Jessica tugged at her blonde curls and whimpered.  Every time she drank the potion, she found she hated her disguise more and more.  She wasn’t cut out to be a blondie; it made her cheeks look fat and her shoulders too broad.  She viciously tied the hated curls back with a black ribbon and tucked any loose tendrils behind her ears.  Her eyes froze at brown, a deep uninteresting shade of the colour, and she frowned.  For all her complaining over so many years about being different, she found that she didn’t enjoy being ‘normal’.

“Princess?”  Matheus’ voice floated under the door.  Jessica sighed and pulled her knee-high boots over her scarred feet.

“Come in, Matt,” she grumbled.

The door swung open and he leaned on it.  In the mirror, Jessica could see him looking at her, as if he were seeing her for the first time.  He always did that, and she hated the unwarranted attention.  It would be one thing if he was looking at her because she was beautiful or interesting as herself, but instead he was captivated by a lie.

“You’re so simple,” she accused him, and he frowned but straightened his posture.

“Kesstrel wants you and Jyla to meet her at the front gate,” he said.  She turned as he looked around the room.  “Jyla is here with you, isn’t she?”

Jessica shook her head.  “She said she was going to find you,” she said.  “I simply assumed-”

“I haven’t seen her,” Matheus interrupted.  “Not since this morning.”

He looked concerned, and it was both sweet and unnerving.  “Then your guess is as good as mine.  I’ll tell her if I see her, though.”

Matheus nodded, but the expression never left his eyes.  There was something he was hiding poorly behind them, Jessica knew.  Now wasn’t the time to inquire.  He closed the door and left.

Inhaling slowly, Jessica turned around.  The chalk scratching on the wooden walls would need to be washed away, unless something went awry and the Queen sent soldiers here to investigate the remains.  They couldn’t know what was afoot, lest it would spoil everything.  She took a handkerchief from the vanity and brush it against the sketches of maps and plans.

It seemed like a dream, to be going into her Mother’s home again, trying to be someone she wasn’t, and trying to convince the mother who hated her daughter enough to kill her that she wasn’t who she was supposed to be.  Jessica let the handkerchief drop to the floor and for a moment she stared at the white smudges on the wall.  Deep in her gut, she felt like something was going to go terribly wrong.  It was a feeling she couldn’t share with anyone.

She wrapped her black shawl over her shoulders and moved out of the room without so much as a sound, disappearing into the shadows between people as she headed for the rendezvous point.

.

Word: Disguise.  ||  Time: 15 minutes.  ||  Character: Jessica fa Laure.

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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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