Dawn came as fast as yesterday had flied away. The sliding panel by my wall-tall window can't hide that sun growing out of its shell forever, my maids will be here any minute now.
Maxti and Jariel sing. They don't have to today though, because I'm already awake. I lay down in my bed, the white covers half drawn to my body in a mess. The birds's lullaby only terrifies me, since yesterday I've been having these weird and scary short dreams of creatures. Animals...
After I hear about this famous Whimbsey of the Palace. Who appears to have issues putting it's little nose in rooms where he does not belong. But you know what more? The victims don't shoo it away instead they let him be an extra ear in their little mischievous conversation and dine on their left over meat bones for a extra treat.
As sleep taunted me, I recalled my mother saying that sometimes it's hard to fall asleep because either you are too exited for the coming day, or you have ate a lot before your bed time. Definitely nothing interesting is happening today, so of course, I must have ate a lot yesterday night. Which is actually true.
Uh, I have a bomb in my head that just can't seem to explode! What am I suppose to do? Surely, they will notice my sleepless face. The party is my excuse. But, if there was no party this wouldn't have happened in the first place!
The Queens moving lips are stuck in my head, the cup of tea in her hand. Sitting straight, and looking at me through her scary eyes. Then the voice comes that replace her lips and it's movement.
"And now you shall be of a grown up."
The memory comes and goes as if I had drank alcohol or something the night, which I hadn't. The picture is dizzy and upside down, first it's in perfect focus then, it looses its focus and she is blurred out again. Only her voice remains.
"A girl like you- You should know better. If you were my daughter you would've been shipped off to the Prince of Sfairnia forth the night of today. But, sadly you are not. And he would have been in this party. But, he is not. I suggest you take life seriously from now on and become a lady. And forget the demon you were when you were a child and...- most importantly don't let anyone remind you of those days."
Of those days? Who is she to tell me what I was and what I'm to become? Not my father, not my mother. Not even a far-far relative! All she is is a queen who demands and gets what she wants. But... Am I going to let a completely undesirable stranger take over my life? And foremost, what did she exactly want from me yesterday?
Maybe, she was just trying to be nice... And give me heads up in life and just a suggestion as she said.
But, no... The way she phrased it, her voice, the way she said it... What did she mean when she said it I were her daughter?
Why ME? UGH!!! I JUST WANT TO SLEEP. GO AWAY YOU UGLY MEMORIES!
I close my eyes and right when my thoughts retreat they come in and draw the black panels and white satin curtains back. The sun roars at me, I squint, moaning and roll over in my bed.
"It's time to wake up Vera. A beautiful day is waiting ahead for you." May said. She's been in the mansion for as long as I can remember. She is very beautiful and young. A natural orange head with gray eyes, and thin but hard built, about five feet.
"Have you taken your doze?" Pat said, searching through my table of a lot of containers.
"Leave me alone! I'm going to sleep in today." I say lazily and unconvincingly.
"Oh come on Missy. You don't want your first day of womanhood to start off like this. And you don't want to displease your parents now, do you dear?" Lucy comes in to my aid and to comfort me. Lucy is the thin, childlike one. She's so nice, it's like something impossible and beyond imaginary.
"Ugh, don't remind me!" I plead.
"Then don't let us, Missy."
Perfect. Even my maids tell me not to let them.
"We have a guest today."
Now this draws attention to her, and I am hooked once again, like I always am to the stories she used to tell me about adventures outside of the walled and securely shut city of Pazaria, when I was a child.
"It's a prince."
"Oh, no." I whine and draw the sheets back to my face, not interested anymore. I just want to go underneath ten mattresses, suffocate, and die.
"It wont be that bad deary," Pat comes and sits by my bed stoking my hair. It's very smoothing and comforting. But, sometimes it just makes me sadder because I have 'pets' (as the prideful peasants describe it), comfort me, when all the other girls in the world have mothers who solve their problems. Oh well, you can't control who your parents are right? And to whom you were born to.
Afterwards I wash myself and decide that I am finally awake. I'm suddenly switched into my day dress and put into my brown sandals. My maids pin my brown hair up into a bun, then adding orange emerald pins that match with my flowing orange dress. It gives you the sense of summer, you know.
But sadly, summer gave an end a long short time ago. It is the end of October now. I would have done my own hair, but the last six months it has grown so long, it's troubling to even tie it! And I don't want to cut it, so my maids just do it for me now.
