The wind raced through the trees and out into the clearing with a lone tree. Its arms brushed past the figure that stood there and feet bent the grass in the direction of the mountain. Purple peaks that rose majestically into the sky. The wind raced towards the mountain only to turn and send a gust of wind into the city that sat at the foot of the mountain. As the wind passed through the city some of the people turned to look at the sky. Others continued on their way unconcerned with the strong force of the wind. The wind pushed its way past the city and straight towards the large castle that stood slightly above the city. Its arms slamming into the man who stood there on the balcony. The man inhaled deeply as the wind embraced him. The smell of summer and earth met his nose. As the man took another breath he caught the wisps of something else, but before he could identify it the wind had rushed past him and onward into the world beyond. The man inhaled again in an attempt to identify the smell which had disappeared. Turning the young prince walked back into the stone walls of the palace.
Walking through the halls of the palace the prince felt his muscles tense as he headed back to the throne room. Back to the room that was suffocating and stuffy. As he entered a breeze rustled his golden hair, yet even with the breeze coming through the huge windows that lined the back of the palace the prince immediately felt like he could not breathe. The room was stuffy with political and royal expectations. Expectations that never let him truly relax and political politicians who only cared about their own political gain. Walking stiffly up to the throne he bowed from the waist down briefly to his father before moving to stand beside him. As the other sleazy politicians entered and bowed on their knees to his father he took a deep breath to calm himself. As the final politician made their way to their seat he schooled his face to be impassive. His father turned to him and whispered in his ear, “Calum it would please me if you would pay attention to the court today.”
Calum nodded on stiff nod before turning to fix his eyes on the villager who had bowed on both knees before his father. As the man began to explain his petition Calum turned to look at his father again. His father 's hair was no longer gold like his. Instead it had turned a snow white a sign of his age. Wrinkles of age had formed around his blue eyes, yet his father was still as regal as he had always been. Calum had hardly been born when his country had been thrown into civil war. The descendants of the evil Fuchsia and their followers had started a war for the throne. The war had ended when he was sixteen. He still remembers the pain and fear the war had brought. A war that had lasted sixteen years had taken its toll on the kingdom. Something that even eight years later was still affecting the land. Calum’s blue eyes swept over the court and the people. The economy was still horrible, but at least it was no longer in shambles. Blue eyes locked on the portrait of Calum the first. The man who had stopped the first rebellion. It had taken place about hundred years ago when the evil Fuchsia had risen to overthrow the monarchy. King Calum the First had put an end to the rebellion and executed Fuchsia.
That is why the second rebellion had been a surprise, but not for Calum. Calum had grown up in the time of war. His first memories were of the war and rebellion. As he was named after his ancestor he had been a symbol of hope. He had even been there when the final battle had been waged. Even now Calum could remember that day with ease. The two armies had met in a clearing with a lone tree. Many of the kingdom's citizens had sided with Fuchsia’s descendants. The citizens may have been untrained, but they’d had a fierce determination. He had remembered seeing the leader of the rebellion Aithne standing tall and proud beside the lone tree. Her dark raven hair had blown in the wind and her face was one of peace. Her green eyes were full of sharp determination and he had seen a hint of pain in there. Aithne’s rebellion had led to the death of her husband. Her foolishness had caused her a lot with many of her family having been killed. Aithne had been a direct descendant of Fuchsia and had been determined to finish what her ancestor had started no matter the cost. Calum remembered how fierce the fight had been and it's great costs. Calum had lost his older brother in the battle. The battle had lasted almost all day, but to Calum it was all a blur. The only thing he could remember was the strong smell of lavender. A touch of lavender that had pierced his nose in the fray of battle. A battle that had ended when his father had pierced Aithne’s heart. Many of the rebels had fled and the ones who were caught had been executed. The country had been in shambles with riots on the streets and mass executions. But King Titus the Third had led his people through it and now eight years later the kingdom was finally reaching a sense of stability.
Calum was brought back to the present when a messenger burst through the doors and fell to his knees before his father. The court seemed to bristle at the interruption, but at the same time interested in what ever could be so urgent. The messenger knelt there on the hard stone ground breathing heavily. King Titus leaned forward, a sparking interest in his blue eyes. The messenger gasped as he choked out, “Your Majesty you are needed at the south gate.”
