The Free Maiden
By Giulianna Canzoneri
Julia brushed the leftover linen off her dress. She was tired of working twenty four hours a day for the king and queen. The queen expected very high things of her especially since she had been here a long time. In the kingdom of Altonia, she wished to see the bright blue sky up close. She had only seen it through the glass windows in her bedroom with the ripped curtains pulled over it. She saw that the sky was always there for her when she opened her eyes and when she finished cleaning the cupboards or serving dinner. When she was alone she would just watch the sky as the sun created a pink blanket over the surface of it. Since she had been watching the sky for 17 years, she knew the constellations that she would see from the window. “Julia? Where is my clean kitchen?” The queen yelled. Julia snapped out of her memory and ran to the kitchen. She saw the queen there with a pot and a dirty dish. “How is that possible? I cleaned the dishes this morning. Bright and early!” The queen scowled. “If you don’t clean it for me now than I will get the king.” Julia set herself straight and went right to work. (This might seem like it’s a Cinderella story, but trust me it is not.)
Soon, it was noon and she could take a break. She decided to try and sneak out. She grabbed her lace bag that she found in the queen’s cupboards and pushed all of her needs into that small bag. Then she grabbed some close by bread from her small breakfast and opened the door. The door creaked and she hid behind it. “Maybe I need a disguise.” she said quietly. She quickly ran to the trunk under her hard bed and grabbed a silk wrap and placed it over her head. The silk was a little itchy on her neck, but it will have to do for now.
She quietly tip-toed out of her room and walked down the wooden stairs. Everything creaked here and it was sometimes impossible to get work done unless someone was not going up and down the stairs or through the hallways. She noticed a back door and crept out. Then she freaked. Right next to her was the queen picking berries, her back to Julia. Julia started to run and the queen turned around. “Oh why hello dear. Do you need anything?” Julia shook her head and held the silk scarf onto her head. She did her best impression of a British accent. “No ma’am. Just looking at the beautiful land.” The queen smiled. “Oh well, go enjoy yourself.” She walked back in. Julia was impressed. How did the queen not know who she was just under a silk scarf and a dirty dress? People can be blind she thought to herself. The sky was getting darker and she had forgotten that today it was gonna rain. Then she jolted. She had forgotten that the queen was gonna be looking for her in her room today to clean the dishes after the meeting with the neighboring town. She grabbed her bag from her back and lifted up the ladder she kept in there. Always keep a ladder. It might be helpful. She planted her feet onto the stone and grabbed the ladder.
Five minutes later she was back in her room with a wet head and wet clothes. She looked a mess. The door handle creaked and the queen opened her door. “I just remembered. We need someone to go look for berries in the garden. It’s outside.” Julia sighed.