Friday, August 9, 2019

The Buried Castle Pt. 2.

To my dearest friends and followers,

Last week I shared two chapters from The Buried Castle, a novella I wrote nine years ago. I want to say thank you to those of you who voted for me to post more chapters!! 

As you may remember, the first two chapters I wrote were in a tiny book I made for my American Girl dolls. Then I later decided to turn those into a novella. Interestingly enough, the first two chapters in my pdf document are a bit different from the chapters I shared last week. They're lengthier, more detailed, and there are more characters mentioned. In general, the writing style is slightly different. Perhaps one day you will read them, but for now, I am going to continue where we left off last week...

The Buried Castle
"Shorter Lessons"

The next morning at breakfast, Charlotte asked, “Grandmother, must I do my lessons
“Why, of course, child!” Margaret answered. “What do you want to do instead?”
“I want to take Prince into the forest, and...”
“And play with John,” Margaret finished for her.

There was a forest that was not far from their cottage, and when Charlotte was

younger, she was riding Prince in it, when she met John Pixton, a boy who is a year older than her. He lived in a small little house in the forest with his father and mother.
John's father kept goats that roamed in the forest with no boundaries. He also had a beautiful sorrel horse named Gallant with a white star on his forehead. Together, John and Charlotte would spend many evenings riding on the beach.
Margaret never met the young lad, but she liked him from the things that Charlotte told her. She knew Charlotte liked him too by the tone in her voice when she talked about him and the things she said. Not once did she say anything unpleasant about him. Only kind and gentle words passed through her lips.

“My goodness! You don't even know if it really exists. No. I want you to finish your lessons before hunting for fairy tales. Besides, I'm sure John has his lessons to do also.”

“He does not,” Charlotte said. “He does not sit inside and read books like I do, oh no. He learns his lessons by being outdoors. He is outside much more than I am and even though he lives in the forest and doesn't get a lot of sun, his flesh is still darker than mine. I look dead, I am so white! While I sit here and learn to speak Latin and French and read about the Kings of England from morning to evening, he learns about his animals by being with them, and he knows about the wild animals, and of the forest plants, and he could tell you if it is going to rain or not by the smell of the wind.
“While I sit here and write songs and play the piano, he plays his flute to the trees...”
“Charlotte” Margaret interrupted, “are you telling me do not you like your lessons?” 
“I like them, I just wish I could be outside more.”
Charlotte thought her grandmother would be angry with her, but instead she said,

“Why have you not told me before? I will make arrangements for your lessons to not last until supper.”

“Oh, thank you, Grandmother!” Charlotte hugged her to show her gratitude, then finished her breakfast and started her lessons.

She read about King Henry VIII and his six wives. His first wife was Catharine of Aragon, but when he grew tired of her, he married Anne of Boleyn. Later she was beheaded. At the death of Jane Seymour, his third wife, he married Anne of Cleaves. He then divorced her like the first, and married Catherine Howard. And then he married Catherine Parr when the other died.

Then she read stories in Latin. It is easier for someone to learn something when they have a desire to learn it, and this was the same for Charlotte Heart. She read her favourite book, “Le Morte d'Arthur” in the language it was originally written in; Latin.
Then she practiced playing a song she had written on the piano. It was called “The Shepherd and the Goose-Girl.” Charlotte played a beautiful little tune, then she cleared her
throat and sang as follows;

“The Shepherd and the Goose-Girl”

There was a shepherd boy
Who kept watch over his sheep.
He sat upon that little hill,
While most of the animals lay asleep.

Then he heard the sound
Of a maiden's voice so fair.
Her singing, thought he,
Was so beautiful, and oh so rare.

He walked through grass and trees 
Until he came to a stream with rock. 
A goose-girl is what he saw, 
Standing there, guarding the flock.

She had a sweet mouth
And bright sparkling eyes, 

With hair that was the colour 
Of honey from the hives. 

Never before, said he to himself, 
Have I seen a maiden as fair as she. 
Many a day did he watch her,
But talk to her would not he.

Then he had fallen in love with her,
 And interrupting the song, said he,
How art thou, fair maiden,
On a fine day as this be?

The maiden was startled
And stopped singing the gay tune. 

Quoth she, I best be getting home, 
For it is almost noon.

She turned to leave,
But the shepherd gently said,
Leave not, I beg of thee,
For fain would I marry thee, or be dead.

She was so pretty and so happy, 
 she began to cry, 
Willingly will I marry thee,
For I would not have thee die.

So their wedding was full of 
Happiness and laughter, 
And they lived...
Happily ever after. 

When Charlotte finished her lessons, she went to her bedroom to change so that she could ride Prince. She changed out of her pale blue frock that made her bright blue eyes stand out, and into her riding gown. She let her curly dark locks down to lay as they wished, and then she went outside. 

"Where is John?"

