It’s the “Old Notebooks” series, where I read back through the fantasy stories I wrote as a kid and mock myself mercilessly in order to mitigate my mortification!
PREVIOUSLY IN THE “SCRIGGLY” NOTEBOOK: While sick in bed (in an “infirmary chariot,” whatever that is) on her way to the temple of the Evil Bad Atlantian God, Jordan recorded for us the story of how she took a horse and rode off into the flooding city to save little Isabel, and then got lost and had to be saved by the I.S.P., and now all of them are sick (including the horse). Also apparently she’s lost the will to live. Or maybe just the will to write. It was a little unclear. But since Little Me kinda cornered myself by choosing to tell this story through Jordan’s diary, Jordan’s gonna have to keep on writing whether she wants to or not. Sucks for her! Let’s see what happens next.
September 5, 10,223 B.C. – Tuesday
Temple City, Cetirul Island
Oh hey look, a time skip! We just went from August 20 to September 5! I think that’s the biggest date-jump we’ve had so far.
Heh. Jordan’s diary is starting to look a little more like one of mine now.
I’m feeling well enough to write. Isabel is much better but still very weak.
AlexPrince Alex is completely healthy. I’m almost there.
Bad news since my last entry: Chloe died. I felt horrible, since I was the one who made her get sick.
Alex AlexPrince Alex told me it was okay, but it made me feel worse.
I just want to make it clear: that second cross-out of “Alex” was something Little Me did deliberately. Like, at first I wrote just “Alex” on accident, and then scribbled it out. And then I thought, “No, wait, that’s a good idea,” rewrote his name again, and then crossed it out on purpose this time. Like it’s supposed to be Jordan crossing it out, not me… if that makes sense.
LITTLE ME: “Yeah, see! Because she instinctively wants to call him by just his name, but remembered that he’s the prin—”
LITTLE ME: “See, it’s ’cause she feels a connection with hi—”
LITTLE ME: “But she knows they can’t be together because she’s just a peasa—”
ME: “Look, if I give you a cookie, will you stop trying to explain your feeble attempts at relationship development?”
LITTLE ME: “It’s not feeble, it’s clev—!”
ME: *shoves cookie in Little Me’s mouth*
He is so—I don’t know. It’s hard to describe Prince Alex.
Why? Because he’s so generic and uninteresting that he’s basically like the Silence from Doctor Who, where you forget what he looks like as soon as you look away? Yeah, I could see how that might make him hard to describe.
He’s so good-hearted.
Oh hey look, Jordan’s ripping off Ella Enchanted again:
[Char’s] face was close to mine… “You needn’t be Ella if you don’t want to be,” he said softly.
He was so good.
Yes, I know for a fact that I was thinking of this exact line when I wrote this. Of course, in Ella Enchanted it carried a lot more weight, since Gail Carson Levine actually showed us Prince Char’s goodness all throughout the book.1 Whereas here… what has the I.S.P. done that makes him stand out as any more “good-hearted” than anyone else? Congratulating Jordan on not letting a puppy get squished? Liking the same horse as her? Not letting her and Isabel die out in the flooding city?… Has he even done anything else? I can’t think of anything. But all that stuff seems pretty ordinary. So why does he stand out to her so much? Just because he’s the prince? Because he’s hot? We just have to take Jordan’s word for it that he’s a really nice guy. And that’s not good writing.
(I really hope he can’t read Naryphn! It would be so embarrassing if he ever read this.)
AHA! So she does suspect that the I.S.P. might read her diary! Theory confirmed.
So, I’ve decided that Jordan is actually smarter than she seems, and she knows the I.S.P. can read Naryphn. (Because, duh-doi! he’s the prince! And the Naryphn people are clearly a fairly large percentage of the population. Of course he’d be taught to speak and read Naryphn!) And she’s just playing dumb here, like, “Oh gee, I surely do hope Prince Alex never reads this, tee hee hee“—all the while knowing full well that he can and will read it. And because she knows that, she’s putting in all this stuff about thinking he’s totally dreamy in order to throw him off the scent of her and Robert’s secret love.
YES, I’M STILL ROOTING FOR #JORBERT, YOU CAN’T STOP ME!!!
I mean, can’t you buy it? I can. It seems like she’s even struggling to come up with something good to say about him. “Oh, yeah Diary, Prince Alex is amazing! I mean, y’know, he’s got the… and he does that… and… y’know? Gosh, he’s just so amazing I can’t even describe it!”
On a more serious note (wait, who am I kidding? I’m totally serious about #Jorbert), let’s pretend for a moment that we can take everything Jordan says at face value, and that she really does have a crush on the I.S.P.: she doesn’t seem all that bothered by the idea that Prince Alex might read her diary. In fact, she seems to expect that he’s going to try, since she hopes he can’t read Naryphn! And this is just… an okay thing for him to do, in her mind?
Hey, little head’s up, Jordan: if you suspect a guy might sneak a peak into your diary, then he’s probably not dating material.
All I know is, Robert sure as heck wouldn’t read her diary. He’s a mensch. #JORBERT 4EVA!!!
I’m teaching Isabel to draw again. I’m also teaching to read, write, and speak Naryphn. I just hope she never reads this diary. I’ll have to keep it well hidden. Unfortunately, Ana can’t continue our singing lessons as long as our throats are sore.
