But now, without further ado, here is the first chapter of:
The Princess & I
As told by Megan
Written By: Rebekah M. Eddy
Chapter One: My New Job
The sky was blue, and the grass tickled my arms and legs. I dreamily watched a bird swoop and dive through the trees. A happy sigh escaped my lips and I sat up, my hair cascading down into its original state of chaos. I felt as if nothing could go wrong, and wished the feeling never to go away.
Suddenly from behind, a hand clamped over my mouth. The peace of the morning shattered, and I felt a chill of fear.
A merry laugh brought my senses back to me and I wriggled from my brother’s grasp, spinning around to confront him.
“Malcolm!” I scolded. “You ought to be ashamed of yourself; sneaking up on an innocent girl and almost scaring me out of my wits!”
My brother threw back his head with another laugh that bounced off the hills surrounding us. I sat with arms folded until he stopped and sank down next to me with a sigh of pleasure.
“I did come out here for a reason, Meg. I found a job for you.”
I let out an excited squeal, my temporary annoyance forgotten. “You did?”
Malcolm nodded. “Yes, come inside and I’ll discuss it over supper.”
With an exclamation of horror, I clamped a hand on my forehead. “Supper!” I cried in dismay. “Oh, Malcolm, I forgot to prepare our supper!”
My brother shook his head hopelessly. “Whatever am I going to do with a sister who dreams as much as you do? Oh, Meg!”
I stood, quickly dusting off the bits of grass and dirt that clung to my skirt. “Well,” I said briskly, “I might as well get started sooner rather than later!”
My brother grinned up at me, and stood up too. We walked to our cottage together.
While I prepared our simple meal, my thoughts strayed to how my brother and I had ended up here: alone together in a cottage near the castle of our king.
Our parents had come down with a terrible disease a few years ago when my brother had just gotten a promotion in his job as a knight. (He is now a close friend and advisor of the king’s, and he often helps the king make decisions.) They died shortly after and my brother suddenly became so much older. No longer was he my playmate, whose sole purpose was to entertain me; he was now a serious provider for us.
Only a few times during the last year or so had I been able to see the playful part of his character shine. This morning had been one of those times, and I relished it now as I finished mixing the biscuit dough. I had time enough anyways it turned out, because Malcolm took an exceptionally long time with the animals and came in just as I put the steaming biscuits onto the table. He removed his hat and jacket, pulling up a chair to sit in.
Glancing up at me with a smile, he licked his lips, the old twinkle of mischief appearing in his eyes. “You must have been really busy to prepare all this while I was gone.”
I raised an eyebrow and sat in my chair opposite my brother’s. “Maybe,” I retorted, “or perhaps you just took a long time with the animals to avoid having me put you to work in here!”
He rolled his eyes playfully. “As if I would ever do that!”
“You would,” I replied shortly. My brother laughed. After a short prayer over our food, the meal began. There was a long silence, and I felt my curiosity come back.
“Well? You said you found a job for me!”
Malcolm finished his mouthful of food, slowly. “Oh, yes…I did say that, didn’t I?” There was another pause. I felt my impatience begin to rise, but controlled it as best as I could, realizing my brother was trying to excite me more by waiting before telling me the news. Finally, he finished another mouthful and spoke.
“Yes, I found you a job. King Frederick and his daughter understand if you don’t want to do it.” I jumped up from my seat in surprise, nearly upsetting all the food into my brother’s lap. He steadied the table and I calmed myself down before replying.
“The King!” I yelped. “His daughter! What do you mean?”
Malcolm grinned. “King Frederick’s daughter, Crystal, needs a lady-in-waiting. Her former one got married and now has a family, so can no longer care for both the princess and her two small children. The King mentioned the problem to me this morning, and I suggested you. Are you willing?” I sat a moment in shock. The king’s daughter wanting me to be her lady-in-waiting? I was thrilled!
“Of course I’ll take the job! It’ll give me something to do other than cooking and cleaning.”
My brother smiled. “I think you’ll like the princess. She reminds me of you a little.”
I smiled back at him. “I sure I’ll like her.” Malcolm went back to his eating, leaving me with much to occupy my mind.
The afternoon came and went, as I kept busy with various household chores. Evening soon fell and I went to bed with a full mind. Malcolm snored softly in his bed on the other side of the room, but I lay awake, my eyes glued to the crack in the ceiling above my bed. I had so much to think about.
Tomorrow I would go with Malcolm to the castle. What would I wear? What should I say? What would I do? So many unanswered questions. My eyes started to feel heavier, and I yawned.
In a few weeks I would be turning eighteen… I sighed. Why did anyone have to grow up? Malcolm would be turning twenty-three just two months after. I smiled sleepily. Maybe Malcolm would marry soon and I could become an aunt and have a new sister. My last thoughts before I fell asleep were muddled, and soon all memories were lost temporarily: I was asleep at last.