NOTE: Seeing Red is the name of my Hero's Journey short story (which belongs to PinkRobin). Tell me if there are any typos on my newest doll!! Also, if you see this ( ), it's actually b-r, as in b-ring or b-raid. It's a glitch :-/
Aria winced as a scarlet droplet formed on the tip of her index finger. While tending to the roses, her hand had slipped past an angry red thorn. She pressed her dirty apron onto the cut, a ( )ight red spot appearing on the once-white fa( )ic.
Bad luck, she thought, then smiled and shook her head. Surely bad luck meant nothing more than dropping an egg or misplacing her garden tools.
The redhead peeked over the rose bush which she had been crouched behind, wondering who had called out her name. When she saw her father walking towards her, she put down her shears and went around the bush so she could talk to him face-to-face.
"Hello, Father," she greeted him, smiling from ear to ear. That smile faltered when she noticed his worried expression. "Is something wrong?"
Her father reached into the pocket of his sawdust-covered vest and pulled out a fancy envelope. Aria's eyes widened when she saw the royal seal. The envelope also had a thin layer of sawdust, evidence of his hard work earlier that day. He was a carpenter, and it was common to see his face and clothes like this.
"When I came home, this was on the doorstep." He turned it over and ( )oke the seal, opened the flap and took out a small sheet of paper. Aria noticed intricate swirls taking up the margins of the sheet. He handed it to her, and she studied it, confused.
"Tomorrow is the prince's coronation, when he will officially become a king. The royal family has requested for one member from each home to come to the capital for a ball in his honor. I cannot go, for work keeps me here."
"That means...I will have to attend," Aria realized. She was an only child, and had never met her mother.
Her father nodded.
"But...but how will I get to the capital? And what will I wear? I have nothing for a ball. I only have my traveling clothes, and this." Aria gestured to her dirty work attire.
"Not exactly. Come with me," he said. Aria pocketed the invitation and followed him to their home.
Inside the house, Aria watched as her father unlocked an antique armoire in his bedroom. She had never noticed it before because, after all, it was his room and she respected his privacy. He opened the armoire and took out the prettiest dress she had ever seen. Other than a fine layer of dust, it was practically perfect.
"Oh, wow," she ( )eathed, running her hand over the shimmery purple fa( )ic. "It's beautiful."
"It was your mother's. Now it is yours. Wear it tomorrow at the castle; I will ask my friend if you can ride his horse to the capital."
"Thank you, Father," she said, em( )acing him. She smiled, excited and a little scared about attending a ball for the very first time.
"Relax and just be yourself," her father told Aria as the sun rose to greet the new day. "Everything will be alright."
Aria sat astride a sleek black horse with white spots throughout its body. She carried a ( )own leather bag containing food, water, supplies and the carefully folded dress. After double-checking that she had everything she needed, she said, "I think I'm ready."
Her father smiled, his skin wrinkling at the corners of his hazel eyes. "You'll be fine, Ari. Come back to me safe and sound, okay?"
Aria nodded, and the horse started to walk on the trail. Then it became a trot, then a gallop, going faster and faster towards the woods. Aria looked behind her at her home and the black speck that she knew was her father, then they delved into the trees and he was gone.
The ride was uneventful. Aria stopped the horse at a stream so they could both rest and drink. Then, after an hour or so of riding, the trees parted and revealed the most amazing town that she had ever seen. People stood in groups and talked on both sides of the road, dressed in clothes that looked too expensive to leave the house. The castle, its walls gleaming in the sunlight, towered over the rest of the buildings. A steady stream of people was headed toward the magnificent structure, and Aria followed it. Eventually, the road was too congested for the horse, so Aria dismounted her horse and found nearby public stables. Once her horse was safe, she joined the throng.
The men and women were all dressed in fine fa( )ics and valuable accessories. In her traveling clothes, Aria stuck out like a sore thumb. Some of the nobles gave her weird looks while others purposely did not glance in her direction.
The castle was even more impressive inside. Aria and the crowd had entered a huge hall with beautiful mosaics on either side, depicting important historical scenes of their country. Glass chandeliers hung from the high ceiling every few feet, casting their ( )illiant light onto the mass of people below. Aria saw an official-looking man at the front of the crowd questioning each individual before letting them through.
When it was her turn, the man eyed her outfit and said, "Name?"
"Aria. Aria Daemona," she replied, feeling self-conscious. She handed him the invitation that her father had given her, now crumpled from the long ride.
"Ah, the Daemona family." He marked the invitation with a quill, then glanced at her again. "You are not formally dressed. Surely you realize how important the coronation is."
Aria nodded quickly, not wanting him to think she didn't care about the royal family. "Oh, I have a dress." She gestured to the bag that she had slung over her shoulder. "I just need to change."
The man sighed, as if he wanted her to be unprepared. "Very well. Dressing rooms are to the right." He let her go, and she left hastily to the restrooms.
Glad to be away from the man's constant stare, she removed her traveling clothes and slipped on her mother's dress. It fit perfectly; she had no doubt that it would. She scoured her bag for hairpins, but instead found...a black shoe. It was smooth and shiny with rounded toes and a two-inch heel. She came upon another and placed them on her feet. They, too, fit to perfection. She didn't remember packing them with the dress; she assumed that her dad put them into her bag when she wasn't looking.
After her hair was ( )ushed and ( )aided, Aria looked at herself in the mirror. Ice-blue eyes stared back at her, their color a perfect contrast to her ( )ight red hair. Her skin was slightly tanned from the sun and was unblemished. Well, except for the scar on her face. Aria lightly touched the faded pinkish-red mark that stretched from her left eye to her neck, wishing it wasn't so prominent. She had had the scar for as long as she could remember and didn't know when or how she had gotten it.
She touched her simple necklace--a black band with a red pendant in the shape of a diamond--for good luck before she left the dressing rooms and walked confidently to the ballroom, her heels clicking on the hard floors with each step.