Princess Eliza's Pet
Princess Eliza dropped to the floor with her legs crossed in front of her. The corners of her mouth were pulled down toward her chin and her shoulders were slumped. "But it's not fair. I see girls in the village all the time with puppy dogs."
"Yes, but they are not the same as you, Princess. How would it look to guests if you were to be running about with a filthy beast around the courtyard?" Her lady in waiting, Elsie, was growing tired of listening to her prattle on about playing with an
animal. "You don't see your mother or father wasting away their time tending to a drooling, needy creature."
"I don't see my mother or father at all. I wouldn't know the first thing about what they do with their time. But I do know I want something other to look at than you or the flower garden every day." She spat out the word "you" with venom in her voice and creased her brow.
Elsie knew it was a sign to take her leave and give the princess time to wallow in her own sorrow for a while. She found herself leaving the princess on her own more and more often as the days wore on. For not seeing the queen often, Eliza was becoming more like her every day.
She made her way down to the dining room to see if she could help with meal duties and stopped in the entryway. The dining room was bustling with activity.
"Don't just stand there dilly-dallying, go to the kitchen and start bringing stuff in."
Elsie didn't know who spoke but she was the only stationary person so she turned on her heel and went to the kitchen. She grabbed two bowls off the countertop and walked back to the dining room with the butler. When he questioned her glum look she sighed. "Princess Eliza wants a puppy. She been asking for weeks. I've tried to explain that it isn't a proper accessory for a princess but she doesn't understand."
"Ask the queen," he replied gruffly.
She tittered, "I couldn't possibly."
"What would the queen care? She wouldn't notice if you brought one in and didn't ask." He cocked his head to the side and walked ahead of her.
"I hear you've come with a request." The queen sat with her back straight, fussing with the skirt of her dress.
"Your majesty," she greeted her with a barely noticeable curtsey. "Princess Eliza has been longing for a...a..."
"Speak up. I don't have all day."
"She's been longing for a... puppy dog." The words tumbled out of her mouth and she hoped she wouldn't have to repeat them.
"Splendid. I'd simply adore having a four-legged...beast scurrying about." Her face was pinched and she looked ill. She stood and started toward the exit. "Fine. Fetch her one for her birthday." She waived Elsie off with a flick of her wrist as she walked by.
"Uh, your majesty. Princess Eliza's birthday was two months ago." She took short, quick steps to catch up with her.
The queen stopped and turned her head back. "Oh? Does she know that?"
"Yes, your majesty."
"Well, find her one anyway if it'll make her happy." With a look of disgust on her face, she swung her head forward and took her leave.
The following morning, Eliza and Elsie wandered through the streets of the village. Eliza jumped and skipped her way down the road with enthusiasm. She had screamed when Elsie told her where they were going and she hadn't calmed down yet. Her curls
were beginning to fall around her face from her updo and her round cheeks were pink from excitement.
When they entered the barn, they both scrunched up their noses from the mixture of hay and urine. In the first stall they found four puppies stumbling over each other and yipping from being stepped on. Elsie had to admit they were a bit precious being so small. She cringed a little when she bent to pick up one with a white tipped nose.
"Princess Eliza, what about this one?" She turned and held out the puppy but Eliza wasn't there. She heard shuffling from further back in shadows.
"I found one. This is him." Eliza squealed and emerged from the darkness, struggling to carry the one she had chosen.
"Oh!" Elsie placed her hand over her heart.
Hanging from Eliza's grasp was the most hideous creature she thought she had ever seen. It had large patches of missing fur and its tail was bald and scaly. Its bottom jaw protruded further than the top and the teeth were sharp and jagged.
"This is the one I want." She gave Elsie a stern look that dared her to argue and then leaned her head forward and nuzzled the head over one of two large lumps that looked like horns ready to sprout.
"Princess, I really think..."
"This. One." She stomped her foot with each word. "He reminds me of mother."
Elsie's mouth dropped open but she was speechless.
"He looks just like her," Eliza stated proudly. "Except I love him." She hugged the beast a little tighter and her smile grew from ear to ear.
The artwork is copyrighted by Omar Rayyan and you can find copies of his artwork here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/StudioRayyan?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=55984342
This is a writing prompt based on the picture above. Time limit: 30 minutes *please note, it is not edited*