Delania of Whimilisilisilia, Section 1 out of an unknown number

Fiction By Bridget // 11/25/2009

This was going to be a short story, but it got a little longer than I expected.  It shouldn't be more than 4 or 5 sections though.

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Section 1

Once upon a time… (as the story usually starts)
…there was a King, Queen, and Princess of Whimilisilisilia, which was such an incomprehensible and unpronounceable name that few people ever visited there.  (If you still can’t pronounce it, it’s WIM-IL-IS-IL-IS-IL-EE-AH, which frankly looks more complicated than the original.)
The name of the King was King, the name of the Queen was Nut, and the name of the princess was Delania.  Now you may think (as most of the country thought) that Delania had the only reasonable name of the three of them.  It was a good thing too, because the Princess Delania had a serious failing.  She never cried.
She always laughed.  Her face was only without smile when she was eating.  Even when she was sleeping the corners of her mouth turned up as if she would laugh and dance if sleep did not anchor her down.  You may have heard of Dummling and the princess who never laughed.  This was actually a distant cousin of hers, married now to Dummling, who was now King of E.  (pronounced EH?, with an upwards inflection at the end.)  That family did nothing by half-measures.
When it became obvious the country could never be ruled by a person of no gravity and much levity (and Delania was such a person), King sent five messengers with royal scrolls bearing a proclamation that went like this:

To the surrounding Royal Princes, and Kings of the Unmarried sort, and perhaps even the Less Royal Nobles, I send this Proclamation.
If any of thou possesses the ability to make the Princess Delania shed tears of Any sort (except the Happy sort), let him come as quickly as he may to the Court of Whimilisilisilia and make known this talent.  If he is able to make the Most Royal Princess cry (but not Happy tears, understand), then he shall marry her within the day.  (And let it be known that the Princess is a most comely sort, and sweet-tempered, and all those things which are becoming to Princesses of All places.)

And he placed his royal seal (which was a large ‘W’ with a little crown tipped jauntily on the edge) on the proclamation.  And that was that.
The messenger of Dishria returned with two nobles, a duke and a count, four days later.  When the duke was brought before the Princess, however, she said,
“He’s too fat.” and she laughed uproariously.
When the count arrived, she said,
“He’s too thin.  I could blow him away like THIS!”  And so saying, she blew him away.

The messenger from Lili brought with him three Knights.  “That’s better.” said Nut to King.  “She’ll easily find someone to make her cry now.”
But the first one looked like a clown, and whenever he tried to make her cry, she laughed.  And this one was mistaken for a criminal who looked very much like him, and hanged before he had a chance to protest.
And the second one was a rather mournful personage, and looked always on the gloomy side of life, and whenever he tried to make her cry, he cried instead, which made her laugh more than ever.  Finally he died of a broken heart.
The third one always dressed in his full suit of armor, and the Princess liked him enough to consent to a walk with him.  He intended to find some way of making her cry before the walk was over.  But, alas, whilst they walked by the fish pool, he tripped on a fish that had jumped out of the pond, and fell in.  His heavy armor weighed him down, and he drowned, bubbling out sad phrases all the while.  The Princess certainly didn’t laugh at this, but she was far from crying, and she called the servants to hoist him out of the pool while she walked back to the castle.
No more knights tried to win her hand after that.

