A Two Page Love Story by G. Z. Kieft
The concept was simple: steal her and sell her back. The plan, too, was far from complex. Dressed as two patrolmen of the Royal Guard, we would sneak into the castle, slip narcotics into her food and descend with her into a boat we had preemptively left in the moat. None of these concerned me: Max and I had completed far riskier missions. No, my troubled mind drug my conscious to its deathbed the moment I stalked up the spiraling staircase, removing the cramped helmet from my skull and laying eyes on the most stunning creature I had ever come across. Her velvet skin lay across her slithering figure like a porcelain shell over liquid chocolate, partial only to the harsh, gathered features on her face as she gazed sternly at her own reflection in the window. I had snuck into the hallway leading up to her room, and her door stood ajar, wafting to me her pomegranate perfume seductively. That was her. That was my mission. As I neared the bedroom, I noticed she was dressed in travel garb and a large sack sat at her feet. As I crept in to intoxicate her, I discovered she was on the verge of escaping the castle – willingly. Just then, the alarming scream of the real royal guard sounded, and as I turned around I saw Max booking it our way.
“Into the boat!” He cockled, his panic overridden by his addiction to trouble.
I pleaded for the princess to hurry, and we clambered down the castle window into the boat we had anchored. Max was the last to join us, and by the time he hopped on I had withdrawn the anchor and we rowed away towards the mainland. From there, the three of us snuck into a carriage and Max took the reign while the princess and I snuck into the cab – part of the plan should the princess awake from her narcotics. Instead, a smile crossed her excited face, wrinkling her tiny nose.
“What’s your name?” She asked.
“Gustaf.” I responded, naïvely giving her my real name.
“I’m…” But I interrupted her introduction.
“Just Colette.” She smiled.
We escaped the city and made it all the way into the woods, where we followed a little known robber’s path created by, obviously, robbers. I climbed out of the cab and joined Max at the helm of the carriage, overlooking the three horses driving us.
“What was all that?” Max asked incredulously.
I explained the situation, and he laughed in disbelief. “Collecting this ransom is going to be easy!”
“Yeah…” My response spawned from my sudden infatuation with our inventory.
From here the plan was to arrive in Luxemburg, where we would hide out for two weeks before demanding a hefty ransom for her return.
Well, that was the plan, anyway.
However, our carriage was intercepted by bandits and we became engulfed in a heated, bloody battle. During the interception, I managed to sneak Colette to safety, but when I returned Max had been taken and our horses had been set free while our carriage had been raided. Overwhelmed, I dropped to my knees and grabbed at the gold and brown leaves on the floor. Colette came to claim me, and when she saw the result of our skirmish she kneeled by my side.
“What do we do?” She asked, avidly concerned.
My priorities remained with her, and I assured her Max would be fine. “I’ll recover Max after I get you to safety.”
Max would want me to keep her unscathed for a maximum return, anyway.We walked through that forest for three days, taking turns keeping watch.
Well, that was the plan, anyway.
More often than not we just stayed up, talking and gazing up at the stars. From those nights, my fascination with Colette grew to love, and within the week I was head over heels. We arrived in Luxemburg, and I kept her in the room Max and I had rented the week prior.
“What about Max?” Colette would ask some days later as we woke in the morning.
The truth was, with Max gone I didn’t have to worry about returning Colette – something even Colette knew nothing about. He had been my partner for seven years, but I was done with that life. I had found what I wanted, and I was willing to forsake him for it. Another week went by – and another. Colette and I began a life together, gradually at first, but it sped up into an exploding sum of passion and overtook us. But one night, as we slept in each other’s arms, our door was kicked down. A hooded figure stomped inside, stabbed me in the stomach and took Colette from my grasp, kicking and screaming. I staggered after them, but I couldn’t keep up, and soon she was taken from me just as I had taken her from her family. The loss of blood left me unconscious, and it was only because a patrol guard found me that I survived. However, after matching my face up to wanted posters, I was quickly shipped back to the castle, where Colette’s father held me captive. I was tortured and beaten there for eighteen days, and I told them the truth every single morning and night. The hard thing about the truth is that sometimes it is impossible to hear, and I myself began wondering if perhaps Colette hadn’t wanted to escape. What if I had been delusional? This is where my story would end, in these dark dungeons with these dark regrets.
Well, that was the plan, anyway.
Instead, I was awoken at dawn to a note with an arrow punctured through it. Colette’s father brought it to me, and I immediately recognized the handwriting.
The deal is off,
find me at our spot,
money no longer counts,
with your blood she must be bought.
The king spirited me away and a group of his men to chase after Max, and when I arrived at a tall cliff with a shallow cave at its foot, I turned to the king’s guard. “This is it.” This is where I had met Max. This is where we escaped to after he had saved me from my slaver. Eight arrows were suddenly loosed into the hearts of the royal guard, and immediately I was alone. I became surrounded by a group of bandits as they crept from the trees and bushes, and leading them was Max, with a tied up Colette at his side.
“You abandoned me!” He yelled.
I tried to reason with him, but he could find no comfort in my apologies. I didn’t blame him, I did abandon him. I deserved whatever was coming for me, and when our fight began I expected to die.
That was the plan, anyway.
But during our fight, my desire for Colette drove my sword through his ribs, and his final words collected under a curtain of tears. “Live a happy ending. For both of us.” I stole Colette one final time and we escaped from the bandits. The experience didn’t leave us unscathed, but Max’s request inspired us to move past it all. Finally we had a plan worth following through with: to live happily ever after.