The Lonely Princess pt 2

The next morning the princess was awoken by a hand on her shoulder. She opened her eyes and found herself on the streets, leaning against a light post. Sitting up a horrible headache rocked her mind. She glanced to her right and startled considerably. The man from the pub sat next to her, looking as awful as she felt.

“What happened?” She looked up at the now bright and sunny sky.

“You asked me to marry you and I said yes.” He said.

The princess shook off her hangover and looked at the man, confused. “We were drinking,”

He nodded. “We were both drunk. I don’t regret what I said, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to black mail you into going through with it.”

“What are you saying?” She asked.

He shrugged. “I’d like to know you better. Have dinner with me?” The princess’s breath caught in her throat. Truth was, she remembered the night before. Truth was, she did like him. Truth was, they were from different worlds.

The princess laughed, hiding her smile behind her hand just as her mother did at the countless parties she hosted. “Me? Go on a date with a commoner? A bar tender no less? You must have hit your head while drunk. I can’t believe, even intoxicated, I would propose to someone like you.”

“I understand.” He said as she stood and turned away. Walking back to her inn she consoled her worried maid and bade her pack quickly for departure so as to leave the town in haste.

She felt as foolish as a person could feel. She had come this far and now she was just going to run away? Perhaps love, the love she’d so desperately been searching for all this time, had offered itself to her and she’d been too heartless to take it up on the offer. How would it look, a princess running into the arms of a bar owner? She tried to convince herself it would be shameful.

That’s it. Now she understood why everyone insisted she never try. To find a decent man she could stand was all someone like her could hope for. The princess looked out the window of her carriage as it drove out of town into the countryside, the feelings of emptiness and loneliness coming to her stronger than ever. The face of the bar owner mocked the corners of her mind. It was too unbearable.

With little care to momentum the princesses threw open the carriage door without warning, taking a tumbling leap out onto the grass. Shouts from her company fell into the distance as she ran the way she’d fled desperately from. Back up the road, back to the town, back to the bar. Bursting through the door of the small, dear little tavern she found him behind the counter polishing glasses. He looked up, curious, as the princess stormed up to him. “Sir,” she said, standing at the counter looking very decided. “I accept your invitation for dinner.”

“Great,” he said in return, a small smile of amusement playing at his lips. “Where would you like to go?” After little deliberation the couple revisited their first meeting; the same time, the same table, but with slightly less alcohol so as to avoid misunderstanding.

The bar owner and princes began seeing each other on a regular basis and a few months later became engaged. They married in the bar they first met at and together moved to the princess’s home country where they ruled happily together for many years, rearing five children in the process. The princess never felt her heart ache of loneliness again, and though the couple still drank never again did they near the level of intoxication which had first brought them together.

The Lonely Princess pt 1

Once upon a time there was a princess who felt terribly lonely. Though she was surrounded by family and friends every day a dull pain would constantly distract her, growing into a stabbing of the heart late at night when alone. She cooped many years with her feelings of loneliness but after some time grew tired of baring it. Approaching her father and mother she asked for her solace to end; quite simply, to be married. Her parents were surprised, previously unaware of their daughter’s feelings. Approving of her wish they sent notice as far and wide as they could, telling all the princes of the news. The princess would travel from kingdom to kingdom until she found a prince she would be happy with. Excited her plight could finally come to an end she packed for the trip eagerly and was on her way within a week.

The first kingdom she visited was close by, less than a day’s ride from her home. There lived a prince she was familiar with. They were childhood friends in fact. The princess didn’t see the prince romantically but decided to feel out every plausible option just in case. The courting went as she expected. The two had a pleasant lunch and walked through the gardens the span of the afternoon. Though the prince did give it a good go the princess felt nothing more than friendly affection for the young man. She left early next morning to continue her search.

Months passed with little success. At one time she thought she’d fallen in love with one particularly handsome prince but soon found out they had very different opinions on tax reform. The maids told her she was far too picky—she would be wise to pick a prince of decent looks who she could stand to spend a few hours with everyday to settle on. It was the only way to ensure a secure future. The princess knew it was what was expected, but no matter how badly the pain came to her at night she could not bring herself to settle. Still she traveled, and still she found nothing. Every prince was too boring, too childish, too tall, too short, too skinny, too wide, too dumb, too smart, or just plain old too different for the princess to truly like. The pain at night in her heart grew steadily worse until she thought for sure she would die for how hard sleep came to her.

Many months passed. Unable to sleep and in a foreign land far from home she decided to walk about the small town her caravan had stopped in for the night to find a place open and serving food. She found a small tavern on a pleasant enough side street well lit and moderately populated. She sat at a table and moped about her situation with a drink. The chair across her became occupied as a smiling young man sat down. “Hello,” he started. “I saw you sitting alone and thought you might like some company. My name’s Paul.” The princess remained silent, eyeing the man.

“I suppose you’re a prince?” The princess took his hand in a delicate sort of way.

