Amphitrite stood on the balcony overlooking the ballroom, looking down at the guests like a smiling statue. She was thoroughly pleased with the masquerade that was being held in honor of her birthday. The princess had not been able to join her guests yet because she was awaiting her father’s most valued fortune teller. The crone was to read Amphitrite’s tea leaf fortune. The petite blonde thought that it was all silly and unnecessary; just a formality she had to put up with to appease her superstitious father.
The princess was so enraptured by the swirling masses of color on the ballroom floor that she was unaware of the crone’s entrance until the guard to her right tapped the princess on the shoulder. Amphitrite forced herself to smile as she turned to face the crone. “Shall we?” She motioned to the tea table with one elegant, pale hand.
The crone nodded, and they drank the tea in silence. When only the dregs were left, the crone took Amphitrite’s cup and squinted, reading the leaves. The old feeble woman paled and began to tremble. Tears filled the crone’s eyes and, in spite of the princess’ tendency toward sensibility, her stomach turned at the fear she saw in the crone.
“What is it?” The princess could not tear her eyes from the crone’s face.
“You will be forcibly separated from your father…tonight.”
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