Good Beauties be the Happy Cause

April 30, 2008
By Nicole C.S. Barker, Evanston, IL

I've never liked the castle much. It's so grey, so dank, so cold, even in summer. Now I like it even less, with the way I've been stared at. I was just singing to cheer myself up...
Even the good queen, bless her soul, has been shrinking away. I looked up to her as a model before, but now, I do not know what to do. She hasn't been the same since King Hamlet died.
"He is dead and gone, lady,
He is dead and gone;
At his head a grass-green turf,

At his heels a stone"
So, today I went down to the brook, to escape those dreadful stares. What's wrong with a little singing to try and cheer yourself up? After all, the man I've loved for years just murdered my father in cold blood. Now, wouldn't most people be traumatized by that? Of course, but then I'm a nobleman's daughter, so I'm expected to be superhuman.
...That just sounded rather princessy, did it not? Well, I guess I have to learn the part....
This is a rather pretty little brook, lots of fish, and the clearest water I've ever seen outside. Well, at least, before it passes the castle. After that, it turns a nauseous grey-brown. The gong farmer empties the latrine waste in the brook right after the rapids, so all the children play about where I am now. Most play in the flower field right near here, though most don't go too close to the river. Only two people in the castle know how to swim; the two night moat guards.
"Larded wall with sweet flowers,
Which bewept to the grave did not go,
With true-love showers,"
I believe this is the river that my lord Hamlet and I played in when we were children... Those had been days of joy, frivolous joy. But what of now? Lord Hamlet now is just using me as an excuse, but for what I do not know. I do not want to be used, I have been used so much already in my life. Even my dear father used me as a chess piece to move up in the social hierarchy.
I mustn't go over things like that too much. Why not have fun while I can? The guards or someone will soon come looking for me.
Watching water is rather hypnotic. Searching out all the little eddies, ripples, standing waves, it's much more interesting than looking at the tapestries in the dining hall. Sometimes it gets rather dizzying.
"They bore him barefaced on the bier,
And in his grave rained many a tear."
Splash! The water didn't seem like it would be this cold from up in the branches. It keeps me bobbing up and down, up and down, with my ears intermittently exposed and submerged.
"And will 'a not come again?

And will 'a not come again?

No, no, he is dead,

Go to thy deathbed,

He never will come again,"
You know, I was really rather delighted when Hamlet first expressed his love for me. What more honor can you have than to be loved by a (future) king? That would make me a queen. But it was rather scary when he came into my weaving room that time, just looking at me for so very long a time, then started on a long speech about how I should go to a nunnery! Yes, nunneries are safe, and would preserve my virtue as he wishes, but what of his wish to marry me? And what of my hopes and dreams, not just his?
...But what of my father?

Dear father.....

I know not if I should hate my lord Hamlet....

"His beard was as white as snow,

All flaxen was his poll,

He is gone, he is gone,

And we cast away moan.

God 'a' mercy on his soul!
After that, I started to question whether he was mad or not. No man in their right mind would just stab at someone through a priceless tapestry, wrecking both a treasure and someone's life?
"O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!
O, woe is me, t' have seen what I have seen, see what I see!"
...I'm brooding over these things too much. I came here to relax, not to depress myself. Usually singing gets me out of a depression, but it's not working today.

"A-down a-down, and you call him a-down-a..."
It appears I'm drifting down the river. Oh! No, not my necklace! I'll paddle after it; maybe I can catch it before it goes all the way down...
It's awfully dark down here....

...I don't like this....

The weeds have me!

...I can't breathe!...

....Let me go, ye demons!...

....LET Me...gooo.........


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