The Court Dancer’s Letters
Long, long ago, in a land far, far away there was a stereotypical fairytale in which there was a beautiful Aisha who loved to dance. Yet, sadly, no one had time to watch her dance. These letters tell of her occasionally happy journey to a place where people loved to watch her dance.
I am leaving this letter on your desk as I leave for Meridell and Skarl’s Castle. Lord Kass has yet to explain to me why I am being sent there, but I am happy to go. Any trip that allows me to dance is a good trip. You know me and how much I love to dance, Mama. I’ll do whatever it takes to get an audience. But I will not have to try so hard now that I am the official dancer of Skarl’s court. I will be his court dancer. Oh, I like the sound of that. Meet the new me, the official Court Dancer of Meridell.
Well, I must be off. You and I both know that if I am late Kass will have my head. So goodbye, Mama. I will write to you soon. Thank you for this opportunity.
I hope my last letter reached you well. Today has been the most amazing day. It started off well, as I got to wear the beautiful dress that Lord Kass gave me yesterday. The people of Meridell are very kind and very interesting. King Skarl has given me very generous accommodations here at the castle. He told me he can’t wait to have me, yes me, dance for him tomorrow. Oh, I can not wait, Mama.
Your Dancing Daughter
You must be busy these days, as you haven’t had time to respond to my letters yet. I know your responses are coming and I wait eagerly. Today was my first dance in front of Skarl’s court, and they loved me! It felt amazing dancing in front of all those people, banging my tambourine, twirling and twisting my feet just the way I know I should. My new skirt swirls just right when I turn; tell Lord Kass I am very grateful for it. But the most amazing part was the audience. I have never performed in front of so many people, and every single one of them was entrapped watching me dancing. I knew I was talented, but I never thought I was this talented. Do the Meridellians have less aptitude for the art of dance? Either way, it doesn’t matter, I am very happy here.
Skarl’s Court Dancer
I hope the mail service I am sending these letters through is not too slow, but I fear it is. If it were fast, I would surely have received some news from you by now. But that is not important. Mama, I think something is wrong with the people of the court. Everyone I talk to seems to be somewhat less coherent than they were yesterday and their eyes are glazed over. The sudden disease seems to be highly contagious; almost everyone has caught it within the two days I’ve been here. Even the mighty King’s eyes are faraway, like there is no one there. I worry for his country, and I hope he gets better. But the good news is that I danced again. Even more people came than yesterday and many of the spectators approached me after I was done and complimented me. What a feeling it is to be admired.
The Court Dancer
P.S. Watch out for anything like the disease I described to you, I would hate for anything to happen to you.
I worry that something horrible has happened to you. You have not responded to any of my letters. If you are alright, please send me some word because fear is setting in. I danced again today, and even though there were more spectators than ever, I am unhappy here. The people of the court are worsening, it seems. In my first day here, we would have invigorating discussions, but now, all it seems they can do is compliment me dully. I love the compliments, but I am staring to tire of them. The news from outside the castle is horrible. I am sure you have heard it, but Meridellians are attacking their own people for unknown reasons. They seem to have gone insane. It is said that the attackers all have glazed looks. The disease has spread beyond the castle walls, and I don’t know how to stop it. Might you have something in your spellbook that would help with this terrible curse?
Your Worried Daughter
To Ms. Morguss, (Please make sure this finds her)
Mama, write me a letter! Respond to any one of my letters, please. I need you. And I know nothing bad has happened at the Citadel; I have asked for news. So please, send some sort of word. My only moments here that are not unhappy are the moments that I am dancing. This visit has become pure misery. There is chaos here at the castle and no one has recovered from their illness to put things right.
Today as I danced, the most horrible thing happened. As I walked into the throne room, I saw a blue Techo that was not infected. After bowing to the fat king, I started dancing and as I danced, I saw the blue Techo’s eyes glaze over. Mama, am I causing this horrible infection that is creating anarchy in Meridell? Please tell me I am not. Was this all a trick, sending me here? Mama... I want to leave. Please, as soon as you get this letter, send someone to retrieve me. Please don’t leave me abandoned in this horrible country anymore.
Your Fearful Daughter
I love dancing. Throughout my childhood I danced. If possible, I would never stop dancing. That is why I was so eager to come here; to have an opportunity to dance my heart out. But now I fear I am causing a war. I could not bear the guilt of this war, no matter how much I long to see those admiring faces again. So today, I informed the King I would not dance. There was a sudden and sharp uproar in the court, and fearing for my life, I began to dance. The chaos subsided and everyone, including me, was happier. But I feel guilty. I feel so guilty. I do not even know why I’m writing this letter to you. I know that you have abandoned me here just to serve your purpose. Is starting wars my only function to you? Very well. I will not continue spreading these horrors any longer. I will not dance for the King and his court, no matter how much they demand it. When the time is right, I will leave the castle. I will go far away, find a way to reverse that spell “Lord” Kass placed on me, and make my living dancing to anyone who’s willing to watch.
The ex-Court Dancer
Everyone here knows the way the rest of the story goes. The great hero, Lisha, figures out the horrible ruse that the Court Dancer has played on the people of Meridell. Lisha valiantly rats out the evil-doer, and the whole world knows what a malicious person the Court Dancer is. She is exposed. What’s more, she is scorned, for on top of being a terrible person, she is beautiful, we all know how convenient it is to hate the pretty ones.
But Lisha changed all that; the Court Dancer is no longer beautiful. She is ugly and derided. Exiled and forgotten.
And this is the part when I say: They all lived happily ever after.
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