Chapter One

“I’m sure he will do,” Abernath smiled as he let go of his mother’s hand and turned to his younger siblings. “What say we let mum get some rest?”

They nodded and followed Abernath through to the kitchen, where he set about making lunch for himself.

“You’ve got to feed us too!” Perry commanded. “That’s the rule.”

“Since when?”

“Since the day after you left,” Penny piped in.

Abernath rolled his eyes at the pair. For being ten, they more often acted like five. He was fifteen himself—he wanted to have his independence from the terrible two, but they never let him have it. That was one of the reasons he went on his little adventures. He pulled out some more slices of bread and made cheese sandwiches enough for everyone—taking a couple through to his mother before returning to the kitchen to have his own.

“Did you hear the news while you were away, Abe?” Perry asked, once he had shovelled the food into his mouth.

Abernath perked his head up. “What news?”

“The King’s sent out a royal decree,” Perry informed him. “All young men of fourteen and older are to report to the castle within the year to present themselves to the princess.”

“Princess Fia,” Penny said in a dreamy tone. Abernath could tell she was miles away dreaming of tiaras and frilly dresses.

“I just got home, I don’t want to go anywhere now,” Abernath said, wearily. “When was this decree go out?”

“About a month and a half ago, I think,” Perry said, taking the opportunity to steal the rest of his twin’s sandwich as she was dreaming.

“I have plenty of time then,” Abernath said, relaxing a little.

“Not the way mum was talking,” Perry said, smiling. “She’ll have you out that door tomorrow, I bet.”

Abernath groaned.

The End

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