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"One of these days I'll be free again..."

Giacomo leaned against the bars of the tiny window, reaching out as far as he dared towards the rays of the setting sun.

He was never meant to be caged up like this—he should be out there with the birds swooping through the sky, chasing all the beauty of the world. 
Sometimes he felt like he was drowning, choking on boredom with nothing to look at but the bare stone walls and floor of his cell.

Closing his eyes, he tried to forget the cold metal of the bars and think only about the soft wind on his face.

"One day..." he repeated to himself as he opened his eyes, gazing at the bright reds and golds of the sunset. As he turned away from the last dim gleam, he wondered who else might be watching the same sunset.


"Oh, Daniela, can you believe it? I'm free!"

"Y-yes, Lady Beatrice..." Daniela said breathlessly as she bustled back and forth, trying to catch the capes and petticoats Beatrice flung out of her wardrobe. "Milady please...the trunk, try to aim for the trunk..."

Laughing, Beatrice swept the bundle of clothes out of Daniela's arms and dropped it into the trunk on top of her books and flung herself across the top of the pile. 

"I'm sure that's not how the nuns taught you to pack," Daniela pointed out.

"Oh, what can they do to me once I'm in Venice?" Beatrice blew a lace ruffle out of her mouth and pushed herself up on her elbows so she could look up at Daniela. "What do you suppose Venice is like?"

Daniela shrugs. "...Damp?"

"You have no adventure in you!" Beatrice giggled as she stood up and slammed the trunk shut.

"Well, after my seven brothers ran off to seek their fortunes, my parents decided any more adventure would bankrupt the family."

"And so you became a lady's maid?" Beatrice picked up her sketchbook and looked for her roll of charcoals.

"It was more economical than dragons, I thought. Here's your charcoals, milady. We're keeping the carriage waiting."

"Yes, yes, let's go!" Beatrice cried, linking arms with Daniela and rushing down the stairs to the courtyard, nearly bowling over one of the nuns on the way. "Oh, good heavens, I'm so sorry, Sister Cristina!"

"Please, milady!"

Beatrice spread her arms wide and twirled around in front of the carriage. "Freedom at last!"

The bright sunset seemed to rejoice with her, lighting the sky up with a riot of colors. Beatrice stared up at it in delight until Daniela pulled at her arm. "Milady..."

"Off to Venice!" Beatrice sprang into the carriage and settled onto the leather seat. "Look how beautiful the sunset is, Daniela, I must draw it. Where are my drawing things?"

"One moment, milady. Careful with that! No, not there..."

Once the luggage was settled to her satisfaction, Daniela climbed into the carriage and delivered Beatrice her sketchbook and charcoals. Beatrice leaned to get the best view out the window at the fading sunset as the carriage rattled into motion.

"Do you think anyone else is watching this sunset?" she said as she put charcoal to paper.

"I mean...I'm sure most everyone, milady?"

Beatrice sighed. “I must find someone who appreciates adventure one of these days…” she murmured half to herself as she watched the shifting colors in the sky.