Jane is plain. She is the descendant of many plain women with nothing remarkably extraordinary about them. She has brown hair that is neither straight nor curly, light freckles that frame her small nose, brown eyes, and a smile that is endearing yet simple. She is quiet and goes rather unnoticed in the village. Jane’s best friend is her grandmother, whom she visited every day with a new dessert that she would make just for her. As she walked with her basket full of cornbread muffins, she felt as though something was off. She finally got to her grandmother’s small cottage just five minutes from the village and her grandmother was laying in bed. “Hello, dear,” she muttered.
“Hi, Grandma, are you feeling okay?” Jane asked worriedly.
“Oh, don’t worry about me, I’m fine - what did you bring today?”
“I brought you cornbread muffins,” Jane says still concerned.
Jane opened a dusty cabinet and grabbed out a plate for her. “Actually, I’ll take one later, I don’t really have an appetite right now,” her grandmother said.
Jane checked her temperature and made sure she was all set before leaving. “I love you, Jane!” her grandmother called out before Jane shut the door.
“I love you more,” Jane said, popping her head back in the doorway.
On her walk back, Jane thought about how odd her grandmother’s behavior was. “She never acts like that,” Jane wondered.
The next morning, Jane thought she would check up on her grandmother one last time before going to school. When she opened the front door to the cottage, she found that her grandmother was nowhere to be found. “Where could she have even gone?” she thought. She walked back to the village to find her parents running around frantically. “What has gotten into them?” Jane questioned.
“We’ve been looking for you! We have some terrible news, sweetie…”
“Well, what is it! Grandma’s gone and I’m trying to find her!” she exclaimed.
“That’s the thing… Grandma passed away this morning,” her dad said with sorrow.
Jane fell to the floor as they spoke. “She couldn't have! I just saw her last night and she seemed fine!” Jane cried out.
“She wanted you to have this,” her parents said somberly.
They handed her a gold encrusted box that looked as though it was worth more than the whole village. Jane ran home and opened it as she sobbed. As she opened the lid, a golden light flashed and revealed a dainty charm bracelet with stars on the inside. “What’s so special about this bracelet?” she wondered. She found a note rolled up like a scroll on the inside that read:
“To my dearest Jane -
You have gone unnoticed for too long, let your light shine brighter than the stars.”
As she put it on, golden beams of light began flashing all around. The flashing lights turned to a swirl and within the blink of an eye, Jane was no longer Jane.
She awoke in a foreign place, lying in the middle of a ballroom with marble floors, ceilings so tall she could barely see where they stopped, and glass windows that shimmered with the emerging sunlight - but no doors. “No doors?” she wondered. Jane got up clumsily and began to explore this new place. She stumbled upon a small desk with a note reading:
I know that you are most likely rather confused at this moment. You are also probably wondering who is writing to you. My name is Alfie the courtier, I am in charge of you, princess. That’s right, you are a princess, Jane. Now, hold your bracelet against the wall.
Jane, thinking this was all just a silly dream, does what she is told. As she held her bracelet to the wall, two large entryways appeared. Waiting on the other side was a horse-drawn carriage. Alfie emerged from the carriage boastfully. Alfie was short and stout and had hair the color of a carrot. Alfie took her on a tour of the village. They passed by the local bakeries, library, and stores that didn’t seem to end. The new city smelled like fresh flowers and baked goods. Jane felt at home here. As they passed the small children playing, each and everyone stopped to wave and cheer at Jane. The princess had arrived!
The carriage finally came to a halt at the large, towering front gates that led to the castle. The castle was made of the most beautiful stone and almost glowed when you looked at it. A sudden overwhelming feeling flooded throughout Jane. Everything was becoming so real. As they walked inside, Jane and Alfie were greeted by Jane’s parents, “Jane! Alfie! We were looking for you two!”
“We were just visiting the village,” Alfie said cheerfully.
“Well, hurry and go get ready, Jane. Dinner will be ready very soon.”
Jane ran up to her new room and leaped into the fluffy, freshly-made bed. “I guess I’m not that plain after all,” she thought to herself.