Being a Princess wasn’t easy. In fact, Cordelia would argue that it was pretty damn annoying. You couldn’t do anything without a servant aiding you, like you were some frail lady on her deathbed, too weak to reach for her won grapes. You certainly couldn’t walk anywhere without personal guards accompanying you, and you definitely couldn’t just slip out and see the world, like you really wanted to!
Sighing, Cordelia let herself fall back into her back-padded chair. She was a prisoner in her own room and wanted nothing more than to escape. Just for one day. When she had been four her father had carried her on his shoulders through the city below, promising her riches and everything she could ever desire. She had never wanted for anything, all the jewels in the Kingdom would be laid by her feet if she wished it. All the jewels in the world would be sought out and brought in on her demand.
Now that she finally had a real wish she wasn’t allowed to see it fulfilled. Her mother acted like she sympathised with her but she was just as coddling as her father. Both of them had grown content over the years, fat with the feasts they could put on at a moment’s notice and too comfortable to ever lift a finger. If this was what ruling a Kingdom was about she wanted no part of it. She didn’t want to be content, or fat or too comfortable to see that her people were unhappy with her.
She had heard rumours and whispers behind shielding hands the last time she had been outside. The city below had lost its appeal since then. It was the same as it had always been, and her parents weren’t going to change that. If she was Queen… She would actually try to aid her people, if she was Queen. Despite everything she disagreed with she didn’t want her parents to die, but what the Kingdom truly needed was a new ruler. She was young, and she had seen first-hand what they needed. If she couldn’t see the world, she wanted to try her hand at ruling.
A soft knock on her door told her of her mother’s arrival.
The Queen looked radiant. Once a month her parents put on a ball, and they always wore their best finery. The same was expected of her, and a long time ago she had enjoyed the dances and the food, cooked to perfection every time.
Today, she had no plans of attending.
“Our guests are arriving, dear. Your guards are waiting for you, they will escort you when you are ready.”
Practised, she nodded and smiled. “Of course, mother. I will be there shortly.”
“Good Sir Thomas is in attendance. I believe he has made a particular effort today to impress you.” She wanted to gag. The girls in town were falling in love and beaming with excitement for their upcoming weddings. Sir Thomas had asked her parents for her hand not long ago, and they were entertaining the idea. He was no noble and it would break with tradition, but he was a skilled fighter in her father’s army and would do them proud.
She wanted no part of it.
She waited for ten seconds after her mother had shut the door behind her, and quickly stepped out of her beautiful gown.
As quickly as she could she tied her hair back and took off her jewellery, replacing the heavy gemstones with a simple leather necklace her grandfather had gifted her before his death. Its rawness and rough design had always fascinated her. It would be perfect for everything that was lying ahead.
Praying to the Maker that no one would remind her of her duties to Good Sir Thomas now, she slipped out of the window and climbed into the room next door. The corridors would be empty today. A feast at the castle was an honour, everyone would be there.
If she was to have a chance to leave and see the world, it would be today.
All of my 10-Minute stories are improvised, unplanned, and unedited apart from spelling and grammar mistakes. The idea is to kick-start the dreaded Monday with a short, creative exercise without thinking about it, and simply writing for the sake of writing.
For all other 10-Minute shorts, take a look here.