Princess May . . . by Elizabeth M. Sampson

Hello! I am the narrator, and this, is my story.

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess.

Her name was May.

Now, while she was beautiful, nobody actually knew Princess May.

In fact, Princess May had never been seen by anyone before.

Even she had never seen herself before.

When she looked at her hands, there was nothing there.

When she looked at her feet, she could only see the carpet.

When she looked in the mirror, she could only see the wall behind her.

But no matter! She was beautiful, she knew it.

She still had hair; she could feel it. It was curly and long.

She had a face, too. It was slender and a little bumpy.

She had long eyelashes and big, defining eyebrows, she knew.

She had lips that always stuck out just a bit. She was sure they were smiling.

Princess May was beautiful.

But what good does it do, if no one can see her beauty?

One day, she decided that if no one could see how beautiful she looked,

They would have to hear how beautiful she sounded instead.

So she decided to sing. She picked all of her favorite songs and she practiced every day.

Then the day came. She was all practiced and ready to sing.

She went out into a busy station and began to sing.

“What is that?” People would say. She must have sounded really good!

“I don’t know. Just ignore it.” She would hear. Maybe they were talking about something else?

“Is someone singing? It sounds awful.” Well, maybe they were talking about her.

She stopped. They didn’t like it? Maybe someone else would. She would try again.

So one day, she did. But she got the same reaction.

“Stop singing!” People told her. And so she did.

She was going to try one more time, but when she opened her mouth, nothing came out.

When she tried to sing, the only thing that came out was air.

When she tried to hum along to a song, she could only hear the static of the radio.

When she tried to talk to her friends, they couldn’t hear her.

But no matter! She sounded beautiful, she knew it.

Princess May was beautiful.

One day, she decided that if no one could hear how beautiful her voice was,

They would have to hear how beautiful her piano was instead.

Yes, she had played piano for her whole life. She loved it.

She figured that if she liked it, so would everybody else!

So she got all of her best songs and she practiced them every day.

She thought she was getting really good! Her songs were smooth and elegant.

Then the day came. She was all practiced and ready to play.

On a beautiful grand piano in the mall, she sat down and she started to play.

Her fingers were fast and the piano was well-tuned.

“Who is playing the piano?” Someone wondered aloud. It must have looked amazing!

“It must be self-playing.” She heard. Well, that’s one way to put it.

“That song is so old.” They said. Old is okay though, right?

“Who listens to these anymore?” They grumbled.

Well, maybe not, she thought.

“Stop playing!” People told her. And so she did.

Maybe people just didn’t like piano. But she did!

So she went home to play on her piano. But when she sat down, nothing happened.

When she pushed the keys down, there was nothing but a dull thump.

When she tried to do her scales, they went the wrong way.

When she put both her hands on the keys, the piano turned gray.

“Oh!” She would have said. But nothing came out of her mouth either.

But no matter! She could play beautifully, she knew it.

Princess May was beautiful.

One day, she decided that if no one could hear how beautiful she was,

They would have to see how beautiful her art was instead.

So she gathered all her favorite paints and markers and practiced hard every day.

Finally, the day came. This time would be different, she decided as she put her art out.

The people came again and she was excited to hear what they thought.

“What is it supposed to be?”

“Ha ha! Oh, how silly-looking!”

“That looks horrible!”

“Even my two-year old could paint better than that!”

“Stop painting!” People told her. And so she did.

Her shoulders slumped as she gathered her art into her arms.

She took them home and thought, “Maybe I can fix them so they’ll be good enough.”

But when she picked up her paint-brush, the bristles fell out.

When she picked up her paint pallet, the paint all turned gray.

When she picked up her canvas, the paper ripped.

But… No matter. Her art was beautiful, she knew it.

Princess May was… beautiful.

One day, she decided that if they didn’t like her art, maybe they would like her crafting.

So she gathered all the best wood and paper and practiced almost every day.

When the day came, she picked up her craft. It was a bird house.

It was just like all the ones that everyone else had made.

“It’s okay. A little plain.” People would say.

“I don’t like it.”

“It’s not even original!”

“It’s just plain ugly.”

“Stop crafting!” People told her. And so she did.

When she picked up her birdhouse, the wood rotted.

When she went to put the wood away, it turned to ash.

When she tried to grab the paper, it turned gray.

But no matter. She didn’t even like crafting anymore anyway.

Princess May… May was beautiful. She was pretty sure.

Many more days came. May tried many more things.

“Stop dancing!”

“Stop teaching!”

“Stop drawing!”

“Stop biking!”

“Stop designing!”

“Stop writing!”

“Stop building!”

“Stop swimming!”

“Stop acting!”

People told her.

And so she did.

But… no matter… It didn’t matter. Not to them.

Not to her.

May didn’t go outside anymore. She stayed inside her house all the time.

It used to be big and bright and beautiful.

The walls were once brilliant shades of red.

The carpet used to be soft and white.

The marble stairs used to be polished and bright.

The lights used to be bright and filling.

When May looked in the mirror, there was nothing there.

When May sang, the radio went on without her.

When May played the piano, nothing could be heard.

When May painted, the paint turned gray and the paper tore.

When May crafted, the wood rotted and fell apart.

But it doesn’t matter.

The walls were gray and eaten through.

The carpet turned crusty and gray.

The marble floors were broken and dull.

The lights were dark and empty.

Everything in May’s house had, one by one, turned gray.

By her own hands.

And May remained un-seen.

Nothing May did was beautiful.

May wasn’t beautiful.

At least, she didn’t think so anymore.

Hello. My name is Elizabeth May. I am the narrator. And this, is my story.

 

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