The man looked curious and shook his head. “Afraid not. I own this tavern.”

“Oh.” The princess opened her eyes wide.

“So what brings you here?”

“Ah,” she begins. “It’s a bit embarrassing actually.”

“Embarrassing isn’t necessarily bad.” He said.

“You’ll think I’m childish.” She insisted.

“Maybe. But I won’t stop talking to you because of it.”

The princess thought a moment before caving. “Alright. I’m traveling from place to place to find a husband.

“A husband?” The man raised his eyebrows.

“A man I love more like.” The princess confessed. “You see, I’ve never been in love and I’m terribly lonely because of it. I want to be married so I won’t be lonely anymore.”

“You’re right, it is childish.” The man laughed. “Let me buy you a drink.” An hour later the two were intoxicated, significantly enough to have an open discussion on romance. “I mean,” the man slurred is words. “You can’t just marry a guy because your lonely. It makes you look desperate.”

“But I am desperate.” The princess whined. “You don’t know what it’s like to lay in bed every night cold and alone.”

“Course I do,” the man corrected. “That’s what I do every night.”

“Do you?” The princess asked. “Well, you should get married too!” She exclaimed.

“I don’t know. I can’t seem to find a girl I can get along with. When you marry someone you have to spend a lot of time together, right?”

“Right.” The princess nodded her head in an exaggerated manner.

“But every girl I meet never has the time! They want to marry right away and won’t bother with a guy like me who wants to take the time of day to know: will I still like you ten years from now?”

“You know what?” The princess slurred, sitting tilted in her chair. She tried pointing to the man across from her but found there were three instead of one. “We should get married.”

“We should?” The man asked, eyes half closed.

“Yes.” The princess insisted. “We have an understanding.”

“That we do.”

“We enjoy each other’s company.”

“True.”

“We’re not getting any younger.”

“Noooo…”

“So why not?”

“Why not is the question. Let us be married!” The man poured two new drinks for celebration.

“A toast to us.” The princess raised her glass.

“Here here!” They drained their drinks and spent the rest of the night planning their extravagant wedding; to take place in the tavern they first met at of course. Too bad for the happy couple words promised while drunk are often not promised at all.

Lonely Girl Pt. 2

Flying to the Beetle Kingdom took less than she expected but lasted longer than she could bear. Batul grew five times his size and carried her on his back. She hesitated at first, feeling the roughness of his shell, but with encouragement felt it wasn’t so uncomfortable as long as she wasn’t alone. Far far away they flew over many different lands. Every time they saw something new Batul would explain who, what, where, when, and why. She learned much during their travel, so much so that by the time the duo settled just outside the front entrance to the Beetle Kingdom, the once lonely girl was quite different. Far more worldly and outgoing, but still in need of slight refreshment, for flying tends to tangle ones hair.

 

Four female beetles, her newly hatched servants, escorted her to what she learned was to be her temporary room until further preparations could be made. Until she should move into the King’s room, is how the she interpreted it. Not to say she was offended by such a presumption. By now she had held many conversations with Batul, who she considered to be more like a father than anything, about what would happen once she met the Beetle King. She knew fully what was expected of her, and she did not mind. That is why she came after all. Following a much needed dip in the most luxurious pond water the girl had ever smelled and a cordial change of clothing, she felt as if she were newly born. As if the person who existed before had been lost somewhere along the way never to be found again.

 

The Beetle Kingdom was indeed glorious, and the girl had a difficult time walking straight as she neared the main hall. To think, this was her home now. Her servants didn’t say much but were respectful. Unused to the treatment, the girl smiled shyly at one. She smiled encouragingly back. It was time to meet the king.

 

The room was filled with attendees, but the King turned out to be the biggest amongst them all. She had suspected as much, but was taken aback by his impressive crown and cape of glass. Oddly enough she detected some apprehension from him. She noticed how his very back legs tapped nervously as he stood to greet her, and she instantly thought him cute and took pity upon him.

 

“Hello,” He stood up on his back two legs and smoothed his belly. “Welcome to my kingdom.”

 

“It is lovely to be here,” The girl smiled and curtsied as Batul had explained was customary.

 

“Ah, please,” The Beetle King reached forward. “Don’t bow. You are my guest. It is I who should bow to you.” With that the entire room, servants, lords, officials, and one king, all kneeled down and bowed to the most humble of persons.

 

Their wedding took place but a season later, at the break of the frost, when the first flower bloomed. The rays the sun sent down warmed the earth and acted as a blessing on the union. The girl walked down the aisle escorted by her rescuer and her dearest friend Batul, whose large family she was now fully integrated and comfortable with. She favored the second to youngest of the offspring, though she of course would never admit to such emotions. The Beetle King awaited his queen with nothing but open arms. She could feel his heart beat as she drew closer. Seeing him in his most regal of attire she could not help but smile.

