Short Story Collection

This is a collection of short stories I've written. Enjoy!

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3. Her Muteness

“Chelsea!” a voice called up the stairs, “Come on! We’re going to be late.” Chelsea raced down the steps, hiking the hem of her ball gown up so she could do so. Her heels clicked and clacked on the wooden floor as she ran, her dress almost getting caught several times. And several times more she had to stop to keep it from getting under her heels and keep from tripping. But it was all worth it when she got to the bottom of the steps.

Flowing to her waist was her loose, soft, slightly wavy black hair, which complemented her blue eyes. She was the most sought after girl in all of England, but her hand and heart could only go to a prince…her father’s orders. As king of England, her father could do that. But Chelsea didn’t mind. She could add her requirements too. And her only requirement that had been added was that her future husband knew sign language. None of the princes, however, would take her up on that.

“You look amazing in green, Chels,” a voice echoed from behind her, and she turned around. Her father, with his blond hair and brown eyes, looked nothing like her, but was her father all the same. Chelsea smiled.

“Thanks daddy,” she said, but not in the normal way. She spoke with her hands, her mouth never moving from the smile. Her father smiled, eyes full of tears. Chelsea, though a princess and amazingly beautiful, was mute. And almost every single prince she met hated that about her.

“I mean it, Chelsea,” her father added, “Now show me that smile. A little bigger.” Chelsea rolled her eyes playfully, but managed a bit of a bigger smile. Her father nodded approvingly. “That’s my Chelsea,” he added, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. The green dress she had decided to wear for tonight’s ball only made her hair static.

“I need a brush,” Chelsea signed, “Where’s my blue one?” Her father handed her a brush, almost like he had been expecting it. Rolling her eyes, Chelsea walked into the bathroom. Her father heard the running water as Chelsea ran her brush through the stream of tap water.

“You have to hurry, Chelsea,” her father called again, “Now remember that princes Aaron, Herald, and Jared are coming over tonight for the ball. You’ll have to dance with each of them at least once tonight.” Chelsea rolled her eyes in the bathroom. Why do I have to dance with them? None of them know sign language, so we can’t talk while we dance. “Prince Daniel is coming over as well,” her father added, “He’s deaf, so he knows sign language on a level as well as you know it.” This got Chelsea’s attention. Not many of the princes would let her father know if they were deaf…or even if they had a handicap like that. Why would Daniel tell her father he was deaf?

“I’m coming, I’m coming,” Chelsea signed to her father, “Don’t get your royal pants in a bunch.” Her father laughed at her joke and helped her with her hair before taking her down to the ballroom.

Chelsea saw a man, no older than 20 but no younger than her at 18, signing to a guard. Most of the guards around here knew sign language because of her muteness and she watched from behind the curtain.

“Is Miss Chelsea dancing tonight?” the man signed. The guard nodded. Everyone knew she’d dance with at least the princes before retiring. But there was something about this signing man that intrigued her.

“Chelsea, time to make your grand appearance,” her father said behind her, making her jump in surprise. She nodded, taking a deep breath and straightening her dress’s skirt before walking out from behind the curtains. Her father came out right behind her.

“Thank you all for coming,” she signed, but everyone looked at her weirdly.

“Thank you all for coming,” her father translated for her and then continued as she continued to sign, “Please enjoy the food and the dancing.” She smiled widely, her signal to start the party.

“My princess,” a familiar voice said behind her, and Chelsea turned around. Prince Aaron stood behind her. “Would you like to dance?” he asked her. Without giving her a chance to respond, he took her down to the dance floor. Chelsea took ahold of her dress’s skirt and danced with Aaron.

“May I cut in?” another voice came in about three minutes later. Prince Jared’s face met her. She felt like she would just be passed from prince to prince tonight…as she was at most balls.

Herald took her five minutes after she started dancing with Jared. He was quite the jabber mouth, leaving her no time to respond at all in the way he had her held. Her arms were trapped between her chest and his, and his arms wrapped around her body tightly enough she couldn’t move.

Someone tapped her shoulder, making Herald let her turn around to see who wanted to see her. It was a man; the same man she had seen signing to the guard.

“May I have this dance, Princess Chelsea?” he signed to her. Chelsea nodded, pulling away from Herald.

“Oh no you don’t, Deafy,” Herald said, taking Chelsea’s arms and pulling her back to his chest.

“I believe the princess said she’d like to dance with me, and she’s already danced with the other princes,” he said, taking the time to painstakingly sound out each letter, each word of the sentence.

“Prince Daniel?” Chelsea signed, “Is that you?” The man nodded with a smile. Chelsea felt a smile spread across her face. Despite being mute, her smile told all that it had to: she was happy that someone else knew sign. And he was a prince, the one requirement that her father had.

“Shall we?” she signed, pulling away from Herald. Herald seemed surprised that she finally pulled away, and with such a velocity.

“We shall,” he signed, bowing to her as she curtsied to him. A small silence went over the ballroom as she and Daniel started to dance. He was humming, a bit tone deafly, but she giggled silently at it. She could hear him, and he could speak.

“I think Chelsea has a crush,” Jared whispered to Herald, but Chelsea shot him a look. Daniel mouthed something to her.

“He giving you trouble?” she made out. Chelsea shook her head. Daniel knew how limited she was from how limited he was, but he still continued the conversation, “Would you like to come over sometime?” Chelsea hesitated. Would her father approve?

