If you heard the first part, you’ll know that Princess Talia has woken up somewhat confused. She is a student at an ancient college, but she’s not quite sure how she got there. In this episode we will find out how she fits into her new surroundings.
Ancient rules governed the conversation over dinner at Westerly College. For instance, it was forbidden to discuss the paintings on the wall or women who were not present. At least one of those diktats was being thoroughly broken that night, for the gossip on all the Freshers’ lips was of the princess who slept through tutorials and who called her fellow undergraduates ‘peasants’.
The Rector of the college stood up at the High Table and declared the Latin grace:
And just as the first course of watery soup was being served, a dark beautiful woman clad in a long scholar’s gown strode into the hall. On her chest she wore a star glittering with diamonds. Nobody was in doubt about who she was. She headed for the High Table, but was directed by one of the scouts, a servant who looked as old as the college, to sit with the other undergraduates.
She picked up a bent, stainless steel spoon and stared at it with disdain. When she tried the soup she wrinkled her nose with disgust.
“This is not fit for the pigs,” she declared.
There was many a sly grin, and even a chuckle around the hall.
Sally was seated at the other end of the table from Talia. A Law student asked her:
“You do Classics with the princess don’t you? Is she as snooty as she seems?”
“Not really,” said Sally. “I think she’s just lost. She’s never had to mix with us commoners, I expect.”
But there were few people present who took so charitable a view of the princess. “Who does she think she’s impressing with her diamonds?” was a typical comment among the girls. And as for the boys, most were far too shy to talk to such a stunning beauty, let alone to a princess.
But Basil, who was seated opposite Her Royal Highness, or HRH as they had already started to call her behind her back, was not afraid to speak to Talia. After all, he had already woken her with a kiss.
“Princess,” he said, “are you feeling less sleepy now?”
Princess Talia fixed him with her blue gaze.
“Is that your idea of a joke?” she asked.
“No, it’s a polite question.”
“Good, because I do not find it funny,” she replied. And then she tried another spoonful of soup and spluttered it back into the bowl.
She muttered: “Will somebody please cut off the wretched cook’s head?” and she left the table, grabbing a piece of bread as she went.
At about three in the morning, harp music drifted into Sally’s consciousness. Next door, Talia began to sing.. sweetly and sadly. It was hard to make out the words, as they sounded like they were in old English, but she did catch ‘alas’ and ‘woe’.
Sally gently knocked on the princess’s door, and heard the response from within:
“You may enter.”
“The song is sad this time,” said Sally, as she came into the richly furnished room which was lit by a candelabra of scented wax tapers. She was sure that candles must be an illegal fire risk. Even toasters were banned.
“That is because I am sad,” replied the princess, now resting her head against her harp.
“Will you tell me why?” asked Sally.
“I miss my parents.”
“Where are they?”
“Oh I see. I’m sorry,” said Sally. And she asked if the princess wanted to tell her more about it.
“It is not a secret,” said Talia. “I looked it up in the Library. They died of the sleeping sickness. And I myself have slept for around a thousand years. Now, a strange to say, I am not tired, and so I sit and play music. I hope that I am not disturbing you.”
But Sally did feel disturbed. Spookily disturbed. She shivered: “That’s not funny,” she said. “You shouldn’t joke about your parents being dead.”
“It is no joke,” said the princess. “I read it in a story.”
And when Sally went back to her room, she could not sleep. Not because of the music, but because she could not forget the creepy conversation. Next time somebody asked her what Princess Talia was really like, she replied: “Strange.”
Basil was Talia’s tutorial partner. He said that she wrote her essays in a beautiful manuscript hand, and when their tutor asked her a question, she replied the first time in Ancient Greek, before switching to Latin and finally English.
“PJ is in love with her,” he joked. PJ was their tutor, and although he was not in love with her, he was in awe of his new scholar’s beauty and brilliance. In fact, he hardly paid any attention to Basil during the tutorial. Afterwards, when Basil asked her how she had learned to speak Latin and Ancient Greek fluently, she shrugged her shoulders and said: “Why? I have the gift of languages. I read all of Homer when I was eight years old.”
