The Lie

Delve into the truth; find it inside The Lie. Rally with the palace staff as Princess Princilla stages her coup.

With the Queen and her Consort off to visit the Queen’s sister, Princilla puts her takeover plans into play by casting her brother, Prince Aloneous, out of the palace to live among the livestock.

Prince Aloneous doesn’t understand why his sister is out to destroy him. All he wants is to be loved, but with his parents gone and his sister determined to get rid him, the only friend he has is his governess.

Governess Joi Dyer recognizes the Princess’ manipulative schemes and is determined to shield the Prince from evil.

Pick a side and grab your ringside seat to the Entitlement’s battle royale.

EXCERPT

Drive Home to Contentment Lane

The 12:40 train to Bereavement rolled out of Entitlement Station on time, but without Carabella Needlepinch on board. The newly hired governess from Grace, teenage Joi Dyer, leaned over the lifeless nonagenarian, lying on the station café tile floor, fanning her with a menu. “Miss Needlepinch, come back” Joi cried “You cannot go—talk to me—please—the paramedics are on their way.”

The Queen’s chauffeur, Ernest Crankshaft stepped in, took the menu off the girl’s hand, set it aside, and handed her a handkerchief. “Come, Miss Dyer” he helped her to her feet “A little fresh air will make you feel better.”

The young Gracine dried her eyes “Mr. Crankshaft, she is not responding.”

“Come, let me take you to your new home, where you can have some peace.”

Four Paramedics rolled in a gurney, and a defibrillator. Two went straight to work, while the other two lifted Nanny onto the gurney, but then they gave up, and covered the corpse with a white sheet.

“She’s gone” Joi tried to hide her emotions behind the handkerchief “One minute she was sipping tea, talking about going to live with her aunt in Bereavement, the next, she dropped to the floor.”

“She is gone, Sir” said one of the paramedics, as he walked out behind the gurney.

“She is not going to make her train. Someone needs to call her Aunt Bessie.”

“Mrs. Thornecroft will take care of everything, Miss Dyer.”

“Who is Mrs. Thornecroft?” Joi wept.

Tusnelda Thornecroft is Her Majesty’s private secretary. Come, let me escort you to the car.”

The paramedics rolled, and drove, Carabella Needlepinch to Contentment Memorial Hospital, where a record was made, at thirteen hundred-O-7 hours of the admission of ninety-nine year-old patient, Carabella Needlepinch,—even a defibrillator will not revive a corpse. Carabella Needlepinch, surrogate mother to twin princesses Erica, and Pristine, of the royal Goldspinner family of Entitlement, was dead, as we knew her.

Mr. Crankshaft escorted the young Gracine through the terminal of talking heads, ringing bells, interspersed with cries, shouts, and laughter. “Carabella is not dead” they passed through the sliding glass doors “She just passed through this world, as we all do. She has gone to a better place” he walked her out to the colonnade “Here we are” he nodded “the black Isotta Fraschini, at the curb.” He opened the rear compartment door. “Miss Dyer, if you would, please, step in.”

“Mr. Crankshaft—”

“Please, call me Crank; everyone does.”

The young blonde temporized “Might I sit up front with you—Crank?”

“You want to sit up front, Miss?”

She nodded, hesitantly—“If I may.”

“You want to sit in front—in the cab, with me?”

She nodded again “I would rather not be alone, right now.”

Crankshaft closed the rear door, and opened the front door. “It would be my pleasure.”

“It’s just that—I have never ridden in a limousine before” Miss Dyer stepped into the cab” It looks so lonely back there, all alone.”

“I understand” Crankshaft closed the door, stepped onto the cobblestones, stepped into the driver’s seat, and settled in.

Miss Dyer gathered her dress, and settled into the supple leather seats. “May we just sit here, and take a moment to pray for Carabella, Mr. Crank?”

“I was just going to suggest the same thing” he closed his eyes, and there was a moment of silence between the two; two products of different States, who had never met. Earnest Crankshaft had driven Nanny to the station to catch her train to Umbrage, and at the same time, pick up the young new hire from Grace—Miss Dyer, who arrived ninety minutes before Nanny’s scheduled train to Bereavement.

Finally, the chauffeur opened his eyes, and spoke “Miss Dyer, welcome to Entitlement; we at the palace are delighted to have you step into our world. I only wish it were not under such troubling circumstances.”

“I cannot believe it” Joi shook her head “One moment we were talking, the next, she lay on the tile aisle—lifeless.”

Crankshaft pulled the choke, gave gas, and the Isotta rumbled to life. Hand on the wheel, he let the engine idle “Carabella Neelepinch lived a full life here in Entitlement—seventy-two years. She was a tough old broad. I shall miss her determination and courage.”

“To think, one moment you can be talking to someone and suddenly they drop dead. I—I am in shock.”

“It is a hard pill to swallow, Miss Dyer, but we all must go some time. Nanny Needlepinch had a good life. She would never have had that life had she not left Terror.” He released the emergency brake, shifted into gear, and the Isotta drove off.

