"The prince has claimed himself a foreign bride," Nan says fretting about the kitchen in a haste to prepare dinner, "I never thought I'd see the day!"
"Mr. Sheppard was on about it all day," I huff taking a seat at the old, splintered, table to peel the apples I collected, "a foreign princess, I've heard enough of her."
No one complained as much when King Aaron bedded a young servant girl only three months prior. As far as I am aware the entire kingdom were hypocrites.
"Well perhaps she'll set the prince right!" Anne says as she wanders into the kitchen, "she may direct his attention to the little wages us little people receive!" she wipes her palm across the forehead before shooting me a smile. "Alexandra, where did you get all these apples?"
Nan who is leaning over the oven looks over with raised brows, "do you even have to ask?" scoffing, "she's stolen them."
"Well, she is your daughter!"
"Why is she always my daughter when she does bad, Anne?" the old woman whines.
The other ignores her, busying herself with wiping something away with a wet thumb.
"You can't take things your entire life, you know?"
Well, why can't I? I want to ask, the rich don't seem to miss anything but I hush, avoiding more nagging. Anne hates when I take things...and I suppose that how most parents might feel if their daughter were a thief. Supposedly other parents had logical reasons such as safety or jail time but no it was all about marriage. She'd say you'll never make a proper wife if you get on the way you do.
I suppose it was also normal for a young woman of my age to desire a husband but I've never had such desires. In fact I don't believe I've ever thought much about love to begin with...let alone about a man.
I've lived my entire life never having felt those sort of affections. The only love I know is coin, the only desire I have ever had was not to starve. I want to live forever with just me, Nan and Anne in the country side maybe.
Are my dreams not enough?
"You're such a lovely girl," Anne says looking me over with sharp blue eyes, she caresses my cheek. "With such complexion, many gentlemen should find you most agreeable! If it weren't for those trousers and oh! this god awful cape hides your beautiful hair--why if you had a proper fixing you'd be a fine wife."
I squirm under her touch, attempting to retreat as she tries to reach for my hood, a tick too late before she yanks it off. Her face twists in terror as she looks over my head of chopped golden locks.
Nan turns then, her face mirroring Anne's. "What on Earth have you done to your hair?!"
"She's chopped it all off, can you not see?
"Hush, Nan!" Anne glares at the top of my head, her eyes thin, disapproving slits.
"Al-Alexandra!" Nathaniel calls bursting through the door in a frenzy, "the-the princess...she-they...the prince" he gasps. Anne walks him at the back of his head.
"C'mon! Out with it!"
"The princess and the prince are arriving in town!" he finally announces.
A small moment of silence fell on the room before the three of them rush out the front door. Everyone in town has been in want of laying an eye on the princess, the somewhat controversial topic of the land for several weeks. And as much as I hate to admit I too want a peek at her. In other countries it is a common practice to marry foreigners but our land was always much different. Since the ban on magic, the practice of trade, marriage and all other foreign dealings were strictly forbidden as well. I suppose rules are only to be followed by the little people.
Neither of us has the slightest idea of what to expect as we make way to the town's centre.
People are already whispering amongst themselves as we arrive, just as the announcement of the prince's arrival was made. Something felt different ,though I can't put my foot on just what.
His black horse prances into view, more murmurs erupt. "It takes him to run off and engage a foreigner before he can come and see his people" an old lady scuffed her pinched face souring at the look of him. "He's trying to distract us, the kingdom on the south are still planning to rebel" whispered another.
Then there is praise.
Patrons flock as close to the prince as possible, offering hens and fresh bread. The prince has always been seen as handsome with a sharp jaw and kind green eyes, which earned him unconditional adoration from women across all five kingdoms.
Finally along side him comes another horse, a stunning white stead with a woman on it's back. Her face is vailed by a black cape, outfit offering very little to the eye. A brown hand reaches out and lay gently upon the prince's shoulder. Admiration twinkles in his eyes as he looks to her with the softest gaze I have ever witnessed.
Whispers erupts again.
He removes himself from his horse with ease, eyes remaining only on her as he walks to her side, offering a hand. The princess hops off her horse, her hand in his. The veiled woman brushes the cape from her head, revealing thick raven curls. A synchronized gasp escapes the lips in the crowd.
My eyes drink her in, every inch of her face I explore, the soft curves of her jaw, and high cheek bones.
She is radiant.
My breathe is taken by her.
The princess smiles out into the crowd, her eyes bewitching their captor. Then there is I, who stands entrapped in her stunning gaze, my stomach of butterflies, my heart of fiery. I am enchanted, by marvelous pools of honey in the sunlight, the warmth of them, the power they held.
"Her eyes!" Nan whispers to me in alarm but I see it, I see her magic, nothing in my life can compare to the sight.
My mother was still pregnant with me when the king placed the ban and all the people of Kriryan agreed to rid themselves of all magic. I never seen anyone with it but somehow I knew what it was just looking at it.
Her eyes drift away from me, finally I breathe.
(Please excuse mistakes! Haven't edited a lot)
Thank you for reading!