In Dreaming Reality

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When I awoke I could feel my head resting on something soft. Blankets had been pulled up and tucked in around me. I was so comfortable that I didn’t want to move but I rolled to my side anyways-- an old habit. That was when the pain hit me. All my muscles seemed to scream at me. At first I couldn’t recall why I was in so much agony, but it didn’t take long to remember what had happened the night before. I sat up quickly causing myself to feel disorientated and lightheaded.

Against my will my eyes flew open. As images around me slowly stopped spinning I was able to focus on the room itself. My first thought was I had to be back in my new house, safe and sound in my bedroom. Relief flooded through me-- of course I had been imagining the forest! Everything looked normal and was in the right place. I suddenly felt rather stupid, like a child who has had a bad dream so sure that it was real yet wakes safe and sound. That was when I caught sight of myself in the mirror.

I was wearing a long white night gown, the type illustrators normally draw in children’s books like Goldie Locks or the Grandmother from Little Red Riding Hood. My long hair still looked too dark to me and my eyes were still violet. Someone had braided my hair into a long French braid. I searched the mirror for visible scratches or bruises on my face but I didn’t see any, though my body still ached as if I was covered in them. As I stared at the pale-faced girl in the mirror, who I knew to be me-- the door of my room flung open.

“Mom?” I asked optimistically.

Yet it was not my mom who walked through the door. A large elderly woman who was dressed in what I can only describe as an old-fashioned maid outfit came bustling in beaming at me.

“No, I am not your mother, my little darling.” The woman crooned. She closed the door and placed a tray on the bed in front of me. “Eat up Luv.”

She patted my arm, went to the windows and began pulling the curtains open wide. It was shocking to see bright sunlight streaming in through the now clear window.

“Your dear mother and father would be here in an instant, but they are very busy with matters of court. So, I told them not to worry. That Nanny would take care of you. Besides, poppet has been asleep for days and days. Not to worry! Fairy Godmother healed you right up she did. Said she should be good as new when she comes too she said, she did.”

The woman, Nanny; turned to look at me and smiled. I, however, could not return the sentiment. Everything about what had just been said, the way it had even been phrased was nonsense. To begin with, my parents were obviously not here. Not to mention there was no such thing as a ‘Fairy Godmother,’ and that proper grammar does exist. Words that I could say reeled through my mind but refused to connect with my mouth.

“Now, now poppet!”

Nanny rushed at me, picking me up as if I was a doll. I supposed I looked upset. She placed me on her lap, patted me on the back and then proceeded to smile at me as if I was a child and not a teenager.

“There isn’t anything to worry about. After all, we never thought we’d see you again after the nasty witch sent you away when you were but a wee babe.”

She rocked me back and forth like I was a baby, and I certainly felt like one at that moment. Words still refused to let themselves be spoken from my mouth.

“It’s a pity you couldn’t get back sooner.” She crooned at me, continuing to rock me back and forth. “But your back now.” She said more to the room than to me. “And do you ever have a full day ahead of you.”

Picking up the lid of the tray Nanny had first arrived with, she put a spoon into a bowl of something that was steaming and smelt sickly sweet.

“Now eat your pudding up dear the baker baked it special with a P for Princess.”

Nanny brought the spoon closer to my face. Did she say pudding? Suddenly I found that I was myself again. I flew from Nanny’s lap, ignoring my aches and pains. She looked shocked as I spun to face her.


Nanny dropped the full spoon onto her very clean white apron which made me feel bad for yelling at her. There was no way I would eat pudding or anything else of the sort-- I had worked so hard to eat clean and healthy. I mean I didn’t even dream about junk food anymore; which made me freeze. If this wasn’t a dream, it was actually happening? My face paled. I stood as still as I could but even then I was shaking.

“Please Nanny,” I whispered, “I’m sorry.”

Nanny scooped me back into her arms, hugging me. “There, there.” She crooned in a sing-song voice with a cadence and lilt that told me she had practiced the art of calming people down until she had the art to perfection.

I looked up at her from where I was wedged in her arms. Even if this was reality and I was somehow stuck here I would still be myself. “Can I please have some carrots and dip?” Nothing wrong with a little bit of dairy …

Nanny looked down at me with a raised eyebrow. “But Princesses should be eating sweets, not Peasant vegetables. If you want to raise a bunch of Princelings then you’ll have to keep up your strength with yummy sweets and teas.”

