Poise

Anastasia Blackwell has been born to the Blackwells, the royal family of Eriden, the aftermath of what once was the United States. Lacking in royal etiquette and manners, she is sent to Starr's, a school for rising young women and men. There she finds out dark secrets about her family and she doesn't know what or who to trust.

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1. School Sucks

I look out the carriage window and sigh, pulling the black lace curtains shut. I blow a strand of hair out of my eyes and rest my chin on my hand. "I don't want to do this." I mumble against my hand making me drool.

"Well, darling, when you sit like...that, you're bound to get some scolding." My mother says pushing some of my hair behind my ear. I frown and wipe the drool off my chin. "Whatever. When most people say scolding, they don't mean pawning your child off to some orphanage." I reply.

My mother laughs a little chirp, "Honey, I am not pawning you off and it is not an orphanage, for the fortieth time! It is only a school for rising young women and men and you are seriously lacking in manners."

"Sure." I say sardonically, throwing my feet up on the seat the opposite side of the carriage. My mother frowns at me and narrows her eyes. She sighs and leans closer to me, she grabs my feet and sets them down onto the floor and crosses them at the ankles. She grabs me hands and puts one over the other and sits them in my lap, she ruffles my dark curls to where they frame my face. Satisfied, she nods and leans back, striking the exact same posture as she just set me into. I sneak a look at her and see her aged, but still beautiful, face looking out her window. The faded lines of wrinkles beside her eyes and mouth flawing her beautiful face. Her posture is near-perfect, so is everything about her and she wants me to be the same, but it's just not me... I'm not like her... I can't sit quietly and just let the men do everything while I "support" them. My mother wants my hair to be perfectly upright, my makeup perfectly settled, my figure perfectly shaped, and my personality perfectly... quiet. But that is not me.

***

"Oh, darling...look we're here!" My mother claps her hands together. As the carriage stops she smiles, showing the crinkles by her eyes and mouth. The coachmen opens the door and my mother practically hops out, but she wouldn't do that. I suppress a laugh at the thought of my mother hopping around like a large rabbit. "Oh, darling is it not wonderful?" She says gleefully, pressing her hands to her mouth.

I look up at the dark, gothic exterior. Black pointy roof, dreary doors, dirty windows. "Wonderful." I say blankly.

My mother straightens out my light blue dress before we enter the school. We are greeted by a bony, pointy woman. She has a long neck and small head, her waist is smaller than mine and she doesn't look to be wearing a corset. Her black dress sticks straight to the ground and the collar goes up to her jawline. Her remaining dark gray hair is pulled back into a bun so tight it pulls the edge of her eyes back. "Welcome," She says in a strong accent. "To 'Starr's School for Rising Young Women and Men'."

"Wow, long name." I mumble.

She frowns at me, "I am Martha Starr 111, the granddaughter of Dorothy Starr, the founder of Starr's School for Rising Young Women and Men."

"Cool, well I'm..." I trail off as my mother glares at me.

"...Uh...I mean...E-exquisite, my name is Anastasia Margaret Marie Victoria Charlotte Blackwell." I let out a breath at my annoyingly long name, everyday I tell my mother, she could've just named Anastasia Margaret Blackwell, but no!

"Yes...I gathered that." The woman purses her lips. She waves me away with her hand and begins talking to my mother. I look around and find a chair, ugh finally, I've been walking all day!

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