I had to write my version of Utopia for my humanities english class. However, I find myself boring and created a new me: a me that lives in the 16th century, who, unfortunately is bethrothed to an Austrian Prince.

Sine, said: seen-aye

I hope you enjoy. Please review. It's immensley encouraging. Gracias. -Abarraine

The rain cascaded down the side of the carriage and streamed across the glass window. The trees swayed ominously in the fierce wind, as though beckoning the mountains to come nearer. All living animals were nowhere to be found, heads hunched in burrows nestled along side their loved ones. Thunder crackled in the distance finding its part in the mournful atmosphere.

Sighing softly and leaning my pale forehead against the glass, I could only hope that our cavalcade would suddenly be attacked by hungry barbarians so I wouldn't have to go through with this heartless betrothal. Where were the horrific happenings that took place in everyday fiction? The giant, evil trolls bashing my innocent carriage procession. Evil sorcerers wielding their wands and casting abominable spells on my poor, lonely soul; my life being uprooted and thrown into a different century all together.

Where was the evil Prussian general who was looking high and low for evidence of an alliance between Corinthia in Austria and Veneto, my Italian state. He was supposed to take us by force, using cannonballs, take me prisoner, send a ransom to my new husband... then laugh evilly as if he owned the entire empire. Where was he? I'd take anything at this moment, perhaps a lightning bolt would explode from the sky, aimed straight for my body in this decrepit carriage. Or even better yet, out there in that ghostly forest is my prince, not of Corinthia – for I have no inclination as of who he is or even if he's near my young age. No, a prince of strength and cunning of valor and honor. Oh heavens, one of immense beauty that I feel ill at his miraculous sight...

No, I dream far too much. Mother says I must give up my fickle ways, leave the dreaming to those of less moral status, at that point I always roll my eyes. My mother, bless her, has no concept of what a real person is. Dare I say Mother was raised to believe herself better than even her cousins, who I might add, are further from the throne than we are. No, Mother has a naïve façade she puts up when she knows people are listening to her, but when alone, she could have been an evil genius' accomplice, being a woman of course, that'd be her highest status.

Looking at my life as a whole, I see something I really should be proud of. I'm the Princess of Veneto, my father the King. I have many brothers, a great fortune in this time of war and turmoil. My mother is loving, no matter how I paint her to be. My friends, the few I have, are faithful to a fault. And yet, I now feel as if I'm falling, falling away from my life as I knew it. I'm barely sixteen and yet, I'm seated in a handsome carriage clothed in an Italian water silk gown, my soft red hair in an elegant bun, and my pale face gaining frown lines from all my days of unhappiness.

Ever since I found out I was betrothed to Prince Corinthia, shame I don't know his first name. I feel like my days are numbered. I've been in my dream world more and more lately, creating my own little country. A country where no daughter is a bargaining chip for an alliance in a war. No country where people are so fake, and dare I say it, insensitive to other's feelings and views on life. On views, I for one have a completely different view than my mother... frilly dresses and champagne soirees is the extent of her life, while I have a passion for playing with the boys and getting dirt under my fingernails. Not exactly princess-like behavior.

That country could never exist, except maybe in my own imagination. My own country, I'll have that someday. But for now, I want to lean back, stare at the swaying trees and be consumed my the unrealistic life of my own swirling mind.

My own country, no, a world, a Utopia. A land vibrant with weaving vineyards, like the ones I've grown up surrounded by, I don't think I could ever part with our ancient culture. Then beyond the grapevines, there are gently rolling hills, golden in the dusk's essence. Clean, turquiose water ripples through the ravines in the hills, eventually connecting with the ocean, a marvelous sight all to itself. Even beyond the golden hills lie the white-topped mountains, creating a harmonious border between dream and reality. My land, what would suffice for a name? Sine, yes, such a simple word, but yet holds so many truths. Sine means without. My land is Sine, without corruption, without wars, no need for alliances. My land is without all the evils in this world. That's it; Sine.

In Sine the land will be weather worn, for I crave all weather. The amazing display of fire in the sky during a rabid thunderstorm makes my heart skip a beat. The air is heavy some days with impending rain, others the hot blazing sun brings out the most kaleidoscopic flowers and warms the coldest bones. Others, a vengeful snowstorm sweeps through Sine, leaving brilliant crystal gems in its wake. But the most amazing part about Sine is its ability to amend itself after the storms pass through.

Now onto this matter of government in my Sine. What's the purpose of a king? The council basically overrules you. The people scorn you for being unjust and that ever present thought of assassination. No, in Sine there is none of that, there is no hate. There must be a king for, obviously, we cannot go into anarchy so there must be a king... or queen figure. The ruling power should be substantial, yet underlying in a sense. Like the way a mother holds her child's hand as they go through the market collecting vegetables for the week's meals. The trust of the child is natural, instinctive, for the mother has never hurt a hair on her child's head. The love and warmth is present there, why not for my Sine, its government and people?

My government will be run by the people, as my land would not perservere with one monarch who couldn't possibly know the trials and tribulations of all. The people will have their own elected representatives who are willing to put their lives ahead of their people. Representatives who truly have a passion for ruling and have no desire for power or greed. The representatives will form a council with the king and from there, administer their ruling. They will formulate laws on how to govern fairly, as everyone in Sine is equal, no matter their status. No one sees another as lower, or more noble.