She said it so matter-a-factually that I wondered if she would let me eat anything healthy at all but seeing my face was resolved in the matter, she sighed, threw me over her shoulder and carried me from my room. I would have protested but my body ached so much that I didn’t make a fuss about being treated like a child, and I did feel small in her arms.

“Well, if poppet wants some nasty carrot sticks then she shall have the best carrot sticks in the whole kingdom-- in the whole of the Fairlands!” She carried me down curved steps in a stone hallway. Lit torches hung at intervals along the walls. It was much darker here away from the brightness of my room with the open sun filled windows. The only light in the dark arched halls was flickering of the flames from the open torches.

“Wait, Nanny,” I muttered, my heart suddenly pounding, “what did you mean about Princelings?”

Nanny was busy humming a lullaby as she carried me along and I feared I said it so softly that she hadn’t heard my question or that my question wasn’t important enough to answer, or both. We rounded a bend in the hall Nanny came to a halt and pushed open two enormous wooden doors while yelling,


A round, jolly man parading about in a chef's outfit ran over beaming at us. I could only assume he was the one Nanny was calling. He must be Cook.

“Does the princess like my pudding? Was it not sumptuous?”

I felt bad I hadn’t tasted it suddenly, if only because this man looked like a younger version of Santa and was probably one of the nicest cooks I had ever met. Not that I had met any other cooks…

“Actually,” Nanny cut in, interrupting him. “Princess isn’t feeling well and would like carrots and dip.”

Cook made a face, scowling at Nanny. “But why eat that when you could have pudding?” He shrugged in my direction.

Nanny, glared at Cook, not bothering to answer his question. “I said, Princess wants carrots, and what Princess wants SHE SHALL GET!” Nanny hollered the last few words then gently put me on a chair at a roughly hewn wood table.

She grinned at me and I became aware that all she cared about was my well being and it didn’t matter who she had to be rude to or step on to see that happen-- she would do what she had to do and that was it. It seemed to me like a frightening sort of loyalty, one that knew no bounds.

Cook went running. I’m not sure I blame him. I would have run away too if someone had yelled at me the way Nanny had yelled at him. When he came back he handed me a whole plate full of carrots, and a small bowl of something creamy, which must be the dip. It wasn’t until then, stomach growling, that I realized just how hungry I was. I snatched up a carrot from the plate chomping down on it, I wasn’t sure I trusted what passed here for a dip. Cook stood hesitantly by watching me. Nanny sat in the chair next to me keeping a protective eye on me. The whole scene seemed quite absurd.

“So, Princess is to meet her Prince today?” Cook asked addressing Nanny. It was as if he had forgotten I was there.

I didn’t quite know what to do. I mean, first of all, I thought it was immensely rude of Cook to speak about me like I wasn’t there when plainly I was sitting at his table, in his kitchen. Second-- I had no clue what he was talking about. Obviously, Nanny and Cook both knew what was going on in ‘my life’ more than I did. I glanced over at Nanny, hoping to read something on her face that might give me an idea of what to expect next in this bizarreness.

Nanny answered Cook as if she was talking about making breakfast or opening the curtains. So calm and yet so authoritative and decided. There was no room for question in her mind. “Well. It has been in the plan for years. Certainly. However, since the timely reappearance of the lovely Princess, messages have been sent. Long timed plans dusted off and set into motion. The final preparations just decided upon this morning. Quite lucky too. Perfection, perfection.”

I felt my blood pressure spike as my heart began to pound. They honestly had the wrong girl. I knew nothing about what they were talking about and I was definitely not sticking around long enough to find out. I had to go back. Look for Anna. Contemplate going out with Topher. Get to know Marissa. Live my life and not this ‘Princess’ they kept referring to me as. But I had to know. Something in me had to figure out this ‘dream’’ this ‘alternate reality.’ Figure out the story behind what brought the events of this day into place. I dropped the carrot stick I had been holding, my appetite long since gone.

“What was decided?” I asked Nanny. I felt a sinking sensation in my stomach. Would I be able to sneak away? To somehow get back into the wood and up the hill? To find out what happened to Anna? I had a responsibility as a big sister. I need to get out of here. Nanny patted my arm, bringing me up out of my muddled thoughts.

“The King and Queen have finalized details with your suitor Princess. Prince Charles. The one who will become your Husband.”

Cook nodded, his friendly grin reappearing on his jolly face. “Good good.” He muttered and then walked away to go back to his cooking. “We must make a feast! Everything must be exactly so – so!” Then muttering to himself Cook walked back into the chaos of the rest of the kitchen where his sous-chefs were scurrying about.

