Destiny was going to beautiful when she was older, thought Maeve about her newborn daughter. Her husband, Arthur stood behind her, rubbing her shoulder. Maeve stared into baby Destiny’s bright blue eyes with her warm brown ones, feeling almost as if she could predict a bright and noble future for the girl. She was to be Lady Destiny of the High Court, and proud to be so, as it would be her rightfully inherited position.
A few years later, after the unfortunate accident that happened during Maeve’s second child birth, Destiny was two and beautiful as ever. Destiny’s hair was jet-black, like her father’s and her skin was an exotic bronze, not unlike her mother’s. There was always a light in her eyes, she was a happy, healthy child. She was chubby as well as spoiled, and was the sweetest two-year old you’d ever meet.
A year later, a little boy named Hunter was born. At three, Destiny adored her little brother almost as much as she adored her parents. He was a black haired boy, with eyes a deep chocolate, resembling his mother’s. Hunter had the most contagious giggle, and the happiest smile.
As Destiny’s eighth birthday approached years later, Maeve and Arthur became paranoid. There had been several kidnappings of young noble girls, and they feared that Destiny would be next. They did their all to keep Destiny safe. They loved her with all their hearts and could not imagine losing her.
* * *
It happened quickly. She was asleep—the whole family was asleep—soundly. Royal, Destiny’s lion cub snored on the floor of her room. The house guards happened to be more tired than usual that night, so it was easier to break in. But Destiny awoke to the slight sound of movement. She opened her eyes and glanced at her door, but nothing was there. She brushed it aside as merely her imagination.
A second later, after she’d closed her eyes, she heard more shuffling. She opened her eyes. Above her stood an unfamiliar man with a large, empty sack and a cloth. Before she could scream, the cloth was shoved over her mouth and nose, forcing her into sleep.
* * *
“Aye.” Destiny obeyed her master, picking up a log and moving it to fulfill her master’s wish. She had small but strong arms, and small as she was, she could run faster than a rabbit from a wolf.
“Addagirl. Now, go fetch me some fresh water,” Her master, the bear, demanded. Destiny knew the only well in close range was in Northguard. Northguard was a place she wasn’t allowed to go normally—her master must have had too much to drink and forgotten—because the Spiral Door was there, and it was an easy escape route for slaves.
“Yes, master.” She said, her head hung low. Secretly, she was planning to get the heck out of there.
Her master handed her a wooden bucket. She walked off, but stealthily made a grab for her belongings. Once out of her master’s sight, she made a run for it, dropping the bucket. Her ebony hair flew in the wind behind her, and her bare feet pounded against the dirt. As she made her way through the town she was now entering, she received stares of shock and confusion.
The door. It was now in her sight, beckoning for her. She ran, faster than ever before, her nine-year-old body screaming for oxygen. She ran up the ramp and reached for the knob. Freedom was almost hers. It was calling for her. She tugged at the knob, but it wouldn’t turn. “What!” She screamed in rage. All this running, all this excitement—for nothing. She was going to be beaten when she was returned.
Suddenly, the door opened itself, and out of it emerged a girl Destiny’s age. “Woah there,” said the girl. “Trying to go through?” The girl was average height and red-haired, with brown eyes.
“Y-yes.” Destiny stuttered. She hadn’t seen a human in more than a year. All she’d seen were bears, wolves, and ravens.
“You need a key. What’s your name?” asked the girl.
“Esmee. What are you freaking out about?”
“Well, I haven’t s-seen a human in a long time,” Destiny said sheepishly.
“Why are you here, Destiny?”
“I’m enslaved. I-I need to get out of here, and f-fast.” She explained.
“Oh, wow. I need to get you out of here. I’ll take you to Ravenwood. It’s a good school. You’ll be happy there and Ambrose will take you in.”
“A-alright, but hurry. We could get caught.”
They stepped through the door into the interior of a tree, decorated with symbols.
* * *
Years passed where Destiny had attended Ravenwood. She had completed training as a Conjurer, and was now ready to reunite with her parents and brother. She was sixteen now, and had Ambrose’s consent.
Now was her time. She walked through the Spiral as she had seven years back. She found herself in Caliburn, and surprisingly, she remembered a way to sneak into the castle walls.
Once in, she ran up to her old house, where she knocked on the large wooden doors.
“Yes?” came her mother’s voice when she opened the door. “And who are you?”
“It’s Destiny, your daughter!” She called, confused that her own mother didn’t recognize her.
“Destiny is long dead, and I am tired of dealing with impostors. Get lost, you sick and wretched child!”
Destiny tried to convince her mother. She did everything before the door was finally slammed in her face. All she could do was find an alley to sit and bury her face into her knees, crying. Destiny needed to be strong.
Out of the dark of the alley came a large and fur-covered animal. It nuzzled the crying girl with a deep, loud purr. “Royal!” Destiny exclaimed at the sight of her childhood pet. Royal was only a lion cub when Destiny was kidnapped, but staring her in the face was a full-grown, beautiful lioness.
“I missed you,” Destiny whispered, embracing the lioness’s neck.