read my lips

chapter 1- the mist

“Just slap me”

I looked nervously to my left. The padded apples of my cheeks squinted into my eyes in a cringe. I’d slapped myself before but never anyone else. Once I’d slapped myself to stay awake during a speech. Other times I’d done it for the emotional shock. Many times it had worked in preventing an outburst. I puffed out a breath I had been holding in. I was about to whisper a firm no, when a tear began rolling down her face. The droplet drawing an ugly line in her foundation revealing the sliver of her porcelain skin.
“You have to do it now,” her voice had a bite to it despite the wavering of tears.

Trying not to roll my eyes I sucked in another breath. I heard the familiar sound before I felt the touch of her cheek. I was surprised her sharp jawline didn’t cut into my chubby palm.
My eyes darted to her face nervously.

Her eyes were wide with shock but her face was expressionless. I felt my teeth gritting wondering if I should have been gentler. I turned around to follow her gaze to the banquet down to the left of us. Our eyes drifted to the crowd where we’d previously stood minutes before. I could see my baby brother’s taller curly head peaking above the crowd of young girls. My eyes flickered on Kacia. Her wine lips were were quirked up against her warm skin, I traced up mauve hair. My look wandered to her eyes, and I jumped when hers met with mine.
“Oh my god,” Oormi whispered
Everyone was looking at us.
“Well what did you think was going to happen if I slapped you,” I hissed through a whisper.

Our faces locked pensively.
“You have to get me out of here,” she demanded.
I felt my face twist in frustration, “Oh do I?”
After a moment of contemplation,
“Fine,” I breathed.

Her bony fingers insufficiently attempted to wrap around my chubby wrist.
I winced as my body lurched forward to follow her. I wobbled behind as she drug me through a swinging door. Moonlight shone on the marble balcony. Oormi’s breath turned to smoke as it hit the night air. It swirled around her tangerine hair as if it was the gleam of a flame. My heavy feet plodded down the steps. The marble steps lead us away from the main house, through several gardens. Each one was unfamiliar in the dark. I held back a shudder as the low light cast demonic shadows on cherub like statues. At the edge of the stairs we stopped. I felt my belly bump into her from the abrupt stop. She just ignored being crashed into.
“Which one is yours?” Oormi gestured at waiting carriages. My eyes darted from each insignia on one carriage to the next. An impatient horse brayed somewhere along the line. I could spot my baby brother’s, and a couple more members of the royal family. Finally I spotted my own pattern.
I gestured and she yanked me forward so quickly that I almost toppled over.

Before I knew it I felt her squishing and shoving me into the carriage door. Finally having enough I gripped her wrists to stop her.
“I can get in myself,” I groaned and she shook free of my grasp.
I turned to my side and scooted in. I heard Oormi barking orders to the coachman while sinking into the the far seat.
With a flustered burst of breath, she rushed in slamming the carriage door behind her.
She stared me dead in the eye. The wild look making me shift further away from her in my seat.
“Your brother is in love with her,” I couldn’t read if her tone was questioning or just making a statement.

I felt displeasure washing over me. Frantically her thin fingers were grasping and pulling at my lace collar and ripping it towards her.
“We’re engaged,” she howled into my face and she pulled it in closer. My palms began to firmly press into the seat trying to fight her desperate motions.
“What is wrong with you?”. My expression must have been pretty irate. She let go of my collar and I thumped the back of the carriage pulling away from her.
“You can’t act like that,” I felt the indignation bubbling up in my chest. I squeezed my temple, “Who do you think you are?”

“The King promised him to me,” she lurched back. I shoved her to the other side of the carriage having endured enough.

“Did the King promise you an everlasting love or a title?”

I watched her face fall as she processed what I’d said. This time full blown tears began streaming down.
I laid down with my back where my butt should have been. My legs were pointed up and my feet on the ceiling of the carriage. My eyes ran up and down the white lace on my stockings. I looked at Oormi. The extra ruffles on her bust and her rear giving away that she was a long flat noodle underneath. It was mean but I couldn’t really blame my brother for not wanting her. A voice in my head chided me for being unfeeling. Maybe it was because I was doomed to forever be just as unhappy.

