Suddenly, a tall, elegant lady walked gracefully down the staircase. She wore a sky-blue dress with a fluffy white jacket. “Violet darling, Charlotte my little princess, and Adam my knight in shining armour! Dinner is ready.” The tall lady stopped in her tracks, looking at me with a sideways frown, as if she was looking at a painting she didn’t quite get. “Who is this?” she asked.
“Flint. Mother, we found him on the beach. His family was coming to Father’s ball, but they got caught in a storm and he got swept away to here,” Charlotte squealed, before Adam had a chance to explain.
“How horrendous. You poor child. Where do you come from?” The lady rushed over to me and grabbed my hands. My brain whirred, searching for a new lie. “France,” I replied, a little too loud. “All the way from France to England! You must be famished. You must join us for dinner. There are tons of spare rooms. And look at the state of you, you look like a pirate!” the lady joked, motioning us into the dining area.
I gorged myself on food as the chef brought out more piles of chicken and salad and cake. I hadn’t realised how hungry I was. After dinner, I was led into a large room with a king-size bed and an ensuite bathroom. Wow, I thought. I could live here forever!
The bustle of chefs, butlers and guards had stopped. The lights had been flicked off in nearly every room and all I could hear was a shower running somewhere. I felt small, like a baby fish in the ocean.
Behind the castle was a small town, its small houses and shops flowing down the gravel road that led onto the beach. I jumped up and peeked outside my window. I was wearing soft, silk pyjamas that the kids’ mother had given me. My curly brown hair was brushed and cut into a handsome shape, and for once, my hands were clean.
Outside, I could see two men walking down the town’s gravel road. They looked like they were joking around, and I could hear their laughter echoing inside the castle. I watched them walk down onto the beach, suddenly feeling suspicious. They walked towards a boat, and then a small girl let down a ladder, which they both clambered up.
“Mira …” I gasped. I stared at her in disbelief, when suddenly the memory of dad’s last words rung in my ears, “find the sea ruby”. The sea ruby! I darted out the door excitedly, the idea of Mira and I on an adventure to find the sea ruby sounded way more exciting than staying here in the castle. I turned swiftly around a corner before I ran down the hall, carefully dodging art works and statues that were placed along the walls.