The Death Curse

Can\'t Leave Her Room

Lela blinked her eyes to adjust them to the sudden brightness that was the morning sun. She sighed.

She hated mornings, the sun, and having to get up and do things for herself. What she hated the most was saying, ”good morning, ” to people she didn care about; it made her feel empty and desperate. She didn like it much.

”Ho! Shes up! ” The sudden shriek startled her, driving every ounce of sleep from her body. She sat up, staring back at the girl staring at her; wide-eyed with lips agape like she had just seen a ghost.

”You
e up! Princess, you
e up! ” The girl tapped on the soft bed Lela was on.

Who are you?

Lela blinked her eyes several times out of confusion. Who was this woman? Why did she refer to her as a princess? What the hell was going on?

Lela let her eyes dance around the room she was in. It wasn her room she noticed. While her room was old, small, and tacky, filled with old belongings and trash that she didn have the heart to throw out, this room was exotic, big, and clean. Nothing looked out of place in it. It was everything fit for a princess.

The room was covered in white paint, the curtains were lavender, but had white embroidery on them, and they danced gracefully with the soft morning breeze. Lela had never seen real porcelain vases before, but this room had them in abundance, even the stools that carried the beautiful vases looked like something youd only see in old times.

Where am I?

Lela looked around her surroundings again, blinking a few more times to be sure she wasn dreaming. She pinched her face. It hurt. She wasn dreaming.

”Princess? ” The voice of a girl startled Lela. She looked down at the girl sitting beside her on the bed. The girl looked to be younger than Lela was, she was fair and lean. She had jet black hair that was tied in an unusual updo that Lela didn pay much attention to. What Lela paid attention to were her eyes. The younger girl looked to have been crying; her eyes were puffy and red, and right now, she looked like she was about to start crying again with how glassy her eyes were and how much her heart-shaped lips were quivering.

”What is going on? ” Lelas voice was crusty and her throat hurt when she spoke; it was almost like she hadn spoken in a long time. Lela didn like the sound of her voice, so she cleared her throat and tried again.

”What is happening? Who are you? ” there was not much difference in her voice.

Why do I sound like this?

The younger woman, whose voice was loud enough to wake up an entire army of deep sleepers, paused, her lips wildly parted, even more than before.

”Who am I? ” the girl yelled, hands shaking as she placed them over her chest. She was scared, scared of whatever the Princesss next words will be, she was scared that this was the day shed finally die since she was the cause of the Princesss almost death.

It was a night Kimi never wanted to recall. The beatings she received for having put the Princess in danger. It was a horrible night. While the Princess was stuck in her deep sleep, as the physician had said, the memories of it all tortured her to no end.

”I promise you that if anything happens to my daughter, Ill have your head on a spike in the marketplace, ” His royal highness, King Merah, the princesss father, had threatened Kimi that night, until his wife, Queen Alma, calmed him down, taking him away from her and the room that the Princess laid. As Kimi studied the Princesss blank face, she realized that she was in trouble, maybe more trouble than she was on the day of the incident, three months ago. It seems like the Princess couldn remember a thing.

”Princess, do you not know who I am? Im Kimi, ” Kimi placed her hands on her chest, her eyes filled with hope that her name would ring a bell. She got a blank stare as a response. The tears dropped, and then the flood gates opened. It wasn the type of cry that Lela could stop with a simple, ”Its okay, Im fine, ” because she wasn fine, she didn know the girl or the reason why the girl was crying; If anything, Lela was scared, and the younger ladys tears only made it worse.

”What in the Holy Dragons is that noise? ” an older woman, dressed in a long black corset gown and hair styled in a sleek low bun, barged into the room with two other girls dressed in the same white gown the younger lady beside her had on. The younger lady sprung up from the bed, wiping her face with a speed Lela had never seen before.

Lela was astonished at the grace the older woman carried herself with. She walked and talked like someone with authority, like someone who knew her bits, and anytime she talked, people listened, no matter who they were.

”Princess! You
e awake? ” the older lady ran to Lela, holding Lelas hands in hers. The older lady had a robotic smile on her face, Lela noticed; she also had a smooth and flawless oval-shaped face, sharp eyes, and small nose, she had wide lips and wrinkles around the area her smile stopped and little wrinkles around her eyes that showed just how much she had aged.

