Nymphea Vol I: Tale of Two Words
After entering the mysterious room, Nafliah had found herself in an unpredictable predicament. She heard footsteps coming down the stairs again. In desperation, she hid the crawl space in the corner of the room. She listened as two sets of footsteps entered.
“I swore I thought I saw someone come down here.”
A soft whisper, similar to a woman’s crept through the crawl space. Nafliah could hear the footsteps moving about near the center of the room.
“I don’t see anyone.”
Nafliah recognized the second voice because it belonged to one person she couldn’t stand, the prince. After thinking about a little longer, Nafliah realized the woman’s voice was identical to the young maid from this morning. The whispers continued.
“Hurry up. It's dark down here and it smells mold. ”
The young maid held her nose. Lucas ignored her and continued searching the room for any evidence. He started to walk toward the corner of the room where Nafliah was hiding in the crawl space. She inched back as the footsteps came closer.
“What is this place anyway?”
The young maid’s question caused Lucas to stop just a few feet away from the crawl space opening. He turned the maid and replied.
“This place was built by my mother to be a sanctuary for Nymphian refugees before the war started. She would come here every day and listen to each of their problems.”
Nafliah could hear the footsteps leaving as he returned to the center of the room. Faint memories of the past leaped off the stone walls and played in front of his eyes like a movie film. The young maid could see that the prince was lost in thought. He rambled on.
“I remember my mother bringing me with her one day to play my violin. This was filled with so many sick, wounded and depressed. The air was suffocating. I didn’t understand what playing the violin could do for them. But when my mother opened her mouth to sing, their faces brightened with hope and longing.”
“Queen Diana did?”
The young maid questioned with little interest in the story. While Nafliah continued to listen, she felt something brush up against her leg.
“Yes she did, but that was the past. Those same people, who once praised her, killed her within the night. Now it’s just used as an extra holding chamber for prisoners.”
Suddenly, a small brown mouse scurried out the crawl space. The maid latched onto the prince’s sleeve and squealed.
“Eeeeeek a rat!”
The prince stood there unfazed. They watched as the mouse made its way out the door. He snatched his arm away and clicked his teeth.
“Tch! I don’t see anyone. You’ve wasted enough of my time, let’s go!”The sound of their footsteps faded as they walked down the hall. Slowly Nafliah inched her way out the crawl space and back on her feet again. She walked toward the center of the room in deep thought.
“The queen was killed by one of my people?”
Her whole body tensed in angry. She leaned up against the metal platform beside her.
“We would never lay our hands on them. We trusted in their loyalty. We stayed true to their treaty. No, no they are the true killers! They slaughtered my people
…and my mother.”
Nafliah’s knees began to buckle and quiver. She placed her hands on the metal platform beside her to keep her balance. A rush of heavy, thick air surrounded her. Nafliah grabbed her throat as she gasped for air. The heat from her body increased rapidly. Her vision became distorted as the room spun.
What’s going on?