Merida - Prologue:
The moto was burning low, casting dim and dancing shadows all around the room. Merida thought it was strangely appropriate that the flames had almost died out completely. After all, the brightest light in her life, her mother, was fading fast as well.
Quietly, she approached the queen, who lay still and motionless under the heavy velvet kitanda sheets. She looked so fragile sleeping. Her silver hair and deep wrinkles looked zaidi prominent than usual. She was frowning slightly, as if she was having a bad dream. Merida didn’t really want to disturb her, but the priest had alisema there wasn’t much time. If she didn’t say goodbye now, she may never get another chance.
Sorrow threatened to overwhelm her but Merida blinked back the tears that she had been holding back for months now. She would soon be queen. Weakness wasn’t an option - everybody was depending on her to be strong.
“Mum”, she alisema hoarsely, gently caressing the mother’s face the way Elinor used to do her, “Mum, wake up”.
The old Queen stirred and slowly opened her warm brown eyes. At first she looked confused, but when her gaze fixed on Merida, she smiled. Her eyes were full of pride.
“Merida. My beautiful girl” she croaked.
Sadly, Merida returned the smile.
“Hi mum. How are wewe feeling?” she asked softly.
Her mum chuckled.
“About as good as I did when some rascal turned me to into a bear”, she joked, but then her eyes turned zaidi serious, “But I doubt I’ll be around for much longer”
Merida knew she spoke the truth but she was far too stubborn to admit it.
“Please don’t die mum. I need you. The KINGDOM needs you” she said, appealing to her mother’s keen sense of duty.
Elinor’s eyes drifted towards the ceiling. She shook her head.
“No Merida. I think…. I think what dun, waliopelekwa Broch needs is you. Besides, I can’t leave your father up there in heaven. The poor blighter could never do anything properly without me”
Merida bit her lip. If her mother was dying, she should let her go peacefully. But it was just all so unfair and hard! Merida didn’t want to be left alone with nothing but a crown on her head.
“Merida”, her mother whispered suddenly, “I need wewe to promise to do something for me”
Merida grasped her hand.
“Anything” she vowed.
Carefully, the Queen tried to sit up. Pain washed over her face, but Elinor finally managed to heshima herself up.
“Do wewe remember what I told wewe about The Council of The Queens?”
Merida was taken aback. She hadn’t been expecting a history test. Her mother knew she never payed attention.
“No. Mum I’m sorry, but I don’t” she admitted.
Weakly, Elinor smiled.
“It… It is no matter. It was just an idea Queen Leah and King Stefan, the Queen of Corona, the Queen of Arendelle and I had. We has such hopes, but then the Queen of Arendelle died and…”
Her eyes were becoming unfocused. It was almost as if Elinor was slipping away…
No. Oh no.
Alarmed, Merida grasped her hand.
“Mum. Where are wewe going with this?”
Elinor was trembling.
“You… You… wewe have to restart it Merida. wewe have to reunite the realms. Please. It’s my final wish. My final… My final…”
Elinor fell back and the light in her eyes died. In Merida’s shaking grasp, her wrinkly hand went limp. Tears sprung into Merida’s big blue eyes.
“Mum. Mum wake. WAKE UP!” she screamed.
She sobbed wretchedly, and gathered her mother’s body into her arms.
“Don’t leave me. DON’T LEAVE ME, wewe CAN’T!!!!”
But it was too late. Elinor had gone where she could no longer hear her.
Merida screamed. It wasn’t fair, it wasn't fair, it wasn’t! She needed her mother and she always would. Consumed kwa grief, Merida reached for her sword and started battering the walls. A relentless flow of tears ran down her rosy cheeks, but she ignored the sorrow and felt only anger.
Before long, an insistent knocking arrived at the door. Merida ignored it. She continued to hack her fury at the wall, roaring and crying in equal measures.
“Merida it’s me” came a muffled voice.
It sounded like Hamish, au maybe Harris.
