3. Someday My Prince Will Come

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After the departure of her fairy godmother, Ashley, determined to learn all she could about pleasing her prince, stretched out amongst a sea of aubergine and gold velvet cushions on her window seat, the open copy of Princess Monthly in hand. Heavy, jasmine-scented summer air wafted through the open windows. Insects buzzed songs of true love beneath a fat full moon, bringing light to an otherwise inky sky. Ashley's head also buzzed from having two glasses of whiskey, which made the words on the pages a little fuzzy.

A whinny drifted from the unicorn-grazing yard far below. With liquid courage from the alcohol, Ashley, who, if you'll remember, is afraid of heights, ventured a glance down at the frolicking creatures. Their iridescent coats shimmered in the moonlight. Ashley sucked in a breath at their beauty.* Two of the creatures had ventured off from the others and were enthusiastically performing the activity pictured on page 22 of Princess Monthly entitled: Jockeying for Position. Her mouth fell open. Could humans do THAT?

Despite the distractions, Princess Ashley read the article sixteen times until she could quote it verbatim. By this point, the pages of the magazine were sticking to her sweaty hands.

She slapped it closed, stomach tightening, cringing, as it sunk in that she'd done absolutely everything wrong on her wedding night. She had laid primly upon the bedcovers, trying her best to look pure and regal—as motionless as a painting. She might've cried a tiny bit. But it turned out none of this was correct. Especially the crying part.

Here's a sample of what the article advised a princess to take heed of during lovemaking:

A princess must be an active participant in the process. Incorporate all tools at your disposal—hands, mouth, feathers, silk scarves, fingernails, etc.

Make noise. Don't be afraid to moan, call out your prince's name, give him constant reinforcement about the skill of his lovemaking, and the size of his royal member.

Recommend creative locations! The stables, ramparts, or kitchens can offer many delights. (See footnote below on forks.)

There were advanced chapters that dealt with incorporating desserts, leather garb, and weaponry, but these seemed optional, so Ashley decided she could probably skip them for now and save them as a backup in case things got stale. "I can do this!" Ashley declared. "I am desirable. I am worthy of love."

But a voice inside her asked if he is your one true love, should all this be necessary? Like most of us do when that voice of wisdom interferes with our plans, Ashley pushed it down as far as she could and pretended she hadn't heard.

"Mwahaha," came a disembodied voice. Ashley hated disembodied voices even more than her inner wise voice. The disembodied usually meant you ill.

"Who's that? Is someone here?" Ashley's stomach clenched. The roses on the wallpaper shifted. "Are you kidding me? You can talk? Verbally-adept wallpaper is illogical. Wallpaper is not animate." But here she was talking to it anyway. Stupid fairy tale magic. "Can't you be silent and stagnant like normal wall décor? Why must you mock me?" Ashley didn't want to admit it, but the wallpaper's judgy-ness hurt. As if it knew the truth she worked so hard to hide from the rest of the castle. That she was not worthy. She was a fraud. She would never fit in. The prince would never come back, and she'd never have a family.

On the bright side, she wasn't wallpaper!

Now the question was, how long would she have to wait before she could put her new knowledge into action?

Her eyes grew heavy; the wallpaper monsters hissed for her attention. She folded the magazine and growled: "I'm thinking wood paneling in here." The monsters quieted. She shivered, and closed the windows, and in seconds fell into a deep sleep.

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