Not exactly how i expected it to come out, but when you're blocked you're lucky to get anything out.
I'll probably do soemthing with this later on, but for now...
Alissa looked out through the cold, iron bars of her cage, towards the only window in the room. The icy blue sky and white, smooth snow seemed like an oasis compared to the dirty brown floors of the manor.
She had never been outside before. Her father had forbidden it since she was younger; fearing sickness or worse. Only once had she dared to disobey him. She had snuck outside one night, while he was asleep. Nothing had happened to her, but one of the house guards had seen her and told her father about it.
Her father, terrified of further disobedience, built her a cage. He filled it with warm silks and soft pillows, and gave her every comfort of home. And there he placed his only daughter, his late wife’s only child.
Alissa had remained in the cage for years. She watched through the window as the seasons passed and changed; unable to touch anything more than silk and iron. Her visitors were few – usually only her father and one of the house guards who brought her food.
Despite the cage, Alissa understood her father’s reasoning. He was a rich and powerful man, always worried about conspirators. He constantly worried about what would happen to his empire once he passed away. He had also been forced to watch his wife die of sickness as the doctors fought helplessly.
Yes, she understood why her father had built her such a cage. But as days passed to weeks and weeks to months, and her father had not been seen, she wondered what would happen if he were to forget about her. Would she be trapped inside this cage forever? Was he even planning on letting her out someday?
One full year passed and her father had not shown. The young guard who brought her food everyday – his name was Felix – had told her that her father had met someone new and was prepared to marry her.
This shocked Alissa who had seen her father mourn the death of her mother so painfully. He mourned like he would never again be happy or be free. Yet here he was, preparing to replace her. Alissa wondered where she fit in this equation: was she to meet this new woman? was she to remain hidden, like a dark secret? was she expected to become friends with her mother’s usurper?
Her father remained hidden from her. Felix continued to inform Alissa of news, and Alissa continued to sit in her cage and wonder about her future. And then the day came that everything was clearer.
It had been whispered throughout the manor that her father was ashamed of his daughter, and planned to never tell his new wife of her. He meant for the cooks to prepare her food and the guards to feed her in secret. Alissa was heartbroken. She knew that he meant for her to rot to death in her cage, deprived of sun and snow. This cage that had once seemed so warm and soft was now as cold and uncomfortable as ice.
She mourned her old life and the dreams that she once had. She ate less and barely looked out the window. Her life was now nothing more than the dirty walls and floor and this cold, iron cage. The window was nothing more than a dream, and her dreams were now all shattered.
Then Felix came, one day, with news that shattered her broken heart. Her father planned to kill her, thus ensuring his new wife would never know of her. He had talked to one of the guards about it, and that guard was supposed to do it tonight. Felix had grown to love the dark-haired woman in the cage, and did not want to see her harmed.
He fumbled with his keys, finally unlocking the cage door. Alissa looked at the opening strangely. She had dreamed of freedom for so long: was it really this easy? She walked towards the open door and put one foot on the dirty floor. It felt cold and hard on her bare feet, quite unlike the silks that were in her cage.
Felix helped her get outside. He brought her to a secret door and opened it. The sun was setting behind the mountains, and the sky was blazing red. Alissa watched the sunset, unrestricted by the dimensions of the window.
‘You should go now. It will be hours before they come to look for you,’ Felix told her.
‘Shall I go alone?’ she asked him. ‘I, who have never been outside? What if I should fall from sickness or injury? Would this rescue be in vain?’ She took his hand in hers. ‘You have saved my life, and I wish to do the same for you. My father will kill you if he finds out that you have set me free. Come with me, help me, and I will promise you riches more than my father ever had. I do not know where this riches will come from, but I will find them for you.’
Felix held her hand. ‘The riches you speak of are in your heart. I will desire nothing more than your company, and the knowledge that you are safe and happy.’
They walked off into the sunset, hand in hand. Hot, summer sand burnt Alissa’s bare feet as she walked away from the silken, iron cage, into a dream of sweet smelling air and freedom.