A Story by Blue Notebook

"Please Read Me!!" -that was the story speaking. Wow, this is old. I didn't realize it till now but I wrote this a really long time ago... Oh, well.


    Elizabeth Wyatt laid in bed pretending to sleep.  The voices of her parents carried into her room as they talked with the Millers and the Cattons.  They had been holding many of these meetings lately.  Elizabeth didn’t understand the grown-ups.  Whenever they saw each other on the street or at the market, they always pretend not to know each other.  Once when Elizabeth and her mother passed Mr. and Mrs. Catton at the bakery, Elizabeth asked her mother why she didn’t say hi.
    Her mother had looked around, frightened, before kneeling down beside her.  She put her hands on her shoulders and made her promise never to let anyone know they knew the Cattons.  Elizabeth couldn’t understand why knowing the Cattons was a bad thing, they had always been nice to her at the meetings, but the fear in her mother’s eyes made her promise.
    Elizabeth heard a knock on the back door and guessed it was the Tapps.  She crept out of bed and peaked through the key hole on her bedroom door.  She wondered if they brought Sam with them.  She watched as her father put his ear to the door and ask who it was.  One of the other peculiar things about these meetings was they always answered her fathers question, “A friend of the stars and the rising moon.”
    After the Tapps gave their usual answer, her father unlatched the door and let them in.  They removed their cloaks and greeted the others.  Sam was with them.  She was sleeping with her head on her mother’s shoulder.  Elizabeth ran over and climbed into her bed as Mrs. Tapp carried her daughter into the room, careful not to wake her daughter or Elizabeth.  She deposited Samantha on the bed and tiptoed back out of the room, closing the door behind her.
    Sam’s eyes popped open and she turned towards her friend.  “Liz, are you awake?” she whispered.
    “Yeah.”  Liz whispered back. “Did you bring Kate?”
    Sam smiled as she pulled out her doll and rolled off the bed.  Elizabeth pulled out her doll as well and joined Sam on the ground.  Kate and Salley, Elizabeth’s doll, spent the next half hour talking about clothes and hair as they drank from their imaginary cups of tea.  After a while, Mrs. Wyatt came and knocked on their door, telling them to go to sleep.  The girls sighed as they climbed into bed, to tired to put up much of an argument.
    “I wish we could see each other more often.”  Elizabeth yawned.
    “Me too, Liz.”  Samantha agreed as she drifted off.  “Me too.”

    During the next two months, Elizabeth noticed a change in her parents.  They always seemed to be glancing over their shoulders, and they were more and more cautious at the meetings.  Her mother packed a bag full of clothes and other things Elizabeth needed and kept it in the back of her closet.
    Her parents weren't the only ones who changed.  The entire city was nervous.  She was used to seeing a Guard every once in a while, but lately there was a Guard posted on every corner.  She couldn’t help but feel nervous herself.  It all seemed to be building up to one day, and Liz was afraid of what that day would bring.
    On the night of the next meeting, Liz didn’t even pretend to be asleep.  She sat with her doll, wrapped in her blanket, by her door, her eye “glued” to the key hole.  She had recently acquired the habit of listening in on the meetings.  Tonight was an important night.  She wasn’t entirely sure what was going on but she knew it was big.  She waited for the knock on their door, the exchange of passwords, and the greetings.  That night only the Millers were coming.  The meeting was started immediately as they began talking about recent events.
    Liz was disappointed when the voices grew quieter; the grown-ups were moving into another room.  Straining, she could hear most of their conversation, but not all.
    “Are all – preparations made?” she heard her father’s voice.
    “Everyone – ready.  The ship is set to sail.  Tomorrow – into motion.”  Mr. Miller answered.
    “How – the Wingerts?”  Her mother asked.
    “They were forced to release them – no evidence against them.  They left yeste-” answered Mrs. Miller.  “I fear –will not be so lucky.”
    They were quiet for a moment before continuing.  They started talking about other things, none of which Elizabeth understood.  She always hated this part of the meeting; it was boring to listen to.  She was just about to give up and go to bed when there was a knock on the door.  The voices in the other room stopped abruptly, listening.  As the person at the door knocked again, Liz wondered who it could be.  It was too late in the night to be any one for the meeting, but to early in the morning to be anyone else.
    Elizabeth watched nervously as her father walked to the door.  He paused, his hand resting on the doorknob.  He seemed to be debating over what he should do.  Maybe he was hoping that, whoever it was, they would simply go away.  Again, the person knocked.
    “Who has come to my home so late this night?” her farther spoke through the door.  She could tell by his voice that he was worried.
    “Rod, open the door.”  She recognized the voice of David Foster, Chief of the Guard.  Her father unbolted the door with obvious reluctance, and pulled it open.  The Chief stepped through the doorway, followed by five other men dressed in the dark-red Guard uniform.  Elizabeth watched as the five Guards stood in a semicircle behind the Chief, each with one hand rested threateningly on the hilt of their swords.
    “Rod, I’m sorry to have to do this to you, but you and your wife are under arrest.”
    “For what?”  Rod’s voice and face said he was surprised, but his eyes said he was not.
    “For treason against the King.”  As the chief spoke, his men began to move towards Elizabeth’s father.
    Liz wanted to run out there and tell those men that they were wrong, that her parents weren’t bad, but fear had her rooted to the spot.  As the first man was reaching out towards her father, the Guard standing closest to the door dropped to the ground with a grunt.  Everyone froze, eyes staring at the dead man.  The chief drew his sword, suddenly lunging at some unseen shadow outside.  While all eyes were elsewhere, Rod drew his knife from his belt, sinking it into the man nearest to him.
    Liz could feel a scream building in her throat but no sound came.  She couldn’t tear her eyes from the spectacle before her.  One of the Guards saw her father move and spun towards him as Mr. Miller flew inside, catching the Chief in the chest with an already bloodied knife.  The three remaining Guards all had their swords drawn, but they did little good in the tight space.  Another man fell to the ground before the others thought to draw their knives instead.           
    The four men faced each other, the Guards with their backs toward Liz.  At once, they charged her father and Mr. Miller.  Their blades met, the advantage of surprise now lost, the Guards would quickly overpower the other two men.  Suddenly, Elizabeth’s view was blocked as the two women came rushing into the room.  When her sight was restored, the remaining two Guard lay with the others on the ground, each of the women holding a bloodied knife.
    The fight was over, leaving six dead men on the ground, and Mr. Miller gripping his side.  At first, Liz hadn’t realized the blood on his shirt was his own.  Her father led him to a nearby chair as the women hurried out of the room.  When they returned, they each carried two bags.  Mrs. Miller knelt beside her husband, pulling some cloth and a jar from one of the bags.  As she was dressing his wound, Mrs. Wyatt walked towards Elizabeth’s bedroom door.
    Elizabeth stood and backed away as the door opened and her mother came in.  She stared at her mother’s form, silhouetted in the doorway, her vision suddenly blurring.  Her mother knelt in front of her and hugged her tightly.
    “Liz, honey, did you see that?”  Her mother’s voice was soft.  Elizabeth was too frightened to speak so she nodded instead.  “I need you to be very brave for me.  Can you do that?”  Liz nodded again.  “Good.  I need you to go to your closet and get the bag I packed for you.  We have to leave here and we won’t be coming back.  Everything is going to be all right.  We’re going to go get on a big boat and go somewhere safe.”
    Mrs. Wyatt leaned back and looked at her daughter.  She smiled sadly as she wiped the tear from the child’s face.  She leaned forward again to kiss her forehead before standing.  She hurried into the kitchen to grab a few more things as her daughter walked to her closet and grabbed her bag.
    Elizabeth was in a daze as she walked out of her room and joined the others.  Mrs. Miller had just finished with her husband’s wound, and as soon as Mrs. Wyatt finished what she was doing, they all put on their packs.  Mr. Miller had to lean partly on Liz’s father as they walked.  She took her mother’s hand and closed her eyes as they passed the bodies of the Guards.  She didn’t open them again until she felt the cool night air on her face.   

