The silk felt cold against her skin. She’d never worn it before. How was she to know what it was supposed to feel like? It shone in the dim light, reflecting the lantern’s light. The dress was in a brighter color than she was used to but many people had commented the color was exquisite on her. She still felt like a beacon glowing brighter than what was healthy for her. She had always found pink to be a showy color that most girls wore to draw attention their way. It seemed immature. She didn’t want people to think that about her. Trina assured her it was magenta and therefore a more mature color.
She could hear the fabric rustle as she hurried through the abandoned corridor. She had balked at the idea of striding down the main entrance. She would have descended the winding staircase in front of hordes of onlookers. She knew her nerves would not hold through that. She tested the security of the diamonds that dangled from her throat and dived down her chest toward her bodice. This wasn’t her, but she admitted the girl she saw in the mirror was breathtakingly bold. It was time Katarina took up this role that was heaped on her and play it well. She feared going back home a failure than shining at the ball tonight. She reminded herself. She thought about their furniture, family portraits, and horses being sold off at auction and thrust her shoulders back and chest up.
She would meet every eye and dare them to meet hers. She knew the smile that one of the servant girls used to wear around her brother before she had to be bought off with a small country cottage and husband. She’d never seen anyone so bold, but she didn’t want to be seen as brazen. She thought of her mother and the cunning and pride behind her eyes. She needed both. She needed everyone to see both. No one could question her performance. It wasn’t that far from the truth, right?
A guard at the door jumped to attention in surprise. No one was expected to use this side exit so early. His eyes skimmed along her body and she refused to blush. She nodded haughtedly while he opened the door to a world shining with a thousand candles and a hundred jewels. The dance ended just as she walked in and she lifted her chin and surveyed the room. Eyes found her and inspected every glimmer and curve and flick of movement. She strode with steady steps across the room. Men lowered their goblets and lifted their brows in appreciation. Was this what it was like to be seen? To Shine? She wore a faint smile and whipped out her fan like she had practiced. It cracked through the silence just as the music started up again. Partners scrambled to find their spots on the floor. The sea of dresses parted before her and then there he was. The man she was hunting. He smiled wolfishly and met her gaze. A dress, some jewels, and three hours of make up and hair trimmings and the man was already caught. She flicked her gaze around the room and turned to pretend to admire the orchestra. She could feel the Chancellor behind her as if he were a bon fire.
I used “Silk” as my prompt today. 12 minutes. Pick a word and write. It’s fun. You’ll like it.