It was a beautiful spring day, and when Charlotte went outside, she smelt the fresh blossoms in the air. All of the leaves that hung from the trees danced in the cool breeze that went by. Many of the bright coloured birds were out singing gay little songs. Some sounded as though they were singing at the top of their tiny lungs, others sang quiet peaceful tunes. She saw a bird fly to her nest that was in a juniper tree and feed her young ones that waited their mother's return. The bees were busy buzzing about, and the sun must have been happy, for his smile was shining brightly.

Then she noticed that Oliver, the stable boy, was ready with Prince. He had been on this earth but sixteen years. He smiled at her, showing his white teeth on that dirty boyish face. He was a kind lad, and always whistled gay tunes to himself as he worked. Often he would make up his own tunes, then put his own words with them. 

“Hallo,” he said to Charlotte as he helped her to mount.
“Thank you, Oliver.”
“It is my pleasure to help a bonny lass like yourself,” said merry Oliver. “Going to have a bit of fun today?”
“Oh, yes. Me and John are going to look for the key to the buried castle,” she explained excitedly.
Oliver stared at her blankly. “If you don't mind me asking, what are you talking about?”
“Not at all. It is a key and a castle that I am not sure exists,” she explained.
“If you are not sure it exists, why look for it?” he inquired.
“Oh, Oliver,” Charlotte giggled, “that is half the fun in looking!” and with that, she 
was off, Prince's hooves kicking up the sand as he galloped in the direction of the forest. 

Oliver just watched her with a confused look on his face. “Leigh Hunt was right when he said, 'A girl is the sweetest thing God ever made,'” he said, referring to the English Poet. “But,” he continued, “they sure are the queerest things He ever made too.” When he could see her no more, he went back to work, whistling to himself.

So, Prince galloped on towards the forest, Charlotte's hair flying all about her face.
Then, when they came to the forest, he began to walk. The sun was hidden by all the trees, making it dark and moist. Soft green moss covered many rocks and the trunks of trees.
Within time, Charlotte caught sight of a herd of goats. “Surely he must be near,” she thought to herself. But she did not dare call out his name, for fear that she would startle the animals.

As she came closer to them, she saw Gallant grazing with them, then she heard the faint sound of a flute being played. Now she knew he was near! She dismounted Prince and tied his reins to a tree nearby. Then she looked and looked and looked for John, but found him not. And she couldn't follow the sound of the flute, for there was no sound to follow. He stopped playing it.

After some time, Charlotte had grown weary of searching and she sat herself under a beech tree. “Oh, where is he?” she asked herself aloud.
“Here he is,” a familiar voice answered.
Charlotte was startled and looked all about her. “Where?”
“Here. Up here.”

She looked into the tree at which she sat, and saw John looking down at her. He sat on 
a thick branch to support his weight with a flute in his hands and a grin on his face. 

“Hallo,” he said cheerfully.
“Hallo? Hallo? John, are you not aware that I have been looking for you?” Charlotte inquired testily.
“Ay, I am quite aware,” he answered proudly. Again he smiled at her.

John had the kind of smile that when he smiled at someone, they had to smile too. Or maybe it was his kindness that made them smile, or maybe some just liked his smile. Whatever the reason, Charlotte could not be mad at him, but smiled back.

“What is it you wanted from me?” John asked kindly.
“I wanted to ask if you wanted to dig in the sand today?”
John looked amused. “Charlotte,” he laughed, “Charlotte, are we not a bit old to play 
in the sand?”

“I don't want to play in the sand, John. I want to dig for a key.” She told him the story of the buried castle.
“That sounds just like a fairy tale,” he said. 
"I believe one is never too old to believe in fairy tales, and I also believe it is not a tale, but really happened here in Shooting Star hundreds of years ago.”

John looked doubtful and didn't really want to look through all that sand for a key that he was sure they wouldn't find, but he could see that Charlotte was determined to find it, so his face brightened up and he said in his cheerful voice, “All right, let's look!”

Charlotte forgot herself and hugged John for excitement. He was just as surprised as she was. “I apologize.” somewhat embarrassed, she released him. “But thank you!”
“That's quite all right,” John said.“Now, tell me,” he went on, “when and where do we look for this buried key? And if we do find it..”
Charlotte interrupted him with a frown on her face. “Don't you mean when we find it?”
“But you don't know that we ever will,” he insisted.
“But we will. I can just feel it.”
He smiled at her.
“Why are you looking at me like that?” she asked kindly, not being able to keep a

smile off her face.
“I love that about you,” he said. “When you set your mind on something, even when 
you do not know if it really exists, you are determined to find it anyway!”

“Oh,” she said, for she did not really know what to say. “What was it you were about to say?”
“Huh? Oh. Um...What do we do with it when we find it?”
Charlotte didn't know the answer to that, so she said, “I suppose we will know when 
we find it. Shall we start looking now?”

“That sounds good to me,” he agreed. “First let us ride back to my house and tell my dear mum what I will be doing.” 

So saying, they each mounted their horses and rode towards his house. All of the goats followed, for they knew John was their master, and wherever he went, they would follow. 

Thank you so much for reading. I'd love to hear from you in the comments if you would like to read chapter five. XD

Yours truly,

No comments:

Post a Comment