For the next few weeks we’re sharing snippets of a new story, tentatively titled Something Amis in Alerald, a LGBT Fairy Tale.
Despite the temptation that Lady Catherine presented at the ball, after a few furtive embraces and toe curling kisses at the end of the dark corridor, Reanna remained strong with her love for Nahla. After the guests bedded down for the eve, Reanna put her escape plan in motion. She quietly fetched Nahla from her slumber and the two slipped out to the stable. They’re on the run to the furthest corner of the kingdom.
This week in Tuesday Tales, we’re writing to the prompt ‘grab’. Return to TUESDAY TALES here, to read more snippets from several different genres.
Reanna led the mare from their hiding spot behind the prickly hedge. “Knowing my Father, I’m sure he split the army and sent men to the four corners of the kingdom.”
Nahla followed, absorbing this tidbit. “Then, we wouldn’t have had clear travel in any direction we traveled.”
“Most likely not. I didn’t anticipate such a prompt search. I thought we’d be far away from Father’s snare before he sounded the alarm.”
“I don’t mean to question you, my love, but what drew us to this area? Have you been here before? Is there safety ahead?” Nahla chewed on the corner of her lip in consternation.
“Aye, my dear, our entourage…” The mare caught the heady scent of the water awaiting them and lunged forward, dragging Princess Reanna alongside of her quickened gait. Reanna struggled with the reins that had tightened around her wrist. She finally got a foothold and braced her feet firmly on the dusty trail, jerking the usually sweet tempered mare to a halt. “Come, let’s hasten to the river and I’ll tell you more there.”
The weary travelers moved quickly and soon the mare was forelocks deep in the flowing stream, her nuzzle bent and gulping greedily of the cold, fresh treat. Reanna untied the near empty skins from the pack secured on the horses back and tossed them to Nahla. “Fill these with fresh water, then we’ll rest and cool off.”
When the horse had drank to capacity, Reanna tied the reins to an oak sapling growing on the riverbank. She pulled a small rug from the pack and laid it on the ground in the shade of the tree canopy gracing the small inlet. Plopping down on the pad in exhaustion, she called to her companion. “Nahla, grab the bag that I made from my shawl. Bring that with you.”
After watching Nahla fumbling for some time, trying to unfasten the bag from the pack, Reanna groaned and rose to go assist. She was humbled when her first attempts did not loosen the bag either. “Evidently our frantic riding through the night tightened my knot,” she grumbled. Finally, in frustration, she bent her head and chomped her teeth on one side of the knot. Grunting and tugging, she succeeded in loosening it. Sticking her hand inside, she retrieved a carrot and handed it to the horse before reaching for Nahla’s hand and leading her back to their resting area.
Dropping the bag on the ground, Reanna motioned to Nahla. “Eat. We need our strength for our travels.”
Opening the bag, Nahla gasped with delight. She pulled out handfuls of apples, pears, and nuts, along with two crusty loaves of bread. She left the carrots in the satchel, knowing who would get to consume those tasty orange delights. “Where did you get all this from?” she squealed.
“From the kitchens, when I’d stop in and visit.” Reanna smiled slyly. “Remember all those treats I took to the stables? Most of them returned to my chambers with me. I was saving for our escape. I knew we’d need nourishment whilst we traversed across the land.”
Laying back in the shade, Nahlia munched on a sweet, golden apple. “Where are we going? Is there a destination we’re headed for? Or shall we merely wander for the rest of our lives?”
“Last year, when we attended the wedding of Princess Bethany, in the Land of Hyll, we traveled this way. Remember, when we returned and I told the tales of meeting that horrid man, King Ravenot of Lotner?”
“I recall very well. You returned home with reviling tales of the lecherous old goat.”
“That’s the very one. The disgusting lout couldn’t keep his hands to himself. He was grasping and groping whenever I got in arms reach. The saliva drooled from his mouth and the stench that surrounded him fairly made me nauseous.” Reanna shuddered at the memory. “But…I remember the journey. We stayed one night in the forest, camped near a wise-woman’s cottage. We should reach there by nightfall. I know that she’ll shelter us and give us abode.”
“Are you certain? What if she sends word to your Father as to our whereabouts?”
A knowing grin crossed Reanna’s face. “I doubt she will. I feel that she’s one of us, a lover of women. Although, a very old, hunchbacked one. I’m most certain she will shelter us…and surround us with a protective wall of sorcery that none can pierce.”