Chliney (spoken with a silent ‘h’ and an ‘e’ that sounds like an ‘a’) had not slept well for the past week. She lay face down on her pillow, in her triple-decker-with-a-hidden-compartment-so-that-no-one-can-see-you-bed, crying.
“Chliney, it’s time to go. We have to arrive before the guests,” her sister Tilly Spoke with a quiver.
Chliney looked up.
“I know,” she groaned.
It was obvious that Tilly had been crying but she wanted to hide it because she was wearing her ‘I look so ugly’ sunglasses. She climbed down her ladder, landed with a thump and pulled on her black dress, struggled to tie up her brown, thick and curly hair in a bun, slipped on her shoes and followed Tilly down the winding staircase that led to her room.
Chliney had walked around the castle too many times to count, she knew all of the twists and turns, shortcuts and secret rooms that Tilly didn’t. “She is the map of the castle,” her father would say. The journey always seemed so quick, but today it seemed like forever, her brain felt like it was sizzling and frying as the walls looked over her trying to consume her existence. She didn’t like it. They walked past the kitchen, the library and the dining room, before they finally reached the courtyard where their father’s funeral was to take place, Chliney’s doom, which was why she was hiding in her room with a mountain full of gloom.
Her father was killed in a sword “fight to free forever existing ferocity in our kingdom” he had screamed before he fought like a teddy bear, limp, lifeless and weak. He fell to the ground like a clumsy foal who had just been born, and ever since, Chliney had been trying to think of something else so that she didn’t have to face the facts and finally believe that she was no longer the princess in waiting. She was the queen.