A Secret Letter to a Friend
'Tis a lonely life for a young prince cloistered in a fortress with no friends to speak of. Endless days of studies and tutoring, broken up only by mealtimes and meetings with topics far over the young lordling's head. There is a constant air of battle about the place, although Ruben has long since settled into a cold war with its sister kingdom, Lazuli. And through the machinations of the Regent, very few people can even come close to the young prince. Which makes the daring escapades of a young circus girl all the more remarkable. Sneaking her way through the hallways, she delivers letters from a secret pen-pal to the young prince, giving him glimpses and tastes of the outside world.
"I can bring you a friend, if you want." Richard peeked over the edge of the windowsil. Hanging by her fingertips, feet braced against the stone wall like it was the easiest thing in the world, was one of the few people who dared to try to be his friend. "Soapy? What are you doing here?" Richard hissed quietly. "If the guards find you-" "They won't find me." Soapy pulled herself up onto the windowsill, feet dangling in the open air. Her dark hair was tied back, yet still closely clung to her shoulders. "I'm too small for them to see." She looked at him and smiled. "Besides, their bellies are so big they would fall over trying to chase me!" It was hardly a laughing matter, but it still made the young prince smile. "Now, I can bring you a friend." Soapy crossed her legs, looking out at the stars. "How? Are you going to fit them in your bag?" Richard asked, confused. Soapy was strong for her age as a circus girl, but... "I'm going to bring you a letter from a friend, silly!" Soapy tilted her head. "But There's Special Rules because it Has to be Extra Secret. One!" She held up a finger. "You are not allowed to tell them who you are." "Why not?" "It's no fun if you know!" Soapy protested. "Besides, we could all get in trouble if it got out you were sending secret messages. Two!" She held up another finger. "You can't ask them for any information about themselves that can give themselves away. And Three!" A Third finger was held up. "You have to have your letter ready when the circus comes to town. Got it?" Dumbfounded, Richard nodded. "Good, because I already have a friend for you." Soapy reached into her bag and shuffled around before pulling out a small cream envelope. "Think you can have a letter back ready by tomorrow night?" The letter was dropped hastily into Richard's hands, who fumbled before catching it. "I-ah-" "Perfect! See you tomorrow night!" And with that Soapy swung herself back out the window, and was down on the flagstones before he could blink. By the time Richard had run to the window himself, she was gone. Richard looked at the stars, then at the letter in his hand. A friend, huh.... I guess it can't hurt.