Author: T.Smith

Chapter 1. Upside-down

  I stood outside the doors of my parents bedroom, I had noticed that my father was in some sort of distress after his lead general of the necromancer army whispered something into his ear which pasted a look of worry and frustration across his face. 

  Soon after, he retired to his and my mother's chambers pressing her to join him, clearly trying not to draw my attention to them both as they walked gracefully out of the room. I noticed. Something was wrong. 

I pressed my ear to the large white and gold trimmed double doors trying to Eve's drop on their conversation which now seems heated. 

  "NO! You promised Alexander! You made me a damn promise!" I heard my mother's normally soft and gentle voice now nearly shriek at my father. "Natalia, we have no other choice." My father's voice filled with pain replied "Our kingdom is at stake, we cannot wait for Liam to come of age, we need this alliance NOW." He emphasized the word 'now' 

"But Alexander! If she doesn't love the man then her power will never reach it's full potential! We will fight! I will not forsake her to a loveless marriage Alex!" The desperation clear in her voice now.

  I froze as her words sent bile into my mouth. Marriage? I was never betrothed to marry anyone, I was promised I would never have to if I didn't want to and marriage was the last thing on my 17 year old mind. 

  "Natalia." My father's voice was now soft and gentle 

"We need a larger army, these creatures.. these monsters.. they are to fast for our casters to land spells on, only two times out of five does the spells actually strike them and when it comes to actual combat they over power us in strength and agility, we have to have a larger army now or they will take and destroy our lands as well as our people.. she must wed prince Colby, we cannot even give her the option." My father took a ragged breath  "I know we promised her a marriage of her choice due to Liam being betrothed to the princess Astrid however those children are only 12 and cannot be expected to wed especially since Anna turns 18 tomorrow and prince Colby is now 19, both have been of age for over a year." 

   My mother was now furious "Our son and princess Astrid have been courting one another and getting to know each other for YEARS to prepare for their marriage! They know one another and care for one another! Anna and Colby have only been introduced once when they was 13! They have never spoken a word to each other! This is a cruel fate you are handing to our daughter! You are giving her and her life to a STRANGER!"

  Her voice broke as she spat the word stranger at my father. I stood there at their door frozen in shock and disbelief. 

    My father was about to marry me off to man I have met only once and he oozed an aura of arrogance and entitlement, it was all over his baby shaped face the day we was introduced to one another. My heart was breaking, I had to convince my father otherwise. 

   "Natalia, we have to… our people, our kingdom and our lives depend on it, besides she may fall in love with him if so then her and her powers may reach their full potential. She is a strong young woman and she will make this work. She must do this." 

     "FINE!" My mother spat " But YOU will be the one to break her heart with this news, I will not be the culprit of her sadness and the destruction of her life and future, for you know as well as I that a witch who doesn't fall in love won't receive her full powers and that is as if loosing a part of herself and her soul."  

   I couldn't take the conversation anymore. 

I took off down the long white corridor, my white heels clicking against the shimmering marble floor as I ran until I made it to the last door at the end of the hall and barged through slamming it behind me to then throw myself into the large bed made up with blue and gold silk duvet coverlets and cried about the betrayal I felt from my father. 

   I was to be married off to an arrogant prince whom I didn't know, a stranger. My future which was so bright and laced with endless possibilities was now morphed into a heep of uncertainty and possible misery. My life has just been turned upside down. 

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