The Fairy Tale of Quinn


A knock at my door woke me up. Who would be knocking at my door this early? I always got up on my own unless there was an event. I groggily got up and opened my door. A maid was standing outside the door, looking terrified. I hated how everyone was afraid of me.

“Hello Helena.” I offered her a smile. She came up to change my sheets every morning. She usually didn’t come until 10 or 11 though.

“Hello Princess.” She said, offering me a small smile. I opened my door letting her in and then glanced at the clock. It read 10:38. I groaned and pulled on my slippers, heading to the kitchen.

Royal breakfast was at 9:30. I have been missing royal breakfast for years though. Even if I was awake, eating with father was not the way I wanted to start my day. The kitchen staff became accustomed to me coming in when I feel like, and they pause what they are doing to make what I feel like eating. It was nice. Some of them even called me Quinn. Just Quinn. Although they still did bow.

I walked into the kitchen and sat down at the chopping table. The head chef Ben saw me and smiled. He gave me his usual small bow and huge cheeky smile.

“Quinn, you slept in a bit today.” He joked. I smiled and rolled my eyes.

“I was a bit tired from dealing with some stuff throughout the day.” I didn’t want to straight up say Prince Alexander, because he would ask why. I hadn’t told anyone about it, not even my best friend. Well, she was sort of a best friend. She had been my nurse since I was a baby.

The door swung open and Prince Alexander walked in. He looked exhausted. He was wearing a navy blue button up shirt and a pair of black dress pants. He smirked when he saw me.

“Someone wake up late?” He joked. I rolled my eyes.

“You got here after I did.” He laughed.

“Atleast I am wearing proper attire.” He was right about the proper attire. I was still in my Star Wars pajama pants and large white shirt. I shrugged.

“I don’t like waking up early.” I turned back to Ben. “Can you make blueberry pancakes?” I said smiling. He smiled back.

“Of course, with fresh orange juice?” I smiled again.

“As always.” I laughed a bit at how goofy yet uncomfortable Ben looked. Alex sat down next to me.

“Make that two?” He asked. He has an underlying authoritative tone in his voice though. Ben knew he wasn’t asking, he was telling. Ben still held a small smile, but I could tell he was uncomfortable.

“Of course sir.” Ben answered formally. Ben started cooking and I just laid my head down quietly on the counter. He laughed.

“Quinn, how do you get anything done?” I glared. I knew he was talking about learning how to rule. Going to the important meetings, getting informed on possible threats. I bet Alex knew more about my kingdom than I did.

“I am not kept informed unless something directly involving my safety comes up.” I grumbled. I had said the line so many times to so many people who ask me the same question. His expression became confused.

“Arent you the heir?” He asked. I gave him a sarcastic smile.

“Yes and I should be so grateful that this kingdom will someday be mine. I just can’t wait to wed a proper king and start popping out babies!” I said with fake excitement. He caught on.

“You don’t want to be the heir?” I groaned, maybe he didn’t understand.

“Of course I want to the the heir. I love my people and I would love ruling. I am a woman though.” I said solemnly. He placed his hand on mine.

“Don’t worry, when we get married and I become king I’ll keep you in the loop.” My head jerked to the side, looking at him.

“Wait, you know about-” He cut me off.

“About our ridiculous arranged marriage? I was told two days ago. Why do you think I am here?” He asked. I could tell he was just about as happy as I was about it. Not at all.

“At least someone agrees that it is ridiculous.” I muttered.

“Order up Quinn.” Ben had a goofy smile as he pushed me my plate of blueberry pancakes and glass or orange juice. “Prince.” He nodded before giving him his plate.

“Thanks Ben.” I said. I noticed Alex didn’t bother thanking him. It bothered me, especially if he was going to become king. He turned to me.

“So you knew about this marriage thing for how long?” He asked, there was no amusement in his eyes. I sighed, I knew this was coming.

“I learned about it when I was around sixteen.” I muttered. His eyes about popped out of his head.

“You have known about it for almost four years and you haven’t thought to mention it to me?” I shoved a huge bite of pancake in my mouth and pointed to it, avoiding talking. I couldn’t talk if I was chewing. He didn’t look happy. “Answer me.” He demanded.

“What was I supposed to say? Hey I know that we have never met were getting married on my 21st birthday I hope thats all good.” My voice was dripping with sarcasm. He rolled his eyes.

“I’ve known for two days that I’m going to be getting married to the most bitchy girl I have ever met in my entire life.” I glared. I was bitchy for a reason. It was his fault I was never allowed to date. It was his fault that I couldn’t have friends that were boys, and it was his fault that I wasn’t included in the happenings of this kingdom. This would never truly be his kingdom, and his Maltan accent proved so.