And lastly, I take my set of medication that every one is required to take. It's something for correct body functions and other stuff I didn't pay attention to when the doctor was explaining. But, I remark he gave me a deadly look near the end of our appointment and said that it's forbidden to ever skip a day, and that I must take it everyday. We get some kind of flu or deadly disease and have to be thrown outside of the city, in fear of passing the disease. Since, our population isn't that enormous but, perfect for the size of our grounds.
The head maid, Pat (I know she sounds mean but she's not), follows me as I hold the rail and walk down the hugely wide and dark brown stairs, standing tall. She's right behind me.
"Good morning Father." I say intelligently.
"Ha! Good morning to you too, Veronica." He says looking up from his newspaper and tea.
"Vera how has been your morning?" Mother asked.
"Very great, Such a lovely evening we ha-" I am cut off, clearly not interesting her and gladly, from my non-adorned words.
"Have you met Edmund here?" She looks at me, sticking a teaspoon inside her mouth. Behind her, in the mall couch by the breakfast table I see his head covered in a brindle (and also a mess) of brown hair, sitting down, he stands up and faces us. With a deadly but nervous smile.
"Well, then you shall have a walk outside after breakfast." She turns to him," You said you have already ate, am I correct?" .
"Oh yes, I am plenty full but, thank you very much." He smiles, "Good morning my Lady Veronica. Don't you look astonish-" I have to cut him off.
"Father wont you be going horse riding today?" I say as I take a seat next to him. I can see mother trying to get my attention from the corner of my eye, not to act so selfish and childlike as I usually do around guys.
"Oh, no. I'm sorry darling but not today. Work is very heavy lately. You can go with Edmund if you want." He says without looking up from his newspaper. A maddening spark grows inside me towards father.
"I hear you're a great sport Edmund? Would be very satisfying to see Veronica be beaten for once in our lives." Mother gives a low laugh, father joins.
"Yes, very. Do you mind my Lady, in joining me to go horse racing today?" He asks.
"Yes, actually. I do mind." I say straightforwardly, blinking hard. Edmund smiles stupidly, pretending as if he was sure he heard something wrong there. But it's my mothers demonic face that makes me scarred at the scene.
"I meant that would be great." I smile wide showing my extra long teeth, hoping to look idiotic.
But, mother smiles, this is the satisfaction itself for her.
'If you want.' Father leaves the choice to me, however mother pushes it.
"To prove that I can beat anyone and for the sake of this guy to never want to see my face again." I whisper to myself.
"Did you say something my Lady?" Edmund asked.
"Oh, no. This croque-monsieur is very delicious." I say while having a bite. Mothers eyes widen at my dis-manners.
"Won't you bother with having some?" She asks.
"No thank you Lorenz."
"Edmund here is the son of Lord Jasperio. The bow maker, you remember?" Father explains, giving out a low sigh.
"Oh yes, I remember."
"He has been studying abroad in Resmaya and Tepeki for the last five years. He has majored in the press, publishing, and mostly laws. He's here today to help me come up with a simplified way to explain to the public about this new law that had been passed two months ago. In order to not cause any more debates and fights in the town Circle. Sadly, we wont be needing him until afternoon. So it would be nice if there were someone he could talk to." He finishes, taking a sip of his tea and buttered bread stick.
Yes, someone for him to talk to, to get around the awkward and long silent moments having to sit in a alien and strangely unfamiliar couch and have to ignore all the alien servants.
I sigh to myself. Today is going to be a very tiring and flatly long day.
Breakfast is done and cleared with. But, this riding will take ten times longer than breakfast. My maids help me switch into my leather riding outfit and gear. My hair is braided, gloves put on, and then my coat.
We have quite few horses. Mine is Lucian, she was a gift from my father for my eight birthday, and the only white horse that we have. Father allowed Edmund to ride his horse, Jack. For Jack and Lucian are used to only each other.
I walk out of our stable with Lucian, stroking her ear. I get on her back, and soon Edmund joins me. The air makes it seem like it's barely dawn. Chilly and a few breezes. We can see our breaths in the air as we exhale. This view is beautiful and will never get old. My eyes will always yearn for more. It's grassy here, and we can see the tall trees overhead that mark the starting of the forest, and all there really is in there is mud and vines. That makes it harder a hunt. That's the whole game of this. He's never raced in these woods, so I have one advantage already.
Me racing with a stranger is very rare. But, if he happens to come back, he might win me. Then, that will be a problem. Say hello and goodbye, Edmund, to your only and last race with a girl in your lifetime. There are no girls in this city who ride horses. They don't dare. But, I don't care. I have one of those qualities of being brave. I do what I love beyond judgment. And everyone knows that, so none of them ever question me. Never.