Cook threw his hands up and began gesturing wildly, his voice lost to me in the din of knives chopping, pots clanging and the fires of the stoves crackling. It was not lost to me however the excitement his words whatever they may have been had sparked. I pushed my plate across the table.

“Nanny, I am too young to get married.”

Nanny refrained from making a reply instead she said to me, “All done?”

I frowned, not happy, but nodded anyways. I always hated it when adults did that. When they would ignore your comment or question and act like it is a topic not to be discussed. Knowing I could not escape Nanny at this moment I sighed and allowed myself to be tossed over her shoulder yet again. We headed back the way we had come, which wasn’t extremely helpful seeing as I had no idea how to get out of the castle which was what I now needed to desperately do.

In my bedroom waiting for us to return was three younger maids. They jumped up and down when they saw me each clamoring to speak but all three were silenced by a look from Nanny.

“Now listen.” She told them putting me down in the middle of the small circle they had created between them. “I want her to look perfect. The King and Queen are expecting it.” Nanny eyed them all then turned to leave the room. “I will be back to take her to the Queen and King once she is ready.”

I tried to poke my head out of the circle and call after her but the giggling maids would not let me. This was the last place I wanted to be. I contemplated bribing them to help me get away-- even thought about making a run for it and taking out whichever of them stood in my path, but there was three of them and only one of me... and I was still sore from my tumble the night before. So I was poked and prodded and pulled at from various angles as I stood there furiously. This situation had gone from bad to worse.

When I thought I could endure no more the maids finally stood back; I caught sight of myself in the mirror. I was stuffed into a corset, no wonder I could barely breathe. My hair was braided and curled. Flowers were poking out here and there woven into my braid somehow. I had to admit I looked like I was a real princess, but that still didn’t make me any less frustrated.

“Now for the dress.” One of them muttered.

I turned my head and saw that it took all three of them to lug the dress up. It was a deep burgundy velvet with cream lace and gold trimming. “I don’t think--” I began to say, but then the dress was over my head and my arms were being pulled through gathered belle sleeves and the back was being laced up behind me. I was trapped.

Not moments later the door opened and Nanny stuck her head in. It literally made me wonder if she had an internal clock or timer to know how long it would take the three of them to get me ready and how long she had to go from here to wherever she was waiting and back again. “All ready?”

The maids stepped back from me to let Nanny see me all dressed up. Nodding with a look of pride and satisfaction Nanny motioned for me to follow her. Which was how I ended up trailing along behind her, walking as quickly as I could, which wasn’t very fast considering that I could barely breathe. My lungs were being crushed by the corset and I was being dragged down by at least nine yards of material. Stupid dress. Stupid pretty dress. I had no idea that this is what girls had to put up with in the Medieval Age. I secretly wondered what Nanny would do if she caught me wearing the dress Marissa had made me wear the other day-- the thought made me smile.

I followed Nanny along the hall, down some stairs which appeared steeper than they had previously especially since I was wearing a dress that could easily tip me over and send me toppling. Now that I had to look at where I was placing my feet more I realized the hall floor and staircase floor was covered in a bright red runner with gold trimmings. Finally, we left the area I had seen on my brief field trip to the kitchen and entered the unknown spaces of the Castle. Hopefully, I would see the door that would get me out of here. Not that it would help me at this particular moment in time.

At the base of the curved staircase, there was a large foyer, big enough to fit at least one hundred people in it comfortably. At either end of this large room was a huge double door with large iron handles. One door I assumed and hoped against all hope was the front door to the main Castle building which I was currently in, the other the throne room? I didn’t have much time to ponder about it though, for the moment my feet hit the floor two knights in silver armor had sprung into action. They saluted me then began opening the doors. What followed happened so fast I had no time to stop it or talk my way out of it. As the doors creaked open Nanny pushed me forward into the slowly enlarged space between the doors. It was a surreal feeling. Like a scene out of a movie that you might see. As soon as the doors were open wide enough for me, and my dress to get in, Nanny pushed me through the gap. Then the small opening behind me closed as the Knights pulled the door shut with a bang.

I swallowed and surveyed the scene before me. I was now standing in what was probably the busiest room in the castle. The room was rectangular, the floor was in stereotypical black and white checkered pattern. What was this fascination with checkered flooring? Didn’t people realize how stereotypical it was? If I hadn’t been so anxious I would have started to chuckle right about now.

