"Alright Alice, let's try this again. 1,2,3, and 1,2,3." Alice's dance instructor wasexhausted from teaching the rebellious 14-year old. But something suprised her. For once, Alice seemed to be learning! her staps were in rhythm, and to make things even better, she was actually wear ing high heels! the only possible description would be a graceful butterfly, flying for the first time. It almost appeared natural to her. "Wow Alice! I'm very impressed. How onearth did you learn to dance? Not in my class of course. You never pay attention!"
"Well, it's easy! All you ahve to do is think big, little, little. That's the walking right there. And then trere's the basic spins, which the music cues you in on it itself."
"But what about the formations?"
"Well, that's the only problem.I can't seem to remember when we are in circles and when we are in lines."
"This still doesn't seem to make sense. How do you go from a clumsy hippo to a graceful butterfly over lunch time?"
"Well, I guess people can change in an hour. And a hippo? Really? That's not a very nice way to put it. was I really that bad?"
"Honestly, I was sure you were tripping over invisible strings . iwas actually walking around the room looking for the strings you were tripping over."
"I was really that clumsy?"
"Yes. As a matter-of-fact, you were... Wait a second! I know why you all of a sudden gotso good at dancein. It's that price Alexander, isn't it!" Alice's cheeks turned cherry red.
"You're trying to impress him."
"I do not. Maybe I just like the waltz!"
"You? Like the waltz? That's the biggest lie I ever heard. You can trust me with your litte lsecret. I was 14 once too you know."
"Well, maybe I like him just a little."
"Ha! I knew it!" Now changing her facial expression to see mmore serious, theinstructor added: "Ok. Let's tyr to dance in your corset. That is, if you want to. It will make you look more grown up."
"yes, we can dance now. But can we take it slower? I can hardly breathe in that dress."
"Don't worry, we'll take it slowly. And I don't enjoy wearing corsets much either."
"Then why do you wear them?"
"Well, it is the law you know.'
"Yes, you're right. It is the law. Can we start dancing now?" The teacher chuckled quietly to herself.
"Yes Alice, we may start dancing. I've never seen you so eager!"
"Great! And one more thing. Can you teach me to curtsy again?'
"Definitely. You wouldn't want to look like a fool in front of your prince now ,would you?"
"no. Of course not." The music started. Alice danced in continous circles, perfect rhythm with every step. The instructor was amazed. It seemed a real miracle had occured.
"Thank goodness for teenage love." She muttered to herself. "Oh well, I might as well take advantage of it while I can. Who knows? Maybe it will last longer than I think. now talking to Alice, she added: "IF you keep this up, you might pass your older sister Kiera. Wouldn't she be jealous if you could dance better than her?" usually, the teacher would have shut her mouth long before. She had just given alice an idea.
"Hmm.. maybe I will keep this up." alice announced, with a familiar look of mischief on her face. 'Kiera would be so jealous!"
"Oh why didn't I just keep my mouth shut?" The instructor thought to herself. "Now Kiera will be angry. And if there's one thing i know, it's that Kiera is a pain to deal with when she's angry. What on Earth have I gotten myself into?"
Trumpets sounded quietly as the king and queen took there place at the throne. Kiera was there early. As usual, Alice was late again.
"Where on earth is that girl?" The king demanded. "It's her first ball, and she's still not here! It wouldn't suprise me if she doesn't show up at all."
Now don't you go to worrying." The queen replied. "She's probably just finishing her makeup."
"Oh yeah. Amd they had to tie her down as well. Why would she still be doing her makeup?" just then, trumpets sounded again. Through the door walkid Alice, lookomg better than ever. Following Alice was Prince Alexander himself. Never before had anybody seen two red-haired kids so well behaved. Alice proceeded to the throne.
"Why Alice!" Kiera exclaimed. 'You look great! I never thought I would see you in a corset and hing heels. Adn is that makeup you're wearing? And your hait, it's-"
"KIera!" The king inturrupted. "you shouldn'tquestion you sister about her appearance. however, I may bacause I am king." Alice, Kiera, and their mothe all rolled their eyes in unison. "So Alice, how did they manage to do your hair and makeup? Did they have to tie you down to the chair?"