“Ben, I’m not hungry anymore. I’ll be in my room. If you see Eugine please tell him I’m going riding at noon. I’ll text him but you know how he never checks his phone.” Ben nodded knowingly.

“Alright Quinn. I’ll see you after your ride?” I couldn’t help but smile. He was one of the sweetest guys I knew. Or was allowed to know anyways.

“Yeah. I’m thinking kraft mac n cheese today.” Box mac n cheese was my go to food for when I felt horrible. He knew that, as did everyone. Most of the servants tended to steer clear of me when they knew it was a kraft day.

“Fine by me sweetie.” Alex cut in.

“You do realize you just called the future queen and my future wife by not only her name, but a pet name.” I could hear the disgust in his voice. “You are only to address her as Princess from now on.” I shot Alex a glare.

“Alex. A word.” My voice was stern. It was the voice I used when I was upset, or trying to be heard as more than the daughter of a man. I stepped out of the kitchen, shooting Ben an apologetic smile. He looked rattled. I closed the door of the kitchen behind us.

“Do you like the help? I will not tolerate this.” He was seriously angry? Not five minutes ago he told me that this marriage thing was ridiculous, yet here he was trying to lay claim to me.

“Ben is old enough to be my father for christs sake. And even if I did, it would be none of your business. I am not your wife yet, and I intend to find a way out of this. What do you think I have been doing for the last four years? I've been finding suitable men who I could actually stand to be around, who didn’t treat me like such a woman.” He didn’t look happy by my words, but I could sense a bit of shock behind his anger.

“We’ll talk about this tonight. I’ll have dinner sent to your room.” He stated. I glared as he started walking away.

“And don’t tell people what to call me! I’m Quinn to everyone here!” I yelled after him, sure he was ignoring me. I stomped my way up to my room. When I got in, my music was still playing and Sound Surgery by Killbot was playing. It was like my ipod knew how I was feeling, and knew that the bass would comfort me.

I walked over to my closet and kicked off my pajama pants and pulled on a pair of nice dark jeans. Father would be mad I was wearing jeans in the first place, but he would be less mad if they weren’t a ratty old pair. I pulled on a dark blue button up shirt and went to the bathroom.

My hair was a complete mess. Not only did I have naturally super curly hair, I fell asleep with my hair wet. Knowing that brushing it would only make it worse I decided to quickly tie it into a loose side braid. A few pieces were loose and hung around my face. I applied some mascara so I didn’t look completely like I just rolled out of bed. I turned off my music and left, locking my door behind me.

The stables were vacant. Someone must have let the horses out. I walked through the barn and out to the field where I saw the horses being ran. The new stable boy was running them and from the looks of it, he knew what he was doing. I climbed over the fence, and sat on top watching him.

I had been running the horses for a few days because our stable master died. I was told I didn’t have to, but I volunteered until they found a new stable boy. Looks like they found one.

My dog Pip spotted me and started running over, barking. Pip was a purebred American Foxhound. My dad was thrilled when I got a dog, he said I could do dog shows and it would be good publicity. He wasn’t thrilled when I came home with a rescued dog from the pound. Pip was a purebred without papers.

“Pip.” I said happily, hopping to the ground just to be jumped on and licked. I laughed, catching the new stable boys attention. I waved a bit and started walking over to him. Pip followed happily by my side. When I arrived, I was surprised not to be greeted formally. He just kind of stared.

“Hello, I’m Nathan. The new stable master. You are?” He didn’t know who I was?

“I’m…” My mind blanked. “I’m Mila. I work here taking care of the horses and Pip.” He raised his eyebrows at me, which made me realize that I just described his job. “I mean, with you or course.” He nodded.

“Well Mila, I’m glad you knew his name because I didn’t. You mind grabbing a shovel? The grounds need to be mucked.” I realized he was asking me to shovel horse shit. I groaned, I had been doing it for weeks but this would be absolute torture if I didn’t even get to ride.

“Sure thing boss.” I soluted him sarcastically. “Want to go for a ride after?” I asked hopefully. He smiled and nodded.

“Honestly, I've been dying to get on him.” He said pointing to Quark. Quark was my horse, and he was absolutely stunning. I would let Nathan ride him if it meant he didn’t know.

“He is gorgeous huh? I heard the princess picked him out special on her 15th birthday. Her dad felt bad about her mothers death, got her a horse so he wouldn’t have to deal with her. Although she does love him.” I said smiling. My mother died three days before my fifteenth birthday. He avoided me for months after.

“Whats his name?” He asked, still looking at him.