Despite a gnawing guilt growing inside me, I let her cry herself to sleep. My full tummy jostled as we rolled over uneven ground. I thought about all the resources I enjoyed from the valley areas Oormi’s family retained. I felt myself hiccup thinking about all the honey cakes I’d had when we visited. I ran my fingers over my middle hiccuping again. The little gnawing voice was suddenly muted by my inability to keep my eyes open. Curling in on myself I rationalized I could always patch this up for my brother when I arrived home.

“Laverne,” Oormi whispered while squeezing her bony hand into my soft arm. I felt my face becoming vicious from being abruptly awoken. Without speaking she meekly unveiled her reasoning. She slid open a small window on the carriage door. Early morning light poured in.
I was paralyzed with fear instantly. Oormi leaned in towards me.
“We’re stopped, and it’s morning.”
I felt prickles of ice running up and down my arms.
“The drive shouldn’t have taken this long. Is it a group of thieves? Please tell me someone will notice we’re gone and come and save us. You’re a princess,” The words just kept frantically pouring out of her.

I held back an exasperated groan in light of the danger.
“I’m seventh in line for the throne. No one will notice I’m gone.”

I watched Oormi’s expression flip with the horrible realization. I tried not to visually express my frustration.
“You wanted a royal ride home,” I muttered under my breath.

We sat in silence until I couldn’t stand it any longer.
I opened the carriage window and peeked out. It was early.

Unfortunately for Oormi I was not betrothed to a handsome prince. My future wasn’t full of royal family rearing, this much I was certain of.
So without any warning I opened the carriage door.

Of course the moment I turned the corner I was fully aware what the hold up was. I let out a quiet giggle. This was enough to wake up the sleeping coachman. He rubbed a tired eye.
“ I must have fallen asleep. The fence is down and these cows have been in the road all night. We’ll be stuck here until someone comes and collects them.”
I gave him a lighthearted nod.

I peered my head back into the carriage, to greet a wide eyed Oormi.
“Good news, it’s not highway robbers! Bad news we’re going to be here for a while.”
She slumped back into the corner of the carriage in relief, to which I promptly shut the door.

Maybe it was giddiness from being alive, or general curiosity about cows. I meandered into the mass of them. It was like an ocean that began far to the left of the road and spread unimaginably to the right. I remembered a nanny saying that calves were like puppies. As I waded through a sea of bovine I was ready to test that theory out.

The morning light was muted, and the air was cold like the night before. At the far end of the crowd of cows was an open field. I spotted a fuzzy looking calf. Immediately I headed towards it with clear intentions to pet its velveteen ears. Mist was rising up through the strands of long unkempt grass. As I ran my fingers through the warm chocolatey tones of the calf’s fur, it looked up at me with big dark eyes. Cupping it’s face in my hands I whispered, “you’re a gorgeous creature, you know?”

I felt something prick at the back of my neck. There was an involuntary sensation and I needed to look up. I gave in obediently jerking my head up.

My eyes locked with her. She was wading through the long grass and mist. Our eyes caught each other, and just below her crystalline eyes were pouty baby pink lips, framed with light blonde strands.

“Are these your cows,” I yelled out to her. Peculiarly enough she shook her head no.

“You know who lives on this farm?”
Again her head shook back and forth telling me no.

The cogs in my brain began to spin.
“Are you lost?”
This time her head bobbed up and down affirmatively.
“I have a carriage waiting let me take you home.”
The look she gave me was not reassuring. It was not the look of someone saved. It was almost as if there was something I didn’t understand. However, she wasn’t saying anything so I headed back towards the road. Soon enough she was following me so closely she was practically on top of my heels.
10 chapters, created 2 years , updated 2 years
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Letters And ... 5 months
That last chapter is fascinating. I would kill for more. This is the good stuff.
Theswordsman 2 years
What a cliffhanger
Theswordsman 2 years
Thank you for continuing
Karenjenk 2 years
I agree with the Swordsman. and love the mind wipe idea
Theswordsman 2 years
I really hope you continue this but if you dont its still a good story
Bunni 2 years
That was a lot of fun to read. You did a great job smiley