Life Swap

Chapter Two: Outside The Walls
    The sun shone bright, piercing the young woman maneuvering her way through the crowd of people in the market place. Her dark burgundy cloak drew the sun to her, making her already sweating, from the anticipation, forehead, pour down her face. Her eyes were quick, as her reflexes and though she had never been on this area of New Florence, she knew how to move around well.
“Alix! Over here!” Came a muffled male voice from the direct right in a dim and dusty alley.
The island that resembled Greece and Italy, was quite small, yet it contained more of a population than both of them. It had its beauties and it’s ugliness.
“It’s so great to see you again.” He said, giving his young cousin a hug. They lingered in the alleyway for a while, relating stories and reminiscing together before a plump, rose-cheeked lady popped her red haired head out of a door that led to the back of a small restaurant.
“Marvin, you get yourself in here before it rains! Oh, I didn’t know you had a lady friend.” She said blushing at the young woman. Alix giggled softly at her aunts clear mistake, but followed along.
“Oh, Aunt Marge.” She said, hugging the lady tightly. Aunt Marge gasped and quickly returned the hug with a squeal. A few people passing by on the main road stopped to look.
“Why, Alix, you have turned into quite the charmer. Last I remember, you had ears too big for your head and you had two left feet.” The woman laughed, escorting the young, lean woman into the back of the bakery.
Fresh breads filled the ovens, and the smell of them drove Alix insane. She hadn’t eaten for days, and as her aunt went on and on of how the princess was missing, the king and queen’s newest laws, and her new favorite customers, her hunger grew and grew.
“Aunt Marge, would you mind giving me a loaf of bread? I haven’t eaten in days.” She asked sweetly, once they had already been sitting at the kitchen table for an hour. The woman gasped again, and quickly ran and got some bread.
“I must be crazy, not to offer some of my famous bread. Here now, eat up child. Oh, before I forget, Marvin, did you hear about the Princess? She’s escaped. No one has been able to find her for that last week. I heard Miss Caroline speaking to Sir Jean Claud this morning about how she was engaged to a foreigner and that’s what caused her to leave. I have my doubts about that. I believe that she ran from responsibility. Humph! I don’t see her fit as a queen. Never have, never will.” Marge said, walking to the counter and kneading some dough. Between bites, Alix spoke up.
“Auntie, you cannot believe every thing you hear these days. The world isn’t the same as before. I am a witness to that.” 
Marvin glanced at her, noticing sadness in her tone. Marge sighed and nodded. They sat in silence for a few moments, contemplating the sadness they had all come through the last couple of years. 
A few hours later, after she had settled into her cozy room above her aunt’s bakery, Alix decided to walk around the town and see if there was anything there to bring her joy. She walked past the food market, stables, and slave sellers, but saw nothing that would take her mind off of what had happened to her beloved family just the year before. 
They were all on their way to the opera. All except Alix. She had never been found of the opera herself. She waited on their return for hours, then hours until she had to find them. When she did, they were already dead.
If only I had gone before, they might still be alive, she thought as she peered at a family walking though the market. 
“Ooh, yes, please, I’d love that dress. Thank you.” A very feminine voice spoke from behind to the women of the dress shop and cloth market. Alix turned around carefully and looked at the girl, no more than 16, in a dark blue cloak and covering her face with a piece of cloth. With a smile of satisfaction, Alix pulled back into an alleyway, and waited for the girl to leave the stores in order to follow. This would be interesting. Alix already had her suspicions on who the masked girl was.

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