The Quest
Grace, Age 16, Hillsborough, NC

Dan, a farmer boy, departed from the family cottage in the hills. He left with only a few coins that he had saved from selling his finest pigs to wealthy residents. His sandy brown hair shone under the rays of the vibrant sun. The twinkling in those blue eyes showed any passerby that this young man held an excitement that would not be kept from bursting before long. He strolled along the path with a determination of finding himself a wife and living happily in the same cottage mentioned earlier but with his family that he was going to start.

After three days of walking, he came upon a village that was named after the great King Arthur. Camelot contained the home of the wealthy and the ruler of the country of Harem. As he entered through the village gates, he saw many girls in long, colorful dresses shopping at the market and the castle of the king directly in front of him.

To his surprise, he realized that no one even noticed him. Villagers just went about their business and ignored him. As he got close to the castle, three guards posted there stopped him. The soldiers ridiculed him, telling him to go back to his country home for his pigs must surely miss him. Dan, feeling dejected, turned away and walked to an inn to stay the night before going back home and having to tell all his anxiously waiting relatives of his failure. When he entered the inn the owner walked up to him and asked him if he would like a room. Dan nodded weakly and followed a maid up to a room.

The maid, Kathy, opened the door for Dan to enter his temporary chamber. She told him to ring the bell if he became hungry. When she had closed the door, Dan went to the window and peered out at the castle. He saw something he thought he would never see. The princess was walking in the castle’s garden with her chamber maids. The princess was not the one that caught his attention, it was a maid. She had long blonde hair and fair skin. Her black dress she was wearing told him that she was a lady in waiting. Only if the queen approved would she be married. Wanting to know her name, Dan went over to the nightstand and rang the bell. Kathy came to the door immediately and asked if he was ready for dinner. Dan quietly asked her, “Who is the girl with the princess?”

Kathy looked to where he was pointing and answered, “That would be Virginia, the princess’s best maid.” Kathy understanding what this meant said, “It is hard for someone to enter the castle. If you wash tonight, I will find you a set of wealthy attire to wear which will allow you to enter the castle without being questioned.”
Dan thanked her for the help and walked over to the tub that was already full of hot water and jumped right in. He had never had a bath like this before. Usually, he had to pour a bucket of cold water over his head. He stayed in the water until it was no longer warm, then he got out and saw that Kathy had placed a nightgown over the chair. He put it on and went to bed with a light heart.

When he awoke the next morning, he realized that the day had already started and was leaving him behind. He rang the bell and a morning maid answered. He asked for his breakfast and if Kathy had left anything for him. She nodded and left the room. A few minutes later she returned with his food. The food was the most excellent meal he had ever tasted and savored each bite of it.

The maid finally brought the clothes long after he was finished with his delectable food. She only said sorry as she placed the clothes on his bed and left. He looked at them and saw the intricate lining of the clothes and felt how soft they were.

After getting dressed, Dan walked out of the inn and strolled to the castle. As he neared the gate, the guards took one look at him and opened the gate. He entered in and saw the magnificent beauty of the land and the castle. He stood there for a few minutes before remembering his purpose.

A soldier blocked Dan from entering the castle. The guard asked him, “What is your name boy?” Dan answered shakily, “Dan Woodrow.” The guard surveyed him for a long time then he finally he moved away from the door and said, “We were told by the king to ask the name of every person that was to enter. We are looking for a man named Ryan Monroe.” Dan shook his head and answered, “Well, that is definitely not me.”

The guard laughed heartily as he opened the door and even after the door closed Dan could still hear the unrestrained laughter. Dan was faced with many tunnels that would lead to the different sections of the castle. Dan wished that there was a sign that would lead him to the maid’s quarters. He decided to follow the one that seemed to descend and go under the ground. The way was dark. As he was walking, he thought about turning back toward the light and selecting another hallway. Ignoring those thoughts, he continued forward without looking back. After what seemed like hours, he came to a wooden door. He opened the door and walked inside.

What happens to the farmer is up to you. He could die from the ferocious monster that was sleeping behind the door or find the lovely maid Virginia, marry her and live happily ever after in the hills. But this is the beginning of the story of a farmer boy named Dan and his quest. The ending though is for you to decide.

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