It was a partly cloudy night in the Northern Italian province of Biella. Loreena once again found herself wondering the streets in search for food. She dug through trash cans in hope of finding something tangible to eat. She searched many hours through the cold cloudy night. Finally she reached the end of the street and saw a brown cloth bag sitting on the cobble stone street. She walked quickly to it and looked through it. She was astonished to find a half baguette and a half slice of cheese left and with a knife! Looking to her left and right to see if anyone was near by she snatched the bag and ran off.
Loreena was an average framed girl but with having little to eat she was malnourished. She wore a brown scratchy blanket over her dirty torn white flowered dress. Her leather boots are worn and had holes above the toes. Her long wavy copper hair was matted and clung to her face. Her hazel eyes were bright and wide with a hint of fear. She sprinted down the street she came and found a hiding spot for the night. Taking the baguette and cheese out she cut her self slices and savored the moment. Fresh bread and cheese was almost impossible to find, especially in that condition, Loreena thought to herself. I wonder if someone left this for me?
After a full stomach for the first time since her family got separated Loreena fell asleep.
“Hey you!” said a voice, startling Loreena.
“Who me?” Loreena said groggily.
“Yes you, you stole my bag last night I saw you.”
Loreena jolted up right and looked up at where the voice came from. She was astonished to find a boy about her age standing in front of her. His clothes were no better than hers except he was wearing a beret.
“Monsieur, I.. I’m so very sorry. You see-“
“Unbelievable! A street rat was brave enough to steal my food!”
“Don’t turn me in please!” Squealed Loreena. “I’ll do anything you wish! Just don’t throw me in Jail!”
“Anything?” the boy taunted.
The boy stood there staring at her thinking.
“What’s your story?” the boy asked.
“My story?” Loreena asked stupidly.
“Your story! Why are you on the street? It might help me decide whether or not to make you my servant.”
“Oh! My family got separated after the Thirty Year’s War and when the French took the Italian throne. I’m desperate to find them because its the only way my family can reclaim its rightful place.”
“Ahh I see…” the boy said. “A difficult decision: a pure blood italian desperate to overthrow the French-Italian Monarchy.. what should I do?”
“You got lucky, you can have the bread,” scoffed the boy.
“QUINTUS!! Where have you gone, you taunting to street rats again?” screamed a woman that appeared to be the boy’s mother.
“Yes, ma, as always. This, ‘ere, girl is quite fascinating though, ma.”
“Oh?” perked up his mother.
“Ya, she tryin’ to over throw the French-Italian Monarchy, she thinks she’s royalty or something.”
The boy’s mother burst out laughing and the boy joined in. As they walked away their laughter stabbed Loreena’s heart. I will find my family! and I WILL be back in that palace! Loreena promised herself. Loreena got to her feet and picked up the cloth bag. She suddenly noticed a piece of paper inside. She opened it and the scratchy handwriting read:
Meet me at the Magnano Clock Tower at 8 pm tonight. If I’m not there stay there.
Loreena quickly put the note back in the bag and wondered who her mysterious messenger is. She walked down the street and eagerly awaited 8 pm.
She spent her day lounging around the streets of Magnano and when 8 pm came, she found herself by the Magnano Clock Tower. She seated herself by a tree and waited, curious to see what will come her way. Suddenly she heard voices and horses hooves on the cobble stones. She braced herself as she saw two town sherifs on horses that pulled a carriage, the carriage was barricaded with iron bars. Inside she could barely see someone sitting. As the carriage pulled up the street she saw that it stopped by the clock tower. The two sherifs dismounted from the horses and took the body out of the carriage. Loreena sees now that the body is a young male and she instantly notices that his hair is copper like hers! A bit of hope pinged her heart.
She slowly began to crawl closer to the scene to get a better view. The sherifs force the copper haired male onto his feet and forced him to walk up the steep slope to the tower. After what seemed like hours of anxiously waiting, the sound of a musket stabbed the quiet, still atmosphere of Magnano. Loreena glanced quickly up at the top of the tower and sees a body falling. Loreena ran to the tower and positioned herself to catch the body. The body fell into her arms and she staggered and fell. She noticed that the copper haired male was shot in the chest, however he was barely alive.
“Loreena” he spoke softly.
“How do you know my name?” she said, tears streaming down her face.
“You’ve forgotten, haven’t you?” the male said.
“it’s okay, I almost did until I saw you last night. You remember me don’t you?” the male whispered as he saw the realization struck across Loreena’s face.
“Guido! Oh Guido!” Loreena screamed and buried her head.
“Sshh, they’ll hear you. I got in trouble for stealing my work from the Royal Library.”
“Loreena, listen here! That knowledge is important, my work that I had done. It can help fix everything.”
“How? You’re the last heir!” hollered Loreena.
“Yes. Listen and promise to me Loreena. They’ve got my knowledge again, you MUST steal it and find an Apothecarist. He should be able to build…”
“Build what?” Loreena asked.
Guido’s eyes began to close.
“Guido! build what?”
“It.” was all Guido could muster. Loreena felt him become limp. She fell to her knees and mourned for him. Wailing and crying in hysterics. It wasn’t long before Loreena could hear the sherifs coming.
She didn’t care. She wanted jail now, there’s no hope left for her and her family. They killed the last heir, and it doesn’t matter if she’s a female. By law the heir must be male to return the power to the throne.
The sherifs were suddenly surrounding Loreena. The stout italian man forced Loreena to her feet and the tall french man handcuffed her and threw her into the iron bar carriage and blacked out.