“Same as always James.” I replied shortly.

James smiled as I placed ten coins on the counter and without bothering to count them he walked to the back of his stall and lifted up a basket. Walking back over to the front he picked up the coins and pocketed them as he handed me the basket. I gave him my thanks and started making my way through the market, stopping at a few stalls here and there as I bought some food and other treats. Once I had everything I deemed necessary, I left and was making my way home when I froze for a second as I noticed the two guards from earlier standing patiently as they waited for me to leave. I quietly laughed at their ignorance and made a sharp left into an alleyway and jogged home, but stayed in the shadows of the alleys in case they decided to turn around. I slowed to a walk as I neared the apartment complex that houses my mother and I. As I balanced all the things I had bought in one arm I pulled my keycard out of my back pocket and unlocked the front door. Once I’d stepped inside I made sure the door was closed and locked and made my way up the four flights of stairs wishing they’d fix the broken gravity lift so I wouldn’t have all these stairs to deal with. Panting and out breath I tapped the door with my foot to let mom know it was me and used my shoulder to shove the door open and I entered the relatively small apartment. I dropped my stuff on the small couch that was my bed and walked into the back room where my mom was on a normal day. Usually she would stay in the bed most of the day, today was different. I came into her room and halted in my tracks. She stood at the window, and had a faraway look on her face as she gazed towards the castle in the distance.
“Mom…?” I whispered to her quietly.
I was glued to the floor, unable to move from the sheer shock of my mother standing. She almost never removed herself from her bed, and this was the first time I’ve ever seen her take any sort of an interest in the outside world. Slowly, I moved towards her and softly placed a hand on her shoulder. I stumbled back as she jerked away from me like she had snapped out of some sort of hypnosis. We stood there and stared at each other for a few minutes, before she muttered something I couldn’t understand and collapsed onto the bed. My heart pounding, I rushed over to her and carefully lay her in the bed the correct way. There was something in her hand as well, a small piece of paper. Grabbing it, I pulled her covers up and walked back to the main room. I dropped down onto the couch and unfolded the piece of paper. The words on it didn’t make any sense. The fact that there were only two words didn’t help matters either.

The End

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