"Why no daddy." Alice explained. " I just say down and let them work. Didn't it turn out beautiful? And I love this dress. Corsets are so pretty! And these hig heels! I just adore them!" At this point, alexander snuck up behing them. Jokingly, he asked:
'Who are you and what have you done with the real Alice?" When Alice saw him, her face turned cherry red. The music for the walts started. "Whoever you are,' Alexander grinned, "may I have this dance?"
"Why, certainly." Alice replied. She attempted to curtsy, and actually did a neat, graceful one.
"Why miss Alice! Was that a curtsy I saw?" Alexander teased.
"Oh Alexander, give it a rest." Kiera tesed at him. "After all, Alice is trying to impress you. After, she is crushing on you."
"Well, let me just say I have a pretty large crush on her myself. It's not often you find rebellious royalty!" At this moment, Alexander's parents approached.
"If you want rebellion," his mother said, "then you should see him at home.
"Oh yes," his father proclaimed. "have you even seen a price wrestle in jousting class?" Alice's father couldn't help but add on to their conversation.
"No, I can't say I have. But have you ever seen a princess climb a tree in a corset?" At this time, both Alice's and Alexander's faces turned as red as their hair. They hurried off onto the dance floor, both embarassed by their talkative parents.
"And I thought kids told their parents secrets." Alexander remarked.
'I couldn't agree more. But if it weren't for them, I would have had no idea you were so mischievious."
"Well, wouldn't my hair have given it away? After all, carrot orange is a sigh of mischief. But I'm not nearly as bad as you. Climb a tree in a corset! I would never do that!"
"Well Alexander, I highly doublt that you would be wearing a corset in the first place."
"RIght you are Alice. Right you are." alexander agreed. his voice now a whisper, he added: have you ever tried bringing a horse into the ballroom?"
"Well, no, I can't say I have."
"Ok. I have another question. Where are your horses kept?"
"Alexander, you wouldn't!"
'Oh yes I would. would you like to join me?"
"Why not? But who on earth would clean up the messes it makes?"
"The stablehand. After all, if the horse didn't make the mess in the ballroom, it would be on the stable floor."
"Alexander, I like the way you think. While the music was at its loudest, the two snuck off the the stables to retrieve a horse. Now Alice was sure this would be a night to remember.
"I can't believe the stable hand kicked us out! I thought you invited him to the ball!"
"Well Alexander," alice timidly replied,'maybe he declined his invitation. It was fun being kicked out though."
"You're not the one who fell in the mud."
"I hate to break it to you, but that wasn't mud."
"Well, what esle could it be?" Alexander thought about it for a moment. There was a disgusted look on his face. The two turned to each othe and laughed.
'Well Mr. Dung-Face. You ahd bette wash up and return to the ball. I still want my last dance."
"Well, let me just remind you of something. Because we bot hare "crushing" on each other, we will marry someday. So unless you want to become Mrs. Dung-Face, I'd suggest you stop with the name-calling. At this point, Alexander had an idea. he ran up to her and gave her a hug, covering he in "mud". 'Well, well." Alexander teased. "it looks like you're Ms. Dung-Face. I would suggest we both wash up and return to the ball.
"I acouldn't agree more." Alice replied as they went their seperate ways to wash up.
After showering and cahnging her clothes, Alice had her servants redo her hair and makeup. Alexander had showered and changed his clothes as well. Both has returned to the ball just in time for the final song.
"So Alice, would you like to dance?"
"Of course Alexander. You can hug me too as long as you're not covered in dung."
"Thank you your majesty."
"You're welcome, your smelliness."
"Oh will you stop your teasing? Do you want to dance or not?" Alice suddenly got more serious. The two grasped hands. Alice's other hand was gently resting on Alexander's sholder. Alexander's free hand was firmly clasped around her waist. Stepping and spinning with perfect timing and rhythm thye danced an amazing waltz. They were both equally disapointed when the music ended. Quietly, the two slipped away. Alice to her bedroom, And Alexander to his carriage.
"Good night Alice"
"Same to you Alexander." Alice was sure shewould never forget the night she fell in love with the prince who was just as misbehaved as she was.