I am not human. I am being feared by humans even though I am only a child. I am a princess. But, I am not the kind of princess from children’s dreams. I am the kind from their nightmares.
A few days ago, I turned 10 years old, and for the first time in my life, I stepped out into the world outside the palace. When I spotted a place where most buildings were shabby and streets were dirty, in contrast to the other parts of the city, there was still remnant light of the setting sun, from which I would learn later that I should never go out unless it was night.
Amidst rickety houses, small giggles and shouts led me to two girls and one boy on one street. One of the girls was running after the other girl and the boy. I assumed they were around my age as their bodies were only as big as mine.
They were human children and their clothes were not nearly as good as mine. But, they were laughing, as if they were really happy. I’ve never laughed like them in my 10 years, not even once. I was compelled to join them whatever they were doing. Instead, I watched them, at the side of a building, because I knew I would frighten them if they saw me.
Suddenly, my arm was grabbed by cold fingers, scaring me out of my wits. I turned back and found an old woman – she was so thin, skins and bones, and her clothes tattered. “She is not what she looks like,” she muttered to herself. Then she raised her hands and pressed my temples with her bony fingers.
I was so stunned that I did not think to move away.
With a very trembling voice, the old woman said, “I see the harbinger of death.” She paused. “Your lie will be your demise.” She paused again. “Your truth will bring ruination.” Finally, she said, “I see a man with the eyes of the sun. Beware of him.”
It sounded pretty much gibberish to me but then she removed her fingers from my temples, and then said in a not-so-trembling voice, “I am a powerful witch and I have read your prophecy. Now you owe me 50 Lunars. Take out your purse, girl.”
I backed up a few steps and replied nervously, “I don’t have 50 Lunars.”
“Then give me all you have,” she glared at me.
“Wh—why?” I asked.
“Are you stupid? Because I read your prophecy!” she snapped.
I was angry then. “I am NOT stupid! You should be scared of me!” I snapped back.
“Is that so? You are just a baby! Give me all you have or else I am going to shout, “Demon”.” Her eyes were wicked.
She knew what I was afraid of; I really didn’t want her to do that. She thus successfully conned me all of the money I brought with me at the time. Although I lost 10 Lunars, that event taught me two lessons.
One: Never go out of the palace in the daylight.
Two: Never trust self-proclaimed witches -- they are charlatans!