It was an early morning in the Windsor Palace, and Princess Annabelle was sleeping peacefully behind her canopy curtains.
Servant Molly reached out to the blue curtains. She carefully pulled them back.
Annabelle was sleeping - with her bow still in her hair! Servant Molly looked at Annabelle and wasted no time in getting her up. Molly had been a bit slow lately, and she didn't want to waste anytime that day. She'd heard terrible stories about servants who went to the dungeon and never came back.
"Good morning Nurse Mary!" Annabelle sighed as she sat up and looked towards Servant Molly.
"Why, you aren't Nurse Mary! You are the servant that works for my parents guests? What are you doing here?" Annabelle looked surprised to see Servant Molly there - usually, her nurse came and got her up.
"Oh, Nurse Mary was sick, I came instead of her," Servant Molly choked out, she was a bit intimidated by the Princess herself!
"Oh, okay," Annabelle got up and went to walk around the room to stretch her legs.
Servant Molly began to make the bed. She tried to do it nicely, but she was so worried about how she had been falling behind lately, that she could hardly think straight.
Aftering making the bed, Servant Molly closed the curtains to it, and went to help Princess Annabelle get dressed for the day.
"Here are your clothes for the day!" Servant Molly told the Princess cheerfully.
"Thank You very much, Miss Molly," Annabelle replied, starting to get dressed. Meanwhile, Molly beamed. No one ever called her "Miss", she was always called Servant, Servant Molly, or girl.
As Annabelle got dressed, she thought of what she would do that day. She decided that she should probably pay a visit to the new servant house that had recently been built, she happened to know that dear old Ms. Buckle was living there with some of the orphaned servants.
Next, she put on her beautiful golden shoes. They were spun out of real golden silk, and they were brand new for the Christmas Party that was coming up. That was Annabelle's favorite time in the palace.
Servant Molly hurriedly adjusted Princess Annabelle's bows on the front of her dress. Servant Molly almost fainted touching them - they were real gold and the gems on the bows were real. Servant Molly had never owned or touched something so elegant.
Afterwards, Annabelle went to her etiquette classes with Ms. Masters.
Ms. Masters was teaching Annabelle important things for the Christmas Party. She was learning how to eat the snacks from the snacks tables properly, she was learning to address the other royalty that was going to attend, and she was learning much more.
Annabelle watched as Ms. Masters demonstrated things and carried on, and Annabelle tried to act interested, but she wasn't. Instead, she was thinking of what she would do with the servant children this afternoon!
After lessons, Annabelle went back to her room, to find Servant Molly tidying it up a bit.
"Oh, Molly, you're freezing!" Annabelle exclaimed worriedly looking at Molly.
"I-i-i-I'm fine," Molly shivered.
"Go back to the servant cabins, NOW! Please!" Annabelle cried, pushing Servant Molly out of the room so that she had no choice but to go back to the cabins.
Then, Annabelle made sure that no servants were watching, and that no important people were passing down the hall, and Annabelle went to get dressed into her servant outfit. She didn't want anybody to see her preparing to sneak out and be with the servants!
Annabelle got dressed and pushed her clothes underneath her bed. No servants ever went underneath her bed - that way, no one would know she wasn't wearing her proper clothing.
Annabelle got dressed in her servant clothes, and pulled her mob cap down over her eyes. But then, she decided that she liked her pink one better - her purple one might give her away.
Annabelle finally reached the new servants cabin. It was dark, gloomy, and small. All it could fit was a few corn husk mattresses, and one small chair. They didn't have any windows, so they had to keep the door open, which was bringing in tons of bugs.
Ms. Buckle sat on the small wooden chair in the little corner of the one room cabin. She was just sitting there.
"Yes dear Annabelle," Ms. Buckle answered calmly. Ms. Buckle was a very well respected servant, and she had been Annabelle's nurse for her earlier years. But then, she was moved to seamstress. She also happened to care for the orphaned children who's parents had either died, been sold away, or were serving time in the dungeons.
"I, um, thought I'd stop by to see the new cabin," Annabelle whispered. She knew it wasn't much of a cabin.
"Haha, well, I guess you could call it that!" Ms. Buckle laughed a bit.
"But, what's wrong with Servant Molly?" Annabelle questioned, looking worriedly at Ms. Buckle.
"She just has the chills, I told her to lie down. Servant Martha is doing her extra work. I fear that Molly may have a long road ahead of her if she can't complete all her work," Ms. Buckle's eyebrows showed a worried frown.