I swear, these people have more lessons than high schoolers.
September 8, 10,223 B.C. – Friday
Temple City, Cetirul Island
We’ve packing up to go back to Atlantis City. The priests and everyone have been begging Cetirul to stop the rain and
makgiving him live sacrifices to please him.
Okay, not that they aren’t both horrible, but it would be nice if Jordan at least would tell us whether or not these were human or animal sacrifices. I’d like to know exactly how disturbed I should be by this. Are we talking Old Testament, Yahweh-style sacrifices of goats and pigeons, or more of a Temple of Doom/Road to El Dorado kind of thing?
The rain stopped on Wednesday, but we’ve been waiting for the water to recede. We should be leaving on Sunday. Then Isabel and I will be strong enough to travel.
OK, I’m sorry. I’m a little confused again. So is the entire population of the city staying here on Cetirul Island? Because I was kinda led to believe that this was where all the evacuees went. Which, considering the freaking enormous caravan of servants we saw at the beginning of this story… plus the other, presumably equally enormous groups of servants who came with Ms. Princess and the H.O.V…. plus all the servants who were already there at the palace (if there were any)… plus the royal family and their five bjillion kids… PLUS all their cousins and uncles and stuff who probably also live in the palace… PLUS all their courtiers and dukes and earls and bishops and whoever else hangs out with them in the palace… PLUS! all their soldiers and knights or whatever…
I mean, that’s a lot of people. Several hundred, at least. And that’s just the people in the palace. What about the citizens of the city? Are they all here too?
How does Cetirul Island accommodate this sudden influx of evacuees?
Also, surely if the flooding was this bad in Atlantis City, there were other cities that were affected as well, right? Where did all their citizens flee to?
And, uh… are all the hundreds of people from the palace, including the royal family, really just waiting around for Jordan and Isabel to recover before they return home? Really? Hundreds of people waiting, including the royal family… just for a couple of stable girls?
That’s kinda what it sounds like to me. But that seems totally ridiculous. So I’m confused.
Oh, and side note: Little Me has still not made any attempt to explain or even acknowledge five year-old Isabel’s mysterious lack of parents. Just thought I should point that out.
Today Prince Alex gave me a present. I’m not sure why.
“It’s probably because he thinks I’m super unattractive and pathetic, Diary. He feels sorry for me, so he got me a present. Yeah, that has to be it. I can’t think of any other possible explanations.”
He said I deserved it because I was brave enough to save Isabel. I feel like I don’t deserve it at all, especially since poor Chloe died.
The gift was a puppy just like the one I rescued the day I met
AlexPrince Alex(I keep forgetting to write “Prince”).
It’s a border collie female pup, probably only a few months old. She’s so sweet and loving. I’ve named her Chloe, after the horse.
Well, that’s cool, Prince Alex. Puppies are nice. Good job. But you know, in Ella Enchanted, Prince Char got Ella a CENTAUR COLT as a present. Just, uh… just saying. Not that I’m comparing you two, or anything. (PSST I totally am.)
Also, I really don’t think border collies existed back in 10,223 B.C. Of course, I’m no expert on dog breeds, but I feel pretty confident about this. But Little Me wouldn’t have known that. So I’ll let this one slide. It’s not nearly as bad as all the out-of-place names, anyway. Like freaking “Chloe.”
Ana will start the singing lessons again tomorrow. I’m going to ask her if she’s Naryphn or not. If she is I’ll have to hide this book very well to keep her from reading it.
I must admit, I’m starting to wonder if maybe no one’s reading Jordan’s diary after all, and she’s just overly paranoid. Because she seems to suspect that everyone is just itching to read her diary the first chance they get. “All these strangers around me in this caravan? Clearly trying to get a peek. My five year-old friend who probably can’t read at all, much less in my language? Totally gonna read all my secrets. My 30 year-old friend who may possibly speak my language? Better hide it or else she won’t be able to resist! And Prince Alex…”—Well, okay, she might have a point with Prince Alex.
But seriously, Jordan, trust me—I doubt all your friends want to read your diary that bad. Or at all. You’re not that interesting.
Robert is missing. I wonder where he is.
ROOOBBBBEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRTTTTT!!!!!! 😦 😦 😦
Little Me, I swear to Grod, if you’ve done anything to Hot Robert, I will hop into my TARDIS and fly back to the year 2001 and smack you so hard that the pain of my slap will endure even to the present!
… Wait. I feel like that plan might backfire somehow.
1.↩ Seriously, Levine almost did too good a job with Prince Char’s character. Good Lord, did I have a crush on Char when I was kid. I still kinda do, actually. You younguns today can keep your creepy, manipulative, overprotective vampire boyfriends. I’ll stick with the cute curly-haired guy who laughs at Ella’s dumb jokes and slides down stair banisters with her and whose crowning moment of awesome features him telling the girl he loves—whose whole life has been one long futile struggle to assert her own free will—that she can be whoever she chooses to be. ❤ ❤ ❤
Sorry to gush, but… *sigh* Also, he’s played by Hugh Dancy in the movie. Which was a bleh movie. But Hugh Dancy is ridiculously adorable. So here’s a gif of him hopping like a dork, because everyone needs this in their life.