(WP) The Curse of Truth

(WP) The Curse of Truth

               The
princess Verity had been born with the curse of always telling the truth.

               Never
mind that her parents were both beautiful, silver-tongued liars, able to
persuade, charm, and seduce as easily as breathing.

               To
punish the monarchs, the Goddess of Honesty, Virtue, and Justice, Kiara, visited
the infant’s room in the night and enchanted the baby’s tongue to resist lies
and only tell the truth.

               Of
course, no one knew of this until the child grew older and was able to speak.

               The
kitchen cook and her assistant brought the child to her parents. Verity’s face
was sticky and streaked with stripes of icing and honey.

               “Darling,
did you eat a cake when the cook wasn’t looking?” The queen mother laughed, her
bright gray eyes warm with affection.

               Verity
could not lie to her mother; trying to resist the truth was like having something
uncomfortably spicy on her tongue. Her eyes watered and her tongue stung, her
throat closing in desperate need of water. Still, the words fought to be said.

               “Yes,
Mother,” Verity said at last, and the pressure inside of her yielded. She took
a deep, greedy gulp of air as if she’d been forced underwater for a long time.

               “Verity,”
The king said, shaking his head, but his smile revealed that he wasn’t truly
scolding her. “You should know better than that. You are a princess. You are to
be well-mannered and gracious. Now, say you’re sorry to the cook and her
assistant, my love.”

               “I’m
sorry, ma’am,” Verity murmured, bowing her head in contrition. “I won’t do it
again.”

               The cook
smiled, shaking her head. “That’s all right, little lass. Next time, let
someone know you have a craving for sweets, won’t you?”

               **

               As the
years went on, Verity grew from a precocious little girl to an accomplished
young woman. Her parents gave her everything she could’ve possibly desired,
including the best education in the entire kingdom. When she reached the age of
seventeen, her father began making arrangements for her to be married.

               Never
mind that that wasn’t actually what Verity desired.

               Eventually,
a prince came to the castle in order to actually meet his new intended: he was
old, widowed, and had no children. Immediately, Verity knew that this was not what
she wanted, or if she even wanted a partner.

               It
seemed that Kiara, her patron goddess, had a rather twisted sense of humor.

               Verity’s
engagement to Sir Reginald Fairfeather was celebrated with a feast, and all of
the common people and gentry were invited to attend. Though she was dressed in
finery and sported a large sapphire ring on her left hand (a keepsake from his
late wife, he’d told her with a wink), she was not happy. And she knew if she
were asked, she’d have little choice but to reveal how she truly felt.

Verity was positively miserable. Where was the good in being
a paragon or all that was good, virtuous, and honest if she could not be honest
with herself?

**