Princess Amelia lay down to sleep, savoring the day.
She recalled the details with delight. And why wouldn’t she? It wasn’t everyday that one was crowned a princess!
She had been unable to sleep the night before. The small rectangle of light coming from the slightly-ajar door was comforting. As were the shadows that flitted across it a few times. She knew she was safe.
Yet, something disturbed her and she had kept tossing and turning all night.
The next morning, Madame Orth had loudly bustled into the room at the first hint of dawn, followed closely by the dainty Monsieur Befort. They both seemed very pleased as they called out to her to rise and shine. She could barely open her eyes and wasn’t able to suppress a yawn.
Both the adults beamed at her and told her all about how she was a princess!
They were sorry for her lack of rest but the night had been a small test. Her restlessness proved that she was the lost princess. They had been searching for her for years and now they had finally found her. They were so, so happy. What a good turn of fate! The gods were smiling on them for returning the true princess of the kingdom to them!
But they mustn’t dally. Oh no, there was no time. They had so much to do! Come on, up, up, up!
And before she could take another breathe, she was whisked off for a tour and an introduction to everyone and to bathe and have her hair done and her face made up and dress. She went up the stairs and she went down the stairs. She shook hands and she curtsied (after Madame showed her how it’s done). She held in her stomach as they tightened a corset around her waist. The soles of her feet hurt as she was made to try on dress after dress after dress and walk in heels as high as she was herself!
Madame finalized a mauve dress for her, offset with lots of pearls and diamonds. The clothes felt luxuriant against her skin and made up for how uncomfortable her hairdo and shoes were and the jewelry scratched her.
She was really grateful once the feast was underway. Now all she had to do was sit in the high chair in the middle of the room and observe the festivities.
Everything around her twinkled immaculately, including the guests. As Madame introduced them, they deferentially bowed to her. Raised their glasses and toasted the return of their princess.
Her heart had thudded really loudly in her chest when the time came for the crowning. The ceremony otherwise was boring, with lots of chanting. She barely heard a word; her eyes were riveted on the tiara sparkling in front of her.
Oh, that was her favorite part, the way it twinkled in the light! And she was sure she shone with it!
She sighed contentedly and settled deep into her soft bed, trying to find the perfect position.
First she turned to her right. No. It doesn’t feel right. So she shifted to her left. Nope.
Hmm. Maybe she should try lying straight on her back. Arms crossed on her chest. Or maybe arms up behind her head? She could just tilt her head a little. Okay, what about on her stomach?
But no matter what she did, Princess Amelia could not settle in.
She had been unable to sleep the night before. The door was closed today and no “comforting” rectangle of light reached her. No shadows flitted across the room. She knew she was safe.
At least, she felt safe.
But in her heart, she knew.
Tonight was also a test and something disturbed her but it was not the pea.
It was not the pea and she didn’t know what to do. It was simple, she had thought.
Only now she realized it wasn’t as simple as that. And now, it was too late…
So she kept tossing and turning all night.
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