At the end of the first week of term, Sally received a visit in her room from her royal neighbour. Talia’s gaze passed over the unmade bed with an old teddy lying on the pillow, the headphones, the illegal toaster, the lipstick stained teacups, the books piled on the floor, and the clothes lingering in heaps.
“I see your scout has not been to clean up,” she commented. And Sally explained that she came later in the morning, to allow her to sleep in until ten o’clock.
“I have a letter from my godmother,” went on the princess. “She says I must use this card and a secret code to obtain money. Do you understand this thing?” and she showed her a black plastic bank card.
“Sure,” said Sally. “You stick it in the hole in the wall.” And when Talia looked baffled, she offered to come with her to the bank and show her how to use it.
As they stepped out of the college, a bicycle shot by.
“Woh!” said Talia, quite alarmed.
“I know. They aren’t supposed to ride on this street,” said Sally. “Look, a policeman is stopping him.” The narrow street was busy, as always, with people walking up and down, their footsteps and conversations echoing around the ancient stones. At the end they turned onto the shopping street with its rumbling of traffic. Talia tugged on Sally’s sleeve.
“I can’t go on,” she said. “This quest is too frightening for me,” and she turned back to the college. Sally wondered if the princess was suffering from something like agoraphobia.
Later in the Junior Common Room, a small group of students were discussing the subject of Princess Talia, not for the first time, while lounging with cups of cocoa.
“She’s just putting on an act to seek attention,” said Jennie, who was a scraggy English Lit. student. Matt, on whose shoulder Jennie was resting her head, asked: “She’s princess of where did you say?” But nobody knew where Talia was from. Jennie suggested: “In all probability she’s from Essex.”
They did not realise that Princess Talia was in the room and had overheard their conversation.
“No, I am not from Essex,” she said as she loomed over them, richly dressed and bejewelled as usual. “I am from Wessex.”
“Oh you’re a Wessex girl,” said Matt.
“I would thank you not to be so rude to your betters,” replied the princess. “And do not gossip about me, if you do not wish your tongue to be cut out.”
“Is she for real?” asked Jennie when Talia was gone.
“I’m afraid she is,” said Matt.
Princess Talia needed money to buy food, because she couldn’t stand the stuff they served up in the hall, but she was still terrified of stepping outside onto the street. Finally, she resolved her dilemma by entrusting her black bank card and her secret number to Sally, who withdrew £50 from the machine, and then visited the covered market to buy walnut bread, pheasant pâté, Roquefort cheese, fresh plums, apricots, and other delicacies. She presented the basket of food, and the remaining money, in the form of a handful of coins and some smoothly rolled banknotes, to Talia. The princess examined the notes with great curiosity.
“This parchment is valuable?” she asked. “Are you sure?”
“Why yes,” said Sally. “It’s a twenty pound note.”
“And who is this?” asked the princess, pointing to the portrait of a lady on the note.
“Why the Queen.”
“I must meet her,” said Talia with determination. “Will you arrange it for me, Sally?” Her eyes were full of such intensity that she seemed almost crazy. Sally, quite bemused, replied: “Sure I’ll just text Lizzy right now.”
She too was now wondering if Talia was ‘for real’ and when the next day Talia met her in the quad and demanded to know if the Queen had agreed to meet her, Sally couldn’t help exclaiming that her friend must be off her head if she really thought that she could fix a tête-à-tête with the monarch. Talia flew into a rage and said: “Don’t speak to me in that tone as if I am some sort of mad woman! It’s quite clear that I can’t rely on you to do the smallest thing for me. I’ll ask somebody efficient to make this arrangement. In fact, I’ll ask my godmother, even though I only do that as a last resort, but this is a last resort!”
Sally was quite shaken by this outburst. If it wasn’t obvious that the princess was off her head, she would have been more angry with her. Anyway, it made an amusing story over dinner when she told Jennie and Matt that Talia expected to see the Queen.