"I have just the thing to make her better faster - I'll be right back!" Annabelle shouted, running off before anyone could say another word.
Meanwhile, Molly lay down on the corn husk bed with the chills. The servants weren't allowed to have daytime fires - so there was no way to get warm.
A little bit later, Annabelle rushed back with a quilt in her hand. She had duplicates of one, and she figured that the servants could use her extra one.
"Here, it's a quilt, it should keep her warm," Annabelle whispered breathlessly.
"How very kind of you dear Annabelle," Ms. Buckle offered a weak smile. Ms. Buckle had been giving her food to the children servants, and hadn't had much to eat in a while.
Soon, Molly was underneath the warm quilt, and was much warmer - though she still had the chills.
"Is that the King I see exiting the palace?" Ms. Buckle asked, motioning for Annabelle to check to see if it really was.
"It is! It looks like he is headed straight for this cabin! I'm going to go hide behind it!" Annabelle cried, running towards the back of the cabin.
The King was soon there, and ready to do something.
"Servant Girl sleeping, huh? I'll teach you a lesson for that!" The King shouted running towards the peacefully sleeping Molly. Ms. Buckle watched in horror, unable to speak.
He yanked the blanket it off her and threw it behind him, it happened to land on Ms. Buckle's head.
Ms. Buckle tossed it off her onto the floor, and stood up, holding onto the chair the whole time, she didn't want to fall, she was getting weaker every day.
The King yanked Molly up by the shoulder of her dress, causing her eyes to flutter open, and in horror she realized she was truly in the King's hands.
"You decided to come sleep when you had a job to do, huh girl? Well, as long as I'm your master, you follow my rules, and I've told you many times not to sleep when there was work to be done!" The King roared. "For that, you will have to go in the dungeon. I can tell you one thing Girl, you're not going to come back to this little cabin the same - in fact, you may not come back to this little cabin again! Maybe I'll trade you off - let someone else deal with your slacking ways!" The King roared some more, before dragging Molly by the shoulder with him, back into the palace.
Ms. Buckle watched, a tear slid down her cheek and then she sank down onto Molly's corn husk bed and took a nap.
Annabelle didn't even bother saying good bye to the now sleeping Ms. Buckle, instead, she ran up to her room, she had a plan.
Annabelle packed a small bucket of things for Molly to do while in the dungeon. Annabelle also decided to give her a warm shawl.
Annabelle grabbed the basket and went off to the dungeon. She knew she could sneak in, the dungeon keeper Abigal would let her just take a walk through the dungeon.
It turned out, Annabelle was right, and soon, she was at Molly's dungeon cell.
She looked at Molly through the bars. "Molly, it's me, Annabelle!"
Molly was sitting alone in a corner. "Come in, Miss Princess Annabelle, the key is hanging right there" Molly stared down at the ground, which was made out of metal bars.
Annabelle let herself in and sat down on the cold ground, next to Molly. "I brought you some of these Molly," Annabelle smiled, handing her the blue bucket.
"Thank You," Molly whispered, taking the bucket carefully, and taking out the contents.
"You brought me my Journal, a pencil, my glasses, and some food! Thank You Miss Princess Annabelle."
"Of course, now I am going to go back and think of a way to get you out of here! I promise I'll have you out of here by the end of tonight!" Annabelle suddenly jumped up and got excited.
"But first, take this shawl!" Annabelle handed it over to Molly.
"Annabelle, don't get yourself in trouble over me. Honestly, this isn't much worse than the servants cabins, the only difference is that there isn't anyone to talk to - otherwise, I may as well be here, besides, it will get me out of work, and well, well, I guess, I do......wish I was out of here," Molly whispered, as a tear began to roll down her cheek.
"Well then, we'll get you out of here!" Annabelle exclaimed. "It won't take much - believe me, I plan a lot of things out - and most of it works," Annabelle said, and it was kind of true, but really, Annabelle just wanted to reassure Molly.
Annabelle got back to her room and changed into her proper clothes. She had a plan, and it included talking to Ms. Masters the etiquette teacher, so she had better be proper! Besides, it wasn't safe to be sneaking around the palace in servants' clothes, when really you are the Princess!
Ms. Masters was arranging the desk to be just perfect, and she was also moving it, because the next lesson would include ten of Annabelle's cousins, and herself, besides, it would be about dancing, and desks couldn't be in the way!
Ms. Masters heard someone in the doorway and she quickly looked up from what she was doing.
