Alexis walked through the town, with her guards trailing her. Though they were far away enough to give her some privacy, it would be hard not to notice her. Not many people had guards. Actually, no one but royalty. But the guards were not the only factor that drew attention to her. No, the guards were the last reason for people to stop and stare as she passed.
Alexis had a very uncommon beauty for the area. Her deep red hair sparkled like garnets and her blue eyes gleamed like the ocean. The town peasants could not help but noticed that she walked with such elegance. It was as if she were an angel floating through town, gliding and fluttering among them. The most endearing quality though was her kindness. Every move she made reflected her kind, loving heart. Her smile could warm an old man’s soul. Her gentle touch would make a child fill with glee. Her voice lifted the spirits of all within reach. She was their hope, their future. One day Alexis would be queen, or at least they hoped.
It was rumored that the princess had a gift. Though no one really spoke of it, for those with powers, witches, had been hunted and killed. Alexis could not be a witch though. No, she was an angel. So her gift of healing could not be the same. It was not the same. She was just talented at healing. Smart with herbs. A talented young princess who would one day save this dying country. She was something to be treasured, not hunted.
She moved through the market with ease, people watching her every move. She came often to buy herbs and trinkets. Surely the palace had its own gardens and craftsmen, but this let Alexis meet the people outside the castle, build connections with her supporters, and, give her a chance to practice her powers of healing. With the slightest of touch, she could see a person’s ailments and cure them, or at least make them have more comfort. However, she had to practice in the most subtle ways. A brush of her hand on their forehead. A hug. A tender grasp of the hands. It gave her such joy to hone her gift while making her people a little healthier and filling them with hope. But, her gift was still raw and needed more time, more practice, and if known, could get her killed.
Surely, healing people could not be considered witchcraft. She hoped not, but still had to be careful. She didn’t think she was a witch, but what did they call good people with powers? She wasn’t sure and was afraid some would say there was no difference. She believed there was though. There was a clear difference between good and evil, help and hurt. And she was only here to offer the good, help the ill.
Looking around the market, she tried to see who might need her the most. It took a lot of energy from her to heal. There was an elderly lady sitting behind a table of vegetables. She ached from years of work. Alexis knew she could offer her some comfort, but she could not reverse time. But she headed that way nonetheless, until she saw the boy. She had to go to him, to see closer.
“I wonder if he is ill, for there is something about the transparency of his skin and the slow pace of his walk towards us that gives me a feeling of his weariness, and suddenly, I see to my horror that in this light, for a moment, he looks to me like a being made of glass, so thin and translucent that he looks as if he might break if he were to topple on the stone floor,” thought Alexis. [Sentence from The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory]
As she approached the boy, he bowed, but ever so slowly she feared he may crumple to the ground.
“Greetings princess. It is my pleasure to make your acquaintance,” said the boy in a frail whisper. As he raised his head and caught her eyes, Alexis stopped quick. She was about to embrace the poor boy, but something told her no. There was danger in his weariness. Something not right with his frailty and translucency. She did not know what it was, but knew enough to trust her gut so she merely nodded back and blessed him with words as her guard picked up her cue and handed the boy a coin.
“With all the goodness in your soul, may you be blessed with health and happiness my child,” she stated with sweetness and moved along quickly.
The boy grimaced. She must have sensed him. Her powers must be growing. Now, he would have to come up with a new disguise and plan. For if he was to steal her gift, she must be the one to offer her touch. She had to touch him freely with a pure heart and intention of giving to drain her of power. It was the only way for it to be taken. He would come back again, and this time he would succeed…