In the Kingdom of Tränen, a King makes a promise
to his dying wife to only remarry someone who has her golden hair. With time,
the King finds his eyes are turned by his maturing daughter. Realizing her
father’s intentions, Princess Aurelia tries to trick her Father by requesting
impossible gifts: dresses created by the sun, moon and stars and a coat made of
a thousand furs. When Aurelia discovers his success, she knows she must
run away from her privileged life and escapes the kingdom disguised by the
cloak and under a new name, “Allerleirauh.”
Aurelia enters the safe haven of the Kingdom of
Saarland der Licht, where she is taken under the care of the handsome and
gentle Prince Klaus. Hoping to not be discovered by her father’s courtiers,
Aurelia tries to remain hidden under her new false identity. Unexpected
love is found between Aurelia and Prince Klaus and is challenged with an
approaching arranged marriage between the Kingdom of Saarland der Licht and a
neighboring ruler. With the possibility of discovery hanging in the air,
Aurelia must face the difficulties of her past with her father in her journey
of self-discovery before the Prince and his entire Kingdom learns the truth of
her real identity, and she looses him forever.
decide to remarry, you must marry someone who is as beautiful as I and has my
golden hair.” The words seemed to echo all around the darkened, red room as my
dying mother whispered them. Candles were lit all across the room, creating a
gloomy and death-like atmosphere around us as they flickered against the stone
walls; the only solace of light were the flames, curling out from the
fireplace. My mother’s hair, like spools
of golden thread, lay against her forehead, clinging to her dying, pale skin as
she lifted her hand, reaching out to my Father for his answer. My mother, the
Queen, was dying in her bed with my weeping father on bended knee, taking her
hand and kissing her knuckles and the corner of her lips.
words were soft and full of a clouded grief I knew I didn’t understand. My father
and mother were hardly ever affectionate behind closed doors. I often saw them
together in the throne room, together in my father’s den, but never close;
never touching. His loss of her was a mystery to me.
“Promise me,” she
hissed at him, her breathing was growing faint as she shifted and grunted,
trying to look at him more closely. Perhaps it was her only solace that her
husband, my father, would never truly love anyone after her. Perhaps she hoped
a new wife would only be a constant reminder of his first.
I stood in the
background, watching the scene between my mother and father, clinging to the
thick red bed drapes, my own golden curls tied back with a black ribbon. I had
been pulled from my tutoring lesson with Mousier Rayner, learning French from
the brittle books of my father’s library and had dressed for the occasion of my
mother’s death in a simple black dress. I hadn’t known how to feel as the black
silk brushed against my skin. I felt almost as if we were being paraded into
her room to watch her die like an animal. Was this how life truly was?
and then, just as quickly, our flame dulls until it becomes a wisp of smoke in
a darkened room and we’re gone. As the servants and house-hold hands guided me
into the room, I stood frozen in the back. It was often said by the Courtiers I
looked much like my mother; I had the same golden hair and the same blue eyes.
I wondered now how true it really was. Did I truly?
I felt fear as her
last breath slipped between her lips, her hand slowly falling from my father’s
shoulder. Everyone in the Kingdom knew the King did not have a male heir, and
in turn, would need one to carry on the Royal Line. Who would be next? I could
see eyes staring at me; I was my Mother’s reflection: my Mother’s legacy. I
felt a cold shiver run up my spine as I heard my father reply, “I promise.”
as I stood in front of my Father’s chambers. I could see my hand shaking as I
lifted it towards the wooden door. I had not ever been so nervous to see my
Father before. The idea of my Father now frightened me after what had taken
place in my room earlier in the morning; the idea of my own unknown fate
terrified me the most. I slowly brought myself to knock and wait in silence.
Lord Haven’s face greeted me as the door opened slightly.
surprise in his voice. He should not have been surprised. He should have known
I would keep my word and come to the King. I could hear my Father asking, “Is
that her? Is that Aurelia?” Lord Haven gave a small nod towards the other side
of the room, where I could imagine my Father leaning over his desk; his fingers
tousled in his hair. The door parted more for me and Lord Haven gestured with a
bow for me to enter. I tucked my hands behind my back and took a breath. I had
to remember the plan Myriah and I had created.
I speak to my Father, the King, alone?” I asked delicately as I kept my gaze to
the floor. I could hear the silence between the two of them; the unspoken
questions and commands. Perhaps Lord Haven already knew I had come here to
agree to my Father’s wishes, and perhaps my Father felt as if he had won. I
just hoped my plan would work.
“Aurelia, the King has
much to speak to you about.” Lord Haven’s voice was nervous, shaky even and I
nodded in reply.
us.” My Father’s voice caused an array of shivers to run down my spine. The
hairs on my arm rose as I watched Lord Haven leave the room, and my Father took
a step towards me. He looked regal and different from the night before in his
cloak, his hair matted against his forehead and his crown, the large weight of
his responsibility on his shoulders. I felt his finger touch my arm gently, rising
and falling up and down my skin. I wanted to shrink away, but knew I could not.
I had to stay firm and strong just as Myriah had told me to be.
he whispered softly. I took a step towards his desk and placed my hands on the
oak wood, remembering him here, snapping his fingers at me as if I were a dog
just the night before.
