Thursday, August 10, 2006

" A PRINCESS TALE " Part Eight

The Neder Prince returned home without incident, arriving one week before the Princess` wedding. He had just enough time to complete the preparations for his revenge.

On the day of the celebration, Johann arrived at the Cathedral with his father the Neder King. The Nederland was of such importance that their entourage was given the prized first pew to view the wedding. Moreover, as an attempt to assuage any ill feelings over Johann`s rejection as the Princess` suitor, the Neder Prince had been selected by the Princess` father to be best man.

After seeing his father seated, Johann joined the wedding party in the waiting rooms at the entrance to the Cathedral. Siegfried and his ushers were gathered in the smaller room to the right and Johann approached the groom.

“Good morning Siegfried. What a perfect day for your wedding. I just want you to know that I have no hard feelings towards this wedding. You have won the Princess` heart fairly and it is my great pleasure to serve as your best man.”

“Thank you, Johann” replied Siegfried. “Your father is the King`s most trusted friend and I`m proud to have you bear witness to our wedding.” Siegfried extended his hand in greeting and Johann shook it as the Princess` father entered the room.

Taking advantage of the opportunity, Johann spoke, “Since the Princess is already wearing the golden ring, my opportunity to serve you as best man is limited. Please, Siegfried. At least let me carry your helmet Tarnhelm to the altar. I pledge to guard it with my life.”

Siegfried seemed undecided but under the mounting marital pressures he gave Tarnhelm to the Neder Prince before turning to greet the King. Johann smiled within himself, “With Tarnhelm, my plan is complete and only awaits the moment!”

As the King left the room the Cathedral`s bells began pealing, announcing the wedding procession. The ushers lined up and began their walk down the aisle, Siegfried being preceded by Johann carrying the magical helmet Tarnhelm.

As they waited at the altar the bells silenced and an orchestra in the balcony began playing a wedding march. The Princess` attendants strolled down the aisle, strewing jasmine flowers in memory of Elaina`s first meeting with Siegfried.

The Princess arrived at the altar on the arm of her father who placed her hand in Siegfried`s. Wearing a pure white gown, simple in its sophistication, Elaina wore only three adornments; her Princess crown, her mother`s pearl necklace and earrings, and the golden ring. She carried a small bouquet of jasmine, which she gave to her maid of honor who was standing at her side. Elaina and Siegfried bowed to each other and turned to face the Cardinal standing in front of the altar, the maid of honor and best man at their sides.