Only Boys are allowed to wear metal.
Only Boys are allowed to ride horses.
Only Boys are allowed to ride dragons.
Those rules have been drummed into my head since I was 10!
I’m Esmeralda, only princess of Wuthering Heights.
My brothers are learning how to be Element Charmers.
I’m so annoyed!
Originally, I was the one who was to learn the Elemental ways, but no! My “mother”, Izzie (seriously, what sort of name is that? Queen Izzie, very regal…) said that ladies stay indoors and sew! Now she complains that I’m too bratty and demented. It’s her own fault! The women in our family are full of backbone!
I sooo regret saying that earlier!
At dinner, Nagini (that’s Chinese for “Mother”, my “brothers” call her that so I have to) complained that I was an ugly beast and that I was to have my feet bound! I lost it then:
“What do you mean? Foot binding? What the hell is that?” I cried out
“Foot binding is an ancient practice of my people to make young girls look more beautiful.”
“Yeah, and it ruins millions of people’s lives! I’m not as stupid as you.” I crow bitterly
“Esmeralda! Apologies to your mother.” My father demanded
“She’s not my mother! She’s just your New Woman!” I pressed my fingers against my lips. I can see my father turning purple.
“Go to your room, you insolent girl! Later you’ll apologies to me and your father.”
I stormed out of the room.
Now I’m crying my eyes out into my pillow. I feel so guilty…
“Oh will you be quiet my lady! We won’t be able to escape otherwise.”
I look up. There is my father’s favourite guard, Alexander, my maid Cara and the Wizard Quinley De Cote!
“What are you doing here?” I ask
“Rescuing you of course.” Quinley shook his head. Then he and Cara turn away and talk about clothing and horses. Alexander sat beside me
“Forgive my uncle, Es, he can get a bit grumpy when he’s tried.”
“I am not tried! I’m simply exaggerating the fact that we have to get out of here now!”
Quinley’s actually quite funny.
“Alex, can you go get the horses ready? And Quinley can go get his equipment.” Cara tells everyone, holding up a dark blue silk Element suit. I frown.
“Why have you got that?”
“Because you have to sneak out without being detected. So dressing as a boy will get you passed the guards.”
“Right then.” I bring out a knife and begin to cut my hair. Cara looks slightly shocked, but it passes.
As I pull the jacket on, Alexander walks in.
“Are you ready?”
“Yes.” I run my hands through my new haircut “I’m ready.”
Princess Es is stressed. Her beloved step-mother is out for her blood! Shame she’s clueless about it…