The Lost Prince (part 2)

TWO

He is so full of shit! I bet he’s not even who he claims to be. And the more I try to warn them, the more they act like I’m the crazy one. I mean, okay, that may not be completely without cause. Sure, when I was younger I had a taste for melodrama. That’s why they sent me off for a religious retreat in the first place. They thought the serenity of the sacred mountain would do me good. And, to be fair, it did. I came back a changed woman, with a better understanding of what’s important and what isn’t. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the only one to come back from Mt. Ida.

He tells these outrageous stories. There’s no way people could actually believe they’re true. But they humour him anyway. The more blatant his fabrications, the more people seem entertained. They must see that he’s a compulsive liar. Why don’t they connect that with his claims about his identity? And even if he is the real thing – and that’s a big if – that’s not exactly comforting. It’s like they’ve forgotten why they got rid of him in the first place. Because he was trouble, with a capital T.

Maybe they think I don’t know about that part of the story. I mean, I’m too young to remember when it happened, but a secret that juicy can’t be contained. No matter how dire the consequences if they were caught, palace servants will gossip when they think nobody’s around to overhear. And when a girl is quiet by nature and small enough to be overlooked, she can learn a lot that way. Even if she’s not snooping, her ears are bound to prick up when she thinks she hears her own name.

Of course, it wasn’t my name at all. But it caught my attention, every time I heard them mention Alexander, the Lost Prince. It sounds like such a romantic notion. It took me years to put together enough overheard snippets to understand how much more sinister the truth was.


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