Queen Guinevere strolled through the castle gardens, enjoying the scents from the flowery trees and the roses on the trellises. Her skirts rustled against the grass as she walked deeper into the gardens. The bright blue sky arced overhead, the sun warming her skin and brightening her blond hair. The spring breeze reminded her that summer wasn't quite here yet, but was on its way. The further away from the castle she wandered, the more at peace she felt. Her husband, Arthur, was immersed in plans of war and advisors and knights roamed the halls incessantly. Guinevere had escaped to the outside to remove herself from the noise and the bustle.
She rounded the corner and entered an area of planted trees, firs, elms, birch, oaks, as many different kinds of trees as there are in Britannia. King Arthur brought in all of these trees when he was updating the gardens after inheriting the castle from his father Uther. It was as though she was entering a forest, while remaining on castle grounds. Guinevere loved this area; the sounds and energy from the castle did not reach this little piece of paradise. Already she felt herself relax.
Suddenly black covered arms and hands reached out through the firs and grabbed Guinevere and pulled her back, covering her mouth while his arm wrapped around her waist. Her heart pounded wildly, and she shrieked, but no sound reached outside of the gardens. The large man pulled her against his chest and dragged her to his horse, which was waiting nearby. He mounted, and hauled her up in front of him. They galloped off toward the west, through the woods surrounding the castle.
Frightened, Guinevere's mind was racing along with the horse. King Arthur had made a few enemies when he became king, but who would kidnap his queen? As they traveled further from the castle, the man whispered hoarsely in her ear.
"I pray you have not become too accustomed to being queen, my lovely, because you will be no longer. That pretender Arthur does not belong on the throne, and he will learn his lesson."
Out of hearing distance from the castle, the man loosened his grip on Guinevere's mouth. She didn't bother to scream, knowing no one would hear. Loud rustles informed her that other men had joined her abductor on their way to wherever they were going. She entertained thoughts of escape, but the iron grip around her waist discouraged her.
"What are you going to do with me?" she whispered shakily.
"Well that all depends on your husband, your so-called king. He will decide your fate when he hears our demands."
"And what are your demands?"
"You'll find out soon enough."
They raced through the woods, leaving her home and her comfort far behind her.