On either side of the room stood the courtiers. Noblemen and women dressed in shining silks and laces. The men were in tights and had capes draping about them. I took a step forward not looking directly in front of me dreading what I might or might not see. The women all had masks on sticks. They were glittering masquerade masks... The men all had hats with feathers, some tall and straight others short and whimsical. One step further into the room. I swallowed and straightened my small shoulders. “I would not be out of place I would not be out of place...” at least that’s what I kept telling myself. For heaven’s sake, I could do this--

When I reached the halfway point of my walk down the room, there was the sounding of two clear horns. It was so loud I froze mid-step. A male voice somewhere cried out. “Kneel as the Princess approaches.”

I tried to jump but the weight of the dress held me down. Around me, Noblemen and Women kneeled. I looked then for the first time towards the front of the room. That was the first time I had seen them. The King and Queen. They sat upon towering thrones of gold. The King was tall and regal, appearing at first glance like a younger version of my own father but with deep dark hair like my own. The Queen also appeared like my own mother but with paler skin and deep blue eyes-- happier and more carefree. They smiled at me as I wondered what would come of this. I had somehow reached the foot of the stairs leading to the thrones. I bowed low before the King and Queen.

“Leave us.” The King’s voice rang out.

At first, I thought he was talking to me, but soon realized he was speaking to the courtiers. There was a scrambling sound of feet and the sound of doors opening. I kept my face down. The doors clanked shut echoing in the now empty room. I could hear a rustle of fabric, then there was a hand on my arm and one on my face. Someone helping me stand. It was then I looked up into a face I had never known and saw love I had never imagined possible in her eyes. It was a look saved for me. I knew it had to be. But how was any of this possible?

“My daughter.” The Queen said in a broken voice. “You have finally come home.” She stifled a sob and pulled me close, locking her fingers around me in a happy hug.

There were so many things I wanted to say in that moment like how I wasn’t her daughter. This wasn’t my home. I couldn’t get married to some guy I didn’t know, even if he was a Prince. I didn’t binge on sweets… but as I opened my mouth to tell her all that, it died on my tongue. She was weeping now, and whispering, “you’re home.”

When she finally released me I looked up at her and then at the King who was standing and beckoning me to come to him. He hugged me gently as if I were made of glass, then held me back at arm’s length to look at me before releasing me and turning me back to the Queen. She took one of my hands and squeezed it gently. “Come. Tea should be ready.”

The King fell into step on the other side of me. I was flanked by the royal couple. We descended the steps of the throne slowly and I allowed the Queen to lead me and the King out a smaller side door from the throne room. The smaller door was also flanked by knights in silver. My thoughts that had been focused minutes earlier on my sister strayed to a far far away place. I blushed as wondered what the knights might look like under their suits of armor, hiding from the world. My mind continued to wander as I took in the wider hallway we had just entered which was flanked on either side of the high stone walls by portraits past Kings and Queens.

The Queen paused for a moment the King and I by her side. I looked up at the last portrait in the gallery. It was a picture of her and the King and in her arms a tiny infant girl, with dark brown curls and bright violet eyes. I tried not to stare or count all of the similarities between myself and the infant but then I had never seen any baby pictures of myself whatsoever. Mom and Dad acted like that was a forbidden topic. I pushed it from my mind, along with the fact that I looked nothing like my Mom and Dad. They were all blond and I was the lone brunette, the fact that they all had brown eyes and I had blue-- until last night when my eyes had turned as purple as could be. I swallowed. It had to be logical. I must have inherited the recessive genes. Some freak of nature that my younger sister hadn’t.

“This is you the last time I saw you.” The Queen whispered. “Before the wicked witch stole you from under Nanny’s watchful eyes in your white and gold cradle.” She smiled a sad smile. “But we knew that her evil magic could not keep you away forever since you are our daughter. A true Princess.”

The King nodded and blinked rapidly. I stood in stunned silence. This could not be happening. Could. Not. Be. Happening.

“Come.” The King muttered leading away from the portrait gallery out another door.

