In my last newsletter, I set the challenge for my readers to write something based on a writing prompt I set for them – two fabulous ladies responded with great pieces of their own. Thank you Dianne and Carol xxx
Here are their writings:
A writing prompt, Joy had never heard of that before. After all she was a reader, not a writer. She struggled enough with the torture and doubt involved in just trying to write a basic review. As she read through the newsletter she came to the prompt. “A vampire’s heart is like a date, wrinkled, shrivelled, and suspended in a maze of dry, black veins and arteries.” Well, yes she thought, a vampire must have a heart, after all she recalled that’s where Buffy used to stake them. Suddenly they would shrivel and disintegrate leaving behind a puddle of dust as the only evidence of their existence. There is only dinner to cook, including those shrivelled red dates in the refrigerator, long past their use by date. Write a few paragraphs, what a brilliant way to procrastinate and avoid preparing dinner. After all it never need be sent, or ever see the light of day, lol!
A writing prompt for you, maybe “Temper, a lady never loses her temper! A friend sent her a meme with a picture of duct tape saying it doesn’t eliminate stupidity, but it can muffle it. Just think of them muffled by duct tape, smile and exit graciously.”
The streets were full of the Kings men, as my father pulled me along behind him.
“What are they searching for Father?
He glanced back, but kept moving towards the town square. “The king has lost something in the meadow.’’
I considered his words and could see no reason to search the buildings if he lost it in the meadow. “Why search the dwellings?
I heard him sigh, as he did so many times when I asked too many questions. Stopping, he turned to face me. He stood tall, still a man well-groomed despite his many years, and lack of hair. “The King saw a girl around your age, he hopes the girl has found his treasure. The guards wish all of the girls around your age to go to the square so that the king may question them.’’
This seemed a waste of time to my thinking, surely if someone had found a treasure they would have taken it to the castle. As we entered the square I could see fourteen girls all lined up, their parents standing behind them. I knew all of these girls. Most would own up if they had found anything of value, but there were two who I knew told falsehoods. They stood with their hands in their dress pockets, but when the king walked from behind his guards they like the rest of us dropped to a curtsy.
I had never seen the king this close before. He was tall with raven black hair, he tied at the back of his neck. His skin was pale like all of his kind, but his eyes shone a brilliant blue. “Ladies, I wish your help in finding something that has great meaning for me’’
His voice almost purred in the slight Russian accent from his homeland. As he came nearer I could see just how incredibly striking he was. High cheekbones above a hard square chin, with a mouth, perhaps wider than most, but his eyes were a piercing azure blue beneath thick, slightly angled eyebrows.
“Come, step forward, those among you who were in the meadow this morning?”
Out of fifteen only four stepped forward. Rachel, the minister’s daughter, Hope and Faith, the two deceivers, and myself. The king looked us all over, as if he could read us just by looking. “If you four and your family would follow my guards into the castle I will join you shortly.’’
Having spoken he went behind us to the remaining girls. I looked back as we were hassled from the square. He seemed to be thanking each girl for coming when he called, and I swear I heard him say he was sorry for disturbing their day’s work.
The sound of whispers echoed in the great hall as we waited. The sisters, Hope and Faith argued with their father as their mother stood by wringing her hands while her eyes darted around as if seeking a hiding place. You could not ask for a more honest person than the town blacksmith, yet I fancy he must live a life of constant fear of what his daughters might say or do each day. Rachel and her parents were all smiles, nodding heads at what was being said. Rachel was a sweet girl, never a cross word for anyone. Still, it must be hard to smile like that all the time, but it is what the people expect of their God’s prophet and his family. As for myself, there was just father and I since mother had passed some six years past. We stayed silent, both knew I would answer any questions more often with a question of my own. Father knew I would not show scorn or be impolite when spoken to. That I would help the king in any way I could.
I minded my time to studying the paintings on the walls of the great hall. They showed the history of when our king came to these lands. The old king was evil and cruel, while the night-walkers offered us peace and prosperity in return for being allowed to make their home here. In recognition of riding us of the cruel king, the High Priestess restored them to the light. Legends say a heart was also given to those who found a true mate, so that they could share their lives together. I turned towards father to ask how a true mate could be found without a heart in the first place, when the outer doors opened and the king walked in.
“Thank you for waiting’’ he looked at each in turn. It was as if he spoke only unto you. Perhaps this is what made him a good king, he cared for each of his subjects. Moving towards smaller wooden carved doors, he spoke in that quite commanding voice, “Come, please follow me.’’
The doors lead to a much smaller room that held nine chairs in a half circle around one central seat. The king sat down while waving his hand to indicate we should all sit. The minister and his wife sat on his right with Rachel between them. Next came the sister’s mother, with Hope then Faith and the blacksmith next to my father. This put the girls facing the king while I sat on the end to his left.
