“7, 8, 9, 10! Ready or not hear I come!” Lily’s small voice shrieked in excited from somewhere above.
It had been two weeks since I met Lily, and even though I didn’t like the idea of watching her at first, we really started to hit it off. She was little, but man she was fantastic. Just from some of the things she said, you could tell she would grow up to be a genius. Like what she said when she gave me that bracelet. It really hit me and made me think. I even still have the bracelet on. Ever since then, we’ve been thick as thief’s (and also clever as criminals, don’t tell Mom about the vase).
I was playing hide and seek with her and I was under the staircase in the main entrance way. I wish I could find somewhere better to hide, but I’m 16, and I have wings. That limits me quite a bit, which sucks because she’s young and tiny. She can fit about anywhere!
There was a small creak above my head. I covered my mouth in hopes she wouldn’t hear me breathing. The click of her shoes echoed on the marble as she reached the bottom the staircase. They got louder, and louder…
“Got ya’!!!” She yelled with glee as she spotted me.
“I’m not it till’ you catch me!” I yelled as I clumsily emerged from my hiding place.
I ran a bit, but not nearly full speed. Who would do that to a 7 year old? Especially a really adorable one?
As a jogged away, Lily ran full speed at me and tackled me from behind. We both flew forward and fell to the ground before breaking in to laughter.
“What is going on here?” boomed a voice from above me. I turned my head form the cold marble and saw a pair of white boots. Dad. Whoops.
Still on the ground with Lily on my back petting my wings I propped up on one arm and looked up at him.
“Hey Dad, what’s up?” I asked.
“What do you think you’re doing? You’re acting chaotic.” He said, slight anger in his voice.
“Hey, you’re the one who wanted me to babysit the kid.” Lily punched me in my back as a spoke.
“Oh, sorry. You’re the one who wanted me to keep an eye on Lily.”
“Much better.” Lily said with dignity, probably crossing her arms. My father shrugged and continued.
“Well, I was just going to tell you that there’s a merchant here that we were getting some things from, and he said he had some side items. There no use to me, I thought you might be interested?”
My curiosity spiked. Something for me?
“What’s the occasion?” I asked.
“I just thought you might like something since you’ve been so grumpy lately. I can send him away if you want…”
“No, no, no. I’ll go. Where is he?” I asked.
“He’s in the throne room. Get whatever you like, and tell him that the treasurer will pay him on his way out.” he told me briskly and promptly left. You could hear his staff hitting the floor as he walked.
Lily moved off my back and I got to my feet.
“Your wings are really soft.” She said cheerfully. I gave a chuckle.
“Thanks Lily. I’m gonna’ go look at what this merchant has to offer. Can you go what in your room till I get back? I won’t be long.”
“Ok!” she said happily. She smiled and skipped away. I smiled as I watched her go and then headed towards the throne room. After going through a couple of doors I made it.
As I entered I saw a man. He was wearing pretty normal looking clothes that were all black. He was leaning against something; it was made of wood, but looked pretty rickety. As he heard me, he looked up and gave me a grin.
“You must be the Prince.” He said loudly, but cheerfully.
“Yep, that’s me.” I said with less enthusiasm.
“Come on, man. Cheer up. I can hook you up with something you’ve been dreaming up.” He said with confidence, pointing to the thing he had been leaning on. Apparently it was his cart. Didn’t look like much.
“Alright then.” I walked around the cart. He had tons of stuff hung all around it. Some wands, spells, charms, and potions.
“You got anything else?” I asked, magical things not being some of my favorite things.
“You need cloths.” He said excitedly. The merchant kicked the side of the cart, and I jumped, afraid it might break form the force. Instead it just wobbled a bit and a side slid out. It was a wire with lots of different hanger on it, on each a different article of clothing. Shirts, skirts, pant, and cloaks. You name it he had it. Just all in white.
“This is nice man, but I don’t like any of these.”
“What? These are fantastic, look at the design…” He went to go pull one from the rack.
“No, it’s not that. I just hate white.”
“Hate white? The royal price hates the royal color? Now that’s a new one.” He said, leaning against the cart again.
“Well, growing up with it and never seeing anything else, it does get a bit old. I only have one piece of clothing that black, and that would be these pants” I pointed down, referring to my pants.
“You like black, don’t ya’?” He asked.
“Well, I think you might like this.” He walked over to the other side of the cart and opened the side. From inside he pulled out a black leather jacket.
My jaw dropped as he unfolded it. Not only was it black leather, it had a bunch of buckles going done the front. It had pieces of leather from the arms and brilliant cuffs. It was perfect.
“My I…” I asked reaching out to touch it. The merchant nodded. I touched it, the cool leather soft against my skin. He dropped it into my hands and I continued to examine it. It really was perfect. I brought it towards my face and gave a sniff. It even smelled good.
As I looked at it I turned it around and was a bit disappointed.
“There’s no wing holes,” I explained as I gave my wings a little flap, “Do you think you can get this changed to have that?”
“That won’t be a problem.” I raised an eyebrow. How is that not a problem? He took it from me and held it in the air.
“It’s enchanted.” he said quietly. “Watch.” He held it out and indicated to put my arm in the side. I did and then he put my other arm in the other side, and it fit. But I could still feel my wings. I looked around confused.
“What did you do?” I asked. He poked me in the back wear my wing should have been, but I felt my back. A shiver went down my spine.
“You see, it makes it so your wings aren’t there, but you still feel them so you don’t lose balance.”
“Oh my gosh!!!! This is amazing!!! I’ll take it.” I yelled happily. “Wait, what does it cost?”
“On the house my friend.” He said giving a little bow.
“Wait, what? Really? Why?”
“It’s for the Prince. Besides I just want my work to be appreciated.” he said smiling.
“Well, thank you very much.” I said as I shook the merchants hand.
He took his cart and left, and I took my prize and ran to my room to hide it. This was it. This was my chance.
I was getting out of here.