Grace.” I replied, turning to look at him. I felt as if it were the first time
I was truly seeing my Father for who he was now, then whom he had been before
with my Mother. I hoped the way I spoke to him made him realize the change
which had occurred. He was no longer a Father, but a stranger to me.
arrangement with you.” I said directly.
what is your arrangement?” There was a hint of amusement in his voice as he
spoke to me. I bit my lip and looked down at my bare hands, trying to remember
everything Myriah and I had spoken of. “What is it you wish from me?” He asked
have told me this morning I am to be your bride.” I caught his gaze, keeping it as long as I
could until he turned, brushing a hand through his hair.
and wide for a wife to meet the late Queen’s…”
“My Mother.” I
interjected. He stared at me; a tense moment between the two of us.
“The late Queen’s
request.” He finished as he rounded his desk. He began to take steps closer to
me as his hand very close to mine; his face seemed to draw itself even closer.
are so very beautiful Aurelia. I’ve watched you grow in the past two years, and
I never knew. Never knew how truly beautiful you were.” I felt a strange
disgust build in the coils of my stomach. I wanted to turn my face away from
him, to turn my back and stride out the door; I wished with all of my soul, I
would never have to face him again, yet, I knew it would never resolve so
easily. I could not stay a moment longer in his presence but I knew I
must. As he came closer, thoughts of the
night before flooded my mind; how easy it had been for him to press me against
his bed, for him to take my clothes and to take me in a way only a husband
live a life with. The late Queen knew how to entertain our people and myself.
She knew how to hold herself with poise and grace, and she knew how to tend to
her husband diligently. I see much of her in you.” It seemed strange he
would. I hardly thought I was anything like my Mother. Perhaps, yes, she was
graceful and delicate, but she hardly knew how to take care of anyone but
herself. I began to think of the ball, and the golden dress and how I had resembled
her so much it seemed my Father fell in love with me.
My Father took
another step towards me and I backed away instinctively. His hand grabbed mine
and pulled me towards him, so that I was standing pressed against him.
“Have you forgotten your Mother’s last
wish? I promised her I would marry someone as beautiful as she. You’re the only
one who has the same golden hair, the same smile, the same beautiful eyes. You
are the only one who will do, who I can love. The only one worthy of my love,
my power, my body. You will be my bride.” He declared as he ran a finger
through my hair. My teeth clenched at his touch; the only thing keeping me in
the room was the hope my arrangements would ultimately save me from this fate. I
could not live this life with him.
“If I am to
marry you,” I began softly, letting out a deep breath. “I have four simple
My Father grinned and
nodded, “Go on…anything.”
he thought he was about to have everything he wanted. Perhaps in this moment,
he was. I slowly uncurled my fingers from the fist I had created and licked my
marriage, I will require new gowns. I request three gowns, one spun from the
ray of sunbeams, the second, as silver as the moonbeams that dance along the
night sky, and the third, woven from the star dust that falls from the
heavens.” My Father looked slightly surprised but continued to listen. I
knew he would remember these from the night he had declared he would do
anything for me to keep me happy and by his side.
request,” I continued, “A fur coat made of all the Kingdom’s wild animals, so
when the harsh winters come I can keep sickness and death at bay.” I could feel my hands shake from trepidation;
I couldn’t believe I actually made these demands to him. What would the people
think once they heard of him going to these lengths to marry me? Would they
think I was a harlot? Would they think I encouraged my Father’s inappropriate
behavior towards me?
me?” he asked, surprised. I could see the amusement light up upon his face
as I slowly nodded to him. Maybe this would actually work. Perhaps he would not
see through the façade and agree to these. If he did, this would grant me more
time to collect my things, arrange an escape from the palace, and more forward
with my plans. I would never again be Princess Aurelia, but I would avoid the
marriage between my own Father and myself.
agree to these things, you will marry me?” A smile crept upon his face as
I gave a fast, curt nod as I swallowed my fear.
done then, my love.” My Father embraced me as he pressed a kiss upon the
corner of my lips. I felt his finger lift my chin gently and I quickly took a
step back away again. My eyes darted to the ground and I twisted a part of my
dress around my finger nervously. I needed to play the park but protect myself.
have much to plan.” I said quickly, fumbling and turning towards the door.
For those who heard me, perhaps they imagined I’d create a beautiful wedding,
but for me I knew I had other things to plan.
“Dearest,” My Father’s
voice caused me to stop in my foot-steps at the door. My hand had only been
inches away from reaching the doorknob.
“I shall have
these gifts to you within a week. Mark my words, the day after I present them
to you, we shall marry.” There was no question in his voice. This was how
it would be. I only gave him a silent nod as I avoided his eyes and opened the
door. I escaped quickly out into the hallway, far away from him before he could
see the tears I fought so hard to keep at bay.
Gadoury is a young author who is originally from Muncy, PA. Chantal enjoys to
paint in her spare time, drink a good cup of coffee when she can and appreciates
watching her favorite Disney classics with loved ones. When she’s not busy
crafting or reading, Chantal is dedicated to her family at home: her mom,
sister and a furry-puppy-brother (and her Dad, who has now lives in heaven.) As
a 2011 college graduate from Susquehanna University, with a degree in Creative
Writing, writing novels has become a dream come true!
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