 

Cheers roared as the ceremony concluded. Finally, finally, she was not alone. She had an entire kingdom to love and be loved by. There would never be a time when she was far away from anyone ever again. She had found a place to be, to live, and to grow in. She even had a name, given to her by the people as a wedding present. Celeoptera. For that is what she was now.

 

Though happily ever afters rarely find their way into the real world, they do occasionally pop up in the most peculiar of places. The lonely girl was no more, and never would be again.                       

Lonely Girl Pt. 1

Always, always alone

 

Once upon a time there was a lonely, lonely girl who lived in an attic. Though sunlight often filled the room throughout the day, she felt little warmth from it as she swept the floors with a small broom she had found. She did not sweep the floors because she was told too. She was never told anything. She did it to pass time. One cannot spend one’s life simply staring out of a window all day. She saved that for nighttime when all of the stars came out and the moon shone down so much kinder than the sun.

 

Alone, alone, always alone she was. Not by choice, never by choice. She did not know where she’d come from or why she was there in the attic. She had never encountered another soul in her life.

 

Alone, alone, always alone she was. Understandably, though she knew not what she missed, she desired a friend.

 

One day the girl sat at her window looking up at the moon. She noticed how particularly beautiful the stars looked that night. Suddenly one of the stars moved and grew in size. Alarmed, she thought for a moment it was falling from the sky. But after descending a few moments the star began to fly straight toward her eyes. The sight took her breath away. With amazing speed, the star flew up and bobbed and begged in front of her window, wanting to be let in. Quickly the girl unlatched the glass and swung it open, letting in a breath of fresh air. The star slipped out of the night and into the little girl’s world. She looked, mesmerized, as it flew around her room. Here she thought stars would be giant! Gleefully, having never seen such a little thing up close before, the girl chased the light around the room, jumping at it playfully before the light settled atop her dresser. But a surprise stood to be in store. Slowly, the light of the star faded away to reveal a beetle.

 

“Hello!” The beetle greeted, looking up at the girl, whom in turn looked down on him.

 

“Who… are you?” Croaked out a voice foreign to the owner’s ears. The girl did not know where she learned the words, only knew what they meant.

 

“I am Batul, the beetle!” He flicked his wings, lit up and scuttled in a circle as demonstration. “The Beetle King sent me! He has had his eye on you from the beginning and sees the good, innocence, and pureness of your being. But he also sees how lonely you are. He charged me, an officer in his army, to find you and take away your forever isolation. I am your company!”

 

“A… friend?”

 

“Yes, a friend.” Batul assured. With the gentlest smile the little girl offered her palm to him. She took and set him on her small straw pillow, as cloth and straw are surely more homey than wood, and she wanted to appear a good host to her guest. She then lay down next to him. Without further speak, the little soldier began to glow by way of night light, and the girl was able to fall asleep easily within moments.   

 

As time passed on the two became close, spending hours upon hours by the window sharing stories. It took all of an hour to tell her story to the beetle, for her entire life could be summed up in an arm’s sweep of the attic. The beetle’s stories, however, entranced the girl’s mind to no end. Tales of the grand Beetle Kingdom, far far way between the sky and tree tops. Tales of places he’d flown to for the king on errands. No sooner had he finished one tale than she begged for another, long into the night. To travel around the world through another’s words is only second best to having those words be your own. He told her about his family back home in the kingdom. His wife and five children maintained the home, waiting for his return during his long tours abroad.

 

“You… don’t mind… being apart from them?” The girl found herself encountering a new feeling whenever the beetle brought his family to the front. Jealousy was its name, though she cared not what its title was. She was jealous of both the beetle and his family. The lot of them had someone, more than just a single someone to boot. She had no someone. No someone to look after her, to think of her, to wait for her. “Don’t you… miss them?” She would ask.

 

“Yes,” He replied every time. “But my duty lies first and foremost with the king and his wishes.

 

The girl envisioned herself traveling to the Beetle Kingdom. Batul described it as nothing but lights glittering off the glass wings of the beetles that lived there. Oh how I would like to go there, she though every night before laying her head down to sleep.

 

One day Batul posed a question to her. “You have never gone beyond this window, have you?” The girl shook her head. “Would you like to? If you could leave this place, your whole world, for a new one, would you?” She looked at him thoughtfully. “I have a confession. It is true I was sent here by the Beetle King to keep you company. But I was sent here to also propose an opportunity. As I said, the Beetle King has been keeping an eye on you, and truth be told he has taken a liking to you. If you chose, I can take you away from here to the Beetle Kingdom, but only if you agree to marry the Beetle King and become the Beetle Queen in return.”

 

“There is nothing for you here.” He stated. Which was most certainly true. The lonely girl had nothing to her name. She did not even claim the broom, not the window, not her cot. She felt no feasible attachments to the home of her life. She took one look around and left without further ado, not pausing long enough to even bid farewell to her pretend parents, who never paid much attention to her ever.