This is an extract of a fantasy story I wrote many years ago, in 1999/2000.
If you would like to read it from the start, this is the first part:
The coach was travelling much too fast. Lara hated travelling by coach. It always made her feel ill. Opposite her was her sixteen year old cousin, Bethra. Bethra also always made her feel ill.
“Oh, but isn’t it lovely to travel by coach Lara? I always love hearing the sound of the horses hooves galloping and watching the countryside fly by. Why, you’re looking a bit pale dear. I expect you’re a bit upset at leaving your Father. Uncle Frederick is so kind to send me to one of the best cities in the whole country. Just think of all the young men I’ll meet.”
After the usual torrent of giggles Bethra started up again.
“Aren’t we the luckiest girls ever? I won’t be surprised if we don’t get to see the Governor-General himself. I hear he often visits Albana in the summer months.”
Lara couldn’t put up with both the movement of the coach and the sound of Bethra going on, so she waspishly responded.
“But it’s autumn Bethra and I am sure the Governor-General is far too busy running the country to pay attention to an annoying little girl!”
“Well there’s no need to be so spiteful. Just because you aren’t enjoying the journey. I don’t know why Uncle Frederick let you come along anyway. You don’t appreciate things, like I do.”
“Well Father wasn’t going to let a child go to Albana alone was he?”
With Lara’s comment, silence descended on the coach. Lara welcomed it, it was such a relief from listening to cousin Bethra. Bethra now contented herself by pulling faces at her elder cousin. Lara contented herself by looking out of the window. If she looked far off into the distance, the ground didn’t look like it was moving past so fast. The Mountains and hills of Southern Argor, the district she had grown up in and loved so much, rushed past. Lara gazed wistfully at them, and the trees with their golden autumn colours. A few red leaved amongst the trees made it look like the whole forest was aflame. She loved Argor in the Autumn and it broke her heart that she was being sent away to Albana. It wasn’t that long ago, however, that just like her cousin Bethra, she had dreamed to be able to go to a livelier city like Albana. Now she dreaded it because she knew she couldn’t learn about her Magic. A worse thought crossed her mind, what if she cast a spell by accident, like she had with Baron Hawksworth? In Albana she was no longer the district Governors daughter and she would be arrested, and imprisoned for being magic.
“Mistress Boadrah” called the driver “We are just entering the town of Harbolt. Do you want to stop here or continue on to Darbury?”
Lara had no desire to get to her destination too quickly, she was happy to drag the journey out. They had only been travelling for a couple of hours and could probably make Darbury before nightfall, but she decided that she wanted to stay their first night closer to home.
“Oh, here will do nicely, Piotr” Lara liked to use the servants names, she thought it was important. She’d known Piotr Drake for years anyway. He had been her Father’s principle groom and coach driver for as long as she remembered. “Find us some suitable lodgings here please.”
“As you wish, Miss.”
Bethra gave her a nasty look. Lara didn’t care. Bethra could look at her like that for the whole journey. In Bethra’s case pulling faces was often an improvement.
The Coach pulled up outside a large hotel. After a few moments a porter in dark green livery and a bright pink sash opened the door and gently helped Lara and Bethra step down from the carriage, then escorted them into the building carrying their luggage.
Spacious and neat though the building surely was it could not compare with the grandeur of the governor’s palace in Argor City. It did have a rather nice marble staircase. The decorations in the hotel were based around a dark green motif. Carpets, curtains and wall hangings were all of this sombre colour. It appeared the Porters pink sash had been a purely personal touch. Lara was relieved, she did not think dark green and bright pink was a particularly lovely combination.
They were shown to two rooms with a connecting door. Lara entered the simple but comfortable room and the first thing she did was to lock the connecting door and wedge a chair under the handle. Cousin Bethra was not coming in.
End of Part Four.
Photo by Pexels
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 01/June/2018
I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know what you liked and what didn’t work so well.
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