Sunday Stories: Sleeping Beauty – Part Ten
And here it is, the eagerly anticipated second part of the seventh chapter! (Whew, that was a mouthful! Why do blog entries have to be so short and make me keep chopping up my chapters? Seriously.)
I’m so loving sharing this story with all of you, and I’m going to be so sad when it’s over! 😦 I’m already trying to decide what story I want to share next… I have a few in mind!
As always, if you need to catch up, here are the last few installments of this lovely little story I wrote way back in 2008, when I was twelve.
Chapter Seven, Cont’d
The next day my plan was set to action. Mother dolled me up, letting little curls fall from my bun and dabbing perfume on my neck. But she couldn’t wipe away the mischievous gleam from my eye.
As soon as Mother excused herself from the breakfast table I pretended to get sleepy. The princes watched with a mixture of surprise and horror as I yawned and stretched in public. One prince said something funny and I made sure my laugh was the loudest and my snort distinct. Daniel, who was standing behind his prince, laughed longer than anyone when he heard it.
Then Mother re-entered and I was a perfect doll again. Tiny sips, dainty smiles, and polite giggles. The princes frowned in confusion as Mother beamed. Inside, I beamed, too.
The first prince contest I watched was horseback riding. I sat in my chair, exasperated. It was ridiculous! How could having the fastest horse make someone suitable to be my true love and Caledonia’s next king?
I saw Daniel standing nearby, shading his eyes from the burning sun in order to watch.
“You there! Servant boy!” I called to him. No one but Hannah would recognize him anyway.
His eyes lit with amusement when he saw me calling him. Obediently, he came. “Yes, your highness?”
“Fan me.” I said as haughtily as I could. I turned to the other servants in my viewing box. “You may leave.”
Once they had all filed out, Daniel threw down the fan. “Fan me?” he mimicked with a grin.
I smiled back. “How was my performance at breakfast?”
He bowed. “Marvelous, I must say.” Then he leaned against the box’s wall. “Prince Carl was confused, that’s for sure.”
“Is he the one with the black hair and blue eyes that you’re always standing behind?”
Daniel shrugged. “Yeah, that’s him. He’s not that bad, though. He’s actually really smart, especially at arithmetic.”
I grinned teasingly. “Hmmm… He is good-looking. Maybe I should be pulling for him.”
I expected Daniel to laugh. Instead his eyebrows knotted together somewhat fiercely. “I have to go.” He began to turn.
“Wait.” I stood and grabbed his sleeve.
He turned abruptly. “Yes?”
We stood together, face to face. I opened my mouth to say something, then shut it. I had to tilt my face up to look him in the eye, he had grown so tall. He squinted at the sun shining in his clear blue eyes and raised an eyebrow at me. My hand was still on his arm.
I pulled it off as if I was on fire and stuck it behind me. “It was just a joke,” I stammered. “You don’t have to go.”
He shrugged and walked over to the edge of my box to watch the race in silence.
I sat down in my seat, confused. I was glad he couldn’t see the range of emotions having their own race across my face. Why did my stomach feel so fluttery? It’s just Daniel.
The winning horse flew over the finish line. Everyone cheered and stomped their feet. “And the winner is… Prince Carl of Moravia!” Mother nodded approvingly as the handsome prince waved to everyone.
Daniel turned to me. “They’re bringing him here to present to you.”
“Oh,” I frantically stuck a handful of grapes in my mouth.
“Your highness,” the duke motioned for the young prince to bow. “Prince Carl of Moravia.”
Mother turned to say something to a servant. This was my chance! I gave a little curtsy, but managed to stumble a bit. Then I smiled at him with a mouth full of grapes.
He wrinkled his nose.
Hah! Victory for Valerie!
Then he gave me a charming smile. “I hope to achieve the honor of your hand and kiss, your highness.” He bowed again.
I swallowed the grapes. Daniel grunted. Mother beamed.
Inside, I screamed.
To be continued…