(Ãnd the strãnge maidën)
By: Faith Lucky
I left the room, going out to take some air by the pool side.
Well, its really boring not having siblings, right? Being the only spoilt child.
I didn’t spot mum on my way out of the house and when I’d gotten outside, I met someone else.
It seemed she was just arriving because the lights from her car were still on.
“Xavier!!!” She called in happiness and ran into my arms.
Well, she’s the only lady who does that – gets to be this free with me.
We’ve been friends since we were kids. Fortunately for her.
“Hey; what’s up?” I cooed as we disentangled from the hug and I stroke her hair.
I actually wasn’t surprised she’d come unexpected. I mean…its a normal thing for her.
“I’m fine. Are you busy?” She asked.
“Um…of course, not. I was actually on my way to get some air by the pool side”.
“Oh! Perfect. Since you’re less busy, you’re coming with me then. There’s this amazing place I’d visited this evening and I bet you’d love it. My friends are still there and I just rushed over to get you….”
As she spoke, I took out time to scrutinize her outfit.
A bum shot and crop top with a pretty sandals.
Well, Chelsea has always been a lover of fashion.
“Are you listening to me at all?” She asked and hit me slightly on the chest.
“Of course, doll. I’ll just get changed” I rolled my eyes and started walking into the house and she giggled.
She followed me in and getting to the sitting room, a maid almost spilled dirt on her.
“hey, you oaf….are you blind?” She asked as the mop stick dropped close to her feet.
“Oh my! I’m so sorry ma’am. Please, forgive me” the young lady apologized immediately, keeping her head bowed.
‘You should be sorry for your pathetic mum” Chelsea replied blatantly with an eye roll and I scoffed as she followed me to the room.
Well, If I’m Mr Arrogant, Chelsea’s Mrs Arrogant.
She followed me to the room and waited for me to dress up.
Yeah – we’re actually that close that we play in each other’s rooms.
I changed in the bathroom – of course.
Even if I was going to get some peanuts down the street, I still make sure I look good.
I brushed my hair, fix a glittering ring on my right ear, wore my gold chain and after that, Chelsea and I left the room.
A Different Planet….
“Hera, you can’t possibly do this. You need to say the truth. Aletheia!!” I said the last part in our dialect as I lamented in front of her.
Throughout my stay with her, I’d never seen this hardness in her.
“Hera, are you really going to stand by and watch me get punished for your crimes? Adikos, Hera? Adikos!!”
“I’m sorry, Delaney. But my mother would be very mad at me if she gets to know I did it. I’m sorry you need to face this. Please, forgive me” she said with a little remorse which only increased my frustration.
“Really?” I scoffed.
“Your mother is the queen, Hera. And you’re her only child. She treasures you a lot. If you confess to your sins, I’m sure your punishment will be minimal” I tried persuading her, but she refused.
“No! I’ve disappointed her a lot already and just two days ago, I’d promised I wouldn’t do anything to displease her again.
“You know I need a favor from her. I told you about it, right? And if she finds out I committed this offense, she’ll definitely be mad at me and wouldn’t grant my request – ever.
“Understand with me, Delaney. Please. The highest she can do to you is give you some strokes and it’ll be over…”
“You really want me to get beaten because of you?” I cut her off with a scoff.
“You made the mistake, Hera. Why should I be the one to get punished for it? You know how much your mother hates me. She’ll definitely punish me unreasonably for this. Don’t make me pass through this please” I begged and she sighed and faced the exit.
“I’m sorry, Delaney. But I can’t” she mumbled and walked away.
“Hera!” I called after her, but she didn’t bother to look at me and completely left.
I whimpered and sat helplessly on the floor.
How could Hera do this to me?
I’ve been taking the blames for her in other cases, but this…I simply can’t. I’ll be punished severally for it. How could she betray me?
My name is Delaney and I’m one of the maidens in Marazona – also known as the Land Of Beauty.
We only have females around her and I don’t think any other gender exists.
The story behind the beautiful planet is still a mystery. But according to the wise teachers, originally, they’d been mingling in a different place. But there was a war and majority of them ran over here to start a new life. That’s how Marazona began.
We’re blessed with extra ordinary beauty, special powers, anti ageing – although, I know I’m still a young lady.
But sometimes, i wonder how we came about. How were we created?
Did our mothers just suddenly got fertile on their own and gave birth to us?
Princess Hera and I grew up as childhood friends and we were pretty good even if her mother the Queen has always been against our relationship.
I still don’t get it, but she’s never liked me and sometimes, I wonder if it’s because I had no mother.
Well, I’ve never set my eyes on my mother and don’t even know if I have one.
Each time I had fun with Hera, the Queen always felt bittered and has made many attempts to restrict Hera from seeing me.
Hera and I have been really good friends, but now, I don’t get what’s wrong with her.
She committed an offense and framed me for it, telling me she’s scared to face her mother’s consequences.
But I was also scared to face the Queen’s anger because she hates me just much.
And now, I’m kept in a cell, awaiting the Queen’s judgment tomorrow.
Since Chelsea had come with her car to pick me up, we had to go to the “fun place” with it. And when we were done, she drove me back home.
“It was fun, right?” She asked happily as she followed me out of the car and stopped in front of the house.
“Yeah…it was” I replied with a shrug.
“You’ll be coming over to school tomorrow, right?”
“Of course” she smiled and hugged me.
“Goodnight” she hushed.
Hm. Now, I know mum’s absolutely right. She really has feelings for me.
Well, I wouldn’t blame her. All ladies crush on me and being my first best friend, she should feel really honored.
But….I think she’s been showing her feelings more clearly now.