"Ms. Masters! Ms. Masters! The dungeon guard Abigail wants to see you!" Annabelle cried breathlessly, she hated to lie, but she had to - for Molly's sake. It's not lying, - it's just pretending, and besides, it's for a good cause anyway, Annabelle thought to herself. Even though it still felt like lying, no matter how much she convinced herself it was "pretending."
"He wants to see me? Oh, well, thank you for telling me Annabelle, and remember, you mustn't run - especially not in this fine palace! But come along, how would you like to walk along with me?" Ms. Masters said, putting her things down and starting to walk.
Ms. Masters and the dungeon guard Abigail began to talk. It turned out that Abigail really did have something to tell Ms. Masters, but Abigail promised herself never to lie again. She was really just saying that Abigail had something to tell Ms. Masters to distract Guard Abigail.
"Come on Molly! Come on! We've not a moment to lose!" Abigail whispered urgently through the metal bars of the cell.
"You really have come to get me! Thank You!" Molly looked pleasantly surprised.
"Of course I came back - I keep my promises!" Annabelle laughed, unlocking the cell with the key hanging outside the door.
Molly bent down to pick up her things, and together, the girls escaped with seconds to spare, as Ms. Masters was just finishing up her conversation.
Finally, they arrived back in Annabelle's room.
"You've got me, You've got me! I'm free!" Molly chanted.
"Shhh! Ms. Masters could walk by any moment now! Be quiet please, let me ring the bell down to the servants quarters where the servants are waiting to be called on! I'll have one of them get my father for us. I'll teach him a lesson!" Annabelle said, reaching out to ring the bell hanging above her bed.
Ms. Buckle happened to be the one on duty, and she came up right away!
"Why, by gosh, Molly? Why, I thought that you were - well, never mind what I thought, what matters is that you are safe!" Ms. Buckles cried, throwing her arms around Servant Molly.
The two of them hugged each other for a moment, and then it was back to business.
"Annabelle, how did you ever manage?" Ms. Buckle exclaimed, hardly believing her eyes.
"Oh, I have my ways I guess," Annabelle smiled shyly.
"You want me to go get The King?" Ms. Buckle asked softly. She knew that Annabelle wasn't looking forward to facing her father. She knew she had no business being down in the dungeons - much less helping someone escape from them!
"Yes Ms. Buckle," Annabelle whispered.
A short while later, the King came in.
"Servant Girl Molly? What are you doing here?" The King asked in a mean tone.
"I-i-i, um, well, uh, I was..." Annabelle whimpered, trying not to cry.
She closed her eyes, hoping for the best. She didn't want to be given away or thrown back in the dungeon, she just wanted her regular life back again.
Suddenly, Annabelle sprang up in front of Molly, causing Molly's eyes to fly open in surprise.
"I helped her escape from the dungeon, and she is here because it is the right thing to do - she's just a girl, only my age, you wouldn't throw me in a dungeon - would you????"
"Well Annabelle, that isn't the point. Besides, you have no business in this, that was wrong of you to do!!!!" The King shouted.
"Well I happen to think I do have business in this - especially when the reason she wasn't working is because she got the chills, because YOU don't supply the servants with blankets!" Annabelle shouted right back. She knew that Ms. Masters would've been horrified at the way she was talking, and to be honest, Annabelle was a little horrified herself, but she was just standing up for what she knew was right.
"I - I - I well, it never really occurred to me, though they can sew their own blankets!" The King stuttered at first, and Annabelle thought for sure she had stumped him - he didn't know what to say!
"Well, with all they work they do, they don't have time to sew blankets! Besides, they are human too!" Annabelle said a bit softer this time.
"Well I still expect the work to get done, but Servant, I'm letting you off this time!" The King said.
Then, he pointed at the door for Molly to go. It was over.
After Molly left, The King motioned for Annabelle to come to him.
He wrapped his arms around her and said, "Annabelle, I never meant for you to get caught up in all this - you're too young for such things. Please don't be mad because of this, I only do things that I think are right at the time. I love you Annabelle, but I must leave now," The King unwrapped his arms from her, and left the room.
Annabelle was left by herself to think. It was nearly past dinner time now, but she decided that she wasn't hungry. Instead, she just went to sit on her bed and think.
Eventually though, Princess Annabelle laid her head down, and fell asleep right away.
Servant Molly came in and closed the curtains, and that was all for that day. Little did Annabelle know that another adventure was coming her way soon! Stay tuned!!!