At this point, I’m sure there are several questions swirling about in your minds… why was her handbook wet? Did her parents know that she was a Princess? Why on earth would a Princess be required to marry an elf?
The Handbook that Kelley was given was magical, of course. And the opening of this book required actual Princess tears to be shed. Sort of like a 1700′s DNA test to prove ownership of the book. So when Kelley cried herself to sleep after her eventful day, her tears were used by the Handbook to verify her identity. At that point the Book was made clear to Kelley – if another, like Grismelda, were to happen on the Book, it would be blank. Or worse, show a series of horrors that would cause the snooper to have serious issues with all books after that point. What would be shown was up to the Book… and Kelley’s Book had quite the attitude so it should be pretty clear which choice would be made.
Kelley’s parents were simple folk, not given to understanding the hidden and magical world around them. They could not conceive of such a thing as Princesses and had never considered the existence of elves and certainly not forest fairies. The idea that their daughter would become a Princess – this was simply beyond the realm of their reality. One dark, stormy night (because let’s face it, the most magical and secretive things ALWAYS happen on dark, stormy nights!) 16 years earlier, there had come a great pounding at the door. Upon opening the door, Samuel (Kelley’s father) found a tiny baby in a basket sitting on the door step.
Now Grismelda and Samuel were getting up there in years – they were nearly 30, which was practically ancient in those days. And though having been married for going on 15 long years, children were not gifted to them and they had resigned themselves to the idea of a lifetime without children. This was fine with Grismelda — she had quite enough to do without worrying about carrying for a houseful of little children. So it was with dread and a big measure of unwillingness that Grismelda took in the wailing infant. Samuel on the other hand had yearned for a child and this day was a turning point for him. A quiet and gentle man, he treated Kelley like a princess, never knowing or even possessing the ability to imagine that she truly WAS a Princess. The two spent many an hour in quiet companionship – Kelley truly adored her father.
But for all the kindness and love Samuel showed to Kelley, Grismelda, living up to the ugliness that is typically associated with step-mothers in modern fairy tales, was anything but loving and kind. Indeed, the older Kelley grew, the more Grismelda grew to hate her. She hated her shining loveliness. She hated Kelley’s glorious red hair – her own was drab brown and mousy. And she hated how Samuel doted on Kelley. Poor Grismelda – her life was one of simmering rage and resentment since Kelley had arrived and I’m afraid that she’s going to play a not-so-nice part in Kelley’s Becoming… but that’s for another time.
And finally – marrying an elf. I’m surprised that you want to know this. Surely you’ve read your fair share of fairy tales where Princesses go around kissing frogs and marrying any number of princes with flowing hair and steely jaws. You don’t think these men were all THAT now, do you? Riding a white horse and coming to save the day… sure, maybe handsome and romantic, but the reality *after* the rescue was rarely as fabulous as the actual rescue would lead you to believe. Trust me – when the time comes, Kelley is going to fall madly in love with Bronson the elf. Appearances are not what they might appear to be…