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A sliver of pale moonlight snuck its way behind her white curtains, decorated with small white roses of various sizes. The light breeze coming through the cracked window caused her curtain to sway, making the light dance on her floor. She waited to hear the sound of her heavy wooden door creak open and closed again. That would mean both of her parents would be in their sleeping chamber for the night, not emerging until sunrise.

Creek. That was it, she would be able to leave any second now. Creek. Now the door was shut.

She slowly pushed the many layers of white sheets off of her, and climbed out of her bed. Her feet pressed onto the cold stone floor. She crept over to her door, and bolted all five locks. She needed a plan.

Her brother would be back on the property around 1:30 in the morning. She glanced up at the old clock hanging above her window. The glass in front of the clock was cracked, but it had been like that for years, and never shattered. The hands of the clock were slightly distorted, but she figured it was approximately 12:50. That only gave her about forty minutes, but she needed to get to the fountain between the north and south wings of the castle before he did, and could take up to twenty minutes. She had to slow and quiet, and it would be difficult to sneak around the guards placed at entrance or exit.

She paced her room, rethinking the whole situation in her head. Her white nightgown dragged along the stone floor. The pale moonlight gave it a silky glow, and made the bits of periwinkle colored lace placed here and there stand out dramatically. She walked over to her window to close it, as the breeze was no longer a breeze, but a strong wind chilling her room. She looked outside for a moment, to check her surroundings; her window looked directly out to the fountain, made of pure white marble, but with the amount of twists and turns in the corridors in the castle, it could take up to ten minutes in the daytime just to get to the fountain.

As she was about to close her window, she caught a glimpse of something; something metal and what looked to be sharp.

Father was right, she thought. I am going crazy. Her father constantly told her she would end up in the mental asylum. She was an odd girl, she knew that, but she did not think she crazy.

She immediately forgot about what she had seen when she glanced back up at the clock. She had only twenty-five minutes to get down to the fountain. She quickly unbolted all of the locks, and quietly pulled the heavy wooden door open. She peeked outside of her chamber. Nobody. Just a long hallway that faded into pure darkness. Her feet were cold on stone floor below her. She probably should have grabbed a pair of slippers, but she couldn’t risk wasting anymore time. She made countless amounts of turns down the corridors, and she was surprised she didn’t get lost in the sea of darkness surrounding her.

After a good fifteen minutes of trying to navigate the castle she has lived in for her whole life, she finally found the door leading to the outdoors and fountain. The moon casted a brighter silver glow onto the small patches of stone brick scattered around in the grass. The bushes and trees scattered around the fountain were a dark color, more black than green. Everything swayed in the strong winds, and the rustling sounded as if someone was running in the shadows.

She scanned the area, looking for the place bathed in the deepest shadows. She found a small clearing, no more than a foot wide, behind a cluster of bushes. The space was covered in dead leaves, crunching beneath her feet. She could feel insects crawling on her arms and legs. Her limbs itched, but she couldn’t risk to move an inch. Her brother could be here any minute now.

Five minutes passed. No sign of her brother. Another five minutes. Make that ten. Twenty, even. Not a single thing had moved in the last forty minutes. Even the wind seemed to be frozen. The world had been plunged into complete silence.

Not even thirty seconds after this thought, she heard a small cough, as though someone was trying to hide the fact they were there. The bushes then started to rustle, but more violently than anything the wind could do. A tall, dark figure emerged from the bushes, a metallic object reflecting the pale moonlight help in its hand.

The figure scanned the area, tightly clutching the object it held. A deep panic set in her mind. The only person she could think the figure could be was her brother.

She had come down to the fountain to investigate on her own. There had been suspicions of her brother committing the illegal, but only things like theft. Nothing potentially dangerous had ever been reported, and if anything had he would have been immediately thrown in jail. She also wouldn’t have even considered confronting him alone, in the middle of the night.

He turned, as though he was going back to the entrance of the castle. She let out a deep sigh, maybe a little too loud. Her brother whipped his head around, an evil glare in his eye. He glanced around the area, searching through the bushes with his eyes.

“Edith?” he said in a quiet, kind voice. That was her. Edith. He knew she was there.

She didn’t respond. She waited for him to leave, but he never did. It was so quiet, the only thing she could hear was her own heartbeat. Neither of them moved.

After what felt like hours, he moved. He walked toward the bushes she was hiding in.

“Edith, I know you are there,” he whispered. “I won’t hurt you.”

He paused. Once again, there was silence. Finally, she spoke.

“Yes you will, William. You will hurt me.”

William stared at her. His eyes had an evil look in them, and his mouth formed into a smirk. “You don’t trust me?”

Edith looked around for a moment, looking for a way to escape and warn the guards. She couldn’t hurt him, that would only get her in more trouble than she already would be in.

Then she remembered what everyone always told her. She was a good actress. Then she had a plan.

She screamed, as loud as she could, startling her brother. He jumped, and looked behind him, scanning the area for whatever caused her to scream.

Quickly, she climbed out from behind the bushes, and sprinted back to the castle entrance. She flung open the heavy doors, and bolted them behind her, before quickly making her way to her parents room. As she ran through the halls, she yelled, “William!” and, “Knife!” hoping the guards would hear her.

Finally, she made it to her parents sleeping chamber. She banged on the door, and finally, it slowly opened. Her father answered, and asked what was wrong. She told him everything, from wandering the castle after hours, to almost being attacked by her brother. How he hadn’t only been stealing, but probably planning to hurt someone.

Her father immediately woke up her mother, and warned the guards. Search parties were sent out to all of the castle grounds. Her brother was found after about three hours of searching. He was put on trial, found guilty, and sentenced to life in prison for all of his crimes.

Edith hadn’t seen her brother since that day.


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