Jasmine and the Lamp
Leonard Tate The Battle for the Kingdom JasmineandtheLamp.com

Jasmine turned her head so that her eye was again against the opening. The King and her father were now speaking loud enough for her to hear. She wanted to see their expressions. How angry had they become? The King had risen from his chair and was now leaning across the small table. Jonathan responded in kind to match the King's intensity. "Give it to me, so I can destroy this threat before it grows," exhorted the King. "I don't have it. I told you I don't have it," exclaimed Jonathan. "What are you waiting for? For them to take or kill your daughter! Give me what I ask, give me the lamp!" Jasmine strained to see her father's reaction. She could see his face, which was filled with anger. His cheeks were flushed and his eyes held a fierce stare. She knew he would not accept anyone speaking of killing her. But why would the King even say something like that? Who would want to kill her and why? What had she done? She continued watching. "I can't give you what I don't have! I destroyed it. I crushed it into a thousand pieces. It was too powerful to be left in the hands of any one man," screamed Jonathan. "Well I hope you can protect your daughter without it," said the King as he struggled with Jonathan's answer. Jasmine felt William's hand on her shoulder motioning her to start toward the exit. He was already regretting taking her to eavesdrop on the King's meeting. He knew he would be in a lot of trouble if word of this got out. He would have to tell Jasmine not to mention one word of what she heard or both of them would be severely punished or even put to death. William knew he had crossed the line this time. Meanwhile, Jasmine's mind was racing. What did all of this mean? The King was saying she was in danger and might be killed. Maudella was having dark visions of some impending threat. Jonathan was worried every time she was out of his sight. What was happening to her simple life? And what was this lamp that the King wanted so badly and her father said he destroyed. William passed Auriella back to Jasmine and moments later they reached the secret exit to the pantry. William put out the torch and slid the rack of shelves back into place. He cracked the pantry door to see if anyone was in the kitchen. One of the cooks named Sophia was removing her apron and hanging it on a hook. She appeared to be leaving the kitchen, when suddenly she turned around and headed straight for the pantry door. William put his finger across his lips as he grabbed Jasmine and Auriella and moved them against the wall next to the door. The pantry was dark except for the light coming from the slightly opened door. Sophia reached the pantry door and opened it just enough to look inside. William and Jasmine pressed their backs against the wall between a rack of shelves and held their breath. Finally, Sophia was satisfied that no one was in the pantry, closed the door and left. William and Jasmine emerged from the pantry and made their way quickly across the kitchen, down the corridor and back to the balcony. When they reached the balcony, Jasmine put Auriella on the floor and leaned against the balcony's ledge. Her heart was still pounding and her mind was racing likewise. William noticed that her dress was smudged on the shoulder with soot from the passageway. It probably happened when she leaned against the wall. He pointed it out to her. "Wait here and say nothing to anyone about what happened. I'll get a damp cloth to get the soot off of your dress. Then we'll talk."