"Soon we shall be arriving in the capital" my mother states as I sit upright, I must not bat an eyelid I am disciplined and ready for whatever the capital has to throw at us. By "Us" I mean me and my older sister Frollow. Who at the age of 45 could well pass as my mother, they also look so alike that it's freaky.
Both with the same shade of grey eyes and white hair "Only the purest of our blood come with white hairs. You my daughter are as pure as can be" she said showing some rare warmth towards Frollow the once. While I overheard behind a giant pillar carved of Ice. My heart sinking as I knew that would never be me.
Mother and Frollow share the same long angular face and shining white hairs. Whereas my hair is beams of white, my eyes are also grey. Yet I am not them. No matter how alike I am.
Because I am a Bastard child.
As Frollow and mother try to get the first glimpses of the capital, I try and get my first glimpse of myself to prepare myself for the capital. While mother and Frollow are clones of each other I have major differences, my cheeks are naturally rosy red unlike their pale grey skin that matches their eyes. My cheeks have a chubbiness around them that my half sister's and mother's lack.
I am 16 years of age, young and attractive, whereas they are old and beyond the age of child bearing. It doesn't matter anyway, Frollow already has a son. An 14 year old boy, robust and regal in equal measures residing back in our castle carved of Ice on the slopes of the Blizdread mountains. When she becomes ruler, he will inherit the throne, there's no doubt he shall gain a wife and the line shall go on...
You are probably asking yourself. Why doesn't old mother train me like she trains Frollow? Forty years of training, (Her whole life) has made her into the best controller of Ice in Tiose. With a solid will, she lost her husband to the EndWar as well as her father. She has the attitude, experience and skills capable of becoming Queen with an heir guaranteed.
Whereas I am a spare bastard child. With no skills, experience, loss or attitude to become ruler. I am moderate at craving through Ice and using it attack others (if need be) but my skills pale in comparison to Frollow. And I am a bastard.
Bastard children are huge mistakes in any royal family. I have no right to inherit anything. "You should be thankful you're even wondering this castle!" My mother spat at me once, when I asked why I couldn't go outside. I was 4 then. I have grown, questions have frozen on my lips like the ice that decorates the walls of our castle. I am no one.
I am simply eye candy.
I have been fitted into a tight blouse to show off my assets "Icrayne you shall go to the capital and marry a Prince from one of the kingdoms" My mother ordered a few weeks ago. Since then servants have been preparing me, while I have remained silent. Mother wants to marry me off, end of story. She doesn't want to look at the product of her mistake any longer.
There was a mass hunt for the person who had "raped" the Queen. He hid well, and he came to me when I was a young child. I remember him as a hulking figure with bright blonde hair and my grey eyes. Not mother's but mine.
I was too scared to scream. And then he spoke.
After that me and father only had each other, I was simply expected to wonder around the castle. Mother didn't care, she couldn't care, I was a bastard, servants helped raise me at times. Other times I would smuggle father food and drink from the kitchens. The large man always hid in my bedroom, he had the most infectious laugh.
Thinking about it makes me teary eyed. I must not think about it.
"Ah we are here" Frollow notes looking out at the capital, I am not. I'm back with father, no one could enter my room. So father used to hoist me onto his lap and with his smile and dreamy eyes he'd tell me greatest of stories. My young eyes would stay open for hours listening to him, entranced.
He wasn't a bad man. I didn't know why mother or the rest of the kingdom thought so.
Snapping back to the present I look out of the window, to maintain my straight face takes all my effort because all my life I have been confined to my Ice Castle. Never before have I seen such a grand place, with so many people. Thousands of different coloured, different aged, and different sized people gaze at our carriage in awe.
All lined at the side of the road, I gaze back at them in interest, I have learned to quench my fear of large clumps of people. Yet I imagine that my crafted social skills that my servants taught me too Woo a man are not up to scratch. "You seem rather rigid in your movement's M'lady" I remember one servant telling me.
No wonder I've been nicknamed the Ice Bitch. Or the cold hearted bastard girl. I've had no one to truly love other than father, now he lies as clumps of rotting bones somewhere below the ground in an unmarked grave, underneath layers of snow and ice.
I gaze at the people. Do they know I'm the bastard child? Will I ever love any one of them?
Tearing my gaze away from the people I can see rows and rows of alehouses, stalls, inn's and any other building clumped together in a high density area, where dirty faced children scurry around like rats. I keep my eyes locked on the activity outside as the shoddy areas of the Capital soon blend into much more elegant and more sturdy buildings.
Shacks of rotten wood turn into majestic mansions of marble, as the people in brown rags turn into fine layers of blue and purple silk. I look up at mass towers of buildings that make me dizzy trying to see where these buildings end. "Well it certainly hasn't changed" Frollow remarks to mother. The dialouge in this carriage is virtually none-existent and the atmosphere itself is "Frosty" It must be because I am present.
"There's the Grand Castle" Mother informs us.
I never seen a more majestic building in my life, built of materials so fine I cannot name them. It's drizzled in golden rails and the stench of history from the massive building, protected with a 100 foot wall, is overpowering. Every steep tower of the castle stretches upwards to dizzying heights, as I fall into the shadow of the building I feel myself shudder. I may be a controller of Ice but this building scares me.
I close my eyes, wanting to be back in my room. Back in the loving embrace of father, who used to hold me tight to this broad chest as I would listen to his heart beating underneath his layers of clothing. With him I could smile, with him I could laugh.
"Father, why does everyone think you're a bad man" I remember asking him one day.
"I made a mistake" he muttered after a short while, his eyes flickering to the celling.
"You didn't rape... mother, did you?" I asked horrified seeing the expression on my face he laughed.
"No child, I did not, I swear it too you" he said.
He went on, and on as he always did being confined in this tiny room for his final years did nothing to rid of his spirit or drive him insane, he had one thing to look forward too. Me. And I only had him.
"We are unwanted Icrayne, both of us, learn this fast and learn it now. No one's cares what we want, or what we hate. Our word will never be listened too, but..." he smiled and pulled me closer to him "We'll never have power or prestige and in a way that's the best honour we can ask for"
"Why is that?" I asked.
"Because when you have nothing, no power, no status, no money, nothing, nobody will be your friend because of those things. You will find your friends, your lovers, amongst those that love you for who you are" he concluded.
I loved father. He was a peasant with millions of pints of money on his head. He had produced a bastard child and shamed the queen. He was penniless He was wanted dead everywhere. Yet I loved him just because he could make me laugh and make me happy.
As the door to my carriage opens I pray to whatever Gods are listening that whatever was in father was in me. So I can attract one man to me, to make my husband.
I know I sound weak saying that. But I have no hope of power.
Like father said.
"Power is nothing without people"