The Prisoner


disappeared into the bright sun. Kai stayed there for some time until his stomach growled with


He stood and stretched his arms and shook out his legs. He decided to visit Miss Trea.

She usually had some sort of stew simmering in the hearth for herself and the rest of the staff. As

he walked through the village to the castle kitchens, he stopped at his favorite bakery, the one he

hadn ’ t attempted to steal from, and bought two pastries.

They had a delightful lunch, discussing the inner workings of the castle and the rumors

that had circulated while he had spent the day at the docks. Kai ended up drying dishes, not quite

ready to leave yet.

And so, this pattern of work and a rare morning off continued for some time.

By the middle of winter, Captain Ellsworth and his crew had returned. The captain took

an interest in Kai and began seeking him out, discovering his place in the kitchen. One day, right

after supper, the captain appeared in the kitchens for the second time that week. Miss Trea

greeted him. They spoke quietly for a minute or two before she called Kai over. Captain

Ellsworth was making him his attendant, if he accepted, of course. Kai eagerly accepted the new

position with the captain and began his new work.

With the money he had saved from working in the kitchens, he purchased a new coat and

pair of boots, grateful for both as he roamed the drafty castle corridors, running errands for the

captain and delivering messages. Every now and then, he slipped into the kitchens and conversed

with Miss Trea and the cooks. He passed along the rumors that were whispered in the main part

of the castle and was told all about the scandals overheard by the kitchen and serving staff.

Kai now had his own room in the castle barracks. He was given a bed, nightstand, and a

small table and chair, which was meant as a desk. Miss Trea ’ s sister, Miss Agnes, made a thick

quilt for him, which kept him warm on the bitter winter nights. He also bought a few plates and a

set or two of cutlery and more food than he thought he could possibly eat. But he did. Every last

bite of food was savored and consumed. He often went into town to the bakery or the butchers

and stocked his personal store, cooking his own suppers in his room at the end of a long day.

He relished in the softness of his own bed against his back and letting his aching feet

dangle over the side before he curled up and drew the covers up to his chin. He often slept

soundly until the castle ’ s roosters began to crow at the rising sun.

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