The dappled sunlight flowed through the gap in the swaying curtains, gently agitated by the summer breeze outside. Elena blinked in the intrusive brightness and stretched her shoulders, feeling free without the weight of the familiar armour. She stretched a hand out from under the quilt and took a reassuring grip on her weapon which stood ever-ready by her bower.
Her eyes wandered around the room, still blurred by the embers of sleep and rested upon the legend of a paper pinned to the wall. It read Elena, Captain of the Royal Guard.
Such a responsibility for one so young, but she bore it with all her strength. Correllia would never fall while she had strength in her sword arm.
There was a knock on the door and it was opened abruptly before she could answer.
"Chop chop, sleepy head. Gosh, Elena, you’re so slow that maybe a regular chop-chop won’t do. You need a massive chop! Ha!
The face belonged to a tall, gangly youth with a mop of dark hair and the scrag ends of an adolescent beard. He guffawed loudly at his joke and continued, warming to the sound of his own voice.
“I see you’re still sleeping with a strong hold on your hockey stick? I’m sure the other Royals don’t bother, but the captain must go above and beyond!”
“I am the Captain of the Royal Guard…” Elena looked at him, bewildered.
“Yes, I’m well aware you’re the captain of the Royals and you play guard. Congratulations. You should try something a little more pure like athletics. Coach says that my hammer throw is my best event and I should aim for the clouds.”
There was a distant voice calling from below
“Richard, is your sister up?”
“Good, remind her that Layla is coming here this morning.”
“Yeeess mum” replied Richard again, rolling his eyes, “Come on, sluggard. Gosh, you’re slow”.
Dazed, Elena got out of the bed and wandered down the stairs.
“Ah, Elena, there you are. Please pack your sandwiches, there’s ham in the fridge. I’d do it for you but I’m so busy this morning. Richard, can you get the iron please, this sports kit is a disgrace. Really, you’d think the Royals tabard would look a bit smarter.”
Elena wondered to the fridge and looked through the shelves.
“There’s only one slice left!”
“Oh yes, sorry, we do seem to run out”
The door bell rang shrilly followed by several more bursts.
“Gosh, six rings, Layla is keen this morning.”
Richard opened the door and Layla burst in, all cheeky smiles and purple hair.
“Hi Elena? Are you ready yet. Come on!”
“What’s the reckless rush for?”
“Sartana North got food poisoning from her mother’s cooking, so Mrs Kailani said we could audition for her role in the play. You and me, we could be two stars!”
“Ok”, nodded Elena “and I want to tell you all about this amazing dream I had…”