”Kimi, you slept in here again? ” the woman turned to the younger girl, her eyes blazing with annoyance, her voice firm.

”I couldn let her be by herself, ” Kimi bowed her head, hoping she wouldn get sent to the correction ward to get flogged again. It seemed that all Kimi did ever since the incident, propelled her to the correction ward, and since the Princess was no longer there to save her, she was bound to receive the harsh treatment, the marks tattooed on her body for days to come.

King Merah had forbidden Kimi from going anywhere near the princesss sleeping body, but Kimi owed the princess her life, she swore to stay by her until her waking breath or last breath. She wanted to be wherever the princess was, just like she had been since she was brought to the Caspian castle when she was five. Kimi hated being flogged more than anything, but she couldn stay away from the princess either, she didn know how to be away from the only person that trusted her.

Lela watched the exchange between the older woman and Kimi. Nothing the two ladies were saying made any sense to her, everything felt foreign. Lela was confused, and not knowing who these ladies were or what they were talking about made her head spin.

”Princess, Im so glad youve finally woken up. Ive missed tending to you, ” the older woman bowed, her robotic smile plastered on her face like she didn just scold Kimi. Lela nodded her head in response, it was the easiest response she could give because apart from her sore throat and hoarse voice, she didn know how to respond.

”Draw a bath for the Princess, now! ” The older woman commanded one of the maids she walked in with, then she turned to the other one, ”And you, go let the royals know the princess has awakened from her deep sleep. Send word to the physician first so the princess gets checked. ” she commanded her.

”Allow me, Princess, ” the first girl that walked into the room with the older woman, approached Lela slowly, like she was afraid Lela would break if she made any hasty movements. She grabbed Lelas arm, helping the Princess out of bed.

Standing up, Lela looked down at the white silk nightgown she had on. This wasn what she had on last night, she noticed. She also noticed the Emerald ring on her ring finger on her left hand. She was engaged? Married?

”Not everyone gets a second chance at life, ” Lela remembered Fates words. Lela staggered at the sudden rush of memories from last night, and her exchange with Fate and Order, the girl holding her arm, held her tightly.

”This is the second chance at life? ” Lela asked, looking around, confusion etched on her small face.

Kimi was uncomfortable. She didn want Head Maid, Magdalena, the cruel upper maid witch, to catch on to the Princesss lack of memory, because she knew Magdalena would rush to the first Prince who will then tell King Merah, who will sentence her to death by the sword and hang her head on a spike, just like he had promised. Kimi wasn ready to die.

”Let me, Rosa, ” Kimi rushed to the princess, pulling her away from the other maid. Kimi was trying to act as naturally as possible, but she didn know how to act naturally in this crisis. She knew shed be in trouble if word got out. How would she stop words from getting out? Kimi thought.

Just like that, a switch turned on in her head and she had a plan: shed stay as close as she could to the princess until she was sure the princess remembered every single detail, and if the Princess couldn remember, shed force the memories on her. Kimi knew that her plan was far-fetched, but it gave her hope, hope that she would live to see another sun.

Lela stared at Kimi. Why was the younger woman anxious? Watching Kimi triggered her anxiety and she didn like it one bit, but there was no way to get rid of the younger girl. That much was proven when Kimi bathed and dressed her in a soft baby pink dress, pulling on the corset all on her own without asking for help from the other young girl or the older woman, up until they left the room.

”Princess, you don remember anything, do you? ” Kimi asked Lela, peeking at her through the mirror as she combed her hair. Lela wasn listening to anything Kimi was saying because she was looking at her reflection in the wide mirror. Lela stared back at an elegant version of herself in awe. She had her body and face, but there was something different from her body she left in her small room and the one she currently was in, she couldn place her finger on what it was.

”I amyour maid. Ive served you since I was five in the Caspian palace before we were brought here to prepare for your wedding with the second prince four months ago, ” Lela turned her attention to Kimi. She was lost, she didn know where the Caspian castle was or who the second prince was. The whole thing seemed like a bad joke that made her wonder if Fate and Order set her up for destruction just for a few laughs. They said they were giving her a second chance at life, was this it? In a time and place, she was not familiar with?

”You fell into a deep sleep three months ago… ” Kimis voice faded out, and Lelas vision blurred.

Then everything faded into darkness.

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