• [Anysa]

    I feel like someone’s been watching me ever since my—well Mini’s—plan to escape. Now, now it’s worse. Whoever it is, is starting to follow me everywhere until I close myself up in my room. He or she trails some distance behind me, advancing quietly like a swift leopard. If it wasn’t for my inhumane hearing, I wouldn’t have noticed by now.
    “I was followed, again” I say for the fifth time. “You think its one of the guards? It has to be because it can’t be a maid. No maid moves like a hunter of the night”
    “Yes, but it can’t be a guard, either. Not even one of the more powerful knights” Mini says.
    I walk wearily to my bed and sat on it. “Yeah, they don’t care about stealth. It’s all about rough killing” I gripped my hands. “But one thing’s for sure, they’re on to us”
    “I wouldn’t be so sure if I were you” it was Lune’s voice, the girl that lived in the village before she was captured and forced to be a maid. We were getting along quite nicely after a few days when I first spoke to her and she became my spy.
    I turned to face her.
    “Sorry for intruding, but I knocked on your door a couple times and you wouldn’t answer” she made her way onto the silk velvet couch that lay under the flickering candle lights. It was her favorite spot. “I was sweeping up a dead persons ash and I happened to notice a guard stalking you” she says smoothly. “Only that he didn’t seem like a guard, not at all. He moved like an expert thief and he was always alone, never interacted with other guards. If I were to guess, he was an intruder” she flips her hair back from her shoulders and looks up at me. “What do you think?”
    “An intruder? Is that even possible?”
    “I don’t know. Maybe he killed one of them…disguised himself in their armor…and just snuck in? The armor itself gives off a deadly aura, plus it shields the entire body so that no skin is showing”
    “If it’s so easy, then how come I never heard of anyone that’s done it?”
    She chuckled at that. “Because no one dares too! Duh”
    I grumbled. “Just go keep an eye on him, okay?”
    She gets up and dusts herself off. “I was already on it” then she leaves, closing the door on her way out.
    “An intruder…” I whisper to myself. “But why would he spy on me…?”
    “Maybe because you look like a demon” Mini says.
    “I am a demon” I corrected her. “But people tend to avoid me for that reason” I hesitated, holding my necklace. “Unless it’s…”
    Mini was shocked—well the closest expression of shock her sewed up face could make. “Is it really them?”
    “Maybe but I wouldn’t count on it because…there’s only one person, right? And he didn’t even try to speak to me, let alone help me escape”
    “Maybe they’re waiting for the right moment”
    “Then why bother following me at all? They would already know where my room is, anyway” I wanted to punch myself real hard. I mean, I’ve been waiting and hoping for Jen, Roger, Trek, and Kert to rescue me. So why do I refuse to believe the intruder is one of them?
    “There’s only one way to prove this”
    I took a deep breath. “I’ll have to talk to him”
    There was a knock on the door. Mini dove under the pillow, Chee hid beneath the sheets, and I straightened up, clearing my throat to make sure I didn’t sound hoarse.
    “You may enter” I say.
    The door opened with a creak, revealing Lune and a guard—the intruder. “Got him” she says, closing and locking the door before she sat on the couch.
    I was shocked, surprised, astonished, but I tried not to show it. I still have no idea how she got him here so quickly. “And whom may you be?” I added a slight of annoyance and suspension to my voice.
    “Just a guard, Madam” he says in a clear, strong voice. He didn’t hesitate at all, but I could already tell that he was truly an outsider because he made two mistakes. No one here calls me ‘madam’ they call me Maitresse. And when the guards or knights spoke, they have a scratchy, eerie voice.
    I decided to ask him some more questions so I could use his mistakes against him. “What is your name?” I ask.
    “Elister Monica” he replies—wrong. Nobody here is supposed to have names.
    “And you came here alone?”
    “Yes” another wrong answer. Guards travel in groups of at least three.
    I stood up and casually walked in front of the door to block his way out. I made my eyes fierce as I gazed at him. “What are you doing here?” and I wasn’t talking about my room.
    He hesitates—a sign of doubt, fear. “I was told by the maid that you wanted to—“
    “No” I interrupted. “What are you doing here?"
    There was silence. He finally figured out what I meant, and that he was busted.
    “I want you” he says, not answering my question.
    That caught me off guard. I mean, what in the world is he talking about? He wants me? I could see Lune in the corner of my eye. She looked like she was about to jump out of the window—if there were any.
    The guard—Elister—slowly takes off his helmet, showing his face. It was all so familiar; all his features seemed exactly the same, the scruffy brown hair and emerald green eyes.
    I froze, my body trembling. “R…Roger?” but I knew it wasn’t Roger. This man just looks like him.
    “I came to steal you away from the Dark Lord” he walks up to me and squeezes my hand with his left, gently touching my cheek with his right.
    I couldn’t move because I was scared. Scared that this man was brave and strong enough to enter the castle, scared that he resembled Roger, scared of what he was about to do next. He leans forward, his face getting closer to mine, his lips making its way to mine. I shut my eyes. No, no, not this. Not the last thing I got from Roger. I refuse to let you to steal his kiss away from me! I tried to move, to get out of the way, but I couldn’t budge. I felt his warm breath, and then…

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