The messenger of Or returned as the last knight was being buried with proper ceremony in the Almost Royal Graveyard.  He brought with him the Prince of Or.  When this was heard there was great excitement in the court of Whimilisilisilia, and even Delania, in the midst of chuckles, was heard to say that she could not wait to meet him.
The Prince arrived an hour later, surrounded by various members of his court, looking like the peacock he was in his fine purple feathers and yellow hat and red stockings.  But Delania did not see him.  Instead she saw his first attendant, dressed plainly so as to set off the Prince, walking beside him.
He was handsome, but not unreasonably so (if there is such a thing as being unreasonably handsome), and he was tall, but not extraordinarily so, and muscular, but not too much so.  He was just right, and she fell instantly in love with him.  But she knew that to marry him she would have to cry.
Now the truth about the princess was not that she was unfeeling, or that she laughed so much on purpose, but rather that she didn’t know how to cry.  There are some people like that, although they are far fewer and farther between than they used to be.  She wasn’t sure she could do it.
And would it even matter?  The proclamation her father issued made no allowance for non-nobles.
All the same, she wanted to know about him, and so she sent her closest lady-in-waiting, Kelia, to discover all she could about this young man.

~~~~~~~

The young man, who happened to bear the very reasonable name of Matthew, was walking down a corridor beside his prince when he saw a very pretty young lady in wealthy servant’s dress beckon him from a hallway coming into his.  Bewildered, he looked around, wondering if she was looking at someone else.  No one was there but the prince, however, who was still walking self-importantly down the hall, not realizing his attendant was some ways behind him.  He motioned for the lady to wait, then hurriedly caught up with the prince.
“By your leave, my lord, there is something I must attend to.”
The prince laughed.  “More important than helping me with my own business?  It is quite necessary, you know, that I wed this princess, and if I am to make her cry, I will need practice.  No, you must wait.  Perhaps later.”
“But my lord, you are quite smart enough to practice on your own.”  Matthew knew that if he was to get anywhere, he would need to appeal to his master’s vanity and conceit.  “I would only get in your way.”
The prince appeared to think upon this for a moment, then said, “Perhaps you’re right.  A mere attendant like you would be in the way of a magnificent prince like me.”  And so saying, he paused to admire himself in an ornate mirror that graced the end of the corridor.  “You may go.  Only be back in time to help me dress.”
Matthew thanked him profusely and hurried back the other direction.
“What do you wish, my lady?”
“Only a few questions.  I am Kelia, lady in waiting to the Princess Delania.  I must ask about your master, if it would not be too impudent.  Is your master a good man?  Kind?  Considerate?  Brave?  And is he in love with my princess, or does he merely wish for money and standing?  Answer honestly, if you will.”
Matthew paused.  His prince was none of those.
“Well, I suppose you could say he is considerate – in a way.”  In one way – to himself, he thought.
“Will he love her?”
Another pause.
“I don’t… no, I don’t think so.  I am afraid he has trouble with caring about others.”
“Then,” said Kelia decidedly, “I am afraid he will not be suitable.”
Matthew, though he did not approve of his prince’s behavior, was annoyed at this little statement of Kelia’s, and proceeded to defend his master quite vehemently.
Kelia merely waited for his outburst to end, with her eyes rolled up to the ceiling as if the answers to all her problems lay written across it.
“…and finally, my prince is generous in every way.  Her Highness would have everything she ever wished.” Matthew finished.
“Except a man who loves her.” retorted Kelia.
“Exactly.”  Then he looked surprised that he had let that slip out.
“And what about you?  Have you ever thought that maybe you could win the princess’s hand?”
“Kelia, I will not let myself think of that.  I am an attendant.  I am not royal in any way.  If I wanted a chance, I should not get it.  Good day.”
And Matthew, bitter and exasperated, walked away to help his prince dress.
Kelia, with little information about Matthew (in fact, she didn’t even find out his name) and much about the conceited prince, made her way back to Delania’s wing of the castle to tell her what she could.

 

Comments

Oh, Bridget, I like this. The

Oh, Bridget, I like this. The only objection I have is that the story opens on a delightfully whimsical note and then evolves into a more serious story, with some light, humorous touches. The whimsy is good, and the story is good, but I'm not sure whether they flow together very well...though actually, that might be a interesting writing style choice...it's up to you. Anyway, it's very good, and I do hope you'll continue.

Annabel | Sat, 12/05/2009

Yes, I know.

Oh, I'm continuing.  I know what you mean about the way the two styles join together.  I worried about that a little myself.  I'm not quite sure how to fix it though.  But I'm glad you liked it.

Bridget | Sat, 12/05/2009

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

hmm, i like it!

Indeed, the style isn't what one usually sees... but I like it! Waiting for more! :)

Hannah W. | Sat, 12/05/2009

Haha, I really like the

Haha, I really like the interesting writing style, personally. Funny and serious, I quite like it. Please, continue on!

Erin | Sun, 01/03/2010

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

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