed and strained my ears to hear for any more sounds, but everything was suddenly quiet, too quiet.
I rose out of bed and dressed myself as quickly as I could manage without my lady’s-maids. Tightening my own corset was near to impossible under ideal circumstances, so in the dead of night with hardly any light and panic in my fingertips; I decided to leave the corset in the floor and just slipped on my silver, silk, nightgown and fluffy house slippers. I suddenly heard my mother scream in terror and my father yell in pain, then all went silent again, silent as death. I stood frozen, not rightly knowing what I should do. Should I leave the room and rush to their aide? Or if whoever, or whatever, had hurt them, was it coming to me as well? Should I prepare to defend myself? All voice of logic told me to find something to use for protection should I need it, but I had decided to charge into my parent’s quarters to see what had happened. But then I noticed a faint sound that seemed to demand my attention. Coming from the courtyard directly below my window, sounding much like a blacksmith working on horses’ hooves, was the inevitable sound of steel meeting steel.
I directed my attention to the sound as it came nearer and nearer to the castle. Everything was dark and I couldn’t see a thing, until one by one, burning torches came flooding onto the castle grounds. Thousands of men carrying torches and weapons climbed the castle wall, charged through the guards at the gates, and met our skilled castle-guards with no mercy. In a matter of a few simple blinks of the eye, my life was at stake and the castle was under attack.
I was immediately filled with panic and rushed to my bedroom door as I remembered my parent’s screams. I was reaching out my hand to open the door, when someone else beat me to it. All of the sudden, I was thrown into the wall by a very strong force throwing open the door and I lost my breath as I was flung to the floor.
“Princess! Forgive me, I didn’t know you were there.” A very handsome young man fully clothed in armor, however lacking a helmet, reached down to pull me to my feet. He had a sword belted around his waist and a red cloth tied loosely around his neck. The red cloth symbolized that he was a personal knight to the King of Tunock, my father, but I had never seen him before, and I knew all of my father’s personal knights. I placed my hand in his and allowed him to help me up. Before I had a chance to speak to him however, he told me the news that I had already gathered for myself, and more.
“Princess, the castle is being attacked and everyone in it is in danger, especially the royal family. Your father, His Highness King Warrun, ordered me to get you out of the castle and take you outside of Tunock to a place of safety that he has set for you. There I am to explain everything in much greater detail, so please no questions. I have a horse awaiting us just outside the courtyard, but we must hurry.” He grabbed my hand tightly and pulled me across the room and into the hall.
Please feel free to leave a comment on what you thought of it. When I get the contest results, I will let you know what (or if) I placed (there are 200 contestants, some much older and more experienced than I, so I have some tough competition:-) ). Thanks for reading!