This is a chapter excerpt from a work-in-progress called Heir to the Kingdom

Chapter 1

Keep Her Safe

The moon was high in the sky. A glowing Cyclops in the midnight. Hoof beats and baby cries echoed in the night. Queen Nara with her baby daughter in a sling strapped to her back, galloped through the forest on a unicorn. Five hooded figures on horses black as tar pursued them. Plumes of smoke came from the horses’ nostrils. Queen Nara ducked, the baby sling twisted sideways. Low hanging branches knocked one of the hooded figures off his horse.

A flicker of a smile played on Queen Nara’s lips. The baby’s cries grew louder. She had to keep her safe. She gently kicked Neptune’s side. He quickly made a sharp right turn.

“Aaugh.” Another rider was lost. But there was still three more gaining ground. She looked back. The baby clenched her fist and continued to cry. Queen Nara’s brow creased. There was only one thing that could stop them long enough. She leaned forward and whispered in Neptune’s ear. He slowed to a canter. The midnight riders reigned in their horses. Queen Nara raised her hands with the palms facing the sky. Softly she spoke. “Lumiere.” Sunlight burst through the night. Two of the three midnight riders were thrown from their horses. The one that remained shielded her eyes from the blinding light.

Queen Nara dismounted Neptune. She glanced over her shoulder; she knew the shield wouldn’t last forever. She had to hurry. She removed her baby daughter from her back. She held her close to her bosom. “You aren’t safe here. You are the last.” Tears glistened on the queen’s cheeks. The baby stopped crying. She opened her eyes. One was purple the other brown. She grabbed her mother’s nose. The queen gently kissed her forehead. A shimmer remained on the baby’s forehead. She held her daughter in the crook of her arm and she took her free arm and plunged it into the lake, which look like liquid sapphires. Slowly she pulled her arm of the water. A mirror with silver sculptured leaves and flowers stood in the center of the lake. The surface of the mirror rippled like a stone skipped across it. “One day you’ll return. But until then you must remain hidden from them.” She held her daughter close to her bosom. The baby’s face turned red as a strawberry. The baby’s sharp cry cut through the night. “I love you my sweet little Sepia,” she said softly. She tucked the note inside the baby’s sling. “But if you aren’t kept safe, all will be lost.” She gave her daughter one final kiss on the forehead before placing her daughter on the mirror’s rippling surface. Tears pricked Queen Nara’s eyes as she watched the mirror shimmer as it shimmer as it took her daughter somewhere safe. The mirror was just a mirror again. Queen Nara took the palm of her right hand and pushed the mirror down into the sapphire lake.

The light shield broke. Queen Nara spun around. It was just her and the two midnight riders. “Where is the baby?” the female rider asked.

“Somewhere away from you Oleander.” Queen Nara unsheathed her rapier.

“Oh, sister dear, I’m only concern about my niece.” Oleander made a small gesture with her hands to her partner.

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