Zelia had everything a child could dream for. She was a princess and had an older sister, a caring mom, and a dad who would give her the world if possible. When she was seven she knew that she could ask for nothing more. A boy around her age had recently moved into the castle; and while he still seemed timid and unsure, he would play with Zelia when her sister wouldn’t. Her sister, Arabella, was always busy getting fitted for dresses and going to court meetings with father and mother.

Zelia was left to wander around the castle trying to find something to keep up with her, and that something was Seth. She didn’t know that Seth had just lost his parents, but she did know that her mother’s finest guard was training him. The only time she ever got to speak with her father and mother was during dinner, and while mother sat next to father, she never seemed to talk with him or really care what he thought, but she was always eager to give out her opinions.

How have your studies been going, Arabella?” father asked at the dinner table. Zelia sighed with a frustrated tone. Father and mother always cared about what Arabella was doing, but never what Zelia was doing. Mother shot her a sharp glare before returning to her food. Zelia knew why everyone seemed to ignore her. She was the younger one, and until she was ten she hardly mattered to anyone.

Zelia looked down at the platter of food on the fancy glass china. She wondered what would happen if she broke one of those plates, and she even contemplated it for a moment before a servant came and filled up her glass with more pomegranate juice. She hated the taste of the juice, but yet that was all she was given at dinner because it was supposed to show her respect for her kingdom since pomegranates for the fruit of Eradona, her home.

Very well, father! Mother had me fitted for my new purple dress today!” Arabella said excitedly. Zelia rolled her eyes. Now that Arabella was ten she could wear purple, the royal color.

My studies have been going well too, father,” Zelia said, hoping and praying for just a sliver of her father’s attention. Instead of saying words to her, he just nodded and smiled before turning his attention back to Arabella. Zelia sighed and turned her attention to her mother, who was eyeing her steak knife, Zelia paid no mind to it. She finished her dinner and went off to her room where her servant was running the bath. She bathed and dressed into her nightgown before climbing under the fluffed up covers of her bed. She awoke to hearing people screaming and running down the halls.

The king has been murdered!” she heard a servant yell. Zelia didn’t know whether to cry or run, so instead she sat there in bed, the shock that her father was gone setting in. Her servant came a couple minutes later, swiftly taking her out of her room and to a safe place underground. A place to keep the royal family safe if an emergency was to occur. Zelia had never been there before. Her mother and Arabella soon joined her. Mother was sobbing and Arabella looked distraught. Mother eventually sputtered out that father was dead, and Zelia’s world stopped. Her father truly was gone and dead.

-An excerpt from a short story by Jessica, written during Creative Writing Workshop, at Potranco Branch Library and Mays Family YMCA.

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