Yet Another Cinderella Story, part 2
Fore @huntlowweek, day 2: Fathers
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I met someone at a party
“We found her.”
He has been waiting for a week. It took him time, to get over the disappointment of his mother not calling. She promised she would. But he missed her, somehow, his uncle said she did try to call and it just didn’t work. Is it his fault? He wishes he was allowed to go outside. He’d take a train, or a plane, or a boat, anything, he would do anything to find his mother.
He doesn’t remember her face so clearly.
“You did? Where is she?”
But after he got over it, after he cried in his uncle’s arms, there was still a thorn in his pocket, and the memory of someone he met. He should have set another rendezvous. Agreed to meet her another time. But he knew no one else at the party had these shoelaces, and when he went to his uncle, he asked she be looked for.
“She is in the antechamber, waiting for you.”
He rushes over there, starts to run but his uncle’s eyes are burning on his back. So he stands straighter, stops running when he is near the doors. He waits for them to open.
“I did meet a boy at the party.”
“Oh, does our little girl have a crush?”
She feels her cheeks burning. “No! No, it’s not like this. He was… He was nice. I don’t think he has lots of friends. He liked my shoelaces!”
She thanks her father when a glass of iced tea is put in front of her. The grass beneath her is soft and warm and moist. It is as hot as summer. Yet the trees are still filled with flowers, and she remembers the gardens of the palace. She regrets not having the time to see it all. “Did he now? You told him you made them yourself?”
“I didn’t get the chance… Do you think there will be another ball next year?”
Her other father joins them, a cold beer in his hand, barefoot on the grass. He sighs heavily, looking at the sky. The sun on his skin seems comfortable.
“I don’t know. It does seem like a reasonable assumption. I heard the prince was depressed after his mother died, maybe this is why they made such a huge ball? And a funny one, too. Did you see the Illusion Show Lilith Clawthorne made?”
She shrugs. She didn’t. She bites her lips. Soon they will have cherries in the garden. “Dad, Papa?”
“Yes my dear?”
“I want… I want to study plants.”
“What? But all your friends study mineral life!”
She nods. Gets up. She is careful not to spill her iced tea, when she runs to her room. She can’t hear her father’s worried tone when he asks “Did I say something wrong?”
Green hair and a noble aura. She is straight before him as the door opens and he walks towards her. Her black skating boots are laced with purple thorns, similar to the one he showed his uncle. But they’re not the same. It’s not even the right color. He can see her face painfully twisting when she walks. He frowns.
“It’s not her,” he says, “she’s not the girl I met.”
He doesn’t like her eyes, filled with animosity when he says this. He can’t see, behind her fire and her cold gaze, the unforgiving blade of fear. A weight on his shoulders. Two gloved hands. Heavy. Heavier the voice that come with them.
“Yes, she is. Introduce yourself, will you, little bird?”
Her expression flinches, and she looks over her shoulder. She holds her necklace close to her heart.
“I am Amity Blight, your Majesty, daughter of Odalia Blight.”
“Aren’t you happy, Hunter? This is Amity. She’s the girl you met. Isn’t she?”
He’s scared for a second. A rising panic that disappears before he can process it. Then his mind is blank, and he blinks.
“Yes,” he says, and his voice is distant, “she is.”