a/n: I know; bad, bad me. I should be working on 'Fairies and Carrot Stew' and 'Elves on the Job'. Excuse? Hey, I'm right-brained. I multi-task. Nyah-hah! *runs away laughing evilly*

Disclaimer: Oh yeah. This DOES take place in a strange world of my own imaginings, so no takey. That goes for all my other stories too, but I can't be bothered to put it up more than once. Tee-hee! *runs farther away* Oh. And I don't own Egypt or the Pharaohs. I just stuck them in one sentence.

P.S. Okay, at the start it sounds modern. Well, nyah! *sticks tongue out* that's my weird and wacky writing style. Live with it.

P.P.S. Sorry. I'm really grumpy today because I have a cold and I'm getting flu shots today. *cowers in fright* Shots. . .I HATE shots. . .(how do they help if I'm already sick? And have been sick two times in a row in the past two weeks?)

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"You WHAT?!" I yelled at my so-called-friend, who comically recoiled in fright.

"Read it." Was her nonchalant reply.

"I did." I growled. "That's why I'm going into mega freak-out mode."

She shot up, her eyes all googly-and-bright. "Really? Well, isn't this the greatest opportunity of your lifetime? I mean, come on, you could totally win this!"

My eye twitched as I repeated, "Greatest opportunity of my lifetime? ARE YOU MAD????"

Thankfully, Milly was used to my. . .frequent. . .outbursts, and ignored me. "Yup. It's great!"

I read the pamphlet again:

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HEROINE CONTEST

Prize: The Crown Prince's hand in marriage. As well as a lifetime supply
of gold and beautiful wardrobes.

Requirements: Ages 16-24, must meet standard clich├ęd fantasy heroine standards. Must be well-versed in the art of weaponry, etiquette, and must also be beautiful. Applicants may be any status according to the official
ranking.

What you must do: The accepted applicants will be required to pass a
series of Heroine Tests; all which involve martial arts (which includes hand-to-hand combat as well as weapons) and various branches of etiquette
and diplomacy.

What you must NOT do: Attempts on the lives of any fellow being on the
applicants' side will NOT be tolerated. Neither will bad manners.

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I blinked. Right. The Royals needed to get a new advertising agency. And Milly, being ever so concerned about my mental well-being, SIGNED ME UP FOR IT.

"Um. . .Ray?" Milly's voice broke through my shock. "Ray? LARAYIS!"

It's a bad, bad sign when your best friend addresses you by your full name.

I immediately snapped to attention. "Yeah?"

"Aren't you going?" She smiled sweetly at me.

Sometimes she acted like my mother. A weird, demented mother, but hey, she has aaaaalll the characteristics of interfering mothers that are under the impression that they can meddle with their daughter's life and their daughter won't even be affected by it.

Well, get this.

I am NOT suitable heroine material. My hair is not long and down-to-my- feet and wavy and beautiful. It's a weird. . .purple. Yup, purple. With lighter purple highlights. And it's natural. How sad. Plus, it's only down to my elbow. Big whoop. And it's pin-straight and boring.

My eyes are amber colored---not brilliant green, not a soft blue, not mysterious purple (I wish that mysterious purple would be the deal with my hair, but apparently not). And it looks really weird with my hair.

I am also medium height. And, okay, so my hormones ARE working in terms of my body. But that's not necessarily a good thing.

I have no CLUE about how to handle weapons. I only know a little about hand-to-hand combat. My ass will be kicked by the rest of the wannabe- heroines. And it won't be pretty.

And I have earned a reputation in this teeny town as The Clumsiest Girl In Existence. I'm serious. My feet are TINY. As in tiny tiny tiny tiny. My DOG has bigger feet than I do.

So, knowing me, I'll probably manage to kill the Crown Prince by accident if I go to the Heroine Contest thingy.

And I don't think that the royals would be entirely too happy about that.

"Nope." I said, flatly. "I'm not going. And you can't make me."

Milly sighed, with an innocent, angelic look on her face.

Something was up. Milly only put that look on her face to get out of trouble or to get something she wanted.

"Well, I guess you'll just have to marry Yanick, then." She said.

I turned as white as a ghost. "Y-Yanick?"

"Yup. Didn't you hear? Your father betrothed you to Yanick. They're signing the papers at this instant."

Okay. Entering the Heroine Contest can NOT be as bad as marrying Yanick. Okay, so I'll have to marry the prince instead. But he's got to be better than Yanick. I mean, Yanick was probably around when the pharaohs in Egypt were. Plus, according to him, a bath a month would kill him. And he hasn't brushed his teeth in, what, centuries?

Nah. I'd rather settle for the Heroine Contest.

"Fine!" I yelled at Milly over my shoulder as I raced towards home. "I'll go!"

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"Father!" I burst into the room, breathless.

He looked up calmly. Being the town blacksmith, he was ALWAYS calm. Kind of got on your nerves after a while. But, he was my dad. "Yes, Larayis?" And he can't seem to call me by my nickname, Ray. It's like he can't manage to get one syllable around his tongue, but prefers to use three syllables instead.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Yanick grinning lecherously at me with the few teeth he had remaining. Inwardly, I shuddered. "Um. . .can I talk to you for a moment, Father?" I asked.

"Go on."

"ALONE." I said, looking pointedly at Yanick.

Yanick didn't seem to get the point, and continued grinning in the general direction of my chest. Ew, he was old enough to be my grandfather.

Seeing as Yanick wasn't the sharpest tool in the tool shed (a/n: did I get that right?), I grabbed my father's hand and pulled him into the next room, hissing, "Why didn't you tell me you were handing me off to that lecher? Huh?"

My father sighed. "Look, honey, I know that you're not. . .enthusiastic about the idea. But as you know, Yanick is the richest man in the town, and we're having some financial difficulties. Yanick is willing to help me out in exchange for your hand in marriage."

To my shock, tears were rolling down my face. I NEVER cried. "So you," I sniffled, "You're willing to marry me off to somebody ancient and stinky and you don't even tell me about it?"

He sighed, and pulled me into a hug. I sniffled and snorted into his shoulder. "Look, sweet, I'm so sorry. If there's any way I can make it up to you. . ."

My head shot up, and Father immediately began to regret what he'd said.

"Annul the betrothal." I said firmly. "Let me enter the Heroine Contest. Look, Father, if I win, I won't NEED Yanick. YOU won't need Yanick. The Royal Family is rich enough to pay off the debts of one poor blacksmith, isn't it? Right?"

Father smiled wearily. "Honey, those are great dreams, really they are."

'Sure, Father, whatever. Great dreams to win the Heroine Contest and win a stranger's hand in marriage. Sure, he's a RICH stranger, but he's still a stranger.' I thought, despondently. Everybody thought that it was such a great thing for a girl to marry someone rich. Couldn't. . .couldn't girls have other dreams either than to marry or to become a heroine?

"But. . .you know as well as I do that. . .well, honey, you're not exactly heroine material." Father continued hopelessly.

My words exactly. But I was NOT marrying Yanick. Ew, no. But at the moment, Father needed a leetle bit of moral support.

I grinned happily. "Don't worry about it. I am going to blow everybody away. They'll be eating my dust by the time I'm through with them!"

Big Words, Big Heart, Big Head.

Oh, my ass was going to get kicked so bad.

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a/n: Sorry if it seems a little slow at the moment. But I don't like everything happening Bam Bam Bam all at once. I believe that things should happen naturally. *is in lotus position with hands in prayer position* *cough cough* Yeah.

Anyway, please REVIEW!!!