The Queen and I followed her hand still clutching my own. These last doors led outside, at last! More knights guarded this passage as well. The King was slightly ahead of us, walking down a gravel path covered by flowering trees. Fresh air flowed over me, it seemed to make breathing even in this corset, a tad more bearable. The sunlight filtered through the leaves of the trees making the light slightly green. In the flowers, tiny fairies were sleeping or playing. I tried not to stare at every new sight or sound. Hummingbirds zoomed in and out of bright red blossoms along the edge of the path, making a sounds like a kazoo…

There was a scent of roses on the air. When I looked ahead I could see in an open clearing a white tent roof had been set up. Underneath it, a table had been set with silks and teacups and scones and pies. Every imaginable treat for tea had been set, the colors coordinated to make it appear not like you were eating at a table but like you were sitting in the middle of a bright field covered in exotic flowers. When we reached the tent the King had already sat in the head of the round table. The Queen sat to his right and let go of my hand. I sat facing both of them. Clearing his throat the king began.

“I am sure you must be wondering how all of this came to be, and how we know you are our daughter.”

He looked over at his wife who was pouring tea. Nodding the Queen passed me a cup and then poured tea for the King.

“You see,” she began, “we were fighting a great darkness in this kingdom of the Fairlands at the time you were born. I was afraid someone would kidnap you and take you away from me, so I had a very powerful Fae put a trace charm on you. It wouldn’t tell me much for example where you were but it would tell me that you were still alive.” She poured tea for herself.

I tried to understand what she was saying.

“And then I had her put a spell on you to hide your appearance from evil eyes, it would make your hair a light brown and your eyes blue.”

I thought back to how my hair had been for as long as I could remember it-- a light chocolate brown, even when I had tried to dye it-- the color had never stuck.

“But when you saw a woodland fairy in the fall of your seventeenth year during the crossover between worlds-- the time when the veil is thinnest you would be able to open the chasm between worlds, unveil your true self and it would have the power to send you home, home to the Fairlands once again.”

I thought about how when Marissa had done my hair I thought she had done something to it, but it had always been midnight black? I shook my head.

“I know it is a lot to take in.” The King was saying. “But there is more.” He cleared his throat. “Every Princess born to our line has a small crown tattoo behind their ear. It is the birthmark of royalty.”

I raised an eyebrow. Well, I didn’t have that, they had to have the wrong girl. The Queen held up a mirror and I pushed the hair away from behind my ear-- and there very much to my surprise was a tiny crown tattoo in black. I dropped the ringlet that had been covering my ear and tucked it behind my ear in order to not see the mark. The King looked at the Queen and she looked back at him. They took one another’s hands and smiled then looked back at me.

“So our daughter is finally home.” The Queen whispered.

“This-- this can’t be happening. Nothing you said adds up!” I muttered my hand shaking so badly that the pretty pink porcelain tea cup chattered against its plate. “The chasm between the worlds? There aren’t numerous worlds in reality. It isn’t possible. I never noticed that mark behind my ear before. How do I know you didn’t put it there while I was sleeping? I know I may not look like my parents but they raised me. I don’t know you at all, and what about this Prince Nanny mentioned? I am much too young to get married! I’m only seventeen!” I burst out, pushing myself to a standing position.

The King sighed. “Sit down now.” He commanded in a voice that said he was not normally disobeyed.

I sat quivering. The Queen looked upset, almost as if she might break down and cry. I couldn’t look at her.

“I told you it is a lot to take in, but you are our daughter and you will do as you are told. End of story.”

The Queen stood shakily and whipping a few tears away from her face she managed to smile at me, and then she looked back at the King. “I am afraid my dear that I am dreadfully tired. You must excuse me. I’ll go have a nap.”

He nodded. We watched her make her way back down the path alone. Once she was out of view I glanced further down the path in the opposite direction of the castle.

“Don’t even think about it, young lady.” The King muttered. “I am not finished talking to you.”

I sighed. What more did he want?

“You have been destined for Prince Charles since the moment you were born. You will not disappoint your mother-- nor will you run back to this other world the witch sent you to.”

I opened my mouth, but couldn’t say anything.

“And furthermore. You will not upset your mother again, period. She has been waiting her whole life to hold you in her arms again, and now you are here I can not allow you to leave.” He nodded and I looked up realizing that there was a knight on either side of me. “Take her back to her quarters. I will send Nanny to watch over her until Charles arrives.”

The knights nodded. I was bustled back down the path and into the castle. Now it was imperative. I had to find a way to escape.

The Knights left me in my room, each taking up a post just outside my door. I was furious. Half of what they had said wasn’t physically possible. I was sorry I had upset them, but it wasn’t until they mentioned the evil in the world and the darkness that I remembered Anna. I had to find out if she was ok, and the only way that was possible was getting home. I walked to the window and looked out.

