The prince’s arms still held their ghostly shape. In her absence, the room was empty. A thousand eyes glared upon him, but the only feeling in the room was one of confusion. One minute, dancing. The girl was a beauty in ice blue. The next, the prince was alone on the floor. No one had even seen her leave–and that was the most startling part.

She had vanished like smoke, her blue dress simmering until she was translucent, and her grasp in his raised hand grew fainter, until he squeezed and his fingernails bit into his own palm.

The prince, defeated, dropped his pose. The crowds parted for him as he walked out the door; conversation rose in his wake, a swollen chatter that emoted confusion. The hallway echoed his footsteps, and it appeared to the prince as if the very walls were mocking him. At the stairs, he made it halfway down before the realization struck: he hadn’t even gotten her name.


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