The following Friday, a sleek black car drew up into the back quad and a smart man in a suit stepped out and went to fetch Talia from her room. The limousine brought her back the following afternoon.
“I met your Queen,” said Talia when she saw Sally, “but I didn’t think much of her. Oh she was perfectly polite, but she didn’t seem to know who I was, and she couldn’t help me one little bit. It was a waste of time. But at least I’m not afraid of automobiles anymore. In fact, now I have been inside one, I see that they are most convenient, and far better than a horse in every respect. I shall ask my godmother to make one available for me at all times.”
And after that, there was always a black car waiting in the quad for Princess Talia. She hardly ever used it, and the drivers who worked in shifts, either slept on the back seat or took walks around the college. The students thought they were quite sinister. They never took their jackets off, and Basil reckoned that they packed guns in holsters under their arms.
The black cars and the body guards were pretty convincing, even to the most sceptical scholars. Nobody in college now doubted that Princess Talia was ‘for real’ but who she really was, remained a mystery.
And that was the second episode in our new series, ‘Awaking Beauty’.
We’ll be following Princess Talia through her time as a student at Westerly College, and we’ll find out if the real princess manages to adjust to the real world.
salam,it was great! I really enjoy it and I’m badly waiting for the next episode!
April 20, 2010
i love these stories. but i like natasha better than elizabeth. her accent is a little odd. no offense elizabeth but i think natasha has a better voice.
April 22, 2010
Dear John, everyone has their own tastes. Elizabeth is very skilled but in a different way from Natasha. You will be hearing from Natasha soon if all goes to plan. Then we will have three readers. I think these stories really suit Elizabeth. She was at Oxford herself not long ago ! You are getting the real deal here.
I LIKE THE STORY .THANKS FOR PROVIDING US NICE STORIES.
May 9, 2010
what does agoraphobia and scraggy mean?
oh i also like the story. Talia is so stuck up and unbearable i would hang myself if i had to go to school with her!
May 9, 2010
Agoraphobia is a fear of open spaces or just going outside. Scraggy means sort of untidy and badly kept. Talia is stuck up, but she has a nicer side too, I hope. I’m sorry that the next couple of episodes are going to have a slight delay. Glad you like the story !
is natasha gone or what
thanks for the stories.
fancy meeting the queen
May 15, 2010
Well, I for one quite like Elizabeth’s voice as well as Natasha’s!
May 20, 2010
it is SOO cool
May 21, 2010
it is SOOOO cool ,fantastic
i can’t wait for the next part
is there a competion for for kids because
i have a daghter who is so gifted at writing stories
if there is one is it free
your stories are fantastic
when you were a child were you amazing at writing stories where did you get the idea from
can you tell me how you make all the stories SOOO GOOD
May 21, 2010
I HATE IT IT IS SOO OLD FASHINED
May 21, 2010
I like this storie. It has an eerie feeling in it. =)
May 24, 2010
My hat off to you for being able to re-capture life’s complexities in such a creative way. Perhaps if the tutor had been familiar with Slavic too, a fire-breathing dragon would have been all but a mare fantasy in ones mind. I commend you on your nearly 4 years of hard work and the 1,919 miles you have traveled to reach this very point. I look forward to what lie ahead.
May 28, 2010
Dear CrazyIvan, Thank you so much. The Unpopular Beauty is a difficult one to write. The university setting is more grown-up than that of our usual stories, and we have to try and make it interesting to children and more grown-up listeners too. It’s a balance to strike. We do have plans for a different series that will incorporate quite a lot of Slavic myths, but it’s still some way off.
i love it im addicted to the website now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
March 27, 2012
I love these stories! Listening to them while I do chores helps make it a plesant experience. Also, I love Elizabeth’s voice!!
Thank you for offering such a fantastic, high quality, free service. May God bless you in the work you do. 🙂
May 30, 2012
What does “for real”mean?
