A War Between The Mind & Heart
By Shamu Ward
A short story that follows the feelings of the main character of my WIP novel.
The sun was shining brightly today, something uncommon given the kingdom’s naturally bitter-cold climate. Its warm rays caused the fresh snow that had fallen the night before to glisten like crystals. Mornings like these were Princess Amantdelyaia’s favorite; quiet and serene. It provided her the perfect setting to clear her mind and help prepare her head for the day ahead. These days she found herself particularly distracted with a certain lord that had annoyingly gotten under her skin. His smile, that twinkle in his eyes when he knew he’d done something wrong, and especially the way he said her name… all the little things that might annoy anybody else made her fall harder for him.
“What a beautiful morning…” The princess let out a shaky breath, clutching the fabric that met at her bust. Amantdelyaia stood nervously in front of her bedroom window, the stained glass casting color on her flushed face.
There was a knock at the door, and Amantdelyaia turned to face her visitor. It was her lady-in-waiting, Rhettna. The princess bowed her head to greet her, something unusual given her social standing. After closing her door, Rhettna walked in and sat on the princess’ bed, watching as Amantdelyaia looked off into the distance. Rhettna knew the princess like the back of her hand and could tell something was amiss.
“Good morning, Your Highness,” Rhettna hummed, lowering her head as she spoke. However, when no response was given, she looked back up to see the princess staring aimlessly into the sky. Rhetta folded her arms as she cleared her throat to get her friend’s attention, now curious as to what could’ve possibly left her in such a state.
The princess let out a small squeak and turned around to give her lady-in-waiting her full, undivided attention. Rhettna was proud that she had managed to snap Amantdelyaia out of the trance that had left her so dazed and distracted. Rhettna motioned for Amantdelyaia to sit beside her so that she could get to the bottom of the princess’ strange behavior. To be honest, moments like these were what made their relationship all the more valuable. Amantdelyaia was glad to have someone as loyal and perceptive as Rhettna in their life—especially as the princess readjusted to living with her family again, having recently come home after spending years away from them. Everything was just so…complicated now.
“What’s wrong, Amant? I can tell you’re not feeling like yourself. Is it a fever? Are you ill?” Rhettna reached out and placed the back of her hand against the princess’ forehead. Her brows knitted tightly as she checked for an increase in temperature, but luckily, Amant showed no signs of illness. The only thing off about her appearance was the rosy color that had risen to her cheeks and her flustered expression.
The princess swatted her hand away and huffed in annoyance as Rhettna backed off, still curious as to what was causing this behavior.
“Is it something your father said? I know he can be a little…much sometimes…” Rhettna’s voice trailed off. She didn’t wish to upset the princess, if that were indeed the case.
However, Amantdelyaia shook her head no, sighing as she realized her friend wouldn’t let the situation rest. The princess took Rhettna’s hand and gave her a worried look, her eyes softening as she prepared herself to share her deeply personal secret.
“It’s…it’s not about my parents…o-or anyone in my family! It’s more so about Lord Voulneir. I think…I think I love him, Rhettna,” Amant blurted out, clenching her eyes shut as she did so.
Rhettna remained silent as she took in the information, not wanting to say anything inappropriate in her friend’s time of need. Perhaps the silence was due to her being left speechless by her friend’s declaration of love. It wasn’t that she didn’t understand it. Perhaps it was the social difference between the princess and the lord? For starters, he was a Downworlder! There was no way in hell the two of them would be able to be together…
And yet there she was—confessing her feelings for a man who stood no chance of becoming her actual lover!
This piece is very personal for me in many ways. Writing as this character (Amantdeiylaia) is always therapeutic for me. She’s grown with me through the years and I feel like whenever I’m feeling a creativity block, this character is able to help me get back into my groove. In terms of how I got here, I planned on creating a sketch for this character and after a while, I was so inspired that I wanted to write something involving her. After thinking on it, I realized a big part of her life is the romantic aspect of it. I was especially excited because that meant I would have to focus on capturing different emotions and then write them out, obviously not as me but as someone else. I think that when I put myself in her shoes, it makes me feel more connected to my work, which is very rewarding. I found that in the end, I was excited to put myself in someone else’s shoes and write something deeply personal. I really recommend doing something like this if you want to know your protagonist (or any of your characters) better!
Shamu Ward is an aspiring writer and artist from Bronx, New York. She’s currently a senior in high school but is aspiring to become a novelist. In her free time, she writes and draws—when her cat lets her.