read entry 2 here
Arah Abu 4
What a trial! We each had to sing three pieces, first for the Mistress of Singers (oh, gods how I hate her!) and then for the Bishops. Khariss’s father could not take part in the judging. I heard he made a fuss last night about not even being able to be in the nave while we sang from the quire, and the Sublime Pontiff had to step in.
Finally, we had to sing for the Sublime Pontiff himself! That’s how I know how close it is, and the two who are not chosen will certainly marry quite well. Unless I’m one of those two. I know the Prime Minister expects to marry me, but he is like 60 years old! I don’t care how handsome the ladies of the court say he is, that is ridiculous. Gross, even, but I don’t dare say that out loud. I’d rather run off and marry some foreigner. Khariss and I whispered about that a couple of nights ago. Her father will marry her off to whoever will fill his pockets with the most gold, or can guarantee him to be the next Sublime Pontiff. Her voice is the most beautiful I’ve ever heard and more than match her pretty looks. Why, I even heard the Mistress saying she has the most magical voice that’s been heard in the Cathedral in her lifetime, and that woman is old! She’s probably better marriage material than me. So that’s why we’d both rather run off. I’d settle for a handsome young man from Neitos—I just love their dark skin no matter what a scandal that’d cause in Ducor Geuy—but Khariss just wants a good man. That girl! Sometimes I think that, without me, she’d be the most boring girl on the planet.
That was only the opening two paragraphs. Eilina then spent six paragraphs on the ideal wedding dress followed by another eight on the perfect veil and train to choose before launching into a diatribe about the flaws of each of the bridesmaids in a recent wedding she’d attended the previous week.
read entry 4 here
Read Entry 1 here
The following entry is from five-and-one-half months earlier, Arah Sabatu 18 (Year 25), and comes from Princess Eilina’s first mention of Khariss. It was one of several descriptions of all of the girls in the testing process that the princess wrote during the week, and easily the most flattering.
Khariss is not tall, petite almost, and I think she’s rather pretty. Not in a classic sense, but her dark eyes are these big almonds beneath black eyebrows, and really stand out beneath her bangs. She does have a chin almost as tiny as her nose, but I’ve heard grown men practically swoon over her lips. They’re quite full with rich color, her mouth is the exact perfect width, and when she smiles, I think every girl is jealous. She smiles a lot, even when she’s concentrating. I think that’s why she just bursts out in song sometimes. Her hair is this light brown, or maybe a dark blonde, that is perfect with her slightly darker skin tone and black eyebrows. She usually wears it in a long ponytail, the kind that princesses are never allowed, with wisps hanging on either side to frame her face. The part I’m most jealous of, however, is that no one wears makeup as well as she does. All the other girls try, me included, but we look like we try. With Khariss, it looks like she was born that way.
I have chosen not to include the rest of the entry about Khariss, mostly because it is a discussion of the colors she chooses and how the princess thinks they must be applied.
Read Entry 3 here
In an attempt to work out a new character in my book, I have written about her from the point of view of her best friend in a series of diary entries. I’ve never tried this before. As I post entries, I would love to hear what you think, good or bad, especially about the development of Khariss. The months are based on the Babylonian calendar.
All entries are from Princess Eilina’s diary in Year 26 of the reign of King Zaheil IV
Arah Abu 3
Tomorrow is the final day of testing for the new singers. There are only four of us left, and I am still here! Me, the first princess to have even been allowed to begin the testing in a century. If I am chosen, I will be the first princess ever to be a Singer of Janal! I can hardly believe it!
I hope Khariss is the other one if I am chosen. If neither of us is selected, I plan on asking father if she can become my first handmaiden. I know that 16 is rather old to start, but I finally have a real friend. She’s not like her father at all. I think she’s the only one who doesn’t see Bishop Abianes for what he is. I need to rescue her from him. Her mother must be very sweet for Khariss to be so sweet, and I’d love to meet her, but the Bishop thinks he’s too important to be seen with her. I’m thinking she must be of poor birth, because he’s not a handsome man and Khariss is so pretty, so her mother must be as well.
The following four pages are a rambling discussion about the upcoming test, the horrible mistress of the singers, and the new cute attache of the ambassador of Javern. For the reader’s sake, they have not been included.
Continue to the next entry