A Fairies Tale Part IV

Posted: August 3, 2010 in Short Stories

Prince Eric awoke to the sounds of screaming, the smells of things burning and heavy footfalls. He nearly fell out of bed as he rushed to get dressed and groomed. His first thoughts were that Alex had indeed been the worst mistake of his life and then he feared that offending forces had breeched the borders and were overtaking his province. He adorned his chain mail armor and strapped on his long sword and dirk. Taking a deep breath, he opened the doors to his chambers and stepped into the shadowed curtains of the audience chambers. He slid from behind the curtains and was shocked. The place was filled with citizens, and they were having a party! A huge dinner table had been brought in and his finest wine selection was being served to peasants. The court jester was babysitting a corner filled with children. Everyone was happy. Prince Eric made his way towards Alex, who was busy mingling with the citizens. He grabbed her arm and dragged her behind the curtains and into his chambers.

“What in the name of the One have you done? The whole province seems to be in an uproar!”

“My job!” she said happily. “This is really easier than I had thought. All you have to do is listen to their problems and then make it better! How can anyone mess that up?”

“…but the peasants are having a party in my mansion! You are serving my finest foods and drinks,”

“Well, those same peasants built your mansion, and those very same peasants paid for your foods and drinks or at the very least they grew it or farmed it or prepared it themselves. All they want is a little appreciation every now and then, and by the way, I lowered taxes. You really shouldn’t tax them more than the province is in need for. I promised them that if we need to raise the taxes it would be for a project that we all approve upon and that taxes will never be more than the province needs to be maintained.”

“You have ruined me and the name of my family! How could you make such decisions without consulting me? I have to send portions of our profits to my father; he will have me killed if he thought I was stealing from him!”

“Well, you do realize you have been asleep for 3 days, you must have been very, extremely exhausted? Aside from that, you made me chief council in front of witnesses, and while the ruling party is absent, supreme command resides upon the shoulders of the chief council. Ah, and concerning your good name, it could not be more praised than it is now. You are considered a better leader than your father at this moment. The only issue that concerns us now is the king of the border kingdom.” She paused for a moment. “But I have a plan to make that work out. I am meeting with the border king tomorrow at the home of the offended elderly woman who claims the child belongs to her, and we are escorting the child and the younger woman there as well.”

“You what,” stammered prince Eric, “and the border king agreed? All this in just 3 days, did you sleep…at all?”

“Yes, I get 8 hours a day. Why do you ask?”

He looked a bit embarrassed. “No reason. Um, what involvement do I have in any of this?”

She smiled. “I told everyone that these were your new commands and that you were deeply apologetic that you let your father’s former chief council rule over your good heart. I told them that you said it is better to work with the people rather than rule the people even if your father disproves of your methods. I told them you said you would do everything in your power to make this a happy and prosperous province. So, yes…you are involved in every aspect of this.”

He sighed. “Your father must be proud.”

She shrugged, “I am the daughter of my parents. Both equally love me as I do them.”

“I am beginning to see why the people have taken to you so quickly. You see straight to the heart of the matter. I apologize for presuming your father would be more proud than your mother.”

“You should go mingle with your citizens, let them know you are assessable. I need to make sure preparations for our journey tomorrow are going well.”

Eric grabbed Alex by the arm as she turned to walk away and pulled her into him. “Alex, I…” he had pulled her closer than he had expected to and her mouth was next to his as he spoke. Surprised, Alex went to pull back but slipped forward instead. Their lips connected.

Alex’s heart pounded in her chest, her body became very hot and cold at the same time. She had never felt this way before and was afraid she was getting sick. She pulled back; her eyes wide open like a caught animal.

“I did not mean for that to happen, Alex, I am…”

Alex looked him in the eyes and did not see malice or ill intent, but she was confused. She did not know what to say or how to react. She was all mixed up inside. She could handle everything that came at her so far because she pretended it was all a make-believe tea party, but this… this was something outside of her rational thinking, something beyond her experience. Even though she had the mental faculties of a 220 somar faerie king, the time distorted body of a woman of 19; she still only had the emotional and practical experience of a child of 9. She turned and ran from the room without a word.

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