“I’ll have to talk to my dad,” Chelsea mouthed, not a sound coming out of her mouth, but Daniel understood what she meant. He nodded understandingly, but they continued to dance for the rest of the night.

“Thanks for the amazing night, Chelsea,” Daniel signed, “And thank you for dancing with me.” Chelsea smiled, nodding.

“No problem,” she signed back, “and I love that you know sign language. None of the other princes take it up. Even though I want someone that’ll be able to sign to me, they just want me to be quiet 24/7.” Daniel laughed. There was something about him that made her feel there was a chance for her.

“I know that feeling,” Daniel signed, “My parents are like that.” Chelsea frowned.

“No one should be like that,” she signed furiously, “Especially not your parents.”

“For someone that can’t speak, you sure spoke,” Daniel joked with a laugh. Chelsea smiled and gave a silent laugh.

“You made a good joke,” she signed, “Not many people can do that with me. On that subject, at least.” Daniel smiled.

“I know,” he signed, “I’ve had many people try to make a joke with my deafness, but no one succeeds.” Chelsea nodded.

“I won’t try,” she signed, “I won’t even succeed. I don’t plan to try it anytime soon.” She signed this with a sincere smile, something that wasn’t seen from her often. And when it was seen from her, it meant something special had happened to her or that she was going to do something that’d seem crazy.

“I don’t mind,” Daniel signed, “I just don’t like being called Deafy.” Chelsea frowned. What could she do to make him feel better about being deaf? And could he do something about her being mute?

Chelsea sat down in a chair, thinking. Her favorite part of being mute was that almost no one cared what she was thinking. That left her to her thoughts more often than not. But Daniel had taken to sitting as well and was staring intently as she stared off into space and thought.

A tap on her shoulder by him brought her out of her thoughts a few minutes later. She met his eyes.

“What are you thinking about?”
“Something. Why are you interested, just out of curiosity?”
“Because you zoned out. And Herald’s asking you to dance again.”
“Ugh, no. Not with him. Not again.”
“Why not?”
“He holds me really close, close enough I can’t pull away and I can’t use my arms. That and he’s a major jabber mouth.”

Daniel’s head leaned back, his mouth letting out a loud, raspy laugh. Chelsea raised an eyebrow, but was glad she made him laugh.

“Herald? A jabber mouth?” he managed to sign. She nodded. “My brother? At home he’s always so withdrawn…” Daniel added in sign once he was calm again.

“Maybe because I can hear and can’t speak,” Chelsea replied, “I personally wish I had earplugs. His voice is so screechy and annoying.” Daniel laughed again, making Chelsea give a silent giggle.

“I don’t normally come to these things, but I saw Herald complaining to dad that if he ever had a chance with you, and he talks about you a lot, he’d have to take up, and I quote, Daniel’s annoying hand movements,” Daniel continued in sign, “I decided I’d come and see why he was so worked up about having to learn sign. You’re an amazing girl, Chelsea, despite being unable to speak.”

“I could say the same about you,” Chelsea commented, “Can’t hear but that doesn’t stop you from anything. Not with me, at least.” Daniel nodded, smiling slightly.

“Because with you, I don’t have to be self-conscious about the signing,” he explained with his hands, “You know sign well. And you’re the only person that’s made me laugh so much in one night.” Chelsea now returned his smile.

“There’s one more dance before the ball ends,” she signed, “Shall we?” Daniel seemed a bit surprised she had asked him to dance first this time, but nodded and they went back out onto the dance floor for the last dance.

“Oh no she doesn’t,” Herald’s voice rang out across the floor. She felt someone take her by the shoulders, but Daniel wouldn’t let go of her waist.

“Trust me?” he mouthed to her. She nodded.

“Anything to get Herald off me,” she mouthed back. Daniel pulled her into a slow spin, pulling her closer as he did so. It soon surpassed how close Herald held her and before she knew it…they were kissing. Herald had tried the same thing a few months ago, but with Daniel…there was something special to it.

“Alrighty then,” her father’s voice cut through, “I’m guessing that ends that.” Chelsea made a quick ‘oh heck yes he’s the one’ sign behind Daniel’s neck as they pulled away.

“May I be your boyfriend?” Daniel signed. Chelsea nodded.

“Of course, Daniel,” she replied, “I wouldn’t have had it any other way after tonight.” Daniel smiled.

“Thank you all for coming,” her father said, “I believe my daughter has found the special someone she’s been looking for.” Chelsea nodded, smiling.

“If that’s alright with you, Daniel,” she signed, “I’d like you to help me rule England.” Daniel smiled.

“I’d love to, Chels, if I may call you that,” Daniel signed back. Chelsea nodded with a smile.

“Whatever you’d like to call me, Daniel,” she added.

“And likewise to you, Chels,” he replied. A few moments later, his lips were on hers again, but he span her around before they kissed again.

“And we’ll live happily ever after,” Chelsea signed after they pulled away, “Won’t we?” Daniel nodded.

“Yes we will,” he added, “and now I’m glad I took the chance to come tonight.” Chelsea smiled, spinning around with Daniel once more.

“So I can come over some time?” Chelsea signed. Daniel nodded.

“Of course,” he mouthed, “Any time. And the same for me?”

“Of course,” Chelsea replied, “Of course.”

A few weeks passed, and the mutual feeling they had started with grew and blossomed. And within the next half of a year, they were married. As Chelsea had predicted, they lived happily ever after.

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