Hey everyone here’s 3!! I’m SO sorry it’s late!!
“Please state your business.” The stern-looking uniformed sentry staring at Mom asks. I swallow and look out my window to see the tall, fancy gates that open to the east entrance to Buxelmyne lined with more sentries standing at attention. What am I getting myself into?
Huh? Oh, yeah, it was yesterday that my mom took me downstairs to our basement and revealed that…
This CANNOT be real! I really do feel like I’m in a dream! But I’ve been pinching myself ever since I felt the weight of the silver tiara Mom set on my head, and I can’t seem to wake up. What would you do if you were eleven years old– half grown, people!– and one day your mom randomly waltzed up to you and said, “Hey, did I ever tell you that I’m the long-lost princess, and Queen Viola is your grandmother?” What?
When my dad saw the tiara on my head yesterday, he stopped typing on his laptop and just looked at me. He got up from the sofa, and we all just hugged in one big family hug. Then we started packing up a few things, not too much. Mom told me to pack enough for a week, so I did, plus my iPod and my favorite fashion sketchbooks. Then Dad got in our car and Mom and I got in the SUV, and we hit the road for our country’s capital city, Relay. I fell asleep in the car, and when I woke up, it was like 2:00* and we were at a 24-hour travel stop. Mom told me to hide my tiara, so I slid it carefully under my seat. While Dad pumped gas for the car, Mom told me the whole story of how she ran away.
Wow. I could see Mom and Princess Eleanor playing in Buxelmyne Palace and going to school and fighting and… I could just see everything.
I’m so lost in thought about this at the moment that I almost miss Mom getting out of the front seat of the car. I unbuckle my seat belt and reach for my door handle to follow, but a guard holds my door shut. Startled, I look up at him in horror and then scramble to the opposite window to see Mom being escorted to a large building several meters away.
“Mom?!” Mom!” I am starting to panic when a guy with a slightly different uniform from the sentries slips behind the wheel of our SUV. Now I am REALLY panicking. Where are they taking her, and where are they taking me? “Mom!!”
Mom turns around and waves, then gives a thumbs up. “Go with them, Aria!”, she calls. I can do nothing but stare out the window in dismay as she turns back around and keeps walking between the two guards. Suddenly, the guy behind the wheel starts our car, and the giant golden gates of Buxelmyne Palace swing open inwards. He drives us right through. I gulp and look into the rearview mirror at the driver, trying to pick up clues as to what’s happening from his expression. But his face is completely blank. Figures.
Looking again out my window, I see beautiful gardens and fountains, with marble statues and benches. I start to roll my window down, but change my mind with a quick glance at the guy’s serious expression. I’m working up the boldness to ask him what’s going on when suddenly out of the blue he says, “Your Highness, we’re approaching the palace entrance. There will be assistants waiting there to take you.” And just as suddenly as he spoke, he’s silent. All I can seem to do at the moment is stare at him with my mouth hanging open. ‘Your Highness?’ was he talking to me?
The car seems to glide to a stop in front of a grand palace entrance with giant pillars, where more uniformed men are waiting. My eyes widen a little, and I swallow as they approach the SUV. One of them reaches for my door handle and opens it. As I stare, he bows briefly but slowly from the waist and holds the door open. Another man bows too, and extends his gloved hand to me. My gaze moves from him to the hand. Um… does he want me to take it?
Looking around in confusion, I awkwardly put my hand into his, and clumsily pull my sandaled feet over bolts of fabric on the floor. Mom bought them for a project, but by the looks of it, she won’t be getting to that anytime soon. The guy helps me out of the car and smiles, which relaxes me a bit, and I manage a weak smile. “Um, thanks.” I murmur. His smile widens to a grin, and I realize he’s a lot younger than he looks in his uniform. The man holding my door reaches into the car, and pulls his arm back out holding my tiara, which I have to admit looks pretty funny in his huge hands. He holds it up in the bright midmorning sunlight, watching it sparkle, then looks at me as if for an explanation.
