I’m not sure how much of the original draft of this story I still have, I’ll have to search for it. This is just chapter one. I had at least three chapters.
It’s a rather strange story about the island country Garmasapon and a woman who has an Esther-like situation where she marries the king by arranged marriage. I don’t even know where the plot was going. There was supposed to be a conflict with Malaposie, a near-ish island country that hated Garmasapon. What I actually have, though, is just weird.
Once upon a time there was a far away land called Garmasapon. In Garmasapon there was always peace among the people, never violence. The people who founded the land had found the island by chance — it was completely secluded. As far as the townspeople knew they’d never been invaded by their enemy — the land of Malaposie.
But that’s just the beginning! This is a story about Garmasapon’s leader Garlasha who absolutely hated Malasha, the leader of Malaposie. First off I bet you’re wondering who I am? Well I’ll begin our story by telling you — Garmasha, wife of Garlasha. Now on to the story that I promised to tell you.
My husband was born into royalty — in fact he was a descendant of our founder Garmasapon. As a boy he wasn’t allowed to dirty his clothes, cause mischief, or interact with villagers and servants! He was full of hatred because of this rule, until he found that he would soon be king of all Garmasapon! When he found out he told the servants to go through all of Garmasapon and bring all virgins who are not married and are over eight years of age to the palace for him to decide whom he’d marry! The servants naturally obeyed.
I was (as you can guess) one of these girls. I tried to get them to let me stay, but they said it was the king’s command — so I consented. After pageants, beauty contests, and a filling out of many personality profiles, the last twenty girls were presented to the king. After he narrowed it down to ten, then five, he chose me as his bride. This to me was shocking because I was only thirteen! Still three years under the marriage quota!
He was sixteen and he ordered the wedding to be arranged at once! The cooks made cakes of all sizes, and invitations were sent out to all the nobility (and my relatives). The next week we had the wedding.
I was in a huge, white dress covered in gold adornments. He was in a matching suit and breaches. (I have to admit, he was stunning!) The wedding ceremony was simple: we both said our vows and pledged our hearts to each other. (I didn’t have much choice in this, but I was still excited about my wedding.)
After the ceremony had taken place, the festivities began. We cut the main cake and we (as was the custom) shared the first piece. Then everyone received their piece and we sang, danced, and enjoyed each other’s company. After what seemed like days we (Garlasha and I) went back to the Palace.
We had a four-poster bed and a giant room. The closet was very large as well, and amazingly it already had about fifty dresses! I asked him how the dresses got there.
“When you filled out the personality profile these dresses were made for you,” he replied simply.
“How did you know if they’d fit?” I asked.
“You had a dress fitting early on, like all the girls.”
“Oh yeah,” I said remembering.
“Yes, now if you’ll excuse me I have to go take my royal bath.”
“Is there another bathroom for me to bathe?”
“This one, you’re royalty now so you will bathe in the royal bathtub.”
“While you’re in there?” I asked shocked.
“No! After I’m done bathing.”
“Oh, good. You had me worried for a minute!”
“Well you had no reason to worry,” he said calmly.
So I waited for him to finish, but after a few minutes I got bored so I decided to try on a few of the dresses. The first one was an elegant, flowing, blue ball gown with pearl adornments! I tried it on at once (not knowing if I’d get in trouble for this). I waltzed around the room until I stopped in front of a full length mirror. I looked so elegant!
I hurried and tried on the next one. A blue, silky, flowing gown most likely for dining purposes. I rushed back to the mirror and looked at myself in the gown. Then I froze; I saw my new husband looking at me from the doorway to the bathing room. I slowly turned around, and saw him start to smile at me. I started to relax and smiled back.
He moved out of the doorway and gestured inside.
“I had the tub filled with fresh water for you,” he said.
“Thanks, I appreciate it. About the dresses –”
“Don’t worry about it, everything is fine,” he interrupted me.
With that I headed into the bathing room to take my bath. I undressed and eased myself into the hot water and bubbles. I had just fully encased my body, not including my head, in the hot water when three ladies came in through a door I hadn’t noticed. They were the royal bathing maids.
“What scent of soap would you like?” one of them asked me.
“Umm, do you have orange?” I asked mostly just wondering.
“Yes, we do,” another one told me.
“We’ll be right back with the soap,” the first maid told me.
They walked into what must have been a servant entryway to the bathing room. After about five minutes they returned with a large container of orange colored soap. They walked over to the tub and set the container on the side of it.
“Are you reader for this?” the third asked me.
“Would you rather wash yourself?” the first asked.
“The king said this you’re to have that option.”
And with that she handed me the wash rag, opened to soap and left.
I washed quickly, stepped out, and then noticed they had not brought me a towel! Then someone peeked their head in and brought a towel.
They nodded their head in response, then left. I dried quickly then went to ask my husband (wrapped in the towel) where to find my night clothes.
“In your closet, at the very back,” he told me.
I walked to the back of the closet and pulled out a thin blue dress and undergarments. I went back in the bathing room and donned my night clothes. I put my towel on the rack and went back out into the bedroom.
He was sitting in the bed, waiting for me so he could turn out the lamp. I climbed in on the other side, and made an effort to be as close to the edge as possible without falling out. Then I heard his voice piercing the darkness.
“I understand your discomfort to this whole situation. I know that I’d be uncomfortable if a strange woman requested that I marry her,” he said barely above a whisper.
“Yes, I am uncomfortable, but I think it may be for the better of the people.”
“It is for the people. In a way… I didn’t want my father arranging my marriage to a girl I didn’t want to marry, so you know what I did from there.”
Somehow I felt comfortable talking to him, I think because he talked to me first.
“Yeah, I know how that feels,” I whisper so softly I didn’t think he heard.
Then he answered, “I’m sorry you didn’t have a say in this situation, but it was a bit urgent as my father was very sick. If I didn’t marry before his death I’d marry the girl he had hand chosen.”
“Have you met her?”
“Yes, only once, but she was as snooty as they come. That’s part of why I wanted someone who wasn’t as rich.”
“Thank you,” I said realizing this was meant as a compliment.
With that said we both fell asleep quickly.