    It was Mrs. Miller who finally awakened her.  Outside, the last rays of sunlight were fading over the rooftops.  She had been sleeping all day, but she was still very tired.  Her dreams had been dark and filled with the violent images of last night.  Even though she was now awake, the images still assailed her mind.
    As she reluctantly accepted the bread and cheese offered by Mrs. Miller, the door opened.  Her parents walked in, followed by Mr. Miller and a man named Nick Russell.  They had arrived at his house last night and he had given them a room to rest in.  It had been too dark last night to see, but the salty smell in the air told Elizabeth they were by the docks.
    “As soon as it’s dark, we’ll start boarding the ship.”  Mr. Russell was saying.  “Most of the supplies were loaded last night.”
    Her father nodded, then asked if there had been any more trouble.
    “So far, things have been going pretty well.  Other than your encounter last night and the Wingerts’ trouble, no one else has been suspected.  There is still a good chance everything will go as planed.”
    “So all we can do now is wait.”  Her father said.
    Mr. Russell stayed with them for a while longer before leaving to check on things.  Elizabeth sat quietly as the adults talked, wondering what was going to happen.  Things could never be the same after last night. 
    An hour later, Mr. Russell returned carrying their bags.  Her father picked her up as they followed him out of his house.  It was dark outside, but he knew where they were going.  Their black cloaks shielded them from watching eyes as they hurried down the deserted streets.  As they passed between two buildings, the sea came into view.  A large ship moored at the docks was waiting for its final passengers.  Dark shapes moved around on the deck.
    They quickly made their way down to the water’s edge and ran up the ramp.  Mr. Russell pointed out the door that would take them below deck.  They went down the ladder to where the others were gathered.  Elizabeth was amazed by what she saw.  She had thought that there would just be her family and the three others, but the entire ship was filled with people, and they all seemed to know each other.
    The Millers went off in one direction as the Wyatts continued on, picking their way through the huddled groups of people.  Before long, Elizabeth saw the Tapps.  She hurried over to Samantha and was soon followed by her parents.  They all sat in silence below deck for what seemed an eternity before the sound of a rising anchor could be heard.
    They all gave a sigh of relief as Captain Russell came below, telling them it was safe to light the lanterns.  The ship was soon flooded with light as they drew further from the shore.  Elizabeth saw many relieved faces and even some singing and dancing as the joy of freedom overcame the people.
    Samantha was also smiling as she turned toward Liz.  Liz smiled too, until her friend pulled Kate from her bag.  Elizabeth had forgotten Salley by her bedroom door.

© 2008 Blue Notebook

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Added on June 10, 2008


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