Wandering in Style

Chapter 2 of “Lights”, for the blurb that should go before this, see the post before. The blurb/explanation turned into a nice little rant about why everyone should try writing a novel, and I thought it should be separate. So enjoy chapter two, and give me feedback please! On the story and just the poem/song itself.

Princess Marisen had started out the morning as she usually did, reading the next book on the list that Lesley had compiled for her.

Lady Lesley Oliver was the librarian’s apprentice and Marisen’s best friend. Her dearest ambition was to be a writer but she would never show her work to anyone and Marisen asked her on a daily basis how she expected to be published if no on ever read her stories. Lesley’s daily answer was, “It isn’t ready,” which of course really meant, “I am not ready.” So Marisen shrugged, said okay, and asked again the next day.

Lesley’s latest suggestion was a shiny new book called The Crystal City. It was about a girl who lived in a city where all the buildings were clear. She supposed the moral was that someone was always watching you. It was confusing, but still pretty good, up until the girl started falling in love, then Marisen had to put it down for fear of being sick all over the pristine white pages.

Not that she didn’t like love stories, on the contrary, she usually loved them. But it drew her mind to what was going to happen the following day. The point of reading was to draw her mind away from her problems.

The following day she was going to be introduced to a group of eligible suitors.

Her mother always said, “It is the age of Kings and Queens, Knights and dragons, lords, ladies, and fancy dresses.” That included the age where princesses were supposed to have a steady courtier by the age of seventeen, and Marisen’s birthday was only 36 days away. She had a chart checking off the days.

She was staring at that chart when Lady Delaney arrived to dress her for lunch. Marisen noticed she looked tired. Come to think of it Delaney always looks tired.

Delaney dressed her in a pretty yellow dress with a lace-covered bodice and helped pin her small gold tiara into her dark hair.

Delaney asked if Marisen would please wear shoes and Marisen politely declined.

Her father was always trying to get her to wear shoes and had Delaney ask her daily, but she never did unless she had to leave the castle.

Marisen walked slowly to breakfast, thinking about the next day and admiring the sun streaming through the windows.

Her father, King William Christopher D’Corrol III, greeted her as she walked into the dining hall and she smiled brightly back at him. She loved her father, everyone did. He was a very fair and loyal king.

Throughout the meal King William talked. About what Marisen could not be sure. As he talked the secretary of something and the officer of something else listened from across the table and took notes.

All this was very important business she was sure, but Marisen was watching her little sister. Marisen’s little sister was named after their mother, Queen Delilah Caroline D’Corrol and looked just like the queen.

While Marisen and her father were olive-skinned with dark curling hair, Princess and Queen Delilah were fair-skinned and blue-eyed, with blond hair and a smattering of freckles across the bridges of their noses.

Princess Delilah was still young enough to play with dolls and that was what she was doing as her sister studied her across the table. Marisen watched as Delilah created her own world in which painted faces laughed and wooden legs danced.

Marisen wished she were still young enough to play with dolls.

King William dismissed the officer and the secretary and turned to his daughters.

Put the dolls away when you are at the table please, Delilah,” He said. Delilah scowled and stowed the dolls under her chair.

Are you ready for tomorrow, Marisen?” the king asked.

No. “Yes,” Marisen lied, trying not to grimace. “But… um, what am I supposed to wear?” If it were up to her, Marisen would wear her pajamas. That way the suitors would think she was strange and leave.

Oh. I’m not sure…” King William mumbled. “Actually, I think your mother is working with the seamstresses right now. She was going to show you later today, but why don’t you go now? Please take your sister.”

Marisen nodded and picked up Delilah’s dolls as the eight year old ran out of the room singing a silly sing about jealous spring flowers their mother had sang to them.

When the tulips start to sing,

The daisies they will sleep.

But when the daisies start to rise,

The tulips they will weep.

The tulips they are jealous,

For not everyone likes pink.

They ask for yellow and for white,

So the daisies stop and think.

They look the tulips up and down,

And ask around the garden,

But in the end they still say no.

Giggle, ‘Please beg our pardon’.”

At that point she stumbled and forgot the words, and just started humming. But the words continued in Marisen’s head and she realized it was not such a nice song after all.

But then the flower in the shadows,

Opens up her wide dark leaves,

And in her voice they all hear stories,

They can only half believe.

The rose, the rose, always the rose,

Oh, she only sleeps in the fall.

She climbs up the house,

And tears down the wall.

The tulips cry,

And the daisies weep.

But in the end,

They all go to sleep.

When the tulips start to sing,

The daisies they will sleep.

But when the daisies start to rise,

The tulips they will weep.

The tulips are now missing,

Their lovely shades of pink.

Their stuck with yellow and with white,

And this makes the daisies think.

They stop to wonder when,

The summer, autumn, or the spring,

When will a daisy in the ground,

Grow with petals colored pink?

So basically the rose takes the tulips’ colors and makes the daisies live in fear of waking up colored pink. Or in human terms, makes an example of them. Marisen had not heard the song for ages and wondered why Delilah had started singing it. It left her with a strange sense of dread as she belatedly followed her sister to the sewing room.

She turned the corner and stood in front of the sewing room doors. Delilah came and pulled on her arm asking her why she would not go in.

Come on Marisen!”

Marisen handed Delilah her dolls and pushed open the doors. She walked to the back of the room where the looms and sewing tables were. Her mother, Queen Delilah was standing by a loom, on which two dresses were hung, one gold, one silver.

Which one am I wearing?” Marisen asked. Her tiara was gold, so her mother usually had golden, or gold enhanced dressed made for her.

Oh! Um, Marisen honey, you are a bit early, are you not?” the queen said, her voice ascending in pitch.

Yes….” Marisen answered, confused as to why her mother sounded so stressed. “Father said I could come over now, but I could leave….” Her voice trailed off, feeling slightly hurt.

Oh, no, that’s okay. Um, would you like to try your dress on?”

Sure, which one is mine?” Marisen repeated.

The gold one of course.”

Who is the silver one for?”

Oh… uh, no one.”

Then why did you make it?” Marisen persisted. She usually would not pry but she wanted to know why her mother was so agitated.

Oh, no reason. Really,” the queen turned around and started straightening the impeccable sewing table. “I was just playing with new colors, I wanted to see how the dress would look in silver, that is all. Nothing really….”

Right,” Marisen answered, deciding to just let it go.

Her mother quickly put the silver dress in the closet, closing the door with a snap.

Marisen went into her happy place as her mother fixed her dress, pinning a piece here, marking a seam there.

Finally she was done and Marisen wandered back to her room. She sat there the rest of the day, thinking about what would happen the next day and watching the sun sink in the sky. She knew the suitors were all in the castle, but she had not seen anyone yet. But then again, she had only left her room for breakfast, and the castle was quite large.

At six Delaney brought her dinner, but Marisen could only sip the soup, she did not touch the bread or cherry cobbler. Her stomach was too full of butterflies. She was not sure if they were nervous butterflies or excited butterflies.

Lady Delaney took away her plate with a curtsy and Marisen laid down and slowly slipped off to sleep as the sun sunk below the horizon.

 

Title Borrowed From: Brian Gaynor Photography

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