“Goodnight” I replied her and she turned to leave but suddenly stopped and gave me a peck.
“That isn’t allowed, Chelsea” I said with an eye roll and she laughed and scurried off to her car.
Hmph. Better don’t fall in love with me, Chelsea. To avoid heartbreaks.
Then, I proceeded to the house.
I got in and met mum in the sitting room,
staring through the window.
“Mum…? Good evening” I greeted with a little surprise
Why’s she just standing and staring through the window?
“Was that Chelsea?” She asked with a smile, still staring.
“Y….es” i drew my reply, feeling a bit surprised.
“She’s such a pretty lady, don’t you think?” She smiled.
“She’ll make a fine girlfriend, Xavier”.
Gosh! Are you kidding me?
I shook my head and started walking away.
“Having a girlfriend is better than being a flirt, Xavier” she called back my attention and I sighed and turned back to her, going to get a wine from the wine bar.
“Chelsea and I are just friends, mum. We’re best friends and there’s absolutely nothing going on between us” I said casually as i popped the wine open and drank directly from the bottle.
“But she’s fit to be your girlfriend, don’t you think? Come on, Xavier”.
I didn’t say a word but just focused on the drink. I ain’t ready for love.
“You know…I’ve always wish I had a daughter” she continued wistfully now.
“A pretty girl to take care of and cuddle. It’d have been nice having one around.
‘Hold on; are you trying to say you wish I was a boy or what?” I asked and she widened her eyes in shock.
“Of course, not Xavier! I’m just saying it’d have been better if you had a sister, you know? Or better still….a girlfriend”.
Geez! I guess we’re back at it again.
“Goodnight mum” I said as I started walking away with the bottle of wine.
“Xavier! Hey…where are you…”
I didn’t listen to her as I completely walked away. When will she change?
I still have a long way to go and I’m definitely not ready for love.
Give me a lady and I’ll spoil her with my d*ck.
But don’t expect me to love her
I panicked as the female guards took me to the throne room to face the Queen.
We got to the entrance and walked pass the leaves which were used as coverage and finally got to the room.
The Queen was seated on her throne, Hera standing beside her together with some of the subjects.
I was made to kneel in front of the Queen who’s leaves sparkled.
Well, over here, we make use of leaves as clothes. I didn’t even know dresses existed.
Our long hair also served as coverage for our chests.
“Delaney!” The Queen called thunderously, her eyes glinting.
I bowed my head and shivered in fear.
“How dare you??? How dare you break one of the sacred rules by sneaking into the Holy Chambers in an attempt to steal and thereby, almost resulting in the loss of one of my subjects??” She asked but I couldn’t say a word.
Oh! Hera. What has she done to me?
“Have you lost your tongue???” She roared and I lifted my head a little but made sure I didn’t look into her eyes.
“I’m sorry my queen” I managed to say.
I could clearly hear the anger in her voice. Why does she hate me so much, huh?
“For being disrespectful,” she said.
“This will be your penalty – you’ll be locked up for seven days with no food, but water. And you’ll be whipped for as long as it lasts”.
For the first time, I looked into her eyes.
What’s she talking about? What sort of punishment is that??
I noticed the rest of the subjects looked surprised.
“Wh….What?” I muttered.
“I…I didn’t do it” I stuttered.
“I didn’t do it, my Queen. Princess Hera was behind it and she’s trying to frame me for it”.
Oh! Good saviors!
I had to admit it. I couldn’t just take the consequences.
Hera’s eyes dimmed and for a moment, there was silence.
“How dare you???” She suddenly snapped
“How dare you point an accusing finger at my daughter? Have you lost your mind???”
Her voice was so loud and angry that I feared the creaky walls would collapse.
I looked at Hera.
“Tell her the truth – please” I said with pleading eyes but she ignored my gaze.
She looked scared.
“Shut it, Delaney!!” The Queen roared again.
“How dare you plan such an act against the royal family??
“For this, I hereby sentence you to death at Dawn!” She proclaimed and a wild gasp ran across the room.
A stunned silence crowded me as I couldn’t say a word.
What did she just say??
“Guards!!” She called.
“Take her away!”
No, no. This isn’t happening.
What is my offence that’d require death? What have I Have I done?
“No. I…I didn’t do anything. I didn’t” I begged as I looked into her face but only saw an evil smile.
The guards came upto me and lifted me up.
“Why do you just hate me??? What have I done to you???? Whaaaaaat????” I cried out as the guards dragged me away and all I saw on her face was a grin.
I sat on the floor in the very dark cell, weeping profusely.
I still couldn’t believe it.
My life was shattered. I was going to be killed tomorrow morning. What have I done to deserve this?
Even if I were to accept the offense, the penalty doesn’t involve death. No way.
Why’s the Queen being so heartless towards me? What have I done to her?
Why does she hate me so much that she’d kill me without a second thought?
I wept for a long time, having no one to console me. This has always been my life – lonely and rejected.
No family, no loved ones – just Hera who’s betrayed me. I can’t believe she stood by and watched her sentence me to death.
Why do I have to be so unfortunate to be here alone? Why don’t I have a mum like the rest? What happened to mine?
Suddenly, I heard a strange sound from outside and sprang on my feet.
I watched with keen interest, wondering what was happening to the guards outside my cell.
Suddenly, the leaves opened and someone showed up – someone who’s face was covered.
I panicked and moved back in fear.
Who’s she? And how did she get in? What happened to the guards?
“I’ve taken care of the guards for you” she said in a muffled voice.
“You need to leave while you still can. Run far away from here – to a place you can never be seen”.
I watched in amusement as she turned around and scurried off.
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