Tuesday, 25 April 2017

#AtoZChallenge: The Princess and the Unexceptional Umber

Picking out curtains was a chore. Princess Undine felt it was a complete waste of time. Her room was white, because she didn’t want to pick a colour. Her furniture was brown because they were made of wood. Her sheets were pink because her mother insisted. And now, she had to pick a shade of colours for her curtains?

It was ridiculous. She didn’t care and would never care.

But Mother insisted.

“You must pick a colour, dear. It’s your room. It should look how you want.”

“Just take whatever colour we already have.”

“That won’t do. It must be unique.”

“What colour’s Udolf’s curtains?”

Mother tsked. “That has nothing to do with you. Your rooms, your curtains, your colour.”

Princess Undine sighed. “It’s not as if anything in my room is colour-coordinated.”

“It should be.”

That was when the Talk started. About how dear young Undine should learn how to keep house. She would be married soon and what would her husband think if she didn’t know how to run a house? (I doubt he’ll care about the colour of the curtains, she thought.) And what would the servants think if Undine didn’t know how to make her own choices? They’d run riot over her and undermine all her authority! (I’ll just ask them to pick any colour that suits them.) And what would her new family and friends say if she let her house run to ruin? (It’s my house. I can do with it anything I like.)

In the end she gave in. There was no point in arguing with Mother when she was in that state, so she scanned the different fabrics that were hanging in the room, all the different colours and materials and patterns making her head spin. She walked up and down poking at the samples the servants were showing her, her mind wandering to other more exciting topics, such as where she’d seen that unassuming moth and whether she’d be able to spot it again.

After a suitable time period had passed, she pointed randomly at a brownish fabric. The furniture was brown, after all, and she wouldn’t have to waste her time with her mother’s protests.

“Oh, that’s such a beautiful burnt umber,” someone exclaimed.

Beautiful? Princess Undine just shrugged. She didn’t even know what umber was. It was just an unexceptional brown in her head, something that she wouldn’t have to notice at all. She ignored her mother as she walked out of the room.

Really. Curtains. 


Head over to Yuin-Y's for today's illustration.


  1. One Princess's "It doesn't matter" is another person's "beautiful burnt umber". 👸 What a poor, bored young woman.
    Perspectives at Life & Faith in Caneyhead

  2. Ha ha - I loved her though process!! What a wilful princess she is but then she is a Princess! ;-)

  3. Hey, how come this 'sad' story? Your stories usually have such sweet and positive feeling.

    But I liked it all the same ;-)

    The Old Shelter - 1940s Film Noir

  4. My mother used to paint when I was a child and I just loved the names of the colours. I've never been able to think in terms of *just* the primaries ever since :)

    Bunny and the Bloke