Good god! What was that bang? Bonnie awoke startled by the un-nerving sound. Someone had fallen out of bed somewhere on her landing. She knew it was Theodore. Bonnie rapidly lit a candle, pulled her shawl across her shoulders and paced quickly but silently to his chamber. The room was pitch black ,it was impossible to see properly with the small light from the candle. The light fell upon the shape of the four-poster bed, the sheets lay crumpled to one side as if they had been distorted in a hurry. Why was Prince Theodore not in his bed?
“I am at your feet.” Came a whisper. He was lying on his side upon the carpet. The dim candle light traced his slim outline and created glimmering hi-lights in his chestnut hair.
“Your highness whatever happened?”
“I had a bad dream.” He mumbled.
“Did you fall from your bed ? Were you sleepwalker your majesty?”
“I’m not aware that I walk in my sleep. I am trying to recall what happened. I had a strange dream, I heard you call something and must have tried to get up in my semi-conscious state. The next thing I know I am lying upon the floor and you are by my side.” He whispered weakly.
“You did not faint?”
“I don’t know. If it was the case, it would only have been momentarily.”
“Do you wish for assistance? Shall I fetch help. I will find Howard”
“No do not wake him! I need you to help me.”
Bonnie paused. “I don’t know if I can, you are taller than myself.”
“Bonita, please.” He begged. Bonnie sensed the desperation in Theodore’s voice and decided to obey without any further questioning.
“Alright. Shall we stand?”
Theodore nodded. “Yes… I have to admit I feel a trifle light-headed. Give me your arm. I mean if you please.”
Bonnie offered Theodore her arm, which he took gratefully and eventually managed to stand shakily with all his remaining strength. How Theodore’s head spun. Bonnie helped him to the edge of the bed. He paused for a moment and then lay upon the pillows. Bonnie gently placed his coverlets over him. Theodore squeezed his eyes shut.
“What is the matter?” Bonnie queried. “Something pains you I can tell.”
“My head spins that is all. I feel a little weak still I must admit. I am sorry that I woke you.”
“Don’t be” Bonnie squeezed his hand. “I am relieved that I awoke. The thought of you lying upon the floor all night alone catching cold is not a pleasant one. I should leave you to rest now, you are very cold.”
He smiled. “Don’t go just yet. Pray lets talk for a while. Tell me something interesting.”
“I know very little sire.”
“Nonsense! You know much more than I!”
“I doubt that is true. I do know of stories of old. I could tell you one?”
Theodore nodded enthusiastically. “I would be intrigued to listen Bonita.”
“This one is one of my Father’s old favourites. Do you believe in ghosts your majesty?”
“Possibly. I am unsure.”
“Well then. I shall tell you the tale of the Bogle. A spirit who takes delight in frightening mankind, they are folkloric creatures of old. There once was a Bogle named Tatty Bogle who hid in potato fields hence his name! He would take it upon himself to frighten humans as a ghost would. He was no ordinary ghost. Tatty Bogle in fact took the form of a scarecrow and frightened crows away. He was quite a rogue really. It was only a very short tale I’m afraid.”
A smile spread across Theodore’s face. “How unusual. I find myself very tired once more. Thank you for assisting me in my hour of need and for the quaint story.”
Bonnie stroked his hand. “I shall leave you to sleep sire. Are you sure that you were not hurt when you fell?”
“No I am quite well now, thank you.”
“Very well. Goodnight your majesty.”
“Goodnight Bonita and thank you once more.”
Despite being awoken Bonnie slept soundly for the rest of the night. She had never had a more comfortable nights sleep, laying against the soft goose feather pillows and mattress. For once she felt rejuvenated. The crack of light fell as a shadow upon the hand-woven carpet. There came a gently knock upon her bedroom door, Bonnie glanced at the small carriage clock it read ; 8am. Bonnie opened her bedroom door a tiny crack aware that she was still dressed in her nightgown.
It was Rettie. “Pardon me miss but you have a letter and a package.”
Bonnie received them gratefully “Oh what a lovely surprise to start the day. Thank you!” She exclaimed. Bonnie slid them from the silver tray. As expected it was from her Mother :
“My Dear Bonnie,
I hope all is well at the palace and that you are not finding Prince Theodore too demanding. I enclose this letter and a pot of my home-made strawberry jam for his majesty and you. Send him my well wishes.
I miss you! Love Mum x “
Bonnie smiled, her Mum was so thoughtful. Theodore would be pleased. Bonnie quickly dressed and went to pay a visit to Theodore. He was still fast asleep in his slightly creased bed sheets, cradled gently in the safety of his dreams.
To be continued….