My window held a view of the courtyard below. Currently, the courtyard was full of knights practicing their moves. Unlike the knights I had seen in silver armor these knights had stripped down to their trousers and boots. Their broad shoulders were sparkling sweat as they parried and thrust quarterstaffs and swords under the hot sun.

They were tall and well proportioned. Their skin; tanned golden from the amount of time they spent outdoors. Most of them had dark brown or light blond hair. I shook my head, what was happening to me. So what? There was a bunch of hot sweaty guys just outside my window. I was supposed to be trying to find a way to get out of here.

“Focus Gen. FOCUS.” I rubbed my forehead. I had a headache. “Which makes sense, since I have lost my marbles to crazy land.” I spat out to the empty room throwing my hands up in frustration. I peeked out my window again, spying on the Knights below. My legs were tired from standing with this heavy dress on so I sat down on the window seat, but as I did my door flew open and Nanny came flying in. “Poppet!” She cried, looking sad. “What happened?”

I nearly fell off the window seat at her entry but clung to the ledge. Barely. Nanny’s jaw dropped as her gaze fell on me and where I was sitting.

“No.” She crossed the room in several big strides and slammed my curtains shut. She glared at me and said rather crossly. “Princess must not watch the King’s Knights practice.”

I know it sounds childish, but I crossed my arms at this and pouted. Why did she have to be so ridiculous! “Why not?”

Nanny bit her lip and stared into my face and said solemnly; “It is not right for a Lady to see a gentleman so unclothed before she is married.”

My eyebrows twitched a corner of a smile on my lips. 'Unclothed'? I giggled. If only Nanny had been at the party the evening before ... I saw them in my mind, dancing as a throng, trying to pull me into their chaos. I grinned. What would she have thought? Those sunglasses though I would never understand.

“What does Princess find so amusing?”

I shrugged and stood, my mind so lost in thoughts of how this insane reality was so far behind-- too far behind really an almost fictional behind, so fairy-tale like. I decided not to tell her that in my world things like that were old fashioned views. That she would probably have a heart attack if she watched a movie in my world. I stretched my arms into the air and tried to maneuver my hips under my dress. Nanny stared at me her eyes daring me to speak my thoughts.

“Nanny?” I asked seriously. “Why does everyone only eat sweets here?”

Nanny sighed and picked me up placing me before my mirror she helped me out of the heavy formal dress and placed me in a lighter one. This dress completely white with gold interwoven in the seams and hem.

“Well, it goes like this.” She murmured fixing my hair. “The rich eat everything sweet because they don’t have to worry about getting fat.”

I raised my eyebrow and wanted to comment but she kept going.

“They don’t get fat because they wear corsets. Well-- at least the women do... because it is pushing on their insides and then the heavy material of the dresses is weighing them down they never seem to gain any weight. Whereas the peasants do not wear corsets nor do they wear heavy dresses so that they have to eat carrots and vegetables to keep their figures.”

I personally thought that was the most rubbish thing I had ever heard in my life, but then so was the thought of me actually being the daughter of a King and Queen from a fairy-tale land which was called the ‘Fairlands.’ As I pondered this I stood and paced the floor in my room. What was really going on here anyways? It felt like it should be a dream, yet for some reason, my mind was telling me it was not. The only way I could prove what the King and Queen were saying was to ask my parents, or the people I thought were my parents to tell me the truth. Explain why there were no baby pictures of me, or at least no newborn pictures of me or why there were no pictures of my mother when she had been pregnant. I always had known I was different than the rest of my family, could this unrealistic reason truly tell me why or at least become an explanation?

There was a knock on the door. Nanny bustled across the room and opened it just enough to peer out, but making sure that she was in the way enough to block my view. How aggravating.

“Prince Charles has arrived, My Lady. The King requests that the Princess be brought down to meet him in the gardens.”

Though I couldn’t see who speaking I assumed it was one of the knights-- one of the rather good looking knights. I blushed, then tried to wipe the look from my face quickly as Nanny shut the door and turned to face me. I had already made her frustrated there was no way I wanted to she what she was like angry.

“Are you ready poppet?” She asked giving me the eye.

I shrugged. There was nothing for it. It wasn’t like I could escape at this particular moment anyway. Seeming to be satisfied with my ‘submissive’ attitude she nodded. Hopefully a good nod.

“Follow me and no funny business.” She gave me one last warning glance. A glance that parents often give their children when they mean business-- ‘no goofing off or messing this up--’ She turned away, straightened her shoulders then headed to the door expecting me to follow her.

I felt like a trapped bird.

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