Chrys N. Jay is taking a short break from Starting Over, for a new story, tentatively titled Something Amiss in Alerald. For the next few weeks I’m trying my hand at an LGBT Fairy Tale to submit for a contest. So we’ll leave Victoria and Toby in the bedroom where we left them (I’m sure they’ll find many ways to amuse themselves while they’re locked in there) and we’ll introduce you to a new princess in town. One that has no desire to find a Prince Charming. We’ll see where the story goes, because right now…I have no idea where this will take us!
This week in Tuesday Tales, we’re writing to the prompt ‘stolen’. Return to TUESDAY TALES here, to read more snippets from several different genres.
The bustle of Queen Amica’s skirts on the flagstone floors announced her presence in her daughter’s room where Princes Reanna lay lounging on her goose down mattress.
“Reanna, rise daughter. We must get you presentable at once.” When Reanna merely raised her head and continued to lie there, the Queen clapped her hands for added emphasis. “Now! Where is that servant girl? Where is your newest gown? Hurry, Reanna. There isn’t time for dawdling.”
“Why, Mother? Whatever is the rush?”
“Prince Gerard is here. He’s in speaking to your Father now.”
“The Prince from the Kingdom of Thoide? What’s he speaking to Father about? And why must I dress for his appearance?”
“Because, my darling girl. I have a suspicion that he’s here to ask for your hand. We must get you dressed and looking your finest so if you’re summoned.”
“My hand? As in marriage?” Reanna heaved herself up off the sumptuous bedding and threw her hands on her hips in a flounce. “I told you, Mother. I do not wish to marry any of the simpering fools that have paraded themselves before me. I do not wish to marry at all. I’m happy without a man trying to rule my life. Besides…” she shuddered at the thought, “…they’d want to bed with me and that thought simply revolts me.”
“My dear child, your wants and desires are simply not taken into account. You must marry whomever your Father chooses. You have to. It’s your responsibility to the kingdom.”
“But, Mother…” She started pacing the length of her room, her agitation showing with each stomp of her foot. The peacefulness of a few moments ago was stolen as she fretted about this new turn of events.
“No buts, Reanna. You have no say in the matter. Now…where did that girl disappear to? Nahla?” The Queen’s voice increased in volume as her shoulders stiffened in resolve. “Nahla? Your attendance please!”
Nahla timidly peeked around the hanging tapestry that divided her small sleeping area from Reanna’s grand room. “Yes, maam?” She stepped out, curious as to what had Her Highness in such a snit.
“Hurry, child. You must attend to the Princess and ready her for guests. Gather the emerald gown the seamstress finished last week. I’ll retrieve my emerald choker from my chambers. It will go nicely with the new frock. They’ll set off the color of Reanna’s eyes and will drive Prince Gerard to distraction.”
As the Queen left the room, Nahla stepped to the vanity area and motioned for Princess Reanna to sit at the low seat in front of where she stood. Reanna sighed and plopped down on the walnut stool. Nahla began unbraiding the Princess’ long blond locks, then reached for the horsehair brush to try and tame the curls back into submissiveness.
“What am I to do Nahla? Did you hear what Mother suspects? If the Prince is here to ask Father for my hand in marriage, I shall just die.”
Nahla kept smoothing out the tangles and gently stroking the Princess’s tresses as if caressing them. “There could be worse fates, m’Lady. Prince Gerard is a handsome lad. And at least he’s young. Not like some of them that have come sniffing around the Kingdom.”
Revulsion flitted across Reanna’s face and her mouth turned up in a grimace. “Oh, that’s so true. Did you see the one that came last week? King Ravenot from Lotner? He was uglier than sin and I think older than the Devil himself. I think I would throw myself from the cliff before I let that man touch me.”
“At least he’s so old that he probably can’t…you know…” Nahla giggled at the thought.
The Princess joined Nahla in her in laughter. “Very true, my sweet girl. I doubt he remembers what the word procreate means. I believe he only wanted me to get his hands on our fertile land. Alerald is a desirable kingdom.”
“As are you, my Princess,” Nahla added softly.
Reanna’s shoulders relaxed and her countenance softened. “My sweet Nahla, whatever would I do without you? You’ve been my best friend for forever. You understand me more than anyone in this world. Certainly more than my parents do. You know that…”
The Queen’s arrival back in the bedchamber stopped the girl’s conversation. “That’s the furthest you’ve gotten? Why are you dragging your feet?”