“Merida what is it? Has something happened to mum?”
Merida didn’t want to speak. She didn’t want to admit what had happened. But as her eyes fell on her mother’s lifeless body, she remembered the promise she had made to her mother and to dun, waliopelekwa Broch. She wasn’t uigizaji like the Queen they deserved.
“Mother is dead” she called, despair causing her voice to crack “Queen Elinor is dead. Long live the queen”
No. Oh no.
Belle - Chapter 1
“I’m telling wewe Adam”, Belle insisted, “there is something very wrong about this”
The two stood in their master bedroom, both staring transfixed at the vanity. The vanity that had been a wedding gift from one of their liege lands. The vanity that was carved out of the finest oak. The vanity where the Enchanted mirror sat no more. They had discovered it missing that very morning.
Nervously, Adam fiddled with the fancy buttons on his navy doublet. He was wearing his usual brown breeches and golden chain. He looked very handsome (but to Belle, he always did).
“Perhaps wewe have misplaced it. au maybe one of the children accidently damaged it and then hid it…”
Belle shot him a doubtful look.
“That’s what wewe alisema about the Enchanted rose. We never found that either”
Just thinking about the two incidents sent shivers down her back. It couldn’t be a coincidence that the two most important things they owned (both in terms of power and memories) had gone missing within a mwezi of each other. It freaked her out even zaidi to think that both had been snatched from under their noses.
Belle walked towards the window and smoothed her floaty yellow night-gown. The palace gardens below her were a upinde wa mvua of flowers. It was spring time in France, but Belle felt very very cold.
“They must have come into our BEDROOM, Adam. They took it while we were sleeping. It frightens me to know that somebody can just stroll into our ngome and do as they please.” she confessed.
Suddenly, she had a terrible thought. She choked back a scream.
“Adam what if it is the children next!” she cried.
Adam rushed over to her and pulled her into a comforting embrace.
“Calm down. wewe are overreacting. If they wanted to cause us that great harm, they would have just killed us while we slept”
Belle breathed deeply and tried to allow herself to become less hysterical so she would be able to think logically. She couldn’t let terror get the better of her like that time with the wolves… Adam needed. Her children needed her.
“The two items had a lot in common, but I think we can safely say they were taken for the powers they possess rather than to hurt us” she conceded “So nothing else should be in danger. But Adam… How could we have allowed this to happen? wewe alisema wewe had doubled security after the rose was taken”
His blue eyes met hers without a trace of guilt.
“I did. But it seems to have made no difference. Belle… We must be dealing with somebody good. Somebody really good.”
Belle nodded and stared thoughtfully at the bare vanity.
“It doesn’t look like any malice has been involved, that’s why we’ve been left untouched.”
She started to pace. Adam, in spite their trouble, grinned at her in exasperation. Belle was always pacing.
“That leaves two option a thief, au somebody with magic. The latter seems zaidi likely as the two items the items they took had magical properties.” she reasoned, “Adam, wewe don’t suppose this is the Enchantress’ work?”
Adam considered that. Then, he shook his head.
“I don’t think so. I don’t think I’ve done anything worth punishing other than Lost my temper a few times”
Belle managed a small smile.
“A few times? Poor little Clarice, she was quite terrified of you”
Tenderly, Adam started playing with her hair. He did that when he felt awkward au guilty au even scared.
“I’m going to get to the bottom of this” she murmured “I’ll find out why this is happening”
Adam kissed her forehead, making it harder for her to concentrate.
“We will find our magician au thief. Until then, we can’t trust anybody” he soothed.
Against her better judgement, she believed him. Her lips connected with his, and for a short while, she forgot her troubles. Adam had a way of doing that to her.