The king spoke. “With consent from all of you, I would like each girl to tell me what they were doing in the meadow and who or what they might have seen. Rachel you first if you would.’’
She went to stand, but he waved her back down. Then in a somewhat rapid way she told how she was gathering flowers for the church. He nodded his head and smiled.
“Did you see or speak with anyone?’’
“I talked with my friend Eve about growing things’’ she gushed out, before sending a downward glance towards the sister’s. “I saw Hope and Faith as they run past my king’’
I could tell he had not missed the grimace that passed her face when she looked and spoke of the twins. “You never spoke with the sister’s, why is that?”
A flush crept across her face. “We do not like the same things.’’ I felt anger build inside, she should have told how they laughed as they tipped out her basket.
“Yet you spoke with Eve, does this mean you share the same likes?’’ The tension left her body as she gave a small laugh. “No my king, for Eve is interested in all things, she’ll always stop and ask everyone questions. I fear it would be hard to keep up with her.’’
The king turned a silent look that had those sloped eyebrows raising. I smiled politely, but not one that reached my eyes. This seemed to amuse him as his eyes squinted, seemly lit by an inner glow of mischief. I longed to ask why his eyebrows sloped and what he found amusing, but with father there I sought not to discomfit him.
“Faith, Hope, what of your time there, did you speak or see anyone other Rachel?’’ Both went to speak but their father held Hope back. She looked vexed while Faith had that smug look she was well known for.
“We played chasing each other amongst the flowers, as it was too good a day to work.’’
Seeing a slight frown on the king’s face, Mrs Blacksmith piped in “After their chores were finished of course, my king.’’ Both girls gave her an incredulous stare, but after a quick look at the king decided to hold their tongues.
“Did you see or speak with anyone?’’
Hope was first to speak. “Only Rachel and Eve were there, both have nothing of interest to say, so we left.’’
Now it was my turn. He watched me like a hawk does his prey. For the first time in my life I felt strange, it was not fear, perhaps apprehension. Yes, that was it, but why?
“What do you have to say Eve, why were you in the meadow?’’
Ignoring his waving hand, I stood. “I like to think, the meadow, ’’ here I stopped to glare at the sisters “is of a rule a quiet place. I saw the sisters but did not speak, later I saw Rachel, who was good enough to advise me on the best ways to propagate certain plants.’’
“You found this interesting?”
I cast him a look of surprise as I had judged him to be one who would also seek out new knowledge. “But of course, all knowledge is interesting, how else would we learn.’’
He smiled a cocky grin, voicing the words only I could hear, “How true,” before turning to face everyone. “Did none of you find anything?’’
I listened as each answer no. When I never spoke all eyes turned to me.
“What did you find Eve?’’ asked the king.
I slipped my hand into my pocket to withdraw a closed fist. Holding it out, I opened to reveal a shrivelled brownish blob that held a maze of black veins. “I believe it to be a date. I have never seen one before, but they date back to when time began.’’ Looking up I found his eyes on me and not the date. “I planned to try and grow others from it.’’
He rose from his chair to cradle my hand in his. He seemed pleased, though I had no idea why. Still holding my hand, he looked beyond to the others. “I thank you for coming and for your help, if it pleases you, all but the healer and Eve may take your leave.’’
I watched as all but my father and I exited through the door which closed behind them. I spoke quickly, “If this be your treasure my king, I had no idea, it was not my intention of robbing you.’’
The king surveyed me before turning to my father. “Your wife, was she not of the Fae?’’
For once I saw my father shocked. “We told no one of this, how come it that you know?”
The king just smiled, “My kind knows many things. Do you know of the legend of how we may find a true mate?”
My father and I shook our heads.
The king turned to me, holding my eyes firm with his. He looked down at the date, where I realised he still held my hand in his. “Do you know all four of you girls saw and touched this date in some way today.’’
I shook my head.
“You were the only one to see that it had a chance to be good again. The High Priestess gave my people this date. At times we set it out to see if a mate will care for it. This time it was my turn. The High Priestess said it was like a vampire’s heart, wrinkled and shrivelled. The one who cared for it would be a true mate.’’ He looked deep into my eyes “Will you be my true mate and rule these lands in a just and honourable way?’’
I looked at my father who was full of smiles and nodding.
“My mother was fae, I am part fae, does this not worry you?’’
He laughed, “It will make a better world for all kinds to live in.’’
I knew then he was right and that my path in life lay with him. “Then yes, my king, I will be your true mate and rule by your side, with justice for all.’’
He stepped closer, closing both our hands around the date. “My name is Adam.’’
This proved an immensely enjoyable exercise and I loved reading the responses. I hope you did too xx