My Ranking Points
Shimmering Crystals: Chapter 4 “Why Beauty Matters”
When I woke up on the morning of my first day of classes, I found the perfect shade of red nail polish and freshened up my perfect nails.
“Ready for first day of classes, Acantha?,” Hailey said, “According to our schedules, our first class is Uglification” What? No! I spend all day grooming my looks to perfection, and here the teachers want me to throw those looks away!? I won’t stand for it. I WILL win a first place rank in Uglification, when I show the teachers the importance of preserving my looks. I will protect my looks at all costs!
Turns out, Professor Manley was a lot tougher than I expected.
“But Professor Manley, I look perfect the way I am. There is no point in Uglification!”
“No point!,” Professor Manley screamed, “Zilla, tell Miss Acantha here why we need Uglification!,”
“Because once you give up the surface can you dig beneath it. Once you give up vanity can you be yourself,” Zilla replied.
“Correct,” The teacher said, “Ugliness means you rely on intelligence. Ugliness means you trust your soul. Ugliness means freedom,” he leered, “Hailey, could you please help our friend Acantha taste freedom?”
“Yes sir!,” Hailey laughed, “You’ll look better this way,” she giggled. Before I could object, my face was plunged into a bowl of black tadpole juice.
After the event on the staircase, I was, like, the most popular girl in school. Not that I cared. Edie-Anna probably did. Before I fell, I think she was planning to stage a dramatic event that would earn her the title of ‘Most popular Evergirl to be accepted to the School for Good’. But then I happened. I wish I wasn’t so clumsy. But everything has a silver lining, and this event has two. First, I know my talent. It needs some work, for sure, but at least I won’t turn up to the Circus without a talent. Second, I made two new friends. Aria, and Faith. Aria was the girl with glasses who backed me up at the Welcoming. Faith was Aria’s dorm mate. According to our schedules, we were both in the same classes, the first one being Beautification with Professor Anemone.
“I still don’t get the point of beautification,” Aria wondered aloud, “Shouldn’t we be happy with our natural appearance?,” Professor Anemone seemed to have heard her.
“We need to beautify because if you aren’t beautiful, no prince will propose and you will fail,” she said and began her first lesson on making smiles kinder.
“The key is to communicate with your eyes” the teacher then demonstrated a perfect princess smile, “Now it’s your turn”.
I can’t believe I was ranked no. 2 in our first class challenge, in Uglification. This gave me high hopes for the second class of the day, Henchmen Training. I forgot the teacher was Castor. I wasn’t scared of anything until I met Castor. That dog is just scary. Even worse, he sent his assistant, Beezle, to get honeysuckle, which restored us to our regular looks. While the rest of the Nevers groaned, I could see that Acantha was relieved. The challenge was training a golden goose. Castor spent some time introducing us to the class, and then we lined up and each took our turn. I produced an egg the size of a coin, but Acantha got an egg the size of a fist!!! I’m sure that she’ll make a great leader on graduation, commanding her henchmen flawlessly. Me, as much as I’d have liked to be a leader, I know that I’m destined to be a henchman myself. That’s why I am going to pay special attention to this class. For the future.
We all smiled our best princess smiles, and Professor Anemone criticised each one.
“Too much nose, a little less squinting, a little too boastful, oh my, absolutely beautiful!,” Professor Anemone was talking about my smile. My smiles are always perfect. “That, my dears, is a smile that can win any prince. A smile that can create peace in the toughest wars. A smile that can lead a kingdom to prosperity and hope!,”
“Thank you, Professor Anemone,” Fantasia smiled. Wait. It wasn’t my smile that my teacher was talking about. It was hers! The ranks floated over our heads. Fantasia with a shiny 1, and my with a dull 10. Great. If I want to use the Groom Rooms, I’ll have to do better in my next class.
Fortunately, the next class was Princess Etiquette. The first lesson was Princess Posture, which involved walking up flights of stairs while balancing nests of nightingales on our heads. I did it flawlessly, but my rank was only a 3. How could anyone do any better? Well Fantasia could. She almost slipped and dropped an egg but caught herself just in time. Pollux, the teacher, didn’t seem to notice this slip and awarded her a shiny 1st rank. When will anyone notice my talents? When will anyone realise that I need to star in my own fairytale, not a sidekick to someone else’s?
Now, I’m just going to take a moment to talk about time. After a week of thinking, I’ve decided to set my story in the space between the evernever handbook and book 4, Quests for Glory. This might seem like a weird time to set my story, but it’s the time that feels the easiest to write in.
Hope you liked it! Tell me if you want to be tagged, and constructive criticism is welcome. Thanks for reading!