Arthur has just left the Apple Tree Inn after a pleasant breakfast of warm French toast topped with powdered sugar and maple syrup, scrambled eggs, bacon, and a cool glass of milk. Amidst his many feelings after such a captivating experience, he found himself beginning to wonder as he resumed his journey to RonDanne. “What type of place could RonDanne be?” He thought. He imagined that perhaps it was a kingdom ruled by a kind and generous king who freely gave wealth and fortune to anyone who journeyed there. “That would be nice but unrealistic,” he reasoned. Then, he imagined that perhaps it was a school that allowed anyone to gain valuable skills that they could use to earn vast wealth later on. Although that thought made the most sense to him, it quickly caused him to lament as such lessons would surely cost a lot of money, and he had barely enough to cover his travel expenses as is. “No,” he thought, “that can’t be right, the Innkeeper called me a prospect; that has to mean something, right?” He continued along, anxious at his lack of knowledge toward RonDanne or how those who go there have reportedly found tremendous wealth and success.
Soon, he arrived at a signpost on the left-hand side of the road. “RonDanne 5 miles ahead, Prospect registration at the gate,” it read. Arthur swallowed and reckoned that whatever the story was with RonDanne, it would become clear to him soon. “Besides,” he thought to himself, if things don’t work out, I can always go home.” He persisted onward, wondering what registration would entail and again puzzled at what a ‘prospect’ was, a term he had heard the Innkeeper use before.
Suddenly, he heard the sound of footsteps far behind him and turned to see what it was. To his surprise, he saw a girl running in his direction in the distance. From what he could make out, she was about his age and was wearing what seemed to be a tattered white wedding gown with its skirt ripped towards the bottom and its hem covered in mud. Her curly red hair appeared tussled and wild. Yet what Arthur noticed most prominently was the startled expression she had on her face, which he could barely take a glimpse of before she turned to look behind her. Seeing such a surprising sight after such a long and uneventful walk thus far, Arthur was completely stunned and could only stare in amazement and bewilderment as the girl continued to run towards him. She turned her head forward and saw him standing ahead of her, now just beyond arm’s reach. In an instant, Everything in Arthur’s mind came into focus when, just as she passed by him, he heard her almost whisper two words in his ear “Help me.”
His eyes widened as he turned to look at her running ahead of him and take a sharp right, heading into a thicket of trees and shrubs. Many things raced through Arthur’s head at that moment. Yet, the only question he found himself asking in that instant was simple, “what was she running from?”. Just then, he saw two men come into view just where he had seen the girl a few moments ago. In similar fashion to the girl he just saw, they were both wearing expensive-looking suits whose jackets were and pant legs were filthy and splattered with mud. With their white undershirts soaked in sweat and the fine leather of their shoes was barely visible beneath the clay-like soil they were covered with, they reached Arthur and came to a stop.
They were both panting heavily, no doubt from running in such dense clothing on hot day Arthur imagined. “Hey,” one of the men said to Arthur while gasping for breath, “did you see a girl run by here?” “I know how this must look,” the other man said after a pause. “We don’t want to hurt her. We need her to attend an important ceremony.” “A wedding?” Arthur asked, thinking out loud by accident. “So you’ve seen her!” the first man said. “Could you tell us which way she went?”. “Sure, she ran just ahead of me and took a left,” Arthur said while pointing to the thicket left of the road. Arthur appearing to be so honest and innocent gave the two men little reason to believe that he had just lied to them.
“Thank you!” the first man exclaimed. He turned to the man with him and said, “come on, Phil, she couldn’t have gotten far!” “We’ve got to get her soon, or Issac’s gonna kill us,” the other man responded. The two ran ahead, took a left turn, and quickly disappeared. Now alone once more and attempting to make sense of everything that just took place, Arthur started to stumble forward. Arthur, who believes honesty to be one of the more essential facets of good character, was somewhat amazed how easily he could deceive the two men. “What just happened?” he wondered. “Should have lied? Did I do the right thing?” It all happened so fast, and from what he could tell, the girl looked as though she was in genuine need of help. “Was it alright to lie if it meant helping someone” he wondered? Yet, Arthur’s reflection on this was cut short when soon, he saw the very same girl he just helped emerge from behind a tree on his right. “Thanks,” she said.
Thanks for Reading!
Be sure to comeback next Sunday for chapter 3!