Surviving the Seasons (an original story)
Alexandra Katya Arcadia is the Faerie princess of Summer and has lived her entire life thinking that everything is fine.
Yes, her father may have gone insane years ago and disappeared without a trace, and she may not know who her mother is, but she always had Grandmother, and her best friend, Eli.
But when she reaches a very important point in her life, she has to come to the realization that everything is not what it seems. She has to realize that the people she loved have lied to her.
The Dress Fitting
"Aw, come on Eli, live a little!" I elbowed him in the ribs and stepped closer to the tree. "Bet you can't get as high as me!"
With that, I bent my knees and leapt high into the air, landing on a branch about halfway up the massive oak tree that dominated the front courtyard, landing on a strong, sturdy branch with ease.
I could hear Eli's sigh of exasperation, and then he too had jumped, landing on a branch two above mine, a devilish smirk on his face as he looked down at me. "What was that, Alex?"
"Oh, I'm so going to get you, Elijah!" I hollered, crouching on my branch to jump again.
I leapt up three more branches, so that I would be one higher than Eli, and therefore be the winner.
But mid-jump, someone yelled really loudly, startling me so much that I let out a small yelp and nearly lost my footing on the new branch.
"Alexandra! Get down from there this instant!"
Once my heart had calmed a little, I rolled my eyes down at Eli.
Then I let myself fall backwards over my branch, finally hanging from it by my heels hooked over the branch, ending up level next to Eli, who was trying to keep a straight face.
Now the world was upside down, and we were pretty high up in the tree, but I could still see the disapproving look on my grandmother's face and I could see the way that Ronan was trying to hide a smile.
I grinned broadly at Grandmother, my fiery red hair falling in waves and blowing into Eli's face slightly due to the light breeze. I pretended not to hear his sputtering and mock-choking. "Hello, Grandmother!"
My grandmother sighted, her soft green eyes filled with exhaustion. "Alexandra, a princess does not climb trees."
Oh yeah. I forgot. I'm a princess, I get no fun.
I smirked and stretched my arms out until they just brushed against another limb of the tree. "But Grandmother, I was jumping up the tree." When she didn't look amused, I sighed. "Aw Grandmother, you're no fun."
"You can have fun later." Grandmother said, and I could see her patience was beginning to thin. "But as the princess of the Summer Court, you have certain duties. And right now, you need to get your dress fitted for the Summer Solstice Festival. Which is tomorrow, mind you."
Ugh. Fae and their extravagant festivals. Why am I a princess again?
I groaned and covered my face with my hands. "Can't I just stay up in the tree instead?"
When my grandmother next spoke, I knew I'd pissed her off now, gone too far, just by the way she sounded. I didn't even have to look at her to know- she was just that good.
"Alexandra Katya Arcadia you come down from that tree immediately and come inside with me right now. I will not be repeating myself again." With that, my grandmother turned and swept towards the Summer Palace, her long skirts swishing against her otherwise bare legs and feet, Ronan followed her after shooting a look at Eli and I.
With another groan, I let my feet unwrap from the branch, leaving me to fall to the ground, landing neatly in a crouch, my hair now tumbling over my shoulders.
Eli landed next to me an instant later, his face somber now, and the two of us hurried to catch up to my grandmother and her Guardian.
"She always has to ruin any fun I try and have," I grumbled under my breath, raking my fingers through my already-knotted hair with frustration as we walked into the Palace and headed for the East Wing, going up the right staircase.
Eli, walking a step behind me as always, put a hand on my waist to speed up my pace. "You knew you weren't going to be able to avoid this dress fitting... thing forever, Alex. And she just wants to look out for you. C'mon, cut the Queen a break for once."
I rolled my eyes as I passed through the big double doors to the Royal fitting room. "Oh, thanks Eli, now you're taking her side? Great."
My grandmother called my name sharply and I marched over to where Rowen, my personal maid, was holding out the dress I was to try on for the final fitting (thank goodness!!), as the Solstice Festival was tomorrow (oh the horror!).
I knew I'd snapped at Eli very rudely, but he was still following me as I knew he would; after all, it was his job to follow me around, which made it very difficult for me to stay mad at him for very long and vice versa.
I took the floor-length dress from Rowen with a smile of thanks, heading for the "dressing room" right behind her, which was basically a glorified piece of wood that pinned me in a corner and gave me a little privacy when I had to change.
"Have fun trying on your monkey suit, Alex," Eli grinned down at me, tugging on a lock of my hair teasingly.
I stared at him stonily for a moment. Then I slapped him on the arm lightly, his laughter following me as I went behind the screen to change.
He's my best friend, what am I gonna do?