So sorry that this chapter is so short. It'll get longer after this, I promise.
"Papa, where did Momma go?"
"She went far, far away from here."
"Papa, is Momma still sick like she was before?"
"Not anymore. Not anymore."
"Papa, why can't I go outside?"
"Because the outside world is a dangerous place, Brynneth."
Brynneth never saw her father anymore. After her mother disappeared, he locked himself away in one of the many rooms of their mansion. It was the servants who dressed her every day and brought her meals and entertained her. The poor little girl was never even allowed to leave her room anymore.
"Zelda, can I go see Papa today? You did say that he came back from his journey to Tyrannia, didn't you?"
The old gelert smiled at the little kougra girl as she buttoned up her dress. How the maid wished she could tell the little girl the truth about her father, and how she had prayed to the faeries that she wouldn't have to lie to those kitten eyes that Brynn always shone on her.
"Not today sweet heart. Your father is busy in his study with some chaps from Merridell. Business things and all that." The gelert didn't dare look up into those sweet pleading blue eyes for fear that she would tell the painful truth.
"What about tomorrow?" The tiny kougra slipped on her shoes, smiling at her maid as she did so. The hopefulness in her eyes was enough to send the nurse maid to tears.
"Your hair is a frightful mess, Miss Brynn. I don't know how you manage to make it stand up like that by just sleeping." The maid patted the stool of the white vanity, brush in hand. "Come here and let me brush it."
Brynn skipped and hopped to the seat, bouncing in her chair as Zelda tamed the wild locks of red hair and tied them together with bows.
"Can I at least go outside and play in the gardens for a while?"
"I'm afraid not dearie. They said it's supposed to storm today. Thunder and lightning and rain are no conditions for a little girl like you to be running around in."
"Oh, ok. I'll just stay inside and play with my dolls today." Brynn's smile dropped ever so slightly; Zelda turned to race towards the door. "Where are you going?"
"I heard them calling me downstairs. I'll be back in a minute, ok?"
Brynn stood there, staring at the wooden carvings on her door, for a long while after her maid slammed the door and ran down the hallway to an unheard beckoning. Her small paws formed tiny fists around the skirt of her dress.
"Ok," she whispered to no one.