It was another one of my third person limited perspective dreams that I wasn't in. It had a voiceover narration that was in the first person, though, from the young woman who was the main character in the story.
The story was set in a sort of medieval kingdom that seemed to be in a cross between medieval India and Al-Andalus. The main character had been the childhood sweetheart of a prince who grew up to be king (although I'm not sure if that was his title, I don't think it was explicitly stated); it was very clear they hadn't been lovers, it had just been a very sweet, innocent thing when they were young. Anyway, he ended up betrothed to a foreign princess, as princes often do, and she was given a place as this princess' lady-in-waiting, and eventually was married to this man who was somewhat high up in the princess' household, although I don't exactly recall what his position was. It didn't seem like he was her choice, and he had a mistress whom he obviously favored, but it didn't seem like she particularly objected to him, either and it seemed like they had a decent relationship in spite of that.
Anyway, that was all backstory. The actual story opened on the day of the king's wedding to this princess - he had just reached majority and been instated and could now get married. The narrator was sitting at a large dressing-room mirror, doing her hair for the ceremony, and her husband walked in. While they were conversing, out of the corner of her eye, she saw him draw a knife, and sensing that he's intending to kill her, she basically decided to try to catch him off-guard, turned around and gave him a hug and kiss and pretty much cajoled him into going to bed with her-- at which point she got him to drink some drugged wine, he fell asleep, and she bound him up and snuck out of the room. On parting, he mumbles something about his mistress in his sleep and she assumes that he decided to kill her so he could marry his mistress. There's this point in the narration where she said, "and at that moment, I knew I would never want to be in a man's arms again."
So, she was freaked out and didn't know what the heck was going on, and both the king and his bride-to-be were super preoccupied because they were about to get married. The wedding was about to take place, and she figured that being at the wedding was probably the safest place she could be, what with the crowd, so she hustled on down and took her place.
Pretty much the minute the ceremony was finished, all hell broke loose, and it turned out that the plan had always been to kill the king and those closest to him, and put the princess, who was now the Queen, on the throne. The king was injured, but the narrator remembered this time when they were children when they hid inside a hollow statue that was in the hall where the wedding was taking place, so she somehow dragged him into it, and hid with the unconscious king until the ruckus died down and she heard someone say that they thought the king had escaped.
She risked leaving the king inside the statue just long enough to gather some things, and went back to her room, where her husband was still tied up but now awake. She snatched his knife, which was on the floor, out of his reach, undid his gag, and pretty much demanded he tell her what was going on. It turned out that he actually hadn't been carrying on with a mistress-- the "mistress" was the woman orchestrating the whole coup. She gathered up the things she thought she would need, including some of her husband's clothing for the king, and then, with very shaking hands, slit her husband's throat.
She got back to the king safely, and inside the rather dim statue, cut her hair and dressed herself as a boy, and then does pretty much everything she can think of to make the king not look like himself. By now, he's started to come to, and sort of freaked out that a strange boy was shaving his beard. Once he was awake, she explained what had happened, and he was just very quiet for a long time, before letting her go back to work disguising them.
Then they escaped the castle, which had clearly been completely taken over by the queen's people, and found a goat running around in the completely overturned kitchens, which they put on a lead, and pretended to be taking the goat to market, or something. There was this point where they mused over whether the goat might have been meant to be part of the wedding feast. Anyway, goat on a string. They got out of the castle and headed for a wooded area, again, to some caves that they had played in as children. I don't have a very good sense of how much time had passed, but one night, they were sitting in their cave hiding out and he leaned over and kissed her, and the narration said, "Remember the bit where I said I would never want to be in a man's arms again? I should add, 'until now.'"
I woke up shortly after that, so that's pretty much the end point.
In waking news, yesterday was AWESOME. I went over to Rina's house to color a cartoon for her, and she paid me in dinner. So usually when I go over, I pack up my knapsack with liquor and other delectable things (like sometimes sorbets or whatnot) and bring them over and mix drinks. But I didn't because we were going to dinner and figured Rina would want to get the coloring done and just get out the door, and then I got there, and Rina asks if I want a drink. My only regret is that I didn't bring over some of the pickled cherries and my bottle of Root. But Brendan has these bottles of Royal Rose syrups, which are phenom, and some wormwood bitters I hadn't tried, so I played around with those, and then went up and did some coloring, and then we walked a few blocks to this new restaurant in our neighborhood called SALT & FAT. Yes, that is the name.
This place was seriously the best meal I have had in my neighborhood. The only problem is they don't have a bar, although they have a great spot for one should they wish to remedy this (they should). First off, they give you pork fat cooked popcorn as soon as you walk in, and, um. Unlimited little bags of hot pork fat popcorn. Rina and I shared a bunch of small plates; we had scallops and meatballs and little porkbelly BLT Beijing kao ya style buns, and omg oxtail. Seriously good oxtail with seriously good roasted mushrooms. And a couple of beers, and we chatted a while about writing and stuff and oh my god that oxtail. So we are definitely going to be going back there. If they had a bar, I don't know if the rest of you would hear from me ever again. I need to go back with my camera and do a proper review.
Oh, also: I wrote this excellent post about ice cream and dinosaurs night before last but a couple people said it didn't show up on their flist. So I'm posting a link: ice cream and dinosaurs. It also has my friend Steve's excellent old timey folksy band playing Folsom Prison Blues.