~*Sorry that I didn't update sooner, but Hurricane/Tropical Storm Isabel knocked out my power for nearly four days. It was fun walking around with lanterns and candles, though. I am so sad and shocked about John Ritter's death! He rocked! (sniff) well, I just pray he's with God right now.* Well, anyway . . . I just got my power back TODAY! Hurrah! My parents and I had just got back from seeing "Second Hand Lions" which was really good, by the way! And the streetlights near our house were on. I crossed my fingers and OUR HOUSE WAS LIT UP! Electric lighting never looked so good! *~ *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

The Escort Arrives

"Wake up, wake up! You must not keep the lord waiting!"

"Mom, please . . . just five more minutes!"

"Sorry?"

Chloe immediately awoke at the sound of the voice that was clearly not her mother's. At the sight of the maid-servant, she remembered where she was.

"Oh, good morning, Agatha," Chloe mumbled.

"There is no time for 'good mornings,' Lady Chloe, the Liege Lord is ready to see you!"

"Oh! I forgot!" Chloe threw back the straw-stuffed comforters and gasped as her feet touched the cold stone floor. "What I'd give for my cold wooden floor, for once!" she thought miserably.

Agatha pulled a shift over her head, then, before Chloe could protest, immediately wrapped a bodice around her waist and began tightening the stays.

"Can't . . . breathe!" Chloe managed to gasp out.

"Push up your bosom, lass."

"What?"

"Push up your bosom, 'twill give you more breathin' space. Haven't ye ever worn a bodice before?"

"Uh . . . of course . . . I just haven't worn one in a while."

"Haven't worn one in a while? How do you get your clothes to fit without one, Lady?"

"Well, I . . ." Chloe began but was cut short by Agatha pulling the bottom half of the dress over her head.

Once it was secured in back, Agatha then had Chloe put on the top
half, which was like putting on a button up sweater backwards, except
this one you laced up in the back.

"Well, what do ye think?" Agatha asked once she finished tying.

Chloe looked into the mirror that Agatha held up for her. From what she could see, the dress looked very becoming on her, for a close to early Renaissance period dress, anyway. It was of a deep blue that caressed the sky on a summer's day. It also had a floral print that was of a slightly darker hue.

"Now, for ye hair."

"My hair?"

"Aye, ye hair! You don't expect to go see the kind with your head uncovered and undone like that?"

"Well, I . . ."

"Come, come!" Agatha bade Chloe to sit. Chloe obeyed and at the end of one hour, Chloe had on her head what she saw every princess wear in her fairy tale books that she read when she was little, with the exception that this was short and didn't have a point at the end. It just cut off, but there was a veil hanging from it. All her hair was pulled back from her face and tucked under her headpiece, not one single strand of auburn could be seen, except her roots, which peeked out from under the hat.

"There, ready you are!"

Chloe slipped on a pair of shoes that were a dark brown, lace free and had a slight heel.

There was suddenly a knock at the door.

"Yeah?"

Agatha gave Chloe an odd look. "Yeah?" she echoed with a perplexed countanence.

The door hesitantly opened. It was a page. "The Liege Lord hath bidden me to escort the Lady Chloe to the throne room."

"Good morrow, William," Agatha said shyly.

"Good morrow," he returned, though his eyes stayed on Chloe.

"Good morrow, milady," he said to Chloe, a slight warmth coming into his voice.

Despite the warning bells and red flags that went off in Chloe's head she answered evenly, "Good morrow."

William offered her his arm. Chloe hesitantly took it. She did not look back at Agatha, for fear she would see either pain or jealousy, she didn't know which would be worse.