Finally, More Matches, Ravens, and New Clothes (Chapter 1 + A Small Ramble … Not in that Order.)

Hello, I’ve returned.

With an update on the short story I started on here a few weeks ago. 🙂

Okay, so, before I let you read it, (who am I kidding, you could totally skip my little intro if you wanted to) I want to tell you a little bit about what I’m doing with it.

As you know by now, the intro was a fusion of fairy tales that I liked, but a story idea that I’ve been passively working on for the past year keeps surfacing in the back of my mind as I’ve worked on it.

(Passively as in I’ve only gotten as far as thinking about writing it–which totally counts as working on it.  Stories require a lot of thinking out, okay?)

And because the story is drastically different from a fairy tale, I was struggling with how to best pull this off.  But then I realized that I didn’t have to fully surrender my brain-stage-story to this fairy tale.  I could totally have it leak into the fairy tail, but keep its essence in its own work too.

It will probably take me awhile to get my brain-stage-story onto a word document–years more like.  (Because I have other projects that were already in line before it was thought up.)  Though, I do think it deserves to be in the background of Matches, Ravens, and New Clothes.

The protagonist of the other story, named Alexander, won’t be taking over the Match Girl’s story, though I’m sure the fairy tale would be more interesting if he did.  He will have his own story on a grander scale instead.  I have yet to figure out how much of the fairy tale will bleed into his story, but right now, I don’t think much will at all.

It might not make any sense at all to put him into this fairy tale, but oh well.

Anyways, my ramble is complete.  I have a tiny section from his perspective as the first chapter of Matches, Ravens, and New Clothes.


 

CHAPTER ONE:

If only the prince had been warned earlier.  There might have been time for not only his escape, but for him to grab his brother too.  He could only hope …

His reddish brown hair, normally so well groomed, fell into his face, obscuring his vision as he ran through the brambles on the edges of the castle.  The airy silk clothes he always wore to bed tore as they caught on the thorns, but he didn’t care enough to stop.  There was no more time.  This was an invasion.  As next in line to the throne, he was in danger.

Alexander, that was the prince’s name, struggled to breathe through the panic and the pain.  He was all alone in the woods, without knowledge of what to do or anyone to trust.  His father, the current king, had prized learning and scholarship over fighting.  The kingdom had no army.  Prince Alexander knew about politics and potions, not the best places to stab in a sword fight.

If only he knew how to fight … if only he had something real, something material to save him, rather than the memories of books he had read.

The Emperor of the neighboring empire announced last week that he planned to adopt a little girl he referred to as “The Princess of Matches.”  Alexander hadn’t given it much thought—the other royals always did weird, random things, but now he wondered if the invasion had anything to do with the adoption.

Barking hounds interrupted the prince’s train of thought.  He swore at himself for allowing the sound to make him pause.  A deep breath, and Alexander was off running again.

The dogs seemed to become more energized as time wore on.  The prince on the other hand, was wearing down.  Not only was he not used to this much of physical activity, but the adrenaline had left him.  The only word for Alexander’s current state of being was exhausted.

If only these plants didn’t have so many thorns, Prince Alexander thought to himself.  He glanced down at his ruined nightclothes, catching a glimpse of the bloody scratches barely covered by the silk rags.  The injuries were small individually, but together they combined into a harsh, burning sting that worsened with every dirty plant he passed.

He was slowing down … he couldn’t keep going much longer.  Ragged breathing and pounding heart crescendoed until both sounds were louder than the hound’s barking.  The prince’s lungs ached as much as his heart did for the kingdom he left behind.

I can’t … keep … going.

Right as soon as the realization struck the prince, Alexander’s foot found its way into a small hole he hadn’t seen.  His ankle twisted at an odd angle, breaking.  The force of a sudden stop projected the rest of his body forward.  The prince fell on his face into the dirt with his toes still in the ankle-breaking hole.

If only Alexander had managed to suppress his scream, then they might not have found him.

The dogs came first, but they were quickly sent away by the human aggressors.  Alexander bared his teeth, partially to suppress waves of pain, partially to look threatening.  He found comfort in knowing that at least his captors didn’t want him hurt.  A small voice in the back of his head added, yet.  The prince did his best to ignore the voice.  He wanted to look somewhat regal.

A group of figures approached the prince slowly on horseback, smirking as if to taunt him.  All three of the figures wore hoods that obscured their faces, except for the mouths.  Their horses were all white, flecks of mud the only disturbance on their perfection.  The riders jumped down, their feet landing softly on the underbrush.

“Well, well,” one of them laughed, “Never thought I’d see this day.”  The lips of the speaker was twisted in a cruel way.  “What an excellent prisoner of war that you’ll make.”

He turned to the other two, ordering them to do something in a language the prince didn’t understand.  Alexander was lifted roughly by the two figures and planted on the back of one of their horses.  The third lifted himself back into his own horse’s saddle.

If only Alexander could hold on to consciousness for a little bit longer … Everything went black for the captured royal as the pain and exhaustion finally caught up to him.


 

I hope you enjoyed if you made it this far!  I mean, that ramble was almost as long as the chapter itself.  (Granted, it was a tiny chapter.)

Have a lovely day!

Because Alexander won’t.

RIP.

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