When I was a little kid, I always used to have dreams where I flew to the second star to the right. I would swim with the mermaids, dance with the Indian Braves, and fight the menace Captain Hook and his crew of pirates. This was of course before the crappy sequel so I was the first lost girl, but I always returned to my bed in the morning.

Chapter 1

Young Lady of Somewhere

The life of a lady is rather boring. I know I lead a fairly privileged life and all that but I really don't understand why at 13 my mother is expecting me to behave like my married 18-year-old sister. I loathe being presented as this fragile porcelain doll, but I understand. So I'll lace up my corset until I can no longer breathe and pull my stockings to my thighs. Perhaps mother will see I am as unfit for nobility as the mud I track through the house after one of my many treks through the woodlands my father used to hunt. I could say that he wanted a son but a) that would be cliché and b) he already the one as perfect as can be. Yes, Fredrick IV was a gentlemen, he had managed to find a suitable match by the age of 17. He had already finished secondary school and was going to study abroad when he met Emma.
Emma Kendig was a beautiful Duchess raised in a marvelous castle. I was always envious of how she and my brother fit together so perfectly. I hoped that despite my wild heart, I would find love as pure and simple as theirs. Mother has great standards for her children; suitors cannot be any less than perfect. They must be nobility (which caused me to avoid leaving our property for fear I might come upon a handsome commoner and fall head over heels), they must care for us deeply (Mother has a series of tests she puts every poor soul who so much as looks in the direction of her children through that even Emma hardly passed), and they cannot be dishonorable in any way (a drunk, abusive, a history with unlawfulness, etc.).
Growing up my friends had been the creatures I hunted and often talked to. There was a particular fox I tracked all the time that often even allowed me to sit outside its den. I would talk to any who would listen. In season, deer came and went, perking up their ears every once in a while. I also saw the occasional squirrel or small rodent but most of the time it was the fox. I didn't dare name him, else I offend him. I merely addressed it as "fox." Once, when I was 12, it allowed me to touch its course hide.
Anyway, today's function required I wear my finest attire, for we were attending a wedding for the King's son. I knew there would be no worming my way out so I let myself be poked, prodded, and pulled into a splendid creature. I had to admit that my golden hair did take on a reddish quality to complement the forest green color of the ball gown. We arrived exactly on time (thankfully) and spent the afternoon in Westminster Abbey. The service was dreadfully long and rather boring. I thought at one point I heard snoring.
A great ball ensued after the banquet and I was forced to return home before it was even dark. I hurried to change into simpler clothes that were easier to maneuver in. I still had to wear a dress, but it was not as frivolous. I managed to climb to my cave and watched the sun set. I sighed, almost wanting to just sleep here for the night, but I knew that I would almost certainly succumb to the cold, if not the bears. I had to dash home out of the woods in order to avoid total darkness. I was sent to bed by Helena, our head servant. She has curly blonde hair, and is a little chubby, but not overly big. She commands a great deal of respect for someone so small. I stood the same hight as her when I was only 10-years-old.
While I did go to my room and blew out the lanterns, I still stayed awake and sat before my fireplace. The dancing flames lulled me and I was now drowsy enough to fall asleep. But when I did, I had the most peculiar dream.

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