For the King
"Yes, that is everything I'm taking with me," Amelia snapped , making the serving goblin flinch.
"If you insist..."
"I do insist!"
That last retort made Nell in her crib start to cry. Amelia sighed. "Now, see what you've done? Leave us!"
The goblin gave a quick nod, and scampered away while Amelia picked up the whimpering toddler. As if the pregnancy hadn't been enough punishment, now for the past year all it seemed like Nell could do was cry, and Amelia was rubbish at making it stop. Why couldn't she stop crying for once?
Amelia didn't particularly want a child, but it was the only solution she could think of at the moment. It took one time of "forgetting" to take her tonic and weeks later she discovered she was pregnant. Surely, the king would never want to marry her then.
But alas, she was still the one chosen to be his next bride and Nell would be left behind, forgotten, along with Amelia's lover.
At least she wouldn't have to listen to the constant crying any longer.
Or Mother's incessant yapping.
"Your beauty has finally blessed this family! You'll raise our people up again," Amelia mimicked as she rocked Nell. The child's mop of brown and blonde curls bounced upon her tan head.
King Edric was known to be kind, joyful, and fair. But, after his wife passed away giving birth to their second child, he was a different man. He'd withdrawn himself for some time. Then, returned to his playboy ways previous to his marriage with men and women constantly coming and going from his bed chambers. Apparently, he - or perhaps his advisors - decided it was time to find another wife, and Amelia was the lucky woman chosen. He wasn't very kind when he found out she had a child a year after his proposal.
Mother disagreed. She said it was completely in his right to be upset and was gracious enough to let the child live and still agreed for Amelia to be his wife. As long as the child didn't come to the castle.
"But what about what I want?" Amelia asked and looked at her reflection in her full length mirror standing in the corner. If you were to remove the baby on her hip, Amelia was the perfect image for royalty with her long blonde hair and stunning red dress. Beauty was powerful and Amelia was used to using it to her advantage. But now, it was being turned against her. All of the kingdom gossips were saying Amelia was to be the most beautiful queen they'd ever seen. That was, until his oldest daughter, Princess Eira, took the throne.
Amelia had never seen either princess, but heard the rumors of Princess Eira's beauty. She'd see for herself in only a matter of days. Then she would be queen.
A queen who was trapped in a cage not of her own choosing. A beautiful and luxurious cage. But a cage none the less.
King Edric had ruined everything.
Finally, Nell's cries softened and she lay her head against Amelia's shoulder. She glanced at the crib, tempted to put the toddler down, but knew once Nell was back in there the crying would begin again.
Nell wasn't so terrible when she wasn't crying. Or eating in that sloppy way of hers. Or soiling herself. But moments such as this, perhaps she wasn't all that awful. Amelia had reluctantly grown to care for Nell.
No. Care was too strong of a word. Fond. Yes, she'd grown fond of the child, and now she would never see her again.
"It's not fair," Amelia muttered. Regardless of whether she cared for Nell or not, the child was hers. The only thing Amelia ever had all to herself. The only choice she'd made for herself, and ever would make now that she was to be queen.
We all must make sacrifices for our people, and for the king, Mother said. Amelia never sacrificed anything until now, and didn't want to start. When King Edric found out about Nell, she'd tried to appeal to his fatherly instincts for she'd heard he loved his daughters deeply. At first, she thought it worked. But in the end, Nell was not to come to the castle.
"The king will pay for this," Amelia told her reflection. She placed a hand on the glass and it wavered as though the glass turned into water. Through the reflection she saw the other world. The green grass, the fae who lived there, and the sparkling flowers. Amelia used to hide in the mirror world as a child when she wanted to escape Mother. She planned on leaving it behind but perhaps...
A knock came to the door and the goblin popped her head inside. "I've been sent to fetch you. The king is waiting."
Of course he was.
"What are you looking at?" the goblin asked.
Amelia's eyes darted from the mirror, to the gnome, to Nell. Without giving it another thought she grabbed the gnome by the elbow and dragged her to the mirror. She shoved Nell into her arms and pushed the two into the glass. The goblin let out a small yell as she found herself standing in the mirror world.
"She's your job now," Amelia said and placed a hand on the glass, it wavered, and once again became a mirror showing only Amelia's reflection. She took the tiara which lay on her nightstand and placed it upon her head.
"Ansel!" Amelia yelled for another servant. Within moments he appeared at her door and bowed.
"Yes, my lady?"
"That silly goblin forgot to be sure my mirror was packed up with my other things and seems to have disappeared. Take it down to the carriage," she ordered.
He bowed again. "Of course, my lady."
He found another servant to help and they took the mirror away.
She would do it. She would become queen.
Anything for the king.
Yes! I finally have written a flash fiction piece again! In February I was battling major writers block, and I almost lost that battle again here in March. But I'm back with flash fiction!
I also decided in my novel writing to return to what I call the "fairy tale mash-up" where I have a combo of Snow White, Red Riding Hood, Snow White and Rose Red, Rapunzel, and Cinderella. Yes, it's a lot. But I think it's going to be really fun.
To get into the mindset, I wrote this piece about the main antagonist, Queen Amelia. This story takes place about 10 years before the novel will begin. Sometimes it's difficult for me to figure out my antagonist and have a clear picture of them, so writing a quick back story like this helps! I hope you enjoyed it!
Like what you read? Consider buying me a coffee. This simply helps me to offset costs (ex. paying for my website domain) so I can continue to create quality and professional content - along with you receiving my lifelong love and appreciation!