"Father," she mumbled, uncertain. Iracebeth shot her a warning look and she receded back into the shadows. Her father didn't even glance at her. He kept his stony gaze on Iracebeth, who looked defiantly back into his eyes.
"Iracebeth Crimms, this is too far," He spoke, his voice hard as hard as stone. Her father scared her sometimes, but he never scared Iracebeth at all. Nothing scared Iracebeth, ever.
"Really father, you make such a fuss!" Iracebeth said, throwing the matter aside. Her father grew redder.
"Enough! It is time you learned the consequences of your actions!" he spoke. "One more move like this, and i will denounce you as my heir, do you understand? It will pass to your sister," Mirana looked up in panic, and Iracebeth threw her and infuriated glare, as if it was her fault. "For now," The King continued, "You are confined to the palace grounds. You will not leave these walls, for forty days," Iracebeth's enlarged face turned bright red and she opened her mouth and screamed.
"I WILL NOT HAVE IT!" She bellowed "I WILL NOT HAVE IT!" And she stormed out, knocking Mirana to the ground on her way. There was a pause after she had gone, while Mirana and her father listened to her shouts as she moved further away from them. Mirana looked at her father, and it pained her to see the worry behind his eyes.
"Do you think she will disobey you?" She asked quietly. The King considered this.
"No," He said at last, "She craves power too much to throw it away on such a small issue. She knows this is no empty threat. She will stay," He sent her away after that, and after she kissed him goodbye she left, shutting the door behind her. She considered her sister for a while, wishing she wasn't so cruel and bloodthirsty. 'Things would be different if she wasn't a Princess,' She thought 'People wouldn't treat her with so much respect. They would laugh at her bulbous head, and she might well be humbled,' She sighed to herself, then decided to go to bed. It was late after all, and she was very tired. And it wasn't safe to be out after dark. When the sun went down Iracebeth patrolled castle halls, and if she saw Mirana after today... She shuddered. The castle was vast, and neither her sister nor her father had been in all of it, but she had. She had made a point of exploring every nook and cranny, every spare bedroom and garden. Everything. She drew maps of the castle, and kept them in the secret section of her dressing table, away from Iracebeth's prying eyes.
Iracebeth was a devil. her father was hardly ever well, and Iracebeth often ruled in his place. She was also considered owner of the castle by most, and pure fear meant that she felt obliged to do as her sister told her to. Iracebeth had forced her into the smallest room of the castle, into a cold attic room that was right at the top of several flights of stairs. Into a room that locked on the outside, and her sister was prone to locking her in for long periods of time. Iracebeth blamed her for nearly everything, and often punished her accordingly. Her sister terrorized her, followed her every move. If she dropped a vase, Iracebeth was there. If she sneaked out, Iracebeth was there. Iracebeth was her own personal nightmare.
She reached the topmost flight of stairs, and opened her door. The attic wasn't so bad really. It was cosy at least, and it was her own, and there were many hiding places for her to sneak things. It was her own.
"You told him, didn't you? You sly cur," Her sisters cold voice broke through her dreams, and when Mirana turned in horror she saw her sister sitting on the edge of her bed, brushing her dolls hair.
"I-I didn't. I swear it. The guard at the gate told him, his wife saw you," She said quietly, moving towards her sister. Iracebeth held up her hand and she stopped.
"Don't lie to me, Mirana. I know you sneaked, I know you were jealous!" She hissed, and Mirana frowned.
"I didn't! Beth please, I wouldn't!" Iracebeth stood and her eyes narrowed. She slapped Mirana across the face and watched her back away. She seethed.
"Whatever. But I know it was you, and if you so much as breath another word to father, I'll have your head," She threatened. Mirana paled and straightened up, shaking like fury.
"You can't," She whispered in fear. Iracebeth smiled out of the corner of her mouth.
"Maybe not, but I'll have Stayne cut out your tongue and feed it to my Bandersnatch," Mirana wanted to point out that technically the Bandersnatch was not yet hers, not until their father died, but the stinging in her cheek told her not to. Iracebeth turned back to the bed and placed the china doll back under the sheets.
"You're going back then?" Mirana asked quietly. Iracebeth turned.
"No, Mimi, you are," She said. Mirana shook her head.
"They'll kill me," She whispered. Iracebeth's face turned stony.
"You'll do as your told. They won't kill you, you'll be there for me. You'll tell them whats happened, you'll give them this note and then you'll accept they're reply and return," She said cooly, holding out a note sealed with wax. Subconsciously, Mirana took it, but she continued to shake her head.
"I won't do it, I wont disobey father," She said resolutely. Iracebeth grabbed her hair and pulled her in, shouting in her ear "YOU'LL DO IT, OR I'LL HAVE STAYNE TO MORE TO YOU THAN CUT OUT YOUR TONGUE!" So loud that Mirana found herself sobbing and laughing. Iracebeth smiled cruelly and sent her off running. Mirana shook as she left her sister behind, running as fast as her shaky legs could carry her.