Emmy took a cautious step as she entered the forest. The sunlight that shone through the leafy canopy above her bounced off of the flora and fauna, creating areas of light and shadow. She swore that she saw the shadow of a dragon following her, so she stepped quietly on the soft moss that lined the forest floor, hoping that it wouldn’t hear her. She was just glancing behind to see if it was still following her when she pricked her finger on a thorny rose ush. She quickly stuck her finger in her mouth to suck off the blood, but if a dragon’s nostrils were as sensitive as they were rumored to be, it would have already smelled the blood. Knowing that she had to find a hiding place where it wouldn’t find her, she searched the nearby trees until she found a small alcove. It was up high, and though she was doubtful that she would fit, she climbed the tree. When she reached the top, she was delighted to find that she fit perfectly. She looked down at her bracelet, which wasn’t actually hers, but was a piece of jewelery that she figured wouldn’t be missed. It was starting to slip off her wrist, so she unhooked it from her arm and set it next to her before falling asleep.
Her mother’s arms surrounded her, engulfing her in warmth. She had just turned seven. On the bed next to them sat the stuffed dragon that she had received for her birthday. Then a young boy’s voice called out to her…
Emmy awoke, first feeling around to make sure that she hadn’t accidentally knocked the bracelet out of the alcove in her sleep. When she found it, she fastened it securely onto her wrist, then looked down to find out who the insistent voice belonged to. A boy that looked like he could be her age was looking up at her from the ground. She scampered down the tree and met him there.
“Oh! Um, hi,” he said to her, scratching the back of his head nervously.
“Hi, I’m Emmy, well my real name’s Emmaline but my mom calls me that, and by that I mean Emmy-”
“How old are you?” the boy asked, cutting her off.
“Eight, but I just had a dream where I just truned seven, and-”
“I don’t care about your stupid dream,” the boy replied angrily, cutting her off again.
“Well, if you’re going to keep interrupting me like that then I guess you can go and play with somebody else.”
The boy laughed. “I can play with anyone I want because I’m ten.”
“Who said that I even wanted to play?” Emmy asked sassily.
“What else would you be doing in a forest?”
“Running from the dragon, of course. You know that it’s going to attack the village any day now, right?”
“Really?” he said, wide-eyed. The he went back to frowning. “Of course I knew that. That’s why I came out here. To make sure that you didn’t get attacked by it.”
Emmy laughed. “More like you came out her for my protection. You couldn’t fight a dragon even if your life was in danger.”
“I could too! I’ll prove you wrong one day, and you’ll bow down and say, ‘Captain Marvin Tuttle, I was so wrong, will you accept my sincerest apology?’ and I’ll say, ‘Well of course, as long as you marry me first.’.”
“Ew! I’m not getting married to anyone. My mom was never married, so I won’t be, either.”
“Okay, I won’t say that. Now let’s go evade that dragon!”
Years later, Emmy sat in the tall grass surrounding the river when she heard some rustling behind her.
“I’ve… been sent to slay the dragon. Can you help me?”
“Follow me,” Emmy replied as she led Melvin towards the mountains.
Emmy reached the top of the hill, panting hard, and glanced behind her to see if Marvin was there yet. His heavy armor was giving him a harder time than her stolen leather clothing did. When he finally reached the top, she teased him. “I’m surprised that they made you do peasant’s work like this instead of making you Captain of the King’s Army.”
“They offered it to me, but I declined and took forest patrol duty instead. I would rather protect the village from the dragon myself than trust the duty to some soldier that I just don’t get.”
“Forest patrol… they didn’t have that when we were kids.”
“They added it after I told them about the dragon.”
“They believed you?”
“I had to prove that I was smart, strong, and trustworthy enough first, but eventually they did. They’ll probably see us as heroes, assuming that we succeed.”
“I’m not going back there- to the village, I mean.”
“Why not? It’ll be safe now, after we’re done here.”
“I have nothing to go back to and everyone will probably recognize me as the person that stole all their stuff.
“What about your mother? You haven’t seen her in years. I bet she misses you. And you could come and visit me at the barracks, if you wanted. The other guys bring girls there all the time.”
Emmy nodded. She didn’t really interact with anyone besides Marvin, unless you counted feeding her thirst for theft as “interacting”.
“So, how are we going to kill this guy?” Marvin asked as they reached the entrance of the cave.
“You distract, I’ll shoot,” Emmy replied, motioning towards the bow that she had brought.
The plan executed flawlessly. Marvin got the dragon out of the cave and Emmy located a weak spot in its hide, which she shot with perfect accuracy. As she dropped her bow and arrows on the ground to give Marvin, who was walking over to her from some distance away, a high five, she noticed that her bracelet had fallen off once again, leaving the red, scraped-up skin of her wrist exposed.
Glancing at the ground, she was startled to find that the dragon had disappeared, and in its place was an old and now dying woman that Emmy recognized as her mother. Tears stung her eyes as she sat down on the ground, realizing what she had just done.
A queen doesn’t get crowned for killing her own mother.
Worrisome thoughts such as this one raced through Emmy’s head as she waited, Marvin sleeping in her arms, for her coronation to start. Everyone, including Marvin, still believed that there was a dragon she had killed, and becoming queen was her reward. It was more like punishment.
“I know that look,” Marvin said sleepily as he awoke. Then he started tickling her, and she was in such hysterics that she didn’t notice at first he started to kiss her. When she did realize what was happening, the only thing that she could think of doing was kissing him back.
She didn’t think about being queen as much as a new queen probably should during her coronation. A million other questions flooded her brain. What did that kiss mean? Had he actually been serious during that one joke about marriage when they were kids? Would he be able to undo what he had told everyone about the dragon if she told him the truth? What if people knew that their queen grew up in the woods and had stolen things from them to survive? Would she even be able to stop stealing now that she had everything she needed? Her instincts told her to throw off these fancy clothes and run, but she knew that she shouldn’t do that. Did that kiss mean that he would leave the Guard and run with her? As the ceremony finished, she heard Marvin whisper to her, “Meet me on the balcony outside the ballroom when you can.”
After the ceremony and greeting what felt like everyone in the village, Emmy finally made it out to Marvin, who seemed anxious to meet her. Then he got down on one knee and held out a ring.
“Queen Emmaline, I’ve loved you since we first met as children, but your heroic acts and true beauty that have been brought out as of late have only solidified my feelings for you. Will you do me the honor of allowing me to become your king, as well as the captain of your guard?”
His innocent eyes pleaded for her to say yes, but she knew that she could not live among these people who thought that she was a hero when she was really a villain. “No,” she replied before storming off towards the castle. She had made up her mind: she would leave tonight and head into unknown territory, far away from these people that would never understand her.
Author’s Note: This story was written for the monthly short story competition on the Sims Forums. The theme for this month was “growth”. The castle that I used is called Chillon Castle and was built by JiaSia. It can be downloaded on the Gallery. Originally the piece of jewelry that Emmy was going to wear was a ring, but then I realized that children can’t wear rings! I find it really odd that they’re allowed to have pierced ears but can’t wear a ring. Maybe they’ll put some in the kids’ stuff pack.