“Nanny Needlepinch was from Terror?”

“Born and raised; came here when she was eighteen.”

“Really?”

“This is unexpected.”

“You did not expect my arrival?”

“Your arrival has been on my calendar for over a week, Miss Dyer; what I mean is, of all days, Carabella Needlepinch passes on the day you arrive.”

“In Grace, we would say: she made her transition. Transition to what?—is the question”

“Nanny Needlepinch has gone to a better place, Miss Dyer; a place without duality, without judgment, where she can just float in space.”

“It’s like her Spirit left behind only skin and bones.”

“Like when a snake loses its skin” he signaled with his left arm, and turned the corner “It then moves on.”

“I got rather emotional back there, Mr. Crank, but then—”

“No mister, just Crank.”

“Crank—then I realized the Truth.”

“And the truth is?”

“The truth is, I am sad for myself, not for Carabella Needlepinch. I know she is in a better place. I just need to believe it.”

“This is the dress rehearsal, Miss Dyer” he stopped for the cemaphore.

“Trying to take the place of a dead woman who was with the family her entire lifetime is a terrible omen under which to enter a new position, Crank.”

“You will have Miss Wohlmut to help you.”

“Miss Wohlmut?”

“Miss Annie, the second governess” he turned onto Contentment Lane, and drove past the blossoming dogwoods.

“This is lovely—oh, smell that aroma” she inhaled “how lovely. Miss Needlepinch told me Miss Annie submitted her resignation last Friday; she is going to be married.”

“I have not seen a ring, Miss Dyer.”

“I may need to take another approach with the heirs.”

Prince Aloneous is going to love you, Miss Dyer.”

“My concern is Princess Princilla. Teenage girls can pose a real challenge. I should know; I am a teenager.”

“You are quite young to take on such a responsible position—in the palace, no lesss.”

“I just turned seventeen.”

“I have a grand niece your age; Sophia is her name.”

“Sophia, it means wisdom.”

He smiled “Yes, yes it does. She outsmarts her parents all the time” he turned into the drive. “Every effort has been made to keep your arrival secret, Miss Dyer” he pulled to the gatehouse, and stopped.

“Why?”

“A pretty young lady like you? There could be a mob.”

The guard saluted, and the gates to Entitlement fanned open before them.

Joi gazed at the ducks on the lawn, and watched chipmunks scamper across the road. “I smell honeysuckle, and—Crank” she pointed—“What is that?”

“That, I believe, is an armadillo, with her pups.”

“They live here on the palace grounds?”

“It looks like it, unless they are visiting.”

Joi tried to smile, as she listened to the gates close behind them.”

“There are over fifteen hundred species living on the palace grounds.”

“Fifteen hundred?”

“That includes insects and birds.”

“I understand why one wouldn’t want to leave the gardens.”

“Nanny Needlepinch left Entitlement only upon occasion, to go to town, except when she joined the royal family on Tour, back in ‘24. I was surprised when she decided to retire in Bereavement—of all places.”

Joi lost her mind in the beauty surrounding her, as Crankshaft drove her to the portico. “I barely got to know Miss Needlepinch—who was she, Crank? All I know is she was born and raised in Terror, and after a liftime in Entitlement, she was excited to go live by the sea, and now—oh Mr. Crank—why did she pass today? I was meant to be there.”

“Life can be snuffed out at any moment, without warning, Miss Dyer. In the greater scheme of things, we are no more than insects. Our fate is not much different from that of the ant, crawling in the dirt at the mercy of the Great Spirit.”

“Miss Dyer, I wish you to get off to a good start with Her Majesty.”

“I do feel I need to get this royal thing right. I have never been around royalty.”

“If you want to begin your relationship on Her Majesty’s good side, I would avoid speaking contractions.”

“Yes, Miss Needlepinch told me about Her Majesty’s quirk with contractions. Most peculiar. Thank you, Crank, I must make a point to remember that.”

☆☆☆

The chauffeur stopped under the colonnaded portico, and pulled the safety brake. “Here comes Abel Handsforth to open your door. Handsforth is our first footman—try not to let him sweep you off your feet, Miss Dyer.”

“Nanny was right.”

“Right about what?”

“Nothing, I’m—I mean I am just thinking out loud” Miss Needlepinch told me the first footman was—eye candy—as she called him. She was right.”

Crankshaft pushed a button, the boot popped open.”

“Take my advice, Miss Dyer; professional and personal relationships seldom mix well.”

Handsforth opened the door “Welcome to Entitlement” he said, and extended his hand “We are happy to have you with us.”

“Thank you, I am happy to be had here.”

“My name is Handsforth, Abel Handsforth. If there is ever anything you need, please, do not hesitate to call on me. A second footman pulled the young governess’s suitcase and hatbox out of the boot, and carried them inside, to the ladies’ wardrobe, to the right—because women are always right.

HOME