Thursday, March 10, 2016
No part of this may be copied or used without written consent from the author Renee Lake
Copy right 2016 Renee Lake
All Rights Reserved
“Ficra no!” Hye Oye grabbed her robe with his teeth.
“Hye Oye, manners!” Ficra scolded him, what had gotten into her cat?
“What would your mother say?” He asked, still glaring at the petite woman surrounded by the murky purple cloud.
“She would say….” Ficra paused, really thinking, “she would say we should help her…but that I shouldn’t go anywhere with strangers. Especially from the Kingdom of Helplessness.”
“If you come to my home we won’t be strangers. We citizens of the Helplessness live there because we have nowhere else to go.” The woman pleaded, holding out her hand.
“You could move. “ Hye Oye said.
“How, I have no one to help me…Where would I go? What would I do? The King and Queen take care of us!” The woman began to cry.
“Give me your name and when I get to my grandparents’ house I will see about getting you a job and relocating you.” Ficra said.
“Will someone help me pack and move?”
“You will have to do that by yourself.” Ficra told her.
“I can’t!” The woman cried out, she fled from Ficra back towards her kingdom. Ficra felt badly, she really did want to help her, but she couldn’t hold her hand through the entire process. From watching her parents Ficra knew that asking and accepting help was fine, but you had to try, you had to want the help being offered.
“Let’s get out of here before that crazy woman comes back.” Hye Oye said.
They started on their travels again, soon reaching a small town. It was a little village with thatched roof houses and brick walls, dozens of people bustled about dealing with their lives.
Ficra smelled bread baking and heard the sounds of children and chickens. She knew this was a village called Peacitom. She had ridden through it many times. The baker in Peacitom made the most delicious ginger bread.
As she walked in people noticed her, many called out in greeting. Ficra nervously looked at all the people who seemed to know her and didn’t know what to do. She wanted a ride to the next town, she knew it was a much longer walk and she was tired.
“Excuse me, do you know someone who could give me a ride to Happerstown?” She asked an older woman sweeping her front stoop.
“Princess Firecracker!” The woman curtseyed, “I am sure anyone here would be happy to take you.”
“I don’t want anyone to go out of their way.” Ficra said. The older woman thought for a moment, then smiled, her grin showing missing teeth.
“Of course, there is an egg delivery going out soon. Edgar delivers the eggs every week. His chicken coop is just outside town.” She pointed to a small path that led away from the town.
“Thank you so much!” Firca exclaimed. She and Hye Oye took off down the little path. Their feet kicked up dirt which made Hye Oye sneeze, but soon enough they smelled the chickens even stronger than before and saw a ramshackle house surrounded by dozens of tiny feathered beasts.
“Hello!” Ficra called out as they got closer, “Edgar?” She hoped he hadn’t already left.
“Well not Edgar, but I can help you.” A boy came out from behind the house, cleaning his hands with a rag. He couldn’t have been more than 15 or 16.
“Yes, I need a ride to Happerstown and was hoping you could help me.” Ficra told him.
“I’m leaving in just a few minutes. I was just loading eggs.” He squinted at her, “why do you want to go to Happerstown?” He was tall with skin tanned by the sun and a messy crop of brown hair. He was also filthy.
Ficra was taken aback, did he not know who she was?
“I am trying to get to The Kingdom of Generosity.” She answered, truthfully.
“I’ve heard that’s a nice place, never been there myself.” He said, then he looked at Hye Oye, “that cat better not go near my chickens.”
“He won’t!” Firca exclaimed, she placed a hand on Hye Oye, silently begging him not to speak and give themselves away. The boy might not realize she was Princess Firecracker, but he would if her cat started talking.
“I see you’re a Firecracker fan girl.” The boy said, chuckling.
“A what?” She asked, confused.
“Well why else would you have a giant cat? Damn things are expensive.” The boy said.
Hye Oye growled and the boy took a step back.
“Hey no offense meant kitty. Most girls around her idolize the princess, but I bet she’s just as stuck up as most royalty.”
The words stung and Firecracker felt tears well in her eyes, was this really how people saw her?
"I like you're walking stick." Kyle said.
"Must be nice to afford something so decorative, around here you walk with what you pick up off the forest floor."
“What’s your name?” Ficra asked, now she really didn’t want him to know who she was.
“Well Kyle you don’t know me or Princess Firecracker, can you take us, or please let me know someone who can?”
“Look I’ll be happy to take you, but I don’t have room for your cat. I’d have to lose about three dozen eggs to make room and that’s loss wages for me and my family.” Kyle said, he crossed his arms over his chest.
“I can pay you.” Ficra thought about how much money was in her robe.
“For three dozen eggs?” Kyle asked.
“For three dozen eggs.” Ficra repeated. Kyle named an amount and Ficra paid him.
“Wow, you got rich parents?”
“Something like that.” Ficra said.
“Alright, come around back, I’ll go change and we’ll be off.” Kyle disappeared inside the house.
Ficra and Hye Oye went around back and got onto his egg cart.
“Why didn’t you tell him who you were?” Hye Oye asked.
“I think it’s better he doesn’t know, he doesn’t seem to like me.” Ficra sighed and sat back, scratching her cats head.
“He lied about the eggs, there’s more than enough room for us, and he won’t have to get rid of eggs.” Hye Oye grumbled.
“He needs the money more than we do.” Ficra said.
Soon Kyle was back, he hitched up two horses and they started on their bumpy way. Happerstown was an hour long ride, but it was much faster than walking.
She and Kyle made polite and pleasant small talk for the hour it took. She told him about the time her sister had thrown up purple potato stew all over their room and afterwards said, “at least it matches the pink.”
They shared her last water bottle and one peanut butter sandwich while they stopped at a stream to water his horses. Hye Oye ate quietly the rest of his kitty snacks, grumbling to himself about drinking out of the stream like a commoner.
As they continued their journey Kyle told her about his dad falling and breaking his leg, so instead of going to school like he wanted he was stuck running the family business until his father got up and going again.
“Why can’t you hire help?” Ficra asked. She perked up, she could see Happerstown in the distance!
“Can’t afford it.” He said.
"Oh, I'm so sorry." They sat in silence the last few miles. Ficra was glad when they drove past the Welcome to Happerstown sign.
They pulled up in front of a market. Ficra got down, Hye Oye jumping next to her.
“When I get home I’ll see what I can do about getting your family some help.” Ficra said. She spotted an inn and hoped she could stay the night, she felt worn out and wanted to sleep.
“You can’t do anything. Maybe you could write a letter to your precious princess.” He said, snorting.
“Well, goodbye. Thank you.” Ficra said, she would talk to her parents about helping his family. Even if he was a little rude.
“Wait I never got your name!” He called after her as she walked away. She didn’t turn around, but heard someone exclaim.
“Wow Kyle! You gave Princess Firecracker a ride? Lucky!”
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