Gwen squinted a bit, happy that for the most part she was hidden behind her fathers anvil that, for the time, stood outside his workshop. He had shown someone from the castle how to properly repair a sword earlier - it had been very exciting and Gwen had really wished that she had been allowed to watch, too. She had tried to sneak away from her mother to watch (surely no one would notice her standing next to the knights - they were all so huge!) but, sadly, her attempts had been fruitless. She tried to reason with her ("Mommy, my new dagger is so pretty. I am sure they want to see it, too!"), to be charming ("Pleeaaase!" "You know that smile only works on your father, Guinevere ...") or to simply state her demand like she had heard some of the other girls in the pretty cloths do (it always worked for them). Nothing had worked.
So Gwen had to make do by standing on a small stool, stretching up high and looking through the window. She loved watching her father work. To her, it was one of the most fascinating things in the world to see the raw iron miraculously transform into the shining weapons his father sold to the rich and noble of Camelot.
But now the knights had gone and her father was busy inside and Gwen herself had been busy trying to find something interesting to do that would not take her too far away from the house - father did not want her to run off without telling. Now she had found something to spike her interest.
Or rather, someone.
It was a boy about her age ... or at least it seemed that way. He was rather small, though, she decided. Gwen couldn't be sure, for she had only ever seen him from afar, but he looked a great deal like the prince and if he was the prince, that surely was something exciting!
But he was so rude! Gwen could only stare as she watched him hit Olaf, their next door neighbour's son, with a stick he carried like a sword. Gwen knew Olaf, he was nice. He wouldn't be not nice to someone, especially if he was, indeed, the prince. And, really, even a prince should have some manners. Her mother always said that a king and queen had the best of manners and that Gwen herself should try to be as good as they were. He couldn't be the prince, then, Gwen decided and, seeing the boy sneer at Olaf again, decided to help her friend out ... a little.
Cowering even more behind the anvil, she said just loud enough for them to hear her:
"Ruuude!" before hiding behind the huge block of metal altogether. Maybe the boy had just forgotten how to behave and now, with her helpful word, would remember.
After a few moments, she thought it safe to reappear again and see if her advice had helped. She slowly turned around and once again peered over the top of the anvil and saw, quite shocked, that the boy was on his way over to her and, even worse, had spotted her!
For a moment she nearly ran away, inside, to hide under her mother's skirt. She really did not want to talk to the boy with his read tunic on which, Gwen gasped a little, she now saw the golden dragon shining proudly. Oh so he iwas/i the prince.
Whimpering a little, Gwen looked back to the house where her mother would be and her father with all his swords. But she could not run away from the prince, could she? No, no, she didn't think she could. So it was with great reluctance that Gwen got to her feet, her hands behind her back and biting her lip.
"Who are you?" Even his voice sounded rude.
"Gwe ... Guinevere." Gwen hastily decided to use her proper name. It would sound more impressive, she hoped.
"What did you say?" The boy was still carrying his wooden stick around as if it was the most mighty of swords and Gwen found it very irritating. He kept swishing it up and down and when Gwen did not answer his question, he raised it and pointed it to her tummy. Gwen did not believe it. She had learned never to point weapons in the direction of people (well, of course if they were bad but ... she wasn't bad, was she?) and here was the king's son, being so very rude - again!
"You're so rude!" The words were out of her mouth before she could stop them. The moment they were out, she clapped a hand over her mouth to keep it from talking more without her wanting it to.
Even the prince seemed surprised because he stared, too, at her mouth, his own shaped in the surprised form of an "o". But recovered quickly.
"I am inot/i! I am the prince!" While telling her, he seemed to grow at least once the length of her pinky finger so he could try and stare down at her. For a moment Gwen nearly remembered everything her mother had told her about how to talk to the people more well off then her but her outrage at seeing someone she had always believed to be the best at everything behave like a cow in a bakery washed all that knowledge from her mind.
"Oh but you are rude! And that is not even a real sword, you know!" There, that would show him.
The prince did not take long to counter her words. "Oh as if you would know!"
Gwen couldn't hide the slightly smug smile. "I do know. I have one!" Well, so, it was a dagger and, yes, her mother had said she was not allowed to carry it around with her but still, it was a real blade and it was hers.
Again, the prince stared at her, even more surprised and, it seemed, angry. For a moment, Gwen was scared that he might hit her with his stick. But he surprised her by saying:
"Really? Show me!"
Gwen raised her eyebrows, that was how surprised she was, and did not know what to say except for: "All right ..."
When, as an answer, the prince grinned toothily at her, she could not help but grin back before dashing around and running back inside to get her most priced possession - the dagger her father had given her only a few short weeks ago. Maybe, she thought, maybe the prince wasn't so bad after all.
But once she had got the expensive little weapon, snug passed her mother and was back outside, the prince was gone and Gwen stood there, shaking her head, her hands on her hips and just a tiny bit disappointed.
"Oh how very rude!"