Chapter XIX: Into the Mind of Fire (6/18)Mature

'The champion of Castia...' Will suddenly remembered hearing. Of course, I must be inside Tayna's memories. He couldn't believe he had forgotten so easily, and just as he was looking around to find Tayna, he saw her pushing open the gate and entering the village.

He couldn't believe how different she looked, mainly because her hair was long, falling halfway down her back in blonde strands that curled up at the ends. Her face was freckled and her eyes still had their golden glow. She was wearing peasant clothes however, a cream skirt and a brown bodice corsetted at the front, the sleeves were long and traipsed at the ends, and on the crook of her arm she carried a basket full of yellow flowers, one of which was tucked in her hair.

Will ran up to her, 'Tayna! Tayna!' he called, trying to get her attention, but she didn't turn around. Even when he stood in front of her, walking backwards, she didn't flinch and took no notice of him. Will felt somebody bump his shoulder, he turned to apologise but saw that who he had knocked into - a woman with a parasol resting on her shoulder - didn't seem to notice or care what had happened.

They can't see me, Will suddenly realised, this is all in the past. I'm not here to them... He turned back to Tayna and followed her down the gravelly road, curiosity struck him, what was Tayna - a princess - doing in a village in the middle of nowhere? She turned down a side street where there could only be one destination - a farmhouse at the end, made of rounded grey stones and with a thick thatched roof. There was a small stable to the side, holding one white horse whose head was down grazing, on the other side a barn, which Tayna approached, her dress dragging against the dusty path.

'Sister! Sister! Sister!' chirped a spirited voice from above, Will and Tayna looked up and saw a young boy leaning out of the upper barn window. Tayna has brothers? His hair and eyes were dark, he couldn't have been older than eight, 'you're back!'

'Am I late? Is Mother angry at me?' Tayna bit her lip nervously, Will smiled - her habits remained the same.

'The answer to both of those questions is yes, young lady.' Tayna turned slowly with a look of terror to the farmhouse door, where a woman with curled, black hair and the signs of wrinkles around her mouth and eyes stood glaring. Her dress was the same as Tayna's, made from the same material with the same design. Tayna's mother, Will thought, but he wasn't awestruck as he thought he would be, firstly because she looked nothing like he thought a royal would look, and she also looked nothing like Tayna. 

'Where have you been, Tayna?' she scorned, 'you're an hour late, it's nearly sundown, do you know how worried I was getting?'

Tayna quickly held out the basket of flowers placatingly. 'I'm sorry, Mother, but when I went to deliver milk at Higgins' farm, he asked me in for tea, and then saw me looking at these flowers. He offered them to me and let me pick some for our flower box. Aren't they beautiful?' 

She held one up for her mother to observe, she sighed and continued to glare at Tayna, 'it doesn't matter if they're beautiful, I'd rather have you home on time than have new decorations for the windows, understand?' Tayna tossed the flower back into the basket and scuffed her shoes guiltily. Her mother sighed again and her face softened, she held out her arm, 'get inside, your food's getting cold. We'll talk about this later.' Tayna hurried inside and Will darted in after her before her mother could shut the door.

The End

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