The Best Laid Plans
Ian brought Shelby back to the castle walls carefully, there was a need to make sure that no-one knew that she was still alive. As they approached the wall, they slipped over to a storm drain that emptied from the inside courtyard out onto the beach. They could climb in and crawl until they hit the grate by the stables.
“How do you know your way around these so well?” Shelby asked.
“I had to crawl through them before when I was an apprentice.” Ian answered.
“We need a plan for what to do when we get out of here.”
“I’ll find your friend and get her up to speed with what is going on. You should sneak into Arthur’s bedroom if he isn’t there and be ready to kill him when I come into the room.”
At the stables, Ian went to where he had an extra set of clothes and put them on so he could walk in the front door of the castle. He walked in, took a long look around, and waved Shelby to follow him in. She snuck up to and into the door. She took off for the bedchamber and he went to find the kitchen staff, specifically he wanted to find Sierra.
Shelby put her ear to the bedroom door to see if she heard anything, but she heard nothing behind the door. She slowly opened it, the door groaned as she did. She peeked in, there was no movement, and no sounds. She snuck in and closed the door; she found a closet to hide in where she could see into the room and not noticed.
Ian went into the kitchen and found Sierra. He could see that there was food for all the prince’s men on tables and trays, ready to be served to the main dining hall.
“Hello,” Ian said to Sierra. “We have a friend I’d like to talk to you about. She has a plan we would like to get you to help us with.”
“That’s a terrible idea,” Sierra said in a hushed tone. “Didn’t he have her executed? That was the rumor around the kitchen.”
“He tried, but she’s safe right now.”
“You don’t think the executioner will tell him he did not execute her?”
“The executioner won’t tell anyone anything. Can you help us?”
“Don’t do this, it will not work out like you want it to,” Sierra pleaded.
“Too late, your friend is committed.”
Sierra loaded a tray of food to carry out to the hungry, waiting men.
“What do you need me to do?”
“Can you get into his room tonight and let me in? Shelby is already in there.”
“Let me see what I can do.”
Sierra disappeared into the dining hall with the tray. Ian made himself a little more comfortable walking around the kitchen. He grabbed a long, slender knife from a cutting board and slid it up his sleeve, he attempted to keep it from being too noticeable. He then walked into the dining hall and saw Arthur as Sierra talked to him. She appears to be distraught and Arthur looked like he enjoyed her anguish. She stomped out of the room; Arthur laughed.
“Be there soon,” Sierra said as she passed by Ian. “Not sure when he’ll be heading to his room, but I’ll be his entertainment for the night.” She immediately disappeared into the kitchen. Ian exited the room from the main entrance.
The Unexpected Enemy
Ian laughed to himself as he found the hallway with Arthur’s bedroom. The guard had his ear pressed up to the door and listened to the conversation that Sierra and the prince were having. Ian could see that the guard had not paid attention to any sounds from the hallway. He snuck up behind him and quickly slammed the knife all the way into the guard’s throat. The guard spilled onto the floor in front of him with a few gurgles.
Ian pulled the kitchen knife out of the guard’s throat and then stuck his ear up to the door.
“Sierra, I know that you know what will happen tonight,” Arthur said in a calm, reassuring voice. “Same thing that happens every time I have you in here.”
“You know that I will worship that cock of yours, just like always.”
“So why do you always like to pretend like you will play hard to get?”
“It’s more fun for me this way.”
Ian pushed a little on the door, and it made a loud creak; his body tensed up. He cursed at himself for the noise it made. The room went silent for a moment.
“Must just have been the guard leaning against the door again, happens all the time.”
“Whatever, so, should I just come over there and strip you, or would you prefer to start on me?” Sierra asked.
“Of course, I’ll come over there and strip you,” Arthur responded.
Ian continued to stand at the door. He listened as the conversation stopped between the two in the room. He tried to listen for any footsteps but heard none on the stone floor. The door swung wide open; Ian spilled into the threshold of the room. Arthur’s foot immediately stomped onto Ian’s arm with the knife in it.
“I’d advise you to drop that knife,” Arthur said. “You killed the guard, but I’m not quite that easy.”
“I didn’t do that, I was walking by and found him there, this knife in his neck,” Ian said.
“Tsk, Tsk, Tsk. You don’t believe someone can hide a plot to kill a prince that easily do you?”
“No your highness,” Sierra said. “That is why I told you everything.”
“I can’t believe that you wanted to kill me for a woman you barely know. I executed her because she was a whore.”
The prince plucked the knife out of Ian’s hand and plunged it deep into his chest. Sierra screeched. Ian placed his other hand around the blade of the knife and lifted it to see his blood all over his hand.
“I hope you die,” escaped Ian’s lips. “I hope the horse you go out riding on tomorrow throws you, and then stomps all over you.”
Shelby stepped from the closet to see the knife buried in Ian’s chest, and Arthur still stepping on Ian’s arm. She found a chunk of rock on a shelf next to the closet and went into a full sprint to cross the room.
“You won’t know, will,” Arthur’s words got cut off. Shelby had pummeled the prince, the side of his head completely caved in, blood and bone oozing out of the hole. He fell over, his eyes and mouth still open.
“I love you, hold on,” Shelby said, looking down at Ian. “We can make you better.”
Garbled sounds left Ian, they were unintelligible as the blood pooled into his throat; he tried to spit it out. Shelby took a long look at Sierra.
“I can’t believe you betrayed us,” Shelby finally said.
“Technically, I only betrayed Ian, the prince thought you were dead.”
As Shelby stood up, she looked at Ian’s blood all over her hands. She looked at the dead prince. She thought about the dead executioner.
“I guess I can kill one more person tonight,” Shelby whispered menacingly.
The Reality Check
“Your time is up,” the whiny tones of a teenage boy muttered. Both of the virtual reality headsets went black.
“That was awesome,” Ian said lifting the visor of the Virtual Reality headset up from his eyes.
“Thanks, we pride ourselves on making the stories immersive. You should come back as we develop more of the stories.”
“I thought it was great,” Shelby said. She was blinking to adjust to the dim lights of the arcade they were sitting in. “I didn’t see all of that coming.”
“Thanks,” the boy said, “our developers take a lot of pride in their work. The couple of times I’ve done this now have been worth it.”
“I really believed I was a young chambermaid in a castle. It all felt so real.”