It started as a soft melody, gently sailing in. The sound enfolded her, growing louder, bolder. Unseen trumpets, flutes, violins, and guitars melted together into an enchanting harmony. Without thinking, Hataru began moving her feet in time with the music. She twirled and chasséd at all the right parts, as if she had rehearsed it. It wasn’t until her other senses came back to her that she realized she had! The nothingness faded away, bringing forth magnificent, bright colors of large banners and ball gowns. Pinks, blues, oranges, and purples, a sherbert of colors, surrounded her as well as many other pigments. Women swirled around, their skirts fanning outwards, their jeweled necklaces sparkling in the light, and men accompanied them; everyone smiling brightly. Hataru felt the sleek silky fabric of her own light green gown, with a low-cut and wide-collared bodice, cascade from her hips. Her bedazzled shoes pinched her toes, but she didn’t mind. Next, the fragrances of baked bread and ripened fruit wafted passed her nose. The princess turned around to see a decorated table fit for a feast, full of delectable foods and desserts. Rushing over, Hataru daintily snatched at a crepe stuffed with strawberries and a thick cream. The explosion of flavor in her mouth was overpowering! She reached for another, but the music suddenly stopped and all eyes were on the princess. The lights dimmed, save for a single spotlight focussed on her. A court herald declared her presence to the guests as she made her way to the middle of the room, just in front of the elevated platform where a king sat on his throne. She curtsied to him, bowed her head, and waited. Just as it had started before, the music gracefully flew from the instruments to her ears. Her feet, hips, and arms all moved on their own accord, kicking here, swaying there, and waving all around. She knew this dance like the palm of her hand.
As she moved her body to the rhythm, the party-goers all watched in fascination. Not a word was uttered, for everyone was captivated by her beauty; there could be no match to her grace and poise. The song was reaching its climax, and the princess was putting forth all of her effort; perspiration glistened on her brow. Now she was spinning, spinning a countless number of times, never ceasing. Faster! Harder! She spun around, not once losing her balance. The music was at its peak, and then... she stopped. Right in the middle of her grand finale, the beautiful, young girl froze, staring into the eyes of a boy she had not seen for a very long time. It was the boy from the window that she had seen so very long ago in a completely different world than the one she was in now. He was older now, as was she, but there was no denying that it was him. As time stood still, the ball room and everything in it began to crumble into dust, starting at the ceiling and making its way down to the marble floor. The food table, the guests, the musicians and their instruments, even the king began exploding one by one; clods of dirt flying every which way. It was quite a frightening scene. Only Hataru and the boy were left, drifting in the nothingness, staring into each other’s eyes.