Laws will be simple, there is no need for harsh punishment when the people have no cruelty towards one another. The Golden Rule, treat others as you would want to be treated, is a held with utmost regard. The government and church go hand in hand. One would never survive without the other. Along with the Golden rule, the Ten Commandments are exercised with individual disposition. While the government surrounds all of Sine's activities, it still has that "underlying" quality. It plays the role of the backbone but does not interfere in daily life other than upholding certain theological and economic rules.

Those economic rules mainly regulate currency and take control on infrastructural needs. Basic facilities, services, and installations needed for the functioning of Sine will be controlled by the government. They will see that jobs are created to take care of transportation and communication systems, water access, and public institutions including schools, and posts. Currency will be used lightly as most things will not cost to be bought, however bartering will be ever popular. The currency is mainly used for outside trade.

Religion is a rarely used term for the people of Sine all believe the same thing. There is no other religion that they would have to give tolerance to. Their religion is more than a lifestyle, it is a part of their soul. Rooted deep for centuries. The people are Christians, believe in God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Churches are set up all around Sine, all alike in teachings. Their main aspiration is to glorify God. Singing to the heavenly Father and thanking him for all the wonderment he has endowed upon them. Glory be to God, is on their tongues and in their hearts every moment they live. The morals and values of Sine people reflect their religion. Only good words are spoken, compliments praised, and hugs are the normal greeting. The impact of such respect travels to each heart and brings self confidence and modesty. A frown seems out of place in this peaceful environment.

Colleges will be set up to educate students who want to become doctors, professors, writers, painters, musicians, theologians, scientists, astronomers, athletes, and any other profession in which interest is shown. There will be primary schools to teach children the basics of math, science, writing, and history. Then secondary schools to ready the children into their chosen professions before they head off to college.

Sine's people adopted and revised Epicureanism; eat, drink, be merry, and honor God above all others. Their social customs also represented this aspect, they lived each day to its fullest capacity. Being this, they have several festivals and holidays through out the year. Starting with New Year's eve and day, they celebrate the coming of a new prosperous year. Full of new births, plentiful harvests, and God's exceptional grace. Then they have the celebrated day of Epiphany. Valentine's day is celebrated for the lovers in Sine. March 1st is a day celebrated for the leaving of winter and the promise of spring. Easter is a major holiday for the people of Sine. They cherish all three day's of Christ's sufferings. They mourn on Good Friday and on Easter Sunday the country bursts into a gigantic party. Full of worship, singing in the streets and enormous feasts.

Along the rest of the year, they celebrate the Day of the Vine, where there is a huge feast honoring God's grace in a prosperous grape harvest, they also choose to celebrate the Summer Solstice. On that particular day they enjoy several athletic games and competitions. Soccer, rugby, horse races, pie eating contests, best bread and so much more. On September first, they celebrate the arts. Authors, painters, musicians alike entertain the people by reading, showing, and performing their works. Halloween is celebrated, children from all the towns in Sine dress up as their favorite characters from books or from their imaginations and go house to house telling jokes for candy. Finally towards they end of the year they gather at Christmas to celebrate Christ's birthday. Carols are sung, prayers given, and feasts are consumed in love and peace. The festivals reflect their life in Christ and happiness on earth.

Food is another momentous aspect of Sineian culture. Family meals are never missed and it is considered family time after a long day of work. Meals consist of hearty meat dishes, apples and grapes, olives and the garden's vegetables. Bread is a primary element in the meal and over centuries, the recipes have been perfected to hold the most taste imaginable. Wine in small proportions is served with every meal, even for the children. Wine is a significant and traditional love that not one could part with at meals. Ice cream and chocolate are almost held higher in status than even wine in Sine. The chocolate is dark and sweet. A bit would last you for days and the ice cream is so full of goat's milk that one scoop has you sighing and in peace with the day.

Clothing in Sine is simple yet elegant. The colors are gentle, yet rich in deep crimsons, emeralds, and blues. The women are dressed in soft silk gowns. They have an open skirt with elbow length sleeves, their high waist makes it easy to run and work. They occasionally wear bonnets to send away the radiant beams of sunlight. The men also have a simple, comfortable style. They wore soft cotton shirts and trousers. The children took after their parents...

"Lilea. Lilea Seurat." My mother's stern voice pulled me sharply back into reality. The rain was still cascading down the window, but the landscape had changed. Even though I had been staring out that same window the entire time, all I saw was my Sine's rolling hills and smiling lovers walking the cobblestone streets. Now it hit me like a brick to the head. The ogre hadn't crushed our cavalcade, nor had my prince come to rescue me. Prince, such irony, for we were riding down his worn cobblestone streets towards the massive gray castle.

I took a deep breath, feeling my insides tighten and my head start to spin. This was the end, the veritable end of my childhood, my freedom. Dare I express it, my whole happiness. As the carriage rolled closer to the foreboding castle, I tried to relax my ever nervous stomach and keep my eyes clear. A perfect world can't exist. I resolved myself to take a deep breath and keep an optimistic head for the first time. I don't know the prince, maybe my dreams will come true. However unrealistic it may be, hope is all I can grasp at the moment. Nothing tangible could help me now.

My Sine. The land that will forever be my refuge. I'll hold onto it, for better, for worse. Maybe that's the key to reality; no one really lives in it.

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