Over the Rainbow

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'Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly. Birds fly over the rainbow. Why then, oh why can't I?'

Over the Rainbow - Judy Garland

-day one-

I have an Aunt named Pearl. She was my mother's sister, who was supposed to be next in line for the throne, but she ran away, as I did. And when my grandfather passed away, since my Aunt Pearl was nowhere to be found, my mother became the Queen of Talia. After they set her up with my father, of course.

That's what gave me the idea in the first place. I knew if I could just find her, she'd take me in, because she's the only one who understands what I'm going through. She's the only one who understands what it's like to be forced to marry somebody you don't want to, and I know that she'll help me out. The only problem is locating her.

The only information I have on my Aunt Pearl is that she owns a small cottage in the mountains. I did a bit of research in the files in my father's office, and found a folder dedicated to Pearl Beauchamp. None of the information in the file was of aid to me, apart from the address that I have engrained into my memory. 174 Summit Drive. Looking at a map, I found the drive and memorized the directions on how to get there. I had to pass through both the village of Talia and the village of Sharmaine before even reaching the mountains, not to mention having to climb a ways up them. But it would be worth it in the end, because I would be with my aunt and far, far away from Jerome and the castle.

I was off to a good start. Leaving in the middle of the night, I had a fair advantage because the entire village was asleep, and nobody had a clue that I was missing yet. I was able to gain a lot of distance from myself and the castle, each and every step taking me closer and closer to full freedom. I wanted to get as far away from my prison before the sun comes up, before somebody inevitably realizes that the future Queen of Talia is missing. I knew once everybody finds out, this trek won't be as peaceful.

I looked up at the sky, the stars slightly diminishing. I knew that the sun will be up soon, and so with it, my time of tranquility will be over. The streets will be hectic, however I hoped to be out of my home village before then.

Although quite wealthy, Talia was a small village, especially compared to Sharmaine. Talia was roughly 25 miles, while Sharmaine was at least 40 times that. I knew that as soon as I step out of Talia's grounds, I'll be safer, because people are more likely to recognize me here. However, that still doesn't guarantee that people in Sharmaine won't know who I am, but I have a better chance of getting by unknown there than I do here.

I wasn't entirely positive how long I've been walking, but I'm assuming it's been a few hours, since the sun was getting ready to come up. I could hear birds chirping, and I knew that I needed to speed up if I wanted to be out of the village before anybody wakes up. I knew that as soon as my room was found empty, everybody would be searching for me. I knew that my father would spread the news like wildfire, making sure everybody would be on the lookout.

I willed my feet to go faster, despite how tired they were. This was going to be a lot harder than I had anticipated, but I was ready to face the challenge. This was what was right for me, and I've been training for this days for years. Hours were spent in the castle's gym, making sure I would be strong enough to handle this. I had everything planned out to a T and I would be damned if I messed it up just because my feet were a little sore.

"Good morning, Princess Esmeralda," I heard behind me and my heart skipped a beat, turning to face a middle aged man who was bowing while carrying a bucket of water.

"Good morning, Sir," I curtsied, "What are you up to at this hour?" I remained polite, acting as though nothing were out of the ordinary, although he probably thought it strange for me to be wandering around in a t shirt and jeans this early in the day. All I could do was hope that I remained unsuspicious, and that nobody had discovered I went missing yet.

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