I sat bolt upright in her bed. I heard voices outside her bedroom, and decided that it was my mother and the dress-maker.
"Oh, but she would look lovely in a dress of this fabric!" declared the dress-maker, Amelia.
"But Amelia," said my mother, Heather, "it would clash with the rest of her outfit, and her hair."
My hair was a blue-green ombre. I rose out of bed, and felt my moon amulet, much like the one I gave to my earth friends, Lia, Mariah, and Annie.
Sometimes I wonder what's going on, back on Earth with them. Of course I miss them, but I know I made the right decision. Maybe Mother will allow me a short trip to visit? I know better than to ask. I won't be visiting anytime soon because of the Acceptance Ceremony. My people here will be throwing a ceremony in my honor, because the Alien Royale has been returned to Bri-topia. That's probably what Mother and Amelia are talking about right now.
I stand up and stretch like a cat, and tuck the Amult under the hem of my shirt. I'm not sure if Mother has told Amelia about it. I peep my head around the doorframe to better hear their conversation. I swear I'm not eavsdropping. (Okay, maybe I am, but I like to call it "curiosity". It sounds better that way.)
"You do understand how important this is?" my mother snaps. "She must look perfect; this is the first-and only- Acceptance Ceremony she has."
Amelia looks frustrated. Finally she lets out a long sigh and says, "How about this. We let Bri choose, because it's her dress, and if you hate it, then you can fire me and murder the dress and whatnot."
Mother agrees silently and turns to the bedroom. When she notices my face sticking out the doorframe, she gives a start and says, "Bri! You-you're up."
"Well, I'll just be going, the dresses are in the bathroom, and uh, I'll see you at the Ceremony, Miss," Amelia stutters, and hurries away. She didn't make eye contact with me at all.
"Come along, Bri, quietly," my mother guides me through a maze of hallways and stairs and narrow stone passages. "We mustn't wake the entire household."
Just as we pass a small rectangular window, I catch a first glimpse of where the heck I am. What I see shocks me. There is a city, outlined by a thick haze of brownish-gray fog. A few flying cars (Or what looks like a car) zoom across the horizon. A light breeze ruffles the burnt leaves of dying trees. I remember some things of my former life, before I had to leave Bri-Topia, and this wasn't one of them. I remember endless bright blue skys with fluffly white clouds. I remember brilliant green forests, lush with wildlife and color. Cobblestone roads went to and fro the city, and little dirt ones wound their way around the Palace gardens. The Palace!
I tear my eyes away from the horrid sight and run up to my mother. "Mother," I ask, tentatively because she seems lost in thought. "Mother-where are we? What happened to the Palace, and-and the city? And-" A sudden memory of five minutes previously crept across my mind, "and why did Amelia seem-fidgety-around me? Who-"
"Slow down, slow down!" she smiles. "I cannot tell you most of those answers, not now, where we are out and about in the open." She glances over her shoulder. "I can tell you though, many people, including Amelia, apparently, are displeased by your return. They believe the rightful heir should choose their successor, in this case your father. But since we had left, he could not choose you. So therefore, the people want a majority. They want to vote on the next Princess. They also think that you could have been changed...somehow, I'm not sure, but you could be different, and not the true yourself you were. They are afraid of us, and I must say, that is causing quite a problem."
Mother stops and yanks open a set of elaborately carved double-doors. She ushers me inside, and I immediately think some sort of color explosion has taken place. We're in a huge room, with wide glass windows and fluffy white carpet. each wall has a different color wallpaper with a different design. Draped to a point on the ceiling are blue and green velvet curtains, casting a shadowy glow across the floor. Tiny brass candles wink from all sides.
"Where are we?" I gasp.
"Your changing room," Mother says nonchalantly. "Fit for a princess, am I right?" She is more than right. It's beautiful.