Confusion hung heavily in the air and murmurs erupted from those watching. Calum felt himself leaning forward with the rest when his father asked why. The messenger looked up and made brief eye contact with the king, “I do not know. I was only told by the captain of your guards to come get you.”
The king turned to look at Calum, but Calum’s eyes remained focused on the man in front of him. The king then slowly stood before strolling confidently out of the room. Calum along with the rest of the room followed curiously. The king did not bother sending for a carriage instead he walked out into the streets. Several guards flanked them as they made their way to the south gate. Calum watched as the people on either side fell to their knees at the sight of their king and as they passed many of those people stood to follow. As Calum walked the wind swept through the city. The smell of earth and summer met his nose along with that mysterious scent. The scent that was stronger now. As the scent touched his nose one more time he recognized it as lavender.
The large party of people made it to the south gate and the king marched up to the captain of the guards. The captain turned and saw him instantly the captain and all of his men went down on a knee. Bowing their heads and placing a fist over their hearts they waited. King Titus came to a stop in front of the captain, Calum moved to stand to his right.
“What has happened!” Titus’ voice was sharp and demanding.
The captain lifted his head and looked up at his king. “Out there,” He replied vaguely.
The King turned and marched outside of the gate. The Calum and the rest followed him and what met his eyes surprised him. A lone figure stood a ways down the road. A cloak covered their head despite the sunny weather. A staff in their hand. Mummers from the crowd echoed through the air. Several guards stood in front of the king, weapons drawn and Calum noticed that several men stood on the wall bows at the ready. The king came to a stop and stared before in an authoritative voice he demanded, “Who are you and what brings you here.”
Calum himself was confused, if someone came to visit they would have just walked right into the city not stand outside the walls. The wind raced past the figure and into the crowd. The figure said nothing and instead reached up they removed the hood of their cloak. Raven black hair tumbled into the wind and green eyes pierced his blue ones. The woman turned and looked King Titus in the eyes. She did not bow when she saw him instead she stood straighter. More murmurs erupted from the crowd, “I am here to take back what is mine.” Her voice was like silk smooth and regal.
The king stiffened beside Calum and the guards shifted slightly, “And what might that be.”
A small smile graced the women's lips and her piercing gaze settled back on Calum’s blue eyes. She turned slightly as she took in the city and the palace before turning to look the king in the eye again, “The Kingdom that was taken from my ancestor Fuchsia.”
Gasps of surprise and horror filled the air around Calum and the guards stiffened as they leveled their weapons at the enemy that stood before them. Calum felt his mind race. Were they going to be thrown in war after eight years of peace? After all they had done to end the war. That is until her words caught up with him. The kingdom taken from Fuchsia. Fuchsia had tried to take the kingdom from King Calum the First. He turned to his father, questions burning on his tongue, but froze when he saw his father's face. King Titus’ face had hardened with anger, “It is not your Kingdom!”
Laughter fell from the lips of the ancestor of Fuchsia and her green eyes hardened, but not with anger, “It is not YOUR kingdom. It never has been and now I, daughter of Aithne and Markus Vaughn descendant of Queen Fuchsia Alexander and the rightful heir to the throne demand that you hand over the throne to me Princess Fuchsia Vaughn.”
Calum could feel the tension that filled the air. A buzz of uncertainty seemed to rise from the town folks. Calum himself felt it. That title sounded so real. King Titus turned and glared at the town people. Blue eyes burning with rage he spun and faced Fuchsia, “Why should I give the kingdom to a fraud. Especially one of your descent. Your mother started a war. I should put you to death for your treason”
Calum turned to watch as more guards poured from the city with weapons drawn. Several of the guards closest to Fuchsia started to move forward to arrest her. Calum’s mind was abuzz with activity and confusion. Everything he thought he had known was being questioned. Fuchsia only laughed at his father’s words.
“My mother did not start the war. She came to you, unarmed. She came to you to ask for her kingdom back. She asked you to fix the wrong that your ancestor Calum Hutchinson created. She and my father made one mistake though. They went to your court. Your court where there are no witnesses’,” Fuchsia’s gaze flickered towards Calum, “You killed my father. He was unarmed and had done nothing, but you killed him in cold blood. My mother was lucky to escape. Although you put a price on her head and she had no choice, but to fight because you killed everyone she came in contact with. I did not care about the throne, but once I saw how you abused your power. How you taxed the people to give yourself wealth. I became invested in the welfare of the people and I claimed them as mine. So go ahead kill me. Kill the unarmed woman. All you will do is make me a martyr and prove my story.”
