Desert Rose

"Imagine a place where the desert and ocean collide. That's where I live."


2. Ceremony


“Today is a big, big day, Rose!” I hear Magdalena say. The curtains are ripped aside, revealing a breathtaking view of the Palace of Amandier. The sun streams in the window and hits me in the face, leaving me blinded, still in bed.  The Palace is special because it is placed right where the ocean and the desert collide. We live in the desert but we have a beach as our neighbor.

“You don't have to tell me twice,” I mumble, not getting up. I flip around, so my head hits the pillow. Ahhh sweet pleasure of darkness, I think, but then the sheets are pulled off me.  “Up you go, now! You have to be fresh today,” I finally, reluctantly get out of bed. Magdalena has placed today’s clothes on a chair by the mirror, behind my bed. She looks at me expectantly. I walk to the chair, and on it lies a breathtakingly beautiful red dress, with thin straps for my shoulders. The texture on it is unbelievable, as is the details and patterns. It goes all the way down to my ankles. I turn and look at myself in the mirror. I see a tall seventeen year old girl, with caramel colored hair, straight nose, discreet jaw line and stunning grey eyes. Magdalena is smiling so much it looks painful. I give her a huge hug. She bursts out laughing in joy.  

Magdalena is my personal maid, but she’s more of a friend to me. When I was a nine years old, my mother, Lily, died. I had loved her so much. My memories with her are precious, and I promised myself I would never forget.

So, when she died of a rare disease, I sought friendship and comfort, like I felt with my mother. Magdalena gave me that, so we started talking, and I found out we had a lot in common. *She understood how I was feeling because her mother had died, when she was young too.

My sister, Adriana, has a maid called Lavender, but their bond is no where near, what Magdalena and I share.


My father, Trenton Jecatou is the King of Amandier. Today is the ceremony of his birthday. Therefore the whole kingdom will gather in the Hall of Heritage, in our palace, where he will hold his annual speech. Afterwards everyone is invited to a feast. The whole population, of about 8,000,  is spread all over the desert, yet they make an effort to show up. Our society is built upon equality. No one has better things than others, and everyone is taken care of. You receive a house, filled with everything you need, but the size depends on how many family members occupied in the house. Should you have a baby, you are moved to a new, bigger house. 

Once a month, food supplies and beverages, are dropped on everyone's doorsteps, so they are set until they receive food again. You have to pay a quarterly fee, but everyone can manage. No one starves, or have no jobs.  

The children go to desert school, and the adults’ work, wherever is needed, to get things done, and receive some money.  But really everyone is fulfilled, and happy to live in Amandier. 


I run down the hall to my sister’s bedroom and find her standing in a beautiful dark blue silk dress that ends at her ankles. She laughs when she see’s my face. I’m probably standing with my mouth open in awe. “Well, what do you think?” she spins around. “Flawless. Beautiful. Amazing,” I say. Without another word she runs to my room and looks at my dress. Her face is priceless. 

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