NaNoWriMo Day 13 Part 1
posted at: 11/14/2014

The Queen Mother hadn't been able to think of a plan for capturing her youngest son. Other thoughts had crowded such contemplations from her mind. Thankfully, she didn't have to. At the end of the half hour, Matilda shuffled slowly into the house, glum and frowning. Mrs. Weisgarber was already inside. She looked at her guest with concern. "Are you alright?" But before Matilda could answer, Reginald fluttered into the room, and immediately behind him, Herford and Amaranth jogged in. Both were giggling maniacally.

The boy skidded to a stop in the middle of the kitchen. He was beaming. "We've thought of something!" Herford nodded emphatically.

Matilda and Cindy looked at each other with surprise. Cindy gestured for them to speak. "All right. Let's hear it, then."

Amaranth started. "It started with what you said, Your Majesty, when you said that a royal person can only go missing if they're supposed to be. So we started thinking 'when is a royal person supposed to be missing?'"

Herfod cut in. "And that's when Amaranth came up with the idea of sending the prince on a hunt."

"'Cuz, you know, people get separated on hunts all the time and no one realy worries much about it. They just assume they'll come back to the camp at night time" said the boy.

Matilda raised an eyebrow, "How do you know that?"

Amaranth waved a hand dismissively. "My Pa goes on hunts all the time. He tells me about them. Anyway, then we had to think about something that Prince Charlie would want to hunt."

"Specifically something that he wouldn't be able to pass up trying to capture." The rabbit added.

"And I thought a unicorn would be good, but Mr. Herford said that that would probably involve a girl and a golden bridle and stuff and Prince Charlie wouldn't do much of the hunting himself because you just have to wait for a unicorn to come to you. Then we thought of a dragon, but there's no reason for him to want to hunt a dragon. He'd probably get the adventurers to do that. Then Mr. Herford remembered some kind of animal. What's it called again?"

"It's called a Qilin." Herford provided.

"Right! A Chee Lin. They're supposed to show up for good rulers." Amaranth said.

"The Qilin is supposed to be a good omen and to foretell the reign of a great ruler. Naturally, if one had been spotted, Charles would want to capture it so that he could enhance his reputation and proclaim his right to rule." Explained the wizard.

"And then, while he was out hunting, we'd lure Prince Charlie away and capture him. They wouldn't worry about it until he didn't come back that night and we could hide him somewhere for a few days while we explain things to King George, then set him free again once King George and the princess are safe."

Mrs. Weisgarber clapped her hands. "Well, I hadn't thought of anything better than that. I'm curious, how much of the time you were out there did you spend planning and how much was spent arguing?"

The boy and the rabbit looked at each other and cringed. Herford said, "Does it matter?"

"I guees not. Nicely done. How about you, Amy? Have you come up with a better plan?"

The Queen Mother was resting her chin on her fist and staring gloomily into the hearth. "What? No. I didn't think of any plan."

Amaranth seemed disappointed. "You didn't think of any plan at all? Why not?"

"I had other things on my mind." Matilda said, icily.

Herford tried to look at his friend with sympathy, but wasn't sure if it was having the intended effect (considering his current condition). Mrs. Weisgarber was more effective at displaying sympathy. She sat down beside the elderly woman. "I know you're going through a hard time, Amy, and I'm sorry for your loss. You know, I wouldn't want to be in your position, but we're doing everything we can to help you. I wish we could do more."

Matilda sighed and nodded sadly. She didn't want to say anything because she didn't want to cry--not in front of the boy. She also wasn't sure if any of them would understand what it was like to be old and useless. Though it was true that Herford was older than her, he was much more capable of accomplishing what he needed to accomplish. Even as a rabbit. She sighed again. Cindy stood up and looked at her friend for a long moment. "It looks like you could use one of these." She walked across the kitchen and picked up a large, green orb.

Amaranth jumped when he saw it. "Ha! Yes! I love watermelon! Can I spit the seeds at the chickens? I'm going to."

Matilda smiled slightly. Cindy took down a knife and sliced open the fruit, telling Amaranth that if he went out and started spitting seeds at the chickens, they'd peck at his knees, hoping for more. While those two were chattering, Herford hopped up to Matilda and said, "we'll save them, Maddy."

The Queen Mother stood. "I hope so." Then she and the wizard joined the convesation that was going on in the kitchen.

"Why do you call Her Majesty Amy?" Amaranth wondered.

Mrs. Weisgarber glanced at Matilda. "Well, when I met her, Her Majesty wasn't Her Majesty. I was seven and Amy was one of the adventurers, but she didn't like to be called 'Matilda.' She'd fight anyone who called her by her first name and no one wanted to fight her so we all just started calling her by her middle name. But Amythest takes too long to say, so we eventually shortened it to Amy." Cindy started passing out watermelon slices.

Amaranth looked at the Queen Mother with round eyes, "Your name is Matilda?"

Matilda nodded. "It always has been."

The boy just said, "Huh." And bit into his watermelon.