I Danced With A Prince
The fancy carriages were pulling up to the palace. People dressed in glittering gowns and black tuxedoes climbed out of the carriages and made their way to the palace door. The world was covered in a blanket of white snow. The night sky was filled with bright stars and a full moon. The outside of the palace was decorated in garland and other holiday decorations.
Katrina stood outside in the cold peering at the arriving guests through the bushes next to the palace gates. Her heart was pounding with excitement as she saw all the ladies and girls in their glittering gowns with tiaras on their heads. And the dashing young men and elderly men in their tuxedoes.
All of her life she had been poor, never having much. Her father had traveled around a lot when she was a small child, leaving her mother to take care of her. Katrina could remember her father coming home from one of his travels and he would tell her of his exciting adventures. Then just before she would go to bed he would dance with her. He would teach her all the steps and they would waltz around her little room in their apartment.
Then the unthinkable happened and Katrina's mother passed away when Katrina was thirteen. Katrina's father was off somewhere on one of his travels. So Katrina had to fend for herself. She got a job as a flower girl. Rain, snow, or shine she would go to the busy streets and sell flowers. It didn't bring much money but she had got by.
After her mother's death Katrina's father never returned. He left his daughter to fend for herself. She missed him terribly and wrote to him when she could and she would receive an occasional letter from him with a bit of money in it.
Now as Katrina, at the age of sixteen,stood outside the palace gates dressed in a brown shaggy skirt and a faded blue shirt with a scarf covering her dark brown hair, she couldn't help but watch the palace guests as they arrived. Tonight was the nightthata ball was being held tocelebrate Prince Henry's twentieth birthday. The whole town was talking about it and every girl was dreaming of the prince. After all he was a young bachelor and every girl longed to have him as a husband.
Katrina had been walking home from a long day of selling flowers on the streets when she had passed by the palace and noticed all the lights and the carriages arriving. The outside of the palace looked so beautiful with all the Christmas decorations. It took Katrina's breath away.
Deep in her heart she longed to look inside the palace and see what it was really like. But there was really no way she could. But as she watched the carriages pull into the driveway and the guards checking to see if the new arrivalswere on the guest list, she acted on impulse. Quickly she got beside one of the carriages that was pulling through the entrance gates of the palace grounds and hid behind it. After she was safe out of the guards' view she darted behind some shrubbery that was covered in snow. Finally she was safe inside the palace walls.
She ran, darting behind trees and others objects until she finally found herself in what she assumed was the palace flower garden. No flowers were growing but every plant was covered in snow and frost. A stone pathway weaved through the flower garden and Katrina slowly walked along it, caught up in the beauty of it all.
From where she was standing she could hear the music from the ballroom playing. It echoed on the cold air and she smiled softly.
Setting down her flower basket she walked over to the water fountain that was in the middle of the garden. No water poured from it but she could almost imagine clear water bursting forth and freezing in the cold air.
Next to the fountain was the statue of a young man. He was dressed in a uniform of some sort. His stone eyes stared back at Katrina and she melted under his direct gaze. It was a statue of Prince Henry without a doubt. Katrina had seen pictures of him before and the statue resembled the handsome young prince.
The urge to dance coursed through her blood and slowly she began to waltz around and around, swaying to the music that was coming from the ballroom. She closed her eyes and smiled as she danced alone.
As if out of nowhere she suddenly felt a strong, but gentle and warm, hand take hers. She felt another hand against her side. She could feel the warmth of the body, a man's body without question. She could tell by the feel of his hands and the strong smell of cologne that mingled about him. It was the prince, it had to be for no one could make her feel this way.
Afraid to open her eyes, afraid that she was just imagining things, Katrina let him lead as they danced around the fountain in the falling snow. Their breath mingled and passion coursed through their bodies. It was just like a dream, an endless dream that she never wanted to end.
He pulled her closer and their bodies touched. She could feel his breath upon her face and his hands caressing her body. His warm lips brushed against hers and she smiled. No longer did she feel the cold of the winter night. She felt a fire burning inside of her entire being. She had never felt this way before because she hadnever had any arms hold her or anyone love her this way.This new and exciting feeling warmed her very soul and caused her to gasp.
Suddenly the warmth of his presence, the feel of his body against hers, the soft gentle touch of his lips against her face, was gone. Opening her eyes she found herself falling to snowy ground. There she laid on her back staring up at the starry sky breathing heavily. Snowflakes kissed her cheeks and the fire she had just felt soon dwindled down to a flicker.
She sat up and looked around. All was as it had been. The fountain was still there and the statue of the prince still stood tall. All was as it should be. And she, Katrina the flower girl, was alone, completely alone in the cold. But deep down in her heart she knew something that no one else would never know, nor would they ever believe. She had done the unthinkable and it had been real, so very real. It had been filled with passion and a love that no one could never understand.
Wrapping her arms about her chilled body Katrina raised up and made her way slowly over the palace walls. Fate would have it that she would not be seen by the guards.
Outside the palace walls once again,Katrina looked back through the palace gates and sighed.
I danced with a prince. I danced with a prince tonight and no one will never tell me otherwise, she said to herself as tears caressed her cold cheeks.
She went back to her life of selling flowers on the street. But on the days when she was miserable, on the days when she was losing her grips on hope, she would think back on that cold wintery night when she had danced with a prince. That memory brought a smile to her face and placed a fire in her heart. And as long as she had that memory she knew she could face the world with courage and determination once again.