“Oh, um,” I move a little timidly toward him and to my surprise, he gives it back to me without question and shuts the door as our SUV pulls off. I watch it drive off, then turn uncertainly to the guy who helped me out of the car. “Um,”, then realizing I have been saying a lot of ums, force myself to begin the sentence without the um. “Are we– um– what’s going on?”
The guy looks at the other guy, who nods and smiles, and then smiles back down at me. “Martin, Your Highness, a Buxelmyne Royal Guard Cadet. Very pleased to meet you, Princess…”
“Aria,” I manage to say.
“Oh. Well very nice to meet you, Princess Aria.” Martin grins. “Well, what’s going on is that…well… I guess I’m not even sure.”
“Oh. Well, that’s okay, I guess.” I stare down at my sandals.
“Your Royal Highness?” I look up. “May I escort the princess into the palace?”
Again I stare at his outstretched arm without a word. “Oh, ah, sure, thanks.”
The assistants follow us to the ginormous glass doors with gold bars and the Royal Family’s Coat Of Arms emblazoned on them, carrying my duffel bag that I packed at home and Mom’s suitcases. Two of the rush ahead to open the doors for Martin and I, and my mouth drops open as we walk in. We are in the biggest entrance hall I’ve ever seen, with shiny marble floors I can see my reflection in, and paintings on the walls with settees underneath them. Giant, intricate chandeliers hang from the ceiling.
I am taking in the breathtaking scene when all of a sudden someone hits me hard from the side, and knocks me onto the on the floor. “Ow!”
“Katie!” Martin says, who is immediately kneeling next to me to see if I’m okay. “What are you doing?! Be careful!”
“Oh my goodness!” Exclaims a girl’s voice. “The princess! Oh, Your Highness!! I’m so sorry!! Are you okay? Oh talk about bad first impressions!”
I look up to see a girl who looks about my age leaning over me, her face filled with such comical concern that I can’t help but burst out laughing as Martin helps me up. Her er expression changes to one of good-natured relief, and she giggles too.
“Wow, that’s some way to greet a person”, she giggles and does a neat, quick curtsy. “I’m Katie.”
I smile back. “I’m Aria. Nice to meet you.”
“You too, Your Highness. And again I’m sorry, I just got so excited when Sarah said something about the Queen’s lost granddaughter being found and that she just got here that I had to run down here and meet the princess”, she laughs, “and now I just ran you over!”
Martin smirks. “Leave it to my little sister to jack up any important occasion.” Katie playfully swats at him, but he ducks out of the way.
One of the assistants behind us clears his throat. “Sorry, Dad.” Katie says, then turns to me. “Oh my goodness, I just can’t believe that you’re here and you’re a princess and I get to meet you!
I blush. “Oh, thanks.” I look around the huge hall. “What are we doing here? What’s going on?”
Just as I finish speaking, an officially-dressed lady walks from one of the open rooms off the hall and walks towards us, her shiny heels clonking on the marble floor.
“Your Highness? Lovely to make your aqquaintance, Princess.” She bows her head graciously. My name is Amanda, Your Highness, and if I may show you to your suites?” She smiles and offers her arm.
“Oh, um, thanks.” She winces a little at my ‘um’, but forces another smile as I hesitantly link arms with her. Why are these people making me hold hands and link arms with people I just met?
“Ooh! Can I come?” Katie asks eagerly. Her excitement is contagious, and I giggle. Amanda, however, is not amused.
Amanda rolls her eyes airily. “Miss Katie,” she begins, “this is serious business. I’m certain you have other engagements elsewhere, and if you are going to chatter Her Highness’s ears off, I won’t have you tagging along.”
I shrug. “I don’t mind. And what do you mean, serious business?”
Amanda turns to me and raises her eyebrows. “You are going to meet The Queen.”
Part 4 coming soon! (It won’t be as short) ;D
*Lintonia uses 24-hour style (like 3:30 PM = 15:30)