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Sunday Shorts: Under the Mattress

By Sarah Cate Anstey, Aug 28 2016 07:36AM

I was searching for something to eat when I found the advert in the newspaper:


A Bride for a handsome young prince

Must be a REAL Princess

Princesses by marriage need not apply

So I thought I’d get myself a piece of the action. And why shouldn’t I? Born on the streets, ducking and diving from each day to the next, wheeling and dealing for my next fix, scamming for a slice of the daily bread. I deserved to sleep in luxury sheets, eat the finest cuisine, live in a large house and have clean clothes; if some jumped-up rich tart could, why shouldn’t I?

I had been practising my lines perfectly, but when I got to the door, what with walking in the storm and no food in my belly for two days, I fainted dead away in some bloke’s arms.

As I came to, I heard a man talking.

“She looks like a real Princess, blue eyes, long blonde hair, thin.” I kept my eyes shut and pretended I was still out for the count.

“There is only one way to find out,” said an older woman.

They took me to a room with a bed, piled high with at least twenty mattresses and wished me a good night.

The next morning, the woman, who I took to be the Queen, asked me how I had slept. Now, as I’ve said, I’d lived on the streets and I knew an actress when I saw one and could give as good as I got. I put on all my airs and graces, and in my best “My Fair Lady” voice replied,

“Terribly! I do now know what was in that bed, but I did not sleep a wink and it has left me black and blue.".

I pulled up my sleeves to show them the legacy Big G had left, before I walked out on him for the last time. It did the trick, the palace went into hysterics (something to do with a pea). I was held as a true Princess and was introduced to the Prince and the next day, Reader, I married him.

© copyright Sarah Catherine Anstey 2016

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