I am in the middle of a huge ballroom, filled with people dancing and laughing. I look down and I have blue gown on, the color of the night, with sleeves of black lace and it drapes down the middle and the back. The skirt trails down behind me but stops short of a wedding gown length. My breasts are pushed up to my ears but they are visible. I touch my hair. There is a top-not that has spirals falling down my back. Brown wisps frame my face and I frantically search for a mirror. I look and off to the side of the ballroom is a hall where ladies walk in and out of. I walk over, not drawing any attention to myself.
Inside the hall lies a mirror that many ladies are checking their hair in. I am afraid to look, but when I turn, a girl with paler skin and crisp blue eyes faces me. Thick lashes coat the tops of my eyes and the bright red lipstick stands out against the blemish free face. I don’t believe it. I raise my hand and touch my face, but lying on my hand is a ring, a ruby, on the most important finger. The woman next to me looks and with wide eyes, curtsy and says ‘apologies princess’. I look at her as she scurries away back to the dance. I walk back and enter the party. People whisper behind fans and glance at me. I look around the vast room and find an empty table to sit.
A man approaches me, carrying a rose. I look at him, studying his movements, his features, which are flawless. This suit is crisp black, with gold stitching and a tail. His hair is longer, longer than most of the other men here. It falls in his eyes, but it is short enough to see beautiful green eyes piercing me as he continues to walk towards me. My breath catches. He reaches me and hands me the rose; red and it smells lovely.
“May I have this dance, my love?” he asks, placing his hand out.
I take it. I actually take it and he pulls me to the dance floor. The music changes to a slower paced song and this man takes my waist.
“Excuse me but who are you?” I ask.
“You are quite funny, Elizabeth. But in case you forgot who your fiancé is, my name is, my name is Samuel Le Fayette.”
“Of course” I respond, and play it off by adding “I could never forget you my love.”
“Splendid. Does your ring fit okay?”
I look at it and say “yes, quite well. It is beautiful.”
“I am happy that you enjoy beauty. I for one know a beautiful woman when I see one and you are most definitely the most beautiful one here.”
“Thank you. That is sweet.”
“Are you enjoying your party, Elizabeth?”
“My party… Yes, it is well.”
“I wanted to make sure that your engagement was monumental. Even with all that is going on in your kingdom, you are more important, princess.”
Engagement party? Fiancé? What is going on?
The song ends and Samuel walks me back to the table. Samuel follows and asks “are you feeling well? You look pale, darling.”
“Yes,” I respond, “just warm. I am going to take a walk though”
“Are you going to be alright?”
“Yes. I will be fine thank you.”
I get up and walk to the door. The cool air hits me like a wall and instantly I feel better than that stuffy, sweaty room. I look up to the clear sky and the breeze brings a foul scent to my nose. It smells of fire and death. I walk towards it, covering my nose with the handkerchief I had in my sleeve. The path leads me to a horrid sight. A small house is in flames and bodies are spread about. A man in all black holds a young woman in his grasp and whispers something in her ear.
She screams. Louder than I have ever heard. Then she goes limp in his hands and he adds her to the pile of bodies. I gasp in horror. I turn and run as fast as my feet can carry me. The sound of movement commences behind me and I start to sprint but it becomes impossible in this dress. I trip and fall and soon the man with the scent of death lingering on his robe is over me, eyes not visible, just a smile that is full of sharp teeth. I scream and as he leans down to whisper a gruesome fate into my ear.
I black out.
A nurse stands over me, shaking me awake from my slumber.
“Elizabeth! Sweetie are you alright?” she asks.
I look at her, shaking and tell her “Yeah. I think it was just a nightmare.”
“Okay It is 8:30. Time for breakfast and your lines need to be changed. The doctors expect you to be back home tomorrow.”
“Thank you, Mervin.”
She goes and gets me the food and I see a rose sitting on the edge of my bed. A note is attached and reads
‘I left this morning and didn’t want to wake you. I will bring over your school work later. I hope you feel better.
I smile. But then something clicks. It had begun two days ago after English. I think harder. In school, I remember seeing two people; a girl with pink skin and a boy with wings. Then there was the incident that in the fire that put me into the hospital and now waking up screaming after almost dying. The party and having a perfect life as a princess and the rose and it appearing on my bed. My ‘fiancé’ Samuel…
I start to get nervous.
Are my reality and fantasy connected?
That would mean…
I might be dead in five days.