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The Ballia Files

By @ClarissaDaly

Ep.1

Nethardania (3053 April 17th)

I know I should feel fortunate because of what I have, but I don’t. I can’t possibly feel fortunate in a world like this, and I can’t feel happy while others suffer. It seems that no one else around me cares, and sometimes I worry that my own father might be the reason the world is like this.

I know that the lives of the people we rule are lives not worth living, there’s nothing they have. No food, no water, no real place to call home. But I seem to have everything. Midnight servants who will bring me whatever food I want, food they aren’t aloud to have. Food that has never passed their lips.

I have no idea what happens outside of the castle, though I am able to leave sometimes I refuse because of all of the tales I have heard of the outside world. There is so much that is unknown to me, so much that I am forbidden to know. So much that I have simply given up on trying to find answers. After all I have people that can do that for me. I have a personal scribe that’s sole purpose is to pen down my life for the royal records.

Ballia’s and Vernogola’s records that is. I’ll be the first princess to have two citizenships on different planets. Whole other worlds, literal worlds that are separated by time, by life. I’ll be one of a kind, not that I wasn’t used to being one of a kind. In a world of carbon copies, I’m the only defective person I know, I’m just a glitch in the system.

A broken mind in a world of fixed ideas and opinions. Manufactured personalities I am nothing but damaged goods. And that’s why my father is so eager to throw me away to Vernogola, a world of “simpletons” as he calls them, people that will be easy for even an idiot like me to overthrow. That was the only way he could ever be proud of me. I was born and raised to be the queen of Vernogola but I guess something had gone wrong.

I wasn’t like all of my beautiful and poised sisters. I never knew how to hold my tongue or how to not show my fear when it was blatantly sprawled across my face. I wonder why he had to choose me of all people to become the queen of Vernogola, but after I was born he didn’t really have a choice. I consider myself lucky that he didn’t throw me out into the world, into the rejected pile of broken bots. Because that’s all Ballian’s were, I don’t know if anyone is really human at all anyways.

They all look and act the same, and I’ve never seen them express a non-calculated emotion before. It wasn’t far fetched, not far fetched at all. I would at this point be more surprised if the “parents” I had even birthed me, or if I was grown out of a lab. But it didn’t matter why I was the way I was, because they were all stuck with me. And they had to learn how to live with me, live with the “monster” they created, I had to learn to live with me.

Sometimes my nightmares are filled with the thoughts that I am the monster they wish I was, the monster that the world sees me as. Every night I have the same dream, the same nightmare. I wake up and touch my beautiful locks of golden hair, feeling its silky texture around my fingers. That is until it disappears, and I remember I have no hair, and definitely no golden hair.

I feel tears well up in my eyes and walk over to my mirror. But as I walk I realize yet another thing, that I could barely waddle over to the mirror because of my crooked leg. I feel myself fall on the floor and try to use my arms to get up, and I realize that I have no right arm. I crawl as best as I can to my beautiful mirror.

As I lay on the floor and gasp for breath I look into the glass. And I don’t see the me I see in real life, I see a monster. I see a crooked smile and I see my green eyes as a fire-y red. My ears start to extend into points and horns grow from my bald head.

I start to think for that split second that what I see in that mirror is the real me, but then I wake up. And I hobble to the mirror as best as I can, being careful to not trip with every step and I see myself again.

I see myself with crooked legs, a missing arm, a twisted neck and a straight bodice compared to the rest of the royal family. But, it reminds me of exactly why I’m strong, and that beauty comes from within because those that surrounded me were so ugly inside that they looked worse to me than I do to them.

I wouldn’t trade my looks, my life or my spirit for their lives any day because I love me. I love all of my imperfections because I’m not perfect, and I never let people tell me that I am. I have spent 15 years wondering about what Vernogola would be like, and what they would think of me but I’ve realized that anywhere was better than here. That no matter what happens to me, I needed to find a new home. I needed to find a new home for myself, and my spirit.

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