Friday, 15 July 2016

#whimword - An Uncommon Proposal, a palatial story

“I’m not marrying him,” she said, barely resisting the urge to stamp her feet.
“Why not?” asked her father, clearly perplexed. “Anora, he’s a good match.”
“I’m not marrying him because I’m in love with his sister!” she said.
Her father spluttered into his moustache, muttering words like “preposterous” and “highly irregular” as his face turned red. Anora sighed; she’d known her father would take it badly but she couldn’t hide the truth from him any more. Maybe of she was lucky she’d get disowned and then she and Elise could run away together…
“Princesses don’t marry princesses,” were the first truly coherent words her father managed after his coughing fit.
“Not traditionally no, but–”
“But nothing,” said her father. “You’re marrying Prince Zechariah and that’s final.”
Anora saw red. “No that is not final. This is my life we’re talking about and I will not be forced into a match I do not want.”
Her father opened his mouth to protest but Anora cut him off.
“Surely the most important thing is that we make an alliance through marriage that will help keep our kingdom, and our people safe?”
“Well, yes. I suppose…”
“And that can be achieved just as easily by me marrying Elise as Zechariah.” Anora could see that her father’s brows were creased; he was thinking about it, which meant she had a chance.
“What about heirs?” he asked after a few moments of thinking. “Unless I’m very much mistaken you and Elise can’t have children together.”
Anora rolled her eyes. “I figured we’d worry about that later.” Her father looked ready to explode again. “Look, I have siblings, Elise has siblings. There’ll be heirs, father, even if they’re not my children. The important thing is we leave the kingdom in the hands of the person most suited for the throne, yes?”
Her father grumbled his reluctant agreement. “What about Prince Zechariah?”
“He knows. He’s known from the start and he would much rather I marry his sister than him.”
He went quiet for a long time after that. Anora held her breath, waiting.
“You’ve given me much to think about,” he said, and Anora could tell she’d been dismissed.
She left the room and stalked through the palace to her chambers where Princess Elise was waiting for her. She looked up at Anora with a smile.
“So, how’d it go?” she said.
“He’s ‘thinking about it’,” Anora replied, flopping onto the bed. “We might be in luck but I don’t know.”
Elise scooched over and pressed a kiss to Anora’s temple. “We still have the option of speaking to my father. If it’s clear he supports the idea maybe yours will come around.”
She didn’t look convinced. “Maybe. Can’t we just elope?”
Elise gave her an indulgent smile. “No, our kingdoms need us.”
Anora grumbled back.
“I want to marry you, Anora, but I want to do it properly. Have some patience.”
Anora rolled over. “I love you,” she said softly.

Elise smiled and kissed her.

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