Queen Mousetoria appeared to be a no-nonsense mouse on the outside, but underneath was a kind and caring heart. Against the wishes of those who advised her, the small rotund monarch made strides to see the different creatures of her kingdom treated with the proper respect, though due to her gender, she was oftentimes overlooked. She hoped to teach her subjects tolerance as her reign went on, and she tried her very best to pass that tolerance down to her only daughter, Princess Rachelle. The monarch looked up from her copy of the Daily Mouse to see her adopted daughter gazing forlornly out the window of Buckingham Palace.
"Whatever seems to be the matter, my dear?" She said as she always did when her daughter was in one of her moods. The young mouse sighed heavily, still gazing out the window. Daydreaming again, the queen thought with a shake of her head. "Rachelle?" She quipped. The lovely mouse started in a rather affected way and turned her violet eyes to her mother.
"Oh, nothing is the matter, Mother." She answered with another one of her fluttery sighs. "I was just watching the mice out on the street, and thinking." That would be a first,
a nasty little voice in the queen's head said snidely. She brushed it away, smiling at her daughter and sitting next to her at the window seat.
"What were you thinking about?" She asked as her daughter once again turned her attention to the outside world.
"Just what it would be like to be one of them," she replied, resting her lovely cheek on her delicate hand. "You know, to be normal instead of special." That nasty little voice was back again, and urging the queen to roll her eyes at her daughter's dramatics.
"Rachelle dear, being a princess does not make you abnormal at all," Mousetoria said kindly. "Every rodent in the world is special and has their own place in the world. You just found yours early, that's all." Rachelle turned to her mother, her delicate eyebrows creased.
"But Mother, I don't want this to be all that I am!" She decreed suddenly. "I want to do something adventurous with my life! Something glamorous! Something like...like...solving a mystery!" Her violet eyes gleamed with a new light and she picked up the book that was laying in her lap, hugging it to her chest. "I wish I could be like Basil of Baker Street. He's so smart, and brave, and wonderful, and..." she gave a moony sigh while her mother just sat there and blinked.
"Rachelle," she said patiently. "I have told you before that being a princess is not ribbons and lace, it's a far more serious position than that. You have royal duties such as attending openings for new buildings, reading and signing laws, keeping up with our royal government, and standing in when I am not available." She laid a paw on her daughter's shoulder. "I know it may seem tiresome and thankless, and to be honest, it is. And I can understand wanting an adventure, but dearest, you have a very important job to do here, and so does Mr. Basil. What he does isn't fun and games, it's serious and very dangerous." But of course, the princess was not listening. Instead, she continued to stare out the window, chin resting on her folded arms.
"One day, I shall see the outside world and I will be a part of it. And they'll see that I am just as they are." She said, more to herself than to her mother. The Queen sighed and gave up. Rachelle seemed to be in that place where children thought they knew better than their parents. She had read about it in one of the new studies a local psychologist had been doing. He had assured her when she sent for him for advice on her daughter that it was a phase, and it would pass. Somehow, Mousetoria highly doubted it. Rachelle may have become a young mousette, but in her heart and mind, she was still a child.
Rachelle waited until her mother had left her alone. She just didn't understand, no one in the palace did. She wanted to be normal instead of the special girl she knew herself to be. "Oh, why was I cursed with such trivialties!" She cried out in despair. "I wish I could just run away and do as I liked every day, just like Mr. Basil does." She clutched the book to her chest again, sighing dreamily at the thought of the brave, handsome detective. Her ears perked when she heard a knock at the door. "Yes? Who is it?" She asked, hiding the book under the cushion of the seat.
"Elijah, ma'am." A soft voice said. Rachelle practically flew to the door and threw it open.
"Oh hello Elijah. Did you need something?" She asked the small dormouse. Elijah rubbed the back of his neck.
"I was just sent to tell you that tea is ready, if you're feeling up to it." He answered with a small blush in his cheeks. Rachelle smiled kindly at him and giggled. She had that effect on all the males of the palace.
"I'm not hungry, really." She said with a sigh. "I was just reading, and..." she waited for his gasp of surprise. Really, a woman reading! Elijah just stared at her.
"Yes, Your Highness?" He asked, waiting for her to continue. Rachelle sat down on the window seat with a flounce.
"Oh pooh, it doesn't really matter. I was just mouse watching, and wondering what it would be like to be common." She said, looking out the window again. "Like you, Elijah." The dormouse flushed with embarrassment.
"Oh, well I don't think it would be suitable for a lady like you, Your Highness." He said humbly. "You have to work awful hard every day, and sometimes, it's not enough to put anything on the table. Though, I wouldn't want to be a prince, either. It's so much hard work to remember all those things at once." Rachelle nodded, though she didn't seem to be listening.
"Elijah?" She asked. "Do you think Mother will ever let me out of this dreary palace?" The dormouse looked confused.
"Er, doesn't she let you go to market every Thursday?" He asked, rubbing the back of his ear. Rachelle's violet eyes lit up and her tail started to wag.
"Oh, that's perfect! I'll disguise myself as a commoner and sneak out to market! Oh Elijah, you're so clever!" Elijah was still very much confused when the princess swooped down on him and kissed his cheeks before running to a chest of drawers and flinging through various dresses.
"Your Highness, why don't you just ask your mother if you can go to market with her?" He asked as various flying dresses landed on his head. Rachelle gave a tinkling laugh.
"Because then she'll know, silly. If I'm in disguise, and don't tell her, she won't suspect a thing!" She pulled out a nice, but more worn-looking older dress. She made a face and tossed it aside, settling for a nicer gown with more ribbons. "This will be perfect!" Elijah was about to tell her that anyone would be able to recognize her in that dress, but he bit his tongue. He was a smart little mouse, and he knew that once the girl put her mind to something, it was nearly impossible to talk her out of it. Quick as a flash, she dashed behind the divider and threw the gown on while piling her very long hair into a neat little chignon held with silver pins. She grabbed a traveling pink shawl and draped it over herself, and went to admire herself in the mirror. "I look the part, don't you think?" She giggled. Elijah just sighed and nodded. The Princess beamed at him and removed her crown as she put the shawl around her head. "Now, be sure to tell my mother than I'm not feeling well, and will be in bed all day. She'll never suspect a thing!" She giggled and hugged herself. "This is going to be such fun!" This is going to be a bloody nightmare,
Elijah thought to himself.