the writing life

Princess Keavi Nevyn: A character sketch

Friday, October 25, 2013

I awoke to the jingle of bells in the distance, the fresh scent of mangoes lingering in the dusty air.  Silk curtains rustled as I brushed them aside.
"My name is Keavi Nevyn Antalya," I accented the syllables just like I had practiced.  "And I am princess of the province along the south coast." My words sounded so forced and fake that I laughed.  It ended in a spasm of coughing, which left me breathless and warm.  Not today.  Not this day.

The sun began to peep over the mountains and gongs sounded.  It was the morning, now.  Let the torture begin.

An hour later I faced the wall, my back turned to the mirror.  I reached up to rub my nose out of nervousness but Nadya pushed it away.  "No no, your highness!  You will not be the one messing with my handiwork!  My dear girl, turn around.  You have never looked more beautiful."  And when have I ever looked beautiful?
With great reluctance I turned to face the mirror and then stared in shock.  A girl, her form slim and at ease in the satiny fabrics around her peered back at me.  Reverently I stroked the orange satin that wrapped my head and covered my mouth.  Only two sparkling green eyes were there to observe.  My sari was embroidered in green and my sandals were smooth and clean on my feet.
Nadya clasped her hands anxiously.  "Your highness?"  I couldn't help myself.  Giving a little shriek I grabbed Nadya's hands and danced around the room.  Golden bangles flashed on my arms and the sun caught their reflection. 
"Nadya-" I choked on the words and turned away.  "I-I-"
Nadya laid a cool hand on my arm.  "Avra talle."  Her reference to the old language filled me with warmth.  She understood and I didn't need to say anything.
Unbidden tears filled my eyes and I hurried to wipe them away.  But in doing so I knocked away the silky fabric that covered my mouth, leaving it completely exposed.  There was various gasps from the other waiting maids around me as my head scarf fluttered to the floor.  With a strangled cry I covered my face and ran to the mirror.  In plain view for all to see was my mark of betrayal.  A scar ran from my lip to my neck, jagged in its appearance.  I grabbed the scarf and flung it around me, oblivious to Nadya's hands, holding me back.  I had to leave.  Now.

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