Olivia the First


by Patrick Roos

Life was predetermined for Olivia with very few options and no freedom. Being a princess wasn’t all scones and pony rides. There were countless expectations and obligations attached to the tiara. Even her friends were chosen by the chancellor. As the eldest girl of a family in desperate want of sons, she strove for approval under the pretext of her gender. Olivia never had the luxury of being the golden-haired darling of the ultimate power couple.
Every moment of every day she was surrounded by sycophants and wannabes. The only real choice allowed to her was between the blue and yellow gowns. Groomed and educated as the pawn to unite kingdoms of greedy old men she was the flaxen-haired advertisement for inbreeding. In her scarce private thoughts, she understood she was a supporting character in someone else’s legend.
One sunny day, she slipped away for a solitary walk deep into the forest. Olivia ached for the magnificent smell of nature. In a small clearing, she rested, just for a moment. When she awoke, she stood alone and dirty, deep in a cave, not able to remember how she arrived in this tenuous position. Shivering in fear the odiferous breath scorches her dress and singes her hair. Restricted by costume and custom, she is programmed to wait for some unknown “hero” to save her from this mythical creature. Surely doomed she noticed the glint of a blade just peeking through a pile of bones a few feet from where she hid. The realization struck Olivia that the Dragon was merely a metaphor for her own life. She realized there was only one that could defeat the beast.
Quickly the options were weighed and she knew to wait was to remain a bit player, which was its own death. The resolution was whispered quieter than a breath, “I choose to live and die as my own champion”, and she silently edged to the weapon.
The dainty hand wrapped around the silver hilt and the skeletal claw released it willingly. The cold metal confirmed the decision lending strength to her arm. Olivia sucked in what might be her last deep breath, kicked off her jeweled slippers and stood tall on her own two feet. In absolute determination, she turned and faced the dragon eye to eye. “It’s show time!”