Angrily, I marched into my bedroom and slammed the heavy door behind me with enough force to rumble the walls. Good, I fumed. I hoped everyone in the palace felt it, too. Why was I always getting into such trouble? Last week, I slipped out of the palace just after dark and set out for the forest. All I wanted to do was help the poor unicorns that were being unfairly hunted by poachers. I thought I was doing pretty well, too, before those rangers caught me and dragged me back home. My parents made me help the grooms muck out the stables for that stunt. This time, all I did was hide a frog in my tutor’s desk. It was funny. At least it was funny to me... to my tutor, not so much.
“Princess Aviva! I’m afraid I’ll have to alert the King to this sort of behavior, immediately!” She said.
I tried to explain to Mother and Father that hiding the frog was a simple, harmless prank. It’s not my fault that tutor has such a poor sense of humor. But they wouldn’t listen to reason. I sighed in frustration. My punishment this time around was to clean my bedroom closet. At least I wasn’t mucking horse stalls. I drew open the closet doors and the first thing I saw was my knapsack tucked in the far corner. It was still dirty with woodland debris from my trip to the forest a week ago. I unbuckled the knapsack to have a look, and found something strange. A journal I had never seen before was nestled inside. I untied the journal’s leather string, and flipped it open.
Year: A5 Month: Helak Day: Rehl
Journal, my old friend and trusted confidant,
I awoke early this morning under the most curious of circumstances, the events of which I shall relay to you now. As you know, my partner Quill Stonedew and I have heard reports of poachers ensnaring the sacred unicorns indigenous to the beloved forests of Corelle. So, as a ranger, and sworn protector of the forest, I hatched a plan to catch a few of these lowly menaces red handed. With Quill’s help, I set up a fair number of traps scattered throughout the forest.
Hey, this was the night I sneaked into the forest. This journal must belong to those rangers I met. I wondered if there was any mention of me in the journal, so I skipped a few pages.
As we crept our way deeper into the forest, I cringed each time I heard Quill snap a twig in the darkness. I know every square inch of this forest like the back of my hand, and when I move, I can do so with the utmost silence. If Quill Stonedew truly desires to be a competent ranger, he will have much still to learn. The sky was still somewhat dark when we reached the northern sector, but I could see signs of the golden sun just beginning to rise above the treetops. Quickly, I scanned the immediate surroundings in search of the one who tripped the snare. That damned poacher was here somewhere, hanging from one of these trees
Oh, this must have been written by that Elven ranger. What was his name? I couldn’t remember. I snorted as I skimmed the words on the page. By the gods, this ranger certainly holds a high opinion of himself.
I rolled my eyes as Quill helped the girl to her feet. We didn’t have time to escort this child through the forest and back to town. Not when there were actual poachers lurking around, threatening an already dwindling population of unicorns. The girl stood facing me, brushing dirt off her tunic and cloak. Staring at the gap toothed child, I was filled with resentment. I wanted her gone, and out of my forest.
“What brings you here, child?”
“Oh, don’t mind him,” Quill pipped in, “elves aren’t terribly emotional beings, so I’ve learned.”
“Don’t you fools know who I am?”
“An unmanned brat?” I answered.
A brat! How dare he call me, Princess Aviva Nobledawn a brat! Fuming, I read on.
Tracking the girl was not difficult work. I simply followed the trail of broken twigs and trampled plants she left in her wake. Fifteen minutes later, I discovered her lying face down in a pile of dried leaves. One of her feet was hooked under the gnarled root of an old tree. The little wretch was stuck fast.
“Tripped did you?”
I sighed, and carefully freed her foot from under the old root. I preformed a quick check of the child’s ankle. Luckily, there appeared to be no broken bones, but the bruising was rather substantial. Helping the child to her feet, I asked, “Can you hold your own weight?”
Upon attempting to stand, she immediately fell to the ground with a sharp cry.
“I suppose not,” I shrugged, hoisting the girl onto my back, and began the trek to the palace, “you’re a long way from home. How old are you anyway?”
“Six a and quarter.”
“I assume the king isn’t privy to your whereabouts.”
“What were you trying to accomplish here?”
“I heard there were poachers illegally trapping unicorns, and I thought I could put a stop to them.”
All at once, I found my resentment toward the girl rapidly subsiding, “and just how did you fancy you would manage that?”
Aw, shucks. Maybe this ranger isn’t so bad after all.
“Do you think you will be in very much trouble upon your return home?”
“Probably. Must you really bring me back so soon?”
“Yes, I must.”
“But I wanted to help the uni...” her speech was suddenly interrupted when a magnificent creature unexpectedly crossed our path, ”...corns.”
Journal, I swear to you a unicorn with a coat black as coal, was staring us down completely unafraid. In all my years as a ranger, I have never seen anything like it before.
“It looks like a shadow.”
Indeed it did. Breathlessly, we gazed upon the unicorn before it reared up on its hind legs, and cantered away.
I will leave you here, dear Journal, for it is growing late. Princess Aviva has been sleeping for a long while, and I soon must rouse her if I hope to return her to the palace in a timely fashion.
Silas. Silas Witthorn. That was the ranger’s name. He must have penned this after I fell asleep. Somehow, it got mixed up with my things. I closed the journal, and contemplated for a moment. It seemed to me that Ranger Witthorn should be missing his journal. As princess of Corelle, it was my duty to return it to him. I stashed the journal in my knapsack and buckled it closed. When night fell, I would make a break for the forest.
Note: I consider this a companion piece to something I wrote here on Prose. a few years ago, called Ruminations of Silas Witthorn. The challenge, first posed by @BjDreamer, was to write a 2,000 word journal entry. When I saw this challenge for another journal entry, I knew I had to connect these two stories. I hope you don’t mind that I not only used a fictional character’s journal entries, but also used a fictional character to find the jourmal in her closet.
A letter from the Journals of Giovanni
Today I passed by a bush of lavender and thought of they way you washed your hair with it. It gives my heart such lift to embrace the aromas of my fragrant love. A downpour came late in the day and it's times like these that I don't think of you. How can we be apart at a time like this, when we have so much left undone. I haven't given you reason to stay and this I know full well is my own fault. You, who say you have nothing left to give me... How dare you! When you know that I give it my deepest endeavor to stay at your side! I have forgiven you these mistakes, of course. It is in my blood to rage war with my love and then to bathe her in the comfort of me the very next moment. But how could I lose you? You were the enemy to my suffering. The heroine who overcame the pain that dies within me and leaves it's foul stench upon the walls of my bedroom. Do you need me to wail and then will you hear me? Will I ever be rid of you...?