a kingdom of BACTERIA and lies
Glass Crowns
Elian glanced through the open doorway, pressing her body against the wall beside it to keep from being revealed.
Inside, a seamstress tugged Eva’s corset tighter. Eva sucked her breath in, attempting to make her stomach fit inside.
Mother shook her head with disgust despite the beautiful gown. “A top class seamstress, and all she can do is this?! Only this? It’s hideous. Start from scratch.” Mother twirled back to turn into her bedroom, where she had pictures of models in brand new, designer dresses lining the walls. She clicked the door shut behind her, a moan escaping her mouth.
The seamstress nodded, silently, as she rushed out the main corridor, only stopping momentarily to glance at Elian.
Elian let her legs lead her into the lurid room, where Eva now sat by Maylin, gossiping about Mother.
“She’s evil, you know, like she’s been possessed and is taking care of us all at once,” sneered Maylin, letting her legs fold beneath her. “Mother says this... Mother says that... you do this and that. Obey, chid, obey.”
Eva laughed, clearly trying not to extend her gut, for the elegant yet “hideous” dress was so unbelievably tight. “I don’t know how Elian deals with it so often... she’s been on the butt of it since Jazz died... It must stink, now that she’s the oldest.”
As Eva’s voice drowned to the silence, Elian let herself flow the rest of the way into the room. “Aren’t you guys excited... even the slightest?”
Pepper, emerging from the bathroom, nodded with a smile from ear to ear. “The prince... the princess!! The ball... Ohhh it will be so gorgeous and pretty and-”
“I’m not going,” interrupted Maylin, unfolding her legs and standing up. “I really hope you guys aren’t either. What happened to Jazz last ball...”
“Leukocytous is devistating, but it wasn’t made to hold us back,” explained Elian. “Anyways, that’s what Marianne would’ve said.”
A burst of argument broke out at the mention of Marianne, the queen of the kingdom who had just recently passed away. She had died of self inflicted injuries after her husband had caught the incurable plague. Plan was, if the ball went right, Marianne’s only child would choose his wife on this very night.
Finally, Pepper’s light and squeaky voice broke the arguing. “I’m going to be the next Marianne, I can just... feel it.”
“Pepper, you’re seven. The prince is fifteen,” mentioned Eva.
“Eight years, nothing to worry about,” sneered Maylin, sarcastically. Glares shot at her from across the room. Pepper, on the other hand, beamed, not catching onto the sarcasm.
Kahlue stepped in, “Pepper, you probably won’t even be accepted to the ball. The youngest to ever be accepted was five, but she was the royal guard’s daughter. Other than that, ten, Pepper. Ten.”
Pepper looked stumped and angry at the same time. She looked prepared to persevere. Her lips puckered as her back straightened. She brought her voice out with a British accent, “Well, I can feel it, and clearly you can’t. Oh, or maybe you can, Maylin, which is why you don’t want to go to the ball.”
Maylin grimaced, Eva holding onto Maylin’s arm as if to hold her back.
Maylin wriggled out of Eva’s grip. “Jazz died at the last ball with Leukocytous... and so did hundreds of others. Is it really a good time to go?! Only a month after the incident and a day after the ballroom escaped quarantine?!”
Pepper just stuck her tongue out like she was some kind of sassy boss, and Eva watched Maylin’s now free arm with precaution.
“The only reason Mother wants us to go is because she wants us to be the next Marianne. But she’s not allowed in, remember... too old to even sign up this time around. Once our names are called we can leave the ball without her knowing. I personally would prefer to avoid joining Jazz.”
Peppers voice cracked on what seemed dryness as she tried to talk, so she shut her mouth. She was the youngest, so she pulled behind the Elian, who was the oldest.
“Guys, look at us. Jazz was the oldest, and along with that, the maturest, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be mature without her,” tried Elian, joining the others on the bench. Pepper sat herself to Elian’s left.
“I’m still not going...” spat Maylin, plumping back on the bench next to Eva.
“Elian is the oldest now,” pointed out Kahlue, “maybe she’s right-”
Finally, Mother entered the stiff, dry room. Her voice came out much more like the queen’s than any imitation could do, “Elian, there you are! It’s your turn as the seamstress’s helpers are starting fresh with Eva’s. Everyone, sit. We need a clear space now.”
Eva threw her arms up with a groan, and she bounced impatiently on the bench. “I’ve been waiting on this bench for an hour and when I finally get my chance, you ruin it, Mother! This gown is good enough! Can’t it be good enough for you?!”
“Quiet, girl,” chastised Mother, “you keep your mouth shut and you go to the ball in whatever gown you get, understood? Or, you don’t need to go at all.”
Eva just nodded like it was the most unjust thing in the world, but she was wise enough to not make a seen. She wouldn’t be able to bear being home alone, and everyone in that room knew it. Her dream was to see the princess in the mirror everytime she looked to it... her own reflection. It was the dream she had looked upon one million times. Eva had known Prince Daymon for only three weeks when he momentarily transferred to her school, and she had fallen in love. When his old school was sanitized from the leukocytous that had been there, and Daymon left her school, she vowed to go to every ball in a crowning dress.
And everyone knew it would kill her to break that promise to herself.
The seamstress started with the bare corset, and then she laced a lovely and light pink silk over it, patching on silk. Finally, after an hour, she pulled a bodice over Elian and tugged it tight.
Elian took a seat, letting her stomach relax slightly and then admiring her dress. Her dress was a simplistic yet gorgeous pale pink with white lace on her neckline and the edges of her sleeves and skirt. A light, almost off-white leather bodice tugged Elian’s waist thin, and it had gold streaks across it.
Elian drew in a breath as she realized the looks she was getting from across the room...
It was perfect.
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