June 20, 2024

Rafael Silkskin:

This archived article was written by: Kiara Horowitz

Randolf once told me that idiots have a condition called, sheer dumb luck. It keeps people alive or something along those lines. I guess it works over time for me every now and then, since the bad-tempered goose didn’t rip my guts out. I didn’t see what happened because my eyes were closed. However, I could feel the rush of air as the goose turned in mid-flight. Instead of getting my anatomy displayed, I heard the goose let out a startled honk followed by the sound of a heavy object landing on the wood floor. I cracked an eye and barely saw the goose plummet and land in a pile of feathers and claws. Opening my eyes the rest of the way, I scrambled to my feet and noticed a golden egg lying near the bird.
I wasn’t the only one startled by this turn of events. Melanie also rose to her feet, still holding the prince. She turned and we both stared at the opening of a secret passage in between two bookcases. The Captain was leaning against the door frame, his face strained with pain, crimson blood covering the left side of his uniform. Melanie must have gotten him good.
“I thought you were dead,” Melanie roared.
“Many have tried,” Captain grunted, “but I don’t go down easily.” He glanced at the golden egg on the floor. “Nice to know that gold can be useful.”
“Captain,” I called, “you wouldn’t by chance have a spare chain on you?” The goose was recovering from the egg’s impact. Captain reached into his uniform and pulled out a silver chain. He swung it around several times before releasing it into the air. I held out my hands and caught the chain, the metal burning my skin. Wasting no time, I jumped onto the goose pinning her down. I wrapped the chain around the goose’s neck before sliding off. The goose’s fighting form began to fade away, her fangs and talons retracting. I stepped over the now honking goose and proceeded toward Melanie.
The captain had repositioned himself in front of her, while I’d been taking care of the goose. We both stood several feet away from Melanie, neither of us dared approach her while she still held the prince.
Melanie stood poised, her eyes blazing. For all the attention she gave the captain he could have been a piece of furniture. What was her problem? Captain was the one holding a sword, and he’d already proven himself in battle. Wouldn’t he be a bigger threat, instead of me?
It was then that I noticed that she had the prince’s left hand in hers. My stomach tightened as fear sent my heart racing. I’d forgotten that a mere few hours ago, I’d made a small cut on the prince’s finger.
“Is this some kind of sick joke?” Melanie snarled.
“If there is one,” I said carefully, “the jokes on me.”
Melanie swallowed. “So my whole plan is a waste.” Her voice trembled. “You’re not locked up. Randolf’s reputation isn’t destroyed, and the child is a blue blood.”
“Then hand him over,” Captain ordered.
Melanie’s eyes focused on mine. “This isn’t over,” she smiled. “So I suggest you enjoy your victory for now.”
“I said hand the prince over,” Captain ordered again. He stumbled forward, but she must have got him better than I’d thought. His sword fell to the ground and he collapsed onto one knee. Melanie held up Prince Bradmir and tossed him. The baby cried out in either excitement or fear, I can never tell. I lunged forward, catching him before he hit the ground. Melanie dashed toward the secret passage and disappeared.