Her lips connected with his, and for a short while, she forgot her troubles. Credit to iconlizzzy
Tiana - Chapter 2
The kanzu, gown she wore was made of the finest shimmering satin that Tiana had ever seen. The skirt, upindo was huge and the sleeves were puffy, but somehow the dress still managed to remain elegant. Although Tiana often felt uncomfortable in such finery, something about the outfit reminded her of her wedding gown, and that made her smile despite her discomfort. Perhaps that was charlotte had picked it out for her. Lottie was thoughtful like that. Lottie was a good friend.
She walked across the room to pick up her crown from it’s protective cushion. The tiara was made of interlocking triangles. She liked how edgy and interesting it looked, but still felt odd when she had it on. She wasn’t Tiana the waitress anymore, the girl with an impossible wish. She was Tiana the Queen of Maldonia and it’s liege lands, the girl who had achieved her dream.
Suddenly, there was a knock at the door, disturbing her from her thoughts.
“Come in!” she called.
The heavy oak door swung open and charlotte danced in. Her peppy friend was brimming from excitement.
“You look very hyper It’s a wonder wewe aren’t bouncing of the walls”, Tiana remarked fondly.
Lottie practically ignored her. She went straight to Tiana’s mirror and started positioning all her skirts. Her baby pink dress was enormous, even kwa her standards.
“Don’t act like wewe are not excited, Tia honey. NAVEEN is back today!” she squealed.
Tiana’s eyes automatically drifted to the road out the window. A messenger had arrived just moments ago, which usually meant it wouldn’t be long until the rest of the royal column arrived. It was always such a splendid sight watching all the farasi and carriages heading towards the palace.
“Naveen’s back today” Tiana repeated slowly, and it finally dawned on her just how much she had missed him.
Naveen had been gone for almost a month, visiting all his liege lands and making new alliances. Tiana knew it was very important duty and had even volunteered to do it herself. Naveen wouldn’t hear of it though. He had alisema Tiana worked too hard already. Tiana had to admit he was right. Now she was running the palace, she hardly had a spare moment.
“Naveen’s back today”, charlotte agreed, and pulled her into a hug, “I know you’ve been missing him like a crazy person”.
Grimacing, Tiana pulled away.
“Is it that obvious?”
Tiana had always done her best to try and hide her zaidi personal emotions. After her dad had died, Tiana had perfect what she liked to call her: “I’m fine” face. It had fooled her mom for years, but that may have been because her mother was hiding her pain as well.
Lottie put her arm around her shoulder.
“Just to me” she reassured “Now come on. No zaidi time for waiting. Let’s go wait for Naveen on the balcony”.
Just as the two were leaving, one of Tiana’s servants (whose name was Alice) arrived with a panicked expression on her face.
“Your Grace, I have been sent to call wewe into the solar” she panted.
Tiana froze. Her earlier happiness seemed a little premature.
“Is something wrong?” she demanded.
Miserably, Alice shrugged. She started walking in the direction of the solar and Tiana had no choice but to follow. Lottie made to walk with her.
“No Lottie, stay here. If I have to miss Naveen, I don’t want wewe to miss Travis as well” she ordered.
Tiana felt like she was walking in a nightmare as she headed towards the solar. She just hoped Naveen was okay.
In the solar, stood two men. One of them (the one with brown hair) she recognised as the messenger she had seen earlier. When the men saw her, they both rushed into a low bow. Tiana didn’t have time for formalities though, so she told them both to rise.
“What news” she asked anxiously.
The two men exchanged glances. Tiana’s stomach sank further.
“You may want to sit down” the other man urged.
Tiana was numb. She did as they advised.
“What news is there of Naveen?” she whispered.
The man with brown hair came to kneel at her side. The solemn expression on his face scared her greatly. Just be okay, Naveen,
she begged silently. Just be okay.
“Your grace” alisema the messenger, “Naveen was three days ride from here when we were ambushed. I escaped, but the Prince has been taken. I’m very sorry. It isn’t known what has happened to him. He could be... He could be..."
The messenger never finished, but Tiana knew what he meant to say.
He could be dead.
Just be okay, Naveen, she begged silently. Just be okay. Credit to Ede1986