June 25, 2012
Dear, Elizabeth and Biertie
I think this story is amazing. Will you wright about more prinncess stories like this? please do .
August 29, 2012
I think that for real means it is real
October 26, 2012
November 15, 2012
Elizabeth, or bertie, how old is talia?
I love katie storys! —
January 21, 2013
Dear “I Love Katie Stories”, I think Talia is at least 1000 years old ! But without sleeping being taken into the account, the main characters in the story have just started University and are about 17 or 18 years old.
I love this website but who wrote this story can you get this well the whole story chapter 1-…. In the App Store.
January 11, 2014
I love this story!! I have known these stories for 4 years! I love these stories and I think its great to make a website like this! It also is a big help at bedtime. I love to lesion to these stories at night and it helps me go to sleep every night! Elizibeth, Natasha, and Bertie all have a great talent. You guys r awesome!
Mustache minecrafter —
January 14, 2014
this is pruney
March 12, 2014
Elizabeth´s voice kind of reminds me of Brave. (I LOVE BRAVE)
By the way, this story is very interesting.
May 11, 2014
hi your stories are really awesomely awesome.
June 2, 2014
September 23, 2014
September 23, 2014
Nice story. But I think that Gladys is better
Kavisha koo koo —
October 1, 2014
I mean 😛
Kavisha koo koo —
October 1, 2014
I like this story but I think the 1st one was better. this series is so good I am using it for my school reading log. I have to read 20 minutes per day. Bertie didn’t really write it did he?
October 2, 2014
I love these kind of stories I have only listened to two of them but I already love them
By the way I’m country kids just saying
I’m the older sis
Love story nory
Citten Kat ^.^ —
October 5, 2014
I love these stories!
October 7, 2014
I LOVE THIS STORY IT’S GRATE
October 17, 2014
Everyone,quit insulting Elizabeth’s accent.How would you like it if you worked to say the story and then 20 people said that your accent is weird:(
Wonder Woman —
November 16, 2014
Feeling spiffy —
November 23, 2014
loved it i am going to keep listening to these chapters because i love them and well they are putting me in suspense
January 14, 2015
I really think monarchy is unfair. For example, Talia thought she was better than everyone else because she is royal, but really she is just as human as everybody else and should be treated the same. If I was Sally I would tell Talia that she is a snob.
BTW whoever wrote this: you did a fabtabulous job
March 7, 2015
Best story I have ever heard,made my children enjoy it.
July 13, 2015
September 11, 2015
I Love it
September 20, 2015
I like it.
September 26, 2015
November 19, 2015
Thank you for reading to us you are a good narratore thank so far it is a good story
December 3, 2015
January 21, 2016
I ❤️❤️❤️ Story nory I love that story
February 1, 2016
November 5, 2016
February 10, 2016
Princess talia has problems.
kristen Anderson —
February 21, 2016
great story,I love Elizabeths acent it makes it sound spooky:)
March 7, 2016
This is my fav series on Storynory! I’ve always wondered what happened to Sleeping Beauty when she woke up 100 years later! I;m on chapter eight!
June 6, 2016
I also like 1001 nights, have you made any stories from 1001 nights?
Lol I can’t belive she still has a godmother after 1,000 years of sleep!
August 31, 2016
i wonder if the godmother slept too ?
September 14, 2016
I thought Talia would be kind and generous, and well…..non-snobbish. But oh well. I don’t want to make too much of a fuss. And also, why didn’t her prince awaken her 100 years after she fell asleep if you get what I mean?
it good to read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
November 19, 2016
this is amazing
December 9, 2016
I like the story and it was a nice story
January 18, 2017
this story is so cool you should make a second part to this story
February 7, 2017
February 8, 2017
nice stories and CANT WAIT FOR THE NEXT EPISODE (can you give us a clue?)
March 31, 2017
Hello Victoria, This is one of my favourites too as it is set in The beautiful city of Oxford. All of the episodes are here. Chapter 3 is called The Polite Princess which involves a football match. Here you go..