Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rosa Chapter One

Hello, everyone! Are you ready for Chapter One of Rosa? I hope certainly hope so! Here's the link to the prologue in case you haven't read it yet. And now, without further ado, Rosa Chapter One!                                    

Chapter One     
Many years later. . .
            Rosa skipped outside, the old wooden water bucket swinging by her side, the handle held securely in her small hand. She hooked the bucket’s handle to the frayed rope hanging in the well beside the kitchen door. She let go and a few seconds later, she heard it splash into the well. She looked in. The bucket was sinking far into the water below. Rosa smiled, then grabbed the ancient crank and began to turn. After several minutes of hard pulling, the bucket reappeared filled with water. Rosa carefully unhooked it, and then walked back to the kitchen. “I got the water, Mama Mandy.” she said. “What next?”
            “Thank you, Rosa dearie.” Mandy told her, standing over a bowl of half-made pancake batter. “Can you cut an apple up without hurting yourself again?”
            Rosa winced. She remembered the painful cut she had gotten the week before when she carelessly cut her thumb instead of the apple. Despite this, she nodded and said “I think so, Mama Mandy.” She got a knife from the case, and then walked over to the table by the apple barrel. Selecting an apple, she began peeling it with practiced motions. As she did so, she watched Mandy bustle around making breakfast for the castle. Mandy’s always been a mystery to me, Rosa thought, though she was careful to pay attention to her apple. Mandy was a lady in waiting of some great lady, but she was demoted to cook. I’m not sure why, but she was. Then again, I’m not sure of a lot of things.
            “Is that apple almost ready, dearie?” Mandy’s voice broke Rosa out of her thoughts.
            “Almost.” Rosa made one more cut, and then carefully carried the pieces over to Mandy. “How’s this, Mama Mandy?”
            “Perfect, dearie.” Mandy said, pushing them into the pancake batter.
            After helping Mandy prepare the rest of breakfast, Rosa skipped back outside, heading for the garden. She didn’t go to the royal garden, of course. She’d never been there, and she knew that a common servant such as herself would never be allowed to enter them.  No, she went to Mandy’s kitchen garden, which had more than herbs and vegetables. One corner of the garden was filled with flowers of all sorts. This is where Rosa went. She sat down on a weathered wooden bench and looked up at the castle. She looked first at the little window that opened into the tiny room that she and Mandy shared. Rosa smiled.  Our window’s the only one with a flower box, and it’s the prettiest and most cheerful window in the castle, she thought. Our little wooden box that overflows with pansies, snapdragons, and more roses than here in the garden may not be fancy, but I don’t care. I think it’s beautiful!  Next, Rosa looked to the top window in the royal tower, where most of the royal family lived. That was the queen’s window. The new queen’s window, that is. The first queen had died when Rosa was very young, around the time Mandy had taken her in. I don’t know much about my family, thought Rosa, except that Mama Mandy was a good friend of my mother’s and my mother and the old queen died on the same day. Rosa frowned. I wish the old queen hadn’t died. I don’t like Queen Leila. She seems evil, and she’s definitely scary. Rosa shuddered when she remembered the one time she had seen Queen Leila. With her long, black hair and pale skin, she looks like a vampire! Those black eyes don’t help! I don’t know why almost everyone in the castle thinks she’s beautiful! She’s really scary! Rosa shuddered once more, and then turned to another window. This was the window of Prince Owen, the king’s nephew, who Rosa had seen several times. He’s incredibly handsome, nothing like Queen Leila! Rosa closed her eyes so she could picture Prince Owen better. She pictured his longish honey-brown hair, his light brown eyes, and his athletic build, everything about him. She pictured his kindness, his charm, his ability to laugh at anything. Suddenly, her eyes snapped open. What am I doing? Prince Owen is high above my station in life! I shouldn’t be thinking about him like this! She took one last longing glance towards his window, then turned away and went to water the plants. They surely need it, with this hot weather! Besides, I need something to get my mind off him!

What will happen next? Check back next Tuesday to find out! In the meantime, please comment with your opinions!

Update: Chapter Two is up! Click here to read it! 

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