The Innocent and Naïve Years

Ages: 9 and 11

"Karuuk!" The squeal rings throughout the courtyard, the flowers seem to cringe and welcome the voice.

The boy with hair the hue of bright and sun streaked, which is similar to the sand that surrounds his homeland, turns around. A flash of red cloth is all his chestnut eyes see before he is knocked to the ground.

The immediate gruff and slightly panicked voices of the guards call out overused and overheard phrases to the boy, phrases such as "Prince Karuuk!" or "Your Majesty! Are you alright?"

The boy ignores the guards and concentrates on his attacker, who is currently hugging his waist with a strong grip.

"I missed you!" The girl says, excitedly and relieved.

The boy smiles, "I missed you too, but can you get off me before the guards arrest you?"

A look of surprise paints the girls' face and she jumps up, while the guards pick the young man up.

"Are you alright, young prince?" one guard asks, sending a small glare in the girls' direction, who has her head bent down.

The prince nods, "Yeah, she's okay. We've been friends for a while don't worry."

The girl looks at the boy and smiles brightly. Her coppery auburn hair shifting to the left as she tilts her head, her eyelids closing over the one arctic blue eye and another algae colored eye.

"How are you, your majesty?" The girl asks politely.

Karuuk, stares confused at the girl, "Akina, you know I don't like the titles."

"Okay." Is all Akina says before getting a wide grin on her face.

Karuuk raises an eyebrow at her, skeptically, "What?"

She dashes at him, lightly touching his arm "Tag you're it!" She exclaims, and then sprints along the dirt pathway.

Karuuk's eyes widen, "Hey! No fair!" He calls and hears Akina's bubbly laugh.

He scowls, then turns to the guards smirking, touching one of them "Tag you guys are it!"

He darts off in the direction where Akina is and both of them run at top speed around the courtyard.

The guards yelling at them, all shouts worried about the prince.

The prince and his friend laugh continuing their game around the courtyard… and maybe the gardens and castle too.