The farmer dug his rake into the dark soil and sighed. From where he stood in his fields, he had a clear view of the towering castle from across the wide river, and it was burning. Smoke swelled into the darkening skies from the inside and he thought he could hear some shouts of joy being carried on the wind. He sighed again, his soul weighed down my remorse for the people inside, what must be happening to them. He could still hear the sounds of anger and vengeance from the tavern the night before. How it hurt his ears! The aching farmer turned away, trying to make sense of it all, wanting to retreat inside his cottage and climb into bed, unable to take in the deathly skies above…
When something caught his eye.
Floating down the river, being pushed by the current, were pieces of wooden debris from the castle, some still burning. But the one thing that caught the farmer’s eye was a wooden crate, completely intact, swirling along with the current. It landed on the riverbank next to the farmer’s field. Curiosity pulled at him, so the farmer wandered over to where the crate had landed. It was an intricately designed crate, with twisting gold frame lining the walls, about the size of a traveler’s clothing trunk. Curiosity pulled at the farmer further, begging him to see what was inside this box. His aged hands gingerly reached for the lid and slowly opened it, releasing it with surprise and causing it to crash against the back of the trunk.
Inside was the limp form of a young girl, a maid, judging by her uniform. The farmer looked closer, seeing if the girl still had life clinging to her. He reached his fingers to her arm and gently took her wrist in his. She stirred, sending the farmer’s heart rate climbing. She was alive, thank (DEITY). The girl pulled her arm underneath her and moaned. This was when the farmer noticed that she was clutching onto something. He attempted to turn her over slightly to see what she was holding when he stopped a quarter of the way. Clutched in her arms was a young baby, sleeping in the girl’s protective arms. The farmer’s mind ran wild. Where did this pair come from? The castle? Whose baby was this anyway? Was it the girl’s or someone else’s? Why were they put inside this trunk? Why was this trunk put into the river? What in (DEITY)'s name was going on?