Hooray! We’re back to my favorite genre! For those of you who aren’t super into fantasy, don’t worry. This piece doesn’t have any wizards throwing magic at each other or talking animals or dragons (unfortunately). It may not be your cup of tea, but it should be more palatable for you than other high fantasy pieces you might come across.
This story did get read on the Tale Foundry writing group stream. If you would like to hear the ever wonderful Benjamin Cook bring these characters to life, you can find the vod here. My story pops in pretty late at the 2:10:26 mark. I highly recommend listening to all the other stories that were read from the community as well. There are some wonderful writers with a lot of talent in the Tale Foundry family.
After writing this piece, I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters. So Princess Briony got her own notebook where I can put her adventures and hopefully, one day, I will turn them into a novel. This story certainly greased my plot-wheels. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Prompt: I Left You Something (from the Tale Foundry writing group)
The King’s Favorite
Princess Briony, only daughter of King Latham and thirteenth in line to the throne, sat across from her mother in the Royal Study.
“I know you’re anxious to be gone, dear,” Queen Ursa said, setting down her teacup. “But we must discuss a few things.”
Briony leaned back in her chair. “Father is dying,” she stated. “I’m expected to marry a suitable husband from a neighboring kingdom. I’ll be an obedient sister and do as Liam says once he takes the throne. There. We’ve discussed everything.”
“Do you think your father cares so little for you that he’d make you do that which you detest?”
“No, Mother,” Briony said, looking away. “But Liam will.”
“Your brother has notions of how a lady should behave,” the Queen allowed. “He also loves your father and will honor his wishes, even if he doesn’t like it.”
Briony sighed. Her eldest brother honoring her father’s wishes would only last until she did something to anger him. Her mother knew it as well.
“Your father’s setting aside a duchy for you,” Queen Ursa said, raising her teacup to her lips again. “It encompasses a place I believe you’re familiar with.”
The Royal Study door creaked open and the women stood to confront the man entering.
“You’re supposed to be in bed,” the Queen scolded as Briony rushed to her father’s side and helped him to his favorite chair by the fireplace.
“Bed’s boring.” The King propped his cane against the seat. “Besides, I couldn’t let you have all the fun of telling Briony about my death-present alone.”
“I’ve already told her, so you’ve exhausted yourself unnecessarily.”
“Father, isn’t a duchy a bit much?” Briony asked.
“Bah, I’d give you the entire kingdom if it wouldn’t start a war. But your duchy will be safe from Liam once I’m gone.” King Latham coughed and eased back in his chair, looking pleased. “Found some loopholes. Still part of the kingdom but independent. Liam can’t make you do anything without force.”
Briony wiped tears from her eyes.
“Hush, child. I had to leave my favorite daughter something.”