Short Fiction | I Refuse To Be A Princess

“Nope.” 

I shut my eyes resolutely but I could still feel them staring.

“No, I’m not going to be kidnapped by a dragon. Or dye my hair blonde. Or even get married to the next handsome prince that just happens to come along.”

I opened my eyes just long enough to glare at the angel. “And there is absolutely no way I’m going to go along to the party to ‘accidentally’ fall in love with a young, handsome prince from a small neighbouring kingdom.”

“Okay,” my angel said, their many eyes blinking. “Then what about getting locked in a tower so your one true love can climb up and save you?”

“We tried that,” I snapped. My nostrils flared, heat rising in my cheeks. “Three princes fell off the outside wall before I decided maybe I didn’t want a bunch of people dying simply so I could obtain my proper princess status.” 

“You’re already a princess by inheritance?” they offered hopefully. “And you did manage to get blessed by the fairies when you were a baby…”

“And cursed by the witches, I know, I know.” I waved my hand caustically. 

“So why don’t I just get my finger pricked and fall into a coma for the next 6 centuries, no thanks. I’ve got a whole bunch of flax to weave into gold because father decided to invite some Rumplestiltskin idiot in again and challenge him to a duel.”

“It wasn’t really a duel,” they muttered, multicoloured wings drooping. “There weren’t even any swords.”

“That’s only because I hired someone to get rid of them. No way was I getting caught in the middle of that.” I glared at the angel. Their normally pale blue skin was darkening in the way I recognised as some combination of irritation and shame. 

“You have to be caught! You are a princess!”

“Just because I’m a princess doesn’t mean I have to go get married to whatever idiot can climb an ivy-cracked tower.” 

My corset grabbed my ribs as I flopped back on an excessive red velvet four poster bed. “It wasn’t even a good tower! Grandad could’ve climbed it – and he’s dead!”

“Your own father would beat you for making such a claim.”

“Good thing he’s off at the wars then, right?” I snorted grimly. “All ready to die a heroic death and leave me, his lone daughter, with her mother. Then the mother will die of grief and I’ll be left to marry, either  for the good of the country or to avenge my father’s death, and find myself a handsome but tortured prince in the process.” I rolled my eyes and stretched, barely able to reach the edges of the voluptuous mattress. “Honestly, it’s the same thing every time.”

“Then why didn’t you stop him from going?”

“Because he still doesn’t believe in all these prophecy things.”

“At the very least, he doesn’t believe they apply to him,” they pointed out. 

Their wings had straightened and were brushing dangerously near the tapestry of my grandfather’s own battles from which only his poor son had returned. 

“Well, they do,” I muttered, sitting up again. Dust had a tendency to stick to the velvet. It always left a greasy feeling on my skin and since no maids or servants were allowed up here for fear they would ‘offend my maidenly sensibilities’ or ‘take upon my honour’… I had no choice in the matter.

Father might not have agreed with the prophecies but he was a real stickler for tradition. No doubt while out on his romp through the innocent countryside he would be thinking of an appropriate figure of royalty to marry me off to. 

“You could be a little politer,” they muttered under their breath. “I’m just trying to do my job.”

“I’m stuck with you, angel dear. I don’t get a choice so I’m gonna be as rude as I like.” 

Something tapped at the window and I held back a groan. 

“If that is a lonely shepherd’s boy throwing rocks at my window because he’s fallen in love from afar I will throw you out that window myself,” I informed the angel. 

They scowled, but the rocks stopped. “Thank you.”

“And it wasn’t a shepherd’s boy,” they muttered childishly. “It was the son of a castle servant.”

So much better.”

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