Me and James were quite well received once we stepped upon the candlelit hallways. The spirits, whom were our fellow servants, brought my ceremonial garments which consisted of a black tie, a long tailcoat which trailed behind me in the color of gold, and dress shoes with heels made specially for occasions such as galas and balls.
James was also dressed in fine cloths; with his golden hair brushed and flattened from its usual messy look, and his waistcoat with silver linings and knee high boats, James looked as fine as any prince or noblemen.
We were led to the ballroom doors, with the same golden rose carved on its silver surface. The doors were opened for us and all head turned to stare and whisper.
"And we welcome the prince and his...er, companion, to the death scythe ceremony!" The faerie with black wings announced. James stood there, grinning like an idiot. I tapped his shoulder and he came to, chuckling heartily.
"No funny business, now. Come, let us go get drinks." t the drinks stand, a girl stood over the red liquid and was pouring herself some. I grasped her hands and in alarm, she gasped and pulled away. Her face was concealed under her blood red hood, and I could not see her expression. I offered a clumsy smile.
"Why, what you were planning on drinking is too strong for fellows like us. It's make for faeries specially. Only they can handle the spices." The girl nodded at me and put the cup down, then scurried away in her long red cloak. I turned to James.
"say, she was-James?" He was staring after her, eyes wide and lips apart. It was as if he could neither see nor hear me.
"No, it can't be...but I was sure I-I..." The devastation was clear on his face; I tapped his shoulder to snap him out of whatever trance he was in, however that did not prove to be effective. I resorted to shaking him. He blinked, then turned to me with anxious and pleading eyes.
"What on earth...do you know her? A past lover, perhaps?"
"No...no she-she is..." He kept mumbling so and so to himself. Curiosity nagged at me and I finally snapped.
"Why, spit it out already!" I shouted impatiently. James turned to me with wide and frightened eyes,then bid me to sit on a chair lined beside the walls.
"You see, I was...curious about the human realm. I simply wanted to know what went on there and what the humans looked like." I began to lose my patience once more.
"Yes, yes, just get to the point, James. What on earth did you do?" He swallowed anxiously and continued.
"I might or might not have opened a gateway to the human world-"
"Wait, what?!" James offered a half-hearted smile.
"Well then it led to the girl's room and she was fast asleep on her bed-"
"So you decided to just-bring her?!"
"On the contrary. I wished to leave her well alone, when a man came through the bedroom door with a bottle in his hand, quite wasted. I found the girl was in much danger and so I dragged her through the wretched gateway."
"You brought a-a human girl into the shadow realm? Have you grown quite mad??!"
"Listen! I opened another gateway and thought it lead to the human world somewhere else, but apparently, it was still in the shadow realm..." I massaged my temples and kept breathing deeply to calm my nerves.
"Do you realize how-how much danger you have put the kingdom in? Oh how absurd..." I went on and on, scolding the man, and then music began playing. This startled both me and James, and we snapped back to reality, where we sat in the middle of dancing couples. I spotted a familiar blur of red moving through the crowds.
"There she is! Quick, go talk to her and make her go back, alright?" Jame's expression fell.
"B-but I don't know how!"
"What do you mean, "I don't know how?!" You brought her in here, you send her back!"
"I-I know how to open the gateway...It's just that I left everything back in Blackthorn..."
"Well, we can get new things!"
"No, you don't understand...those were the only enchanted objects in the whole empire."
"Why you-" I groaned and cradled my head in my hands. The blur of red was still moving through the crowd. I got up and also began to cut my way through the dancing couples. I saw the blur of red and grasped her shoulders. She turned around-
"Oh my! Prince William, is there something that you need?" A middle aged women with blond hair smiled pleasantly at us. Her red dress trailed behind her and her delicate curls fell in a heap upon her shoulders..
"Do pardon me, ma'am. It appears that I have got the wrong persons." I bowed my head and scurried away.
"William! Over here!" James waved from the crowd, and I began walking towards him. He stood with the girl beside him. She looked quite timid and hesitant.
"Hello again, my lady." I bowed. She bowed back clumsily. Jame's eyes sparkled in excitement as he studied the girl up and down. I cleared my throat.
"Let us go into the hallways where it's more private." She once more looked hesitant; but nodded . had we barely taken a step when the music stopped.
"Now, everyone, the moment you have been waiting for! The prince will receive his scythe now!" Everyone stopped and cheered. Excitement filled the ballroom and voices chattered loudly. I gritted my teeth and swallowed. I wasn't excited at all.