Cute Knight Deluxe competition entry - The Gilded Mirror

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mickey_owl
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Cute Knight Deluxe competition entry - The Gilded Mirror

#1 Post by mickey_owl » Sun Apr 22, 2007 2:02 pm

Entry for the Cute Knight Deluxe Fan competition - Mickey_Owl :)

The Gilded Mirror

It was not difficult to guess the month of Michiko's birth, everyone had always said ‘that is a girl of the month of ‘Gods’’. Michiko considered this with a wry smile as she brushed her luscious pink hair back in the mirror of her apartment. The mirror itself was over a hundred years old and had once belonged to a Princess of Atina, facts that the keen young Lord, so eager to impress Michiko, had been quick to divulge before adding ‘the Princess was said to be a great beauty but I think the mirror will not have cast so lovely a reflection until you stand before it’, Michiko had laughed and blushed in the way fitting for a Socialite to behave but all in all she thought the mirror rather ugly. The scenes in gilt around the edges were of a forest, which if seen in real life would have been marvels, but the gold plating made the flowers garish and the butterflies gaudy.

Michiko would have much rather been out wandering through a real wood than preparing for yet another social function, but this was the life she had chosen, schemed for, spent hours making eyes at the boorish male aristocrats at the Midsummer’s Ball, and days fawning over Ladies of ‘good breeding’ in the town square. Finally after three years she had broken through the class barriers to become a Socialite, she was invited to all the best parties, attended the most elegant balls and entertained the other guests with her witty remarks and stylish outfits, but it all had its price. Michiko knew that none of them were interested in what her thoughts were on anything, and if she chose to express an opinion other than the accepted view or refused to dance with any man who asked her she would be dropped, shunned and find herself back where she first started from, a poor orphan with little education and no experience to get a ‘real’ job.

It was the fear of this that kept her at the gaudy mirror, gilding herself and praying that her looks would last forever. A cry woke her from her morose thoughts, she looked out the window to see her ‘friend’ Carmen in a carriage below, ‘hurry up Michiko’ Carmen yelled without her usual studied manners, ‘or we’ll be late’. Michiko hurriedly pushed her earrings through each lobe and ran down stairs out to the waiting carriage. The carriage started off and Carmen gossiped away about the evening’s entertainment not noticing that once again Michiko was lost in thought, for it was a particular reason that had made Michiko question her exciting and privileged lifestyle, and the reason was to become publicly known tonight.

They were on their way to a dinner being held by Lord and Lady Butterfield, which was to be attended by the Royal family. The dinner promised excellent food and lively entertainment according to Carmen’s constant stream of chatter, and even though the Butterfield’s were ‘terrific snobs’ there was not an uninvited person in the town nay the country who would not envy Carmen and Michiko place, and there was not a person in the world who Michiko would have not given her invitation to rather than attend.

They soon arrived at Butterfield House a beautiful if not slightly ostentatious place, which was lit up by thousands of lights for the occasion, even the two ornamental ponds either side were covered with floating candles. They followed the stream of guest into the great hall and Carmen called out to her friends with teasing and flirtatious comments, but Michiko remind quiet, she managed a plastered smile, but apart from that her heart was too heavy to join in the festivities. She ate surrounded by people she knew and joined in with the conversation as best she could, and after several glasses of wine it became easier to laugh and smile. She kept her gaze firmly fixed on those around her forbidding her eyes from looking at the top table.

Finally when the last delicious mouthful had been eaten, Lord Butterfield called for silence before announcing in a rather pompous voice that King Humphrey had something he wished to tell to those gathered. King Humphrey a stately but jovial King stood up, ‘My people, you know that I am not one to stand on ceremony, but on this occasion ceremony is called for, for I address you tonight not just as your King but as a father’ at this point Queen Penelope began to weep and it was several minutes before the Queen was necessarily comforted enough about the lost Princess Alexander that King Humphrey felt able to continue. ‘It gives me great pleasure’ continued the King, Michiko dug her nails painfully into her arms beneath the table, ‘to tell you that the young lady of this house, Miss Brittany Butterfield has given her consent to my son Prince Kirelan to becoming his wife’, at this spontaneous applause and cheering broke out around Michiko and swelled to what was for her a deafening roar, she starred fixedly at her plate, but at last she could take it no longer and looked up towards the top table, she was met by Brittany’s mocking smile which was meant for Michiko and Michiko alone. Painful memories flashed through Michiko’s mind, the months of happiness she had spent with Prince Kirelan, picnicking, riding and exploring the countryside which had been made more beautiful by his presence, but finally he had admitted to her that he could not marry a girl of her career, Socialites were entertaining distractions from the serious side of life, Socialites were not meant to be wives, especially not royal wives.

Michiko broke away from Brittany’s cruel stare and looked at Kirelan. He was smiling and waving and accepting the congratulations that flowed around him, and carefully avoiding seeing the pain in Michiko’s eyes.

Michiko slipped away from the table unseen and walked outside, she breathed in the heady night air trying to hold back the tears that fell despite her resistance. She looked up into the sky praying for the pain to end. After several minutes of clouded vision her eyes fell upon a star which twinkled much brighter than the rest, it seemed to wink at her, and a reassurance came upon her, she had money, she had beauty, she had talent and she had brains, she’d worked her way from being homeless to where she was, she had the rest of her life to make herself happy.

She made a resolution to herself, ‘borrowed’ a horse from Carmen’s carriage and rode back to her house. She raced upstairs and began to pack, jewels, money and trinkets she packed in her bag. She wrote a quick note to Carmen including money to cover the cost of a new horse, she rode to the edge of town, she took one more look at the town which had made her what she was, before riding off into the night to find a place and a way to make herself what she wanted to be.

When Carmen arrived at Michiko’s house the following day to demand where Michiko had gone last night and get back her horse, she found the note on the dressing table surrounding by shards of glass. Michiko’s mirror has dislodged itself in the night and fallen making the room bounce with prisms of light. Carmen examined the frame; in the fall much of the gold plating had been knocked off revealing the delicate colours of the flowers and butterflies underneath. Carmen had seen the mirror many times but never before had she noticed that in one corner was an unusual carving, the gold completely knocked off revealing the natural beauty of it, the figure of a horse ridden by an adventurer, a beauty with pink hair.

Sani
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#2 Post by Sani » Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:48 am

:P This was a reel wonderful story Mickey, I like the fact that she ride away from the town in the finish, and you do good stories, I read a few you did on the other side, you are good on this, please write some moor stories!

Sani.

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