Although the land of Kios is geographically based off of New Zealand, I must say that some of my ideas for the gardens came from my trip to Europe three years ago. Today’s letter, “G” is for gardens, and I’m posting a snippet from the Echoes book that takes place in the palace gardens.
I stopped walking and Keagan looked at me expectantly. “I desire a stroll through the gardens.”
Keagan glanced at the sky, as if judging the amount of daylight we had left. “Aye, princess.”
Turning my steps I dropped Keagan’s arm and strode out in front of him, signaling the end of our conversation. The garden paths wound around for miles with shrubs and beautiful trees creating mazes and stunning archways. The spring nights were warm enough now that the trees had broken out with little buds and I reached my fingers out to graze their softness. Only a few days until the garden would be awash in pastel hues and an almost overwhelming scent of flowers.
“Princess Rylie.” One of the ladies of the court curtsied as we passed each other.
“Lady Marie.” I curtsied back, yet continued on, not wanting to engage in a frivolous conversation. It was only a few more days until Princess Rylie was going to announce where the Year of Proof would take place and I couldn’t help but fill my imagination with the wonderful year that stretched in front of me. I knew ruling wasn’t an easy task, I had sat at the king’s side enough during the last few years to be quite convinced of that fact. I loved ruling though. The problem solving, the knowing that I was making a difference in the world, the satisfaction I could almost touch – it all made my life worth living. Besides. When the Year of Proof was over, surely, surely Nicolette and I would have grown in the eyes of the people of Kios enough that we would be able to reveal our true identities and have them rally behind us both with tongue and deed. And heart. I wanted to capture the people’s hearts and show the king that echoes were just as good as any single child.
I sat down on a bench that was tucked in a nook under an archway with vines growing up the sides. Laying my hands on the cool stone I slid my fingers along the hard, smooth surface. Nicolette and I would co-rule even once we had announced our echoship. Our mother had been quite adamant when we were born that it didn’t matter which one was older and that we were equals. That turned out to be a good thing because Teah and Mother confused the two of us so much during the first year that by the time we turned one neither one of them knew who was who. It was then that they began wrapping a red ribbon around my foot and a blue one around Nicolette’s. We had continued wearing those ribbons whenever we were in our Inner chamber, trading them out for new ones every so often, until we had reached our seventh year. It was then that Nicolette and I had begun to exert our own preferences and when Teah insisted we wore the ribbons we had shameless played the constant trading game, confusing the Inner chamber family and creating an uproar. Teah finally gave us our way but was not happy.
I smiled at the thought. Even back then I had had been more ornery than my echo. Nicolette had been a willing accomplice though, going along with my childish pranks and giggling long into the night with me.