“Quark.” I said happily. He scrunched his eyebrows.

“Quark? Thats the dumbest name I’ve ever heard of.” I frowned. That was mean, of course he didn’t know who I was or that it was me that named him.

“He was named after a subatomic particle with a fractional electric charge. Hes a hyper horse.” I said. I turned and walked towards the barn to grab a shovel.

After shoveling enough horse shit to make my shoulders sore, I decided I had done enough. I started heading back to the stables to see Nathan trying to mount Quark. Quark didn’t look happy. I dropped my shovel and ran at full speed over.

“What do you think you are doing?” I quickly started rubbing Quarks forehead, trying to calm him down. Nathan didn’t look happy.

“For such a beautiful horse, he sure doesn’t want to be ridden.” I looked at what he was doing and instantly knew what was wrong.

“You are putting an english saddle on him. He is used to a western roping saddle.” I said matter of factly. I could see the thank you in Quarks eyes. Nathan nodded.

“Well that would do it.” I smiled a bit. I could tell Quark wasn’t fond of Nathan. I pressed my head against his chestnut fur on his face.

“Go saddle up Tinker.” He looked at me lost. I realize he didn’t know the horses names yet. “She is the white chase arabian. She uses a english saddle.” I quickly undid the english saddle off of Quark and handed it to him. He nodded and headed off to saddle Tinker. “Its okay Quark. Someone else is going to ride you today, okay?” I kissed his forehead before hurrying to the barn to grab his special saddle.

After they were saddled, I mounted tinker and he mounted Quark easily. Quark was being a lot more compliant. He didn’t know of any of the trails, so I decided to take us on an easy walking trail that went through the woods.

“So, how long have you worked here?” He broke the silence. I shrugged.

“Practically my whole life.” I muttered loud enough for him to hear. I knew he was wondering why I wasn’t just promoted, but I also knew he wouldn’t ask. Thank god because I don’t have an answer.

“So, are you here with family?” He asked. I knew we hired many families to work for us, each person doing a different thing. I shook my head no.

“My mom died when I was 15 and my father is well, controlling. I come out here to get away from him.” I knew he thought I meant coming to work at the castle, but I really meant riding. I loved riding because nobody could bother me. “What about you?” I asked curiously.

“I came here with my brother. His name is Brett.” I smiled, remembering Brett.

“Blonde hair, green eyes, came downstairs yesterday completely covered in food?” I asked lightly. He nodded.

“Thats Brett. You want to know what he did? He accidentally dumped his dinner all over the princess. He said she laughed it off, but I bet she was pissed as hell. Then he talked all night about how hot she was.” I tried to hold back a smirk, Brett thought I was hot?

“You look quite a bit like him.” I pointed out. They did look a lot alike. The only big difference I noticed was that Nathan’s eyes were blue and Nathan was taller.

“Yeah, were twins. We arent identical, but we do look a lot alike. Enough for him to cause trouble and me to get punished.” He grimaced. I was about to reply when loud thunder interrupted me. “We should probably head back.” He pointed up and I nodded. We weren’t far into the trail and I had no doubt that we would be back before it started raining. There was a long silence before I started speaking again.

“Have you seen the princess? She is super beautiful.” I started. He smiled.

“No, honestly I can’t even remember her name. We just moved to this country not long ago. I bet she would look ugly though compared to you.” I smiled. He thought I was that pretty. I couldn’t help but giggle a bit. He smirked. “What?” he asked. I smiled.

“Its just a lot of people tell me that I look like her is all.” I covered up my laughs. We arrived back at the stables to see Brett waiting for us. When Brett realized who I was I could already see his cheeks heating up.

“Hey Brett, I want you to meet Mila.” Nathan said as I got closer. When he said that, I knew Brett was confused.

“Her name isn’t Mila, its Quinn.” Brett said like Nathan was dumb. Nathan looked confused. I decided to clarify.

“It is Quinn. I met Brett when he spilt his dinner all over me.” I could tell nathan was still confused.

“My god Nathan. She is the princess. Eugine sent me to tell you that Prince Alexander made dinner arrangements for 7:00 in your room.” I nodded.

“Thanks Brett, now Nathan, you can put Tinker away.” I slid off the horse and handed him the reigns. I smirked and started walking towards the palace, leaving Nathan completely dumbfounded. I turned around smiling as they both watched me walk away. “Its good to know that you both think I’m gorgeous!” I called, before turning back towards the palace and walking away. As I was walking away, I caught a bit of their conversation.

“Dude… I just made the princess shovel horse shit for like two hours.” I heard Brett burst out laughing before I was out of earshot.