Calum felt himself freeze at the story. He glanced at his father to see pure anger in his face. Several soldiers seemed to falter. The crowd murmured and the court shifted with unease. Calum felt denial and anger rise up in him. How dare she. How dare she claim his father started the war. He gripped the sword at his side and drew it. Stepping forward he snapped, “How dare you make such claims! If that’s what happened and your mother was unarmed then how did she escape. You are denying our very history!” His father stiffened even further and the cloud of doubt seemed to lessen slightly.
Fuchsia turned her green eyes to him and a touch of pity entered her eyes. She turned to face his father, “What did you not tell him? Ahh! That’s right you told him his mother died in childbirth.”
Calum felt confusion course through him again as his father’s face tightened with anger, “What is she talking about father?”
His father turned to glare at Fuchsia, “Shut up!”
Fuchsia just laughed as she turned to look back at Calum, “History is written by the winners. Go ahead ask him. Ask him what happened to your mother.”
Calum felt himself stiften as his father shouted, “She died in Childbirth. You are a liar”
“Sure,” Fuchsia drawled, “She died in childbirth, not by your own hand. Not because she freed my mother and helped the rebellion. The only liar is you. You have lied to my country. You have lied to my people and you have lied to you son.”
Calum watched his father’s face morph into one of pure rage. He heard him shout for the guards to kill her. To kill an unarmed woman. He did not know who to believe and neither did the people. The guards seemed hesitant so Calum turned to his father, voice hard he demanded the truth, “Is it true.”
His father froze at the sound of his son’s voice. A voice that demanded an answer. As the king stood there trying to come up with an answer. Calum felt anger rise in him. Calum rose his sword and pointed it at his father’s neck, “I want the truth. Did you kill my mother?”
Nobody moved. Not one guard came to the king’s rescue as he stared at the point of the sword then at his son. They all wanted answers and nobody wanted to get between the father and son. Fuchsia watched her sharp green eyes calm and confident. They held a deep understanding and sympathy shone from their depths.
“Don’t you trust me son?” The father asked his son. Calum tensed and his mind raced. Who should he stand for? Who was right? Should he trust his father? As the confusion began to race through him the wind blew past him and the touch of lavender reached his nose. A feeling of calm overtook his mind and why should it not. Lavender stood for calmness and serenity. Lavender was a symbol of devotion and purity. Lavender held a sense of grace. Grace that a monarch would hold. Lavender stood for silence. Silence that had been held until the injustice had made one speak up. Purple was the symbol of royalty and lavender was purple. Lavender was on their kingdom's flag. Inhaling the smell of lavender again he was suddenly back on the battlefield. He saw Aithne standing bravely beside the lone tree. He saw her raise her head in a regal manner and the devotion of her people. He saw how she cared for those around her and how she had been broken by a war she did not want. A war she would end. He saw her surrender to his father to try and save her people. He saw her die and her people mourn the loss of their queen. He smelt the touch of lavender fade as a queen died. Turning his head he saw a young girl cry as her mother fell to the floor. As the girl was dragged off the battlefield by those loyal to the crown. The crown of Fuchsia. Calum was a name that meant dove. Calum the First had ruined the peace of the world. He was a Calum. A symbol of peace and he would bring peace. The people would follow him. They were waiting to see who’s side he would choose and they would follow him. Lowering his sword, he turned to Fuchsia. Moving forward he drove his sword in the ground and bowed the knee, “I Calum Hutchinson pledge myself to you Queen Fuchsia Vaughn.”
The wind raced into a clearing with a lone tree in the middle. It brushed it’s arms against the monument that stood there surrounded by lavender. Its feet bent the grass in the direction of the mountain. Trees rustled as the wind rushed toward the mountain and turned at the base to rush through the city. People turned as lavender touched their noses. The wind raced past them and up to the balcony of the castle. A young woman stood there. Her raven black hair rustling in the wind. Green eyes stared out over the city at her people. Footsteps echoed across the stone ground and a young man with blonde hair and blue eyes approached. The woman turned to look at the man smiling and nodding before heading toward the throne room. The man watched her for a moment before following. Happiness flooded his heart. Happiness because the kingdom had been touched by lavender.