Story Saturday: A Character Study

This is not going to be your typical Story Saturday, where I tell an original short story with a beginning, middle, and end. Instead, I would like to do a character study for my next novel and/or screenplay, The Stolen Jewel. The story will take place in the same world as my other books and centers on a studious princess and her two ladies-in-waiting. I have not written anything about Princess Charlotte or her ladies yet, so this is a litmus test of sorts to see how well they play off each other. Please let me know in the comments if you enjoyed reading about them and if you would like to see more previews of this story in the future. If I decide to turn it into a novella, it will go up on my Amazon page in paperback and Kindle formats as soon as I am finished. Otherwise, it will become my first project for the professional screenwriting program I applied to. I look forward to your feedback!

The Stolen Jewel: Character Study

Charlotte's mind was buzzing with facts about the kingdoms that were coming to visit for the next ball. She brushed a dark curl out of her eye and tried to recall as many tidbits and she could. People from Kamdren wear simple clothing and praise the Great One before every major event. Sederians are experts on history and enjoy talking about the many victories of their knights. She would need to brush up on her war knowledge. What was the cause of the Solarian war again? She began to panic when she realized she couldn't remember.

"I said arms up!" said a pleasant yet mildly annoyed voice. Charlotte stood on a pillar while her maid was trying to measure her for her new ballgown.

"I'm so sorry, Mary," Charlotte apologized, lifting her arms to allow the maid to measure around her chest. "Do you, by chance, remember the cause of the Solarian war?"

Mary rolled her eyes. "My dear princess, you take everything far too seriously. This is a party, not a test!"

"Have you heard? Isn't it wonderful?" Lady Lily's high-pitched voice filled the room as she bounded in, her long ebony hair flying behind her. Not paying attention to where she was going, her petite frame nearly trampled Mary.

"My lady, you have already been measured for your dress," said Mary, growing more impatient by the second.

"I know, but there's been another mermaid sighting in Ganchepone, and I just had to tell Charlotte about it! Imagine a mermaid coming to the ball! Wouldn't that be amazing?"

"Actually, no, Lily, it wouldn't," Charlotte said, resting her arms at her sides as Mary finished her measurements.

"Why not?" huffed Lily, crossing her arms over her chest.

"If there truly is an underwater kingdom of mermaids that we know nothing about, we would need to learn a new language, make trade agreements, and form alliances to avoid a potential war. It really sounds quite exhausting."

"Oh, come on! Just because you're the crown princess doesn't mean you're never allowed to have any fun! Let's go see what Crystal is up to in the garden."

Lily grabbed Charlotte's hand and pulled her down from the pillar.

"Thanks, Mary!" Charlotte yelled down down the corridor as Lily dragged her away.

"Why do you have to be so serious all the time?" asked Lily as they moved through the castle's many grand hallways. "Look at where we live! Anyone else would kill to be here!"

"That's just it," said Charlotte. "I do love it here, and I don't want to lose it. I know I can be a great queen, but I have to make sure that Klingland is safe from conquerors and that we maintain friendly relations with other kingdoms so no one tries to take all of this away from me. We don't have the best military, you know."

"But that's your parents' job, not yours!"

"One day, it will be mine. I just want to be prepared."

Lily waved clumsily to Crystal, who sat in the middle of the garden and stood out like a sore thumb with her unusually tall stature and pale blonde hair.

"Crystal, what are you going to wear to the ball?" asked Lily.

"Margaret finished measuring me this morning, but she said they cannot afford to embroider my entire bodice with pearls. Can you believe it?"

"Margaret? Don't you mean Mary?" asked Charlotte. "Margaret's not working today. She's the round one with back problem and the three children."

"Whatever," said Crystal. "Anyway, Prince Braydon wrote me another letter! He can't wait to see me at the ball. I suspect he might profess his love to me there."

"Oh, how romantic!" said Lily. "Can I see?"

"Sorry, dear, but I keep all my letters in a special hiding place to avoid prying eyes."

"I suppose that makes sense," said Lily, slumping her shoulders in disappointment.

"I'm happy for you," said Charlotte. "I was worried my parents might push Braydon on me since we're destroying the enchanted ruins to form an alliance with their kingdom. It's such a shame."

"You were just talking about how important alliances are to your future!" exclaimed Lily. "Now it's a shame? Make up your mind!"

"I just meant it's a shame to destroy such untapped magic potential without even studying how it works. The ruins are very powerful. They could be used for good as well as evil."

Lily shrugged. "I guess they don't want to risk it. As long as we have something that powerful, we'll always be a threat, right?"

"Why can't you just study the ruins yourself?" asked Crystal. "You're the princess. You can do anything you want."

"I could take them out of the treasury for a little while to look at them," said Charlotte, "but I don't know enough about how they work to actually use one. If I kept one after we promised Braydon's kingdom that we would destroy them, it would be an act of treason."

"I'm sure you'd be forgiven," responded Crystal. "You're the crown princess, after all."

To Be Continued in The Stolen Jewel...


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