Flash Word Count: 607
Once upon a time, Elizabeth lived in a modest village on a farm with her widowed father. One day, she finished daily chores early and the last meal of the day was prepared and stewing steadily in a pot over the fire, so with nothing left to do she decided to take a stroll to witness the evening sunset. Whilst on her walk along river Thames a horde of men riding horses, kicking up a great cloud of dust appeared, and as they neared she stepped back against the shoreline and recoiled a bit in fear for she didn’t know what to expect or how to react as she rarely encountered strangers, and her Pa warned her about the vile obscenities that roamed the earth. To her dismay, a courteous young champ took notice of her frightened state and with a snap of his fingers and a barked order he sent the troop of men a hundred yards up the stream to tend to the horses and give them rest in order to exchange a few words in private with the timid lady.
After the men retreated the lad called out from atop his horse, “Good afternoon my lady, you ought to back away from that there river for I must confess if it was to sweep you up and take you away I’d be deeply sorrowed.” To which she smiled in relief and replied, “Indeed,” in a docile manner as she stepped forward and out of the rivers danger. Together they sat in the marsh for what seemed like an eternity. They exchanged pleasantries as the sunset and well into the evening. The persistent kiss of the nights cooling air urged them to regretfully part. The young champ was none other than Prince Arthur, who would soon become King for his father’s health was deteriorating rapidly, and he vowed that night he would return for her. Prince Arthur pulled from his satchel a golden ring as a token and reminder that he would return when he was King and she would be claimed his Queen.
That evening when she recited the day’s happy engagement to her Pa, and spoke of times in the future that would relieve him from the laborious farm duty once she was made Queen. Not a word her father spoke as she told the tale and then he overturned the table in a fit of rage as he upturned everything and destroyed their main room, before breaking down into to a fit of hysterics as he banged his fists against the wall and revealed, “I have no choice but to send you away at once to your Aunt Olga’s in Russia.” Grounding his forehead against the wall he continued, “You wear the devil’s mark about your neck as did your Grandmother and Mother,” he choked out on a sob, “Thou shalt not endure execution by flame or hanging if I can help it!”
They road all through the night as her father went from traders and merchants, begging and bartering the meek belongings he had to secure her a spot aboard the next ship at earliest dawn. It was imperative that she depart without haste, for should the Prince discover he was bound to brothel a natural born witch she would be destine an untimely demise.
Out in the Baltic Sea, Elizabeth grieved day and night as the mice scattered and scrounged all about the bottom of the old ship where she took solace and refuge. It was June 6, 1682, according to the calendar that hung on the wall that she discovered the truth of her mother, left her father, village, and future as the Queen of England all behind and set sail to save her life to the mysteries of Mother Russia where she would learn about her inherent powers that marked her throat, which her hands continuously clasped for fear of discovery and execution.
This is a combined challenge from two hosts that inspire regularly, so I bent the rules. I decided to combine these because I’m short on time and creativity and these seemed to work exceptionally well together, so I’ve paired this week’s picture from Ermilia’s Picture and Write prompt with Kellie Elmore’s weekly FWF “Time and Place” prompt, which grants freedom to just write, not edit, so there you have it…maybe I’ll come back later for edits, maybe not. Here are the specific’s for this week’s prompt:
You find yourself in the lower level of an old ship. A calendar on the wall says 1682. There is a small window, and the view is nothing but open sea and a setting sun. There is a staircase and you can see daylight at the top…
As a shout out in support of my fellow bloggers that keep me writing, I’d like to thank Michael over at Purples Platitudes for giving me a nudge, and Building a Life of Hope for her post that moved me to write, something. Anything. J