by Jennifer Moore (aka Jaye Seymour) -
The problem with wishes is they sometimes come true. One minute Rosa was sitting at the kitchen table, blowing out the candles on her birthday cake and wishing she was really a princess, and the next thing she knew the cake, the kitchen table – the whole house in fact – had completely disappeared. She found herself in a huge stone hall, decorated with gloomy-looking tapestries and stuffed animal heads glaring down at her from the dreary grey walls. The kitchen chair had vanished along with everything else, and Rosa was now perched on a rather hard silver throne decorated with glittering rubies. It felt cold and uncomfortable, and the spiky red jewels dug into her bottom and the backs of her legs.
“Ow,” she muttered, wriggling from side to side to try and get comfy.
“STOP!” shouted a loud bossy voice. It was coming from behind a red velvet curtain strung across a nearby doorway. “I’m watching you,” boomed the voice. “Stop that fidgeting at ONCE and sit up straight. Proper princesses DO NOT SLOUCH!”
Rosa quickly did as she was told.
A white gloved hand covered in gigantic diamond rings appeared around the edge of the curtain. It was followed by an angry looking face with a pig-like nose, flushed red cheeks, and eyes like squished green gumdrops. They glared out at Rosa from underneath two enormous eyebrows and a heavy gold crown.
“Sorry,” Rosa whispered. “I think there’s been a bit of a muddle-up. I’m not even a pretend princess, let alone a proper one.”
“Nonsense,” boomed the scary-looking lady in the crown. She stepped out from behind the curtain to reveal a gruesome gold-sequined dress that made her look like a puffed-up goldfish. “Did you, or did you not, blow out the candles on your birthday cake and make a wish?”
“Ye-es,” admitted Rosa. “I suppose I did.”
“And did you, or did you not, wish to be a princess?”
“Ye-es,” said Rosa. “But I didn’t really think it would come true.”
“NOT COME TRUE? What use is wishing if it doesn’t come true? No, I’m sorry. You wished to be a princess and now you are one. It’s as simple as that. So we’d better get on with it, hadn’t we?”
“Get on with what?” asked Rosa, who was trying hard not to cry.
“With your princess training of course. Now, first things first. My name is Queen Hilary the Horrendous. You may address me as ‘Your Majesty’ or ‘Most Gracious Highness.’ I also answer to ‘Your Wonderful Royalness’ or just plain ‘Sir.’ I will be in charge of your teaching program. There are a few ground rules you need to remember while you’re here...