General Fiction posted February 18, 2012

Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
Come to the throne by accident???

Queen in a day

by Aveindha

" Oh Trudy, do close those blinds and block that infernal sun from shining in mine royal eye's!"
I turned my head to the side and laid my hand theatrically against my forehead, in a 'woe is me' gesture that has never had Trudy fooled. Not since childhood.

"I have but just fallen asleep not an hour ago..."

"Begging your pardon, majesty..." I peered over the foot of the bed through a half open eye to see Trudy's generous backside raised skyward as she bent to leave the tea tray at the foot of the royal bed.

" Not that I wish to contradict your fine royal self, but it is past noon, and your royal heiny has been in that bed for going on ten hours now!"

Surely all the other queens got a little more respect than this from their servant girls.

Although, not even as queen would I dare hint at Trudy as being my servant girl.That is a fast way to a smacked royal bum.

" Putting on airs, are we your MAJESTY." The sarcasm dripped as thick as maple syrup from Trudy's words.

" Trudy, my darling, do you not feel ANY pity WHATSOEVER for your queen and long time companion? I am truly in suffering, I can not bare to leave my chambers today...."

I flopped back down onto my queen sized (pardon the pun) goose down pillows with a heavy sigh. Ok, so maybe it was all a bit much, but I really was feeling horrible that morning. Lord Egret had really overdone it on the sherry's the previous night.

" Don't you be having any ROYAL QUEEENING to be doing your MAJESTY " Trudy dipped a curtsy at me, smiling fit to eat little children.

" Now Trudy...there's no need..." I mean, ok! So she was a little upset. But it wasn't my fault that things had worked out the way they had! All a bit of good luck on my part and bad on hers, although it would go very badly indeed for the both of us if anyone were to find out.

"Look, I know I can ham it up at times, but I really am just joking around! You know I'd never hold this 'queen' thing above you."

"AY!" Loud banging of silver tea pot. " That's why you got to stay up till what time in the morning having a jolly old time with his royal handsomeness Lord Egret and his entourage, and I am serving your morning tea!"

Well, more like throwing it at me...Trudy slammed the silver tray with a teacup, sugar cubes and milk on my legs hard enough to hurt.

" Ow Trudy! How is any of this my fault? I was invited! Would have been rude not to go...besides. If you need reminding. This whole thing was YOUR idea, I never would have had the gall to carry out something like this on my own. You always have been the braver one..." I knew just how to butter her up. Her bottom lip twitched, a sure sign of an impending smile.

" Yes but I was supposed to be your LADY! Not your...MAID! I mean, surely you have a bit more sway than this know. Her.

Her. Or, as recent events would have it, me.

I am, was...Geraldine Donker. The daughter of a poor carpenter. Trudy Donker is my older sister.

Now I am pretending to be...and have been doing a fair job so far,Her royal majesty Hadely Herald Herring, the eldest daughter of the recently deceased Queen Helena Herald Herring, of the Yorkshire pudding dynasty, monarchs of the quaint kingdom of Laverna.

It all came about quite suddenly, and through no fault of my own. Well, maybe a little...

Princess Hadely had been loved throughout the land. The fine folk of Laverna had adored her, and were waiting in anticipation for the day that she would ascend to the throne. You see her mother, Queen Helena had been well enough respected and most certainly feared, but not loved as was the case with her kind hearted, quietly strong daughter.

Princess Hadely thrived on the company of her subjects, spending as much time within the small villages surrounding the castle that was considered strictly necessary. Or so I have been told.

Trudy and I are not from Laverna. Nor are we from any part of the kingdom reigned over by the Yorkshire pudding dynasty. We are from a much smaller, and less advanced, tribe of people apparently unheard of in this kingdom. Good thing, that...or this little switch would never have worked.

I bear a striking resemblance to the once late princess, and recently the presently late queen Hadely. I don't think any one suspects anything so far, although I have started hearing whispered gossip in the castle corridors, of the more 'vivacious' queen Hadely.
No one had ever accused Geraldine Donker of being a lady...nor a prude. Seems Miss Hadely was of the more reserved persuasion.

Her royal princesship had been on one of her monthly forays to the outer villages of the kingdom, a village known as Bjork..don't ask...and Trudy and I had just so happened to be there at the same time as she.

There was a terrific storm that afternoon, caught us all quite by surprise.
Trudy and I were just on the outskirts of Bjork when the storm hit. We sought shelter in a small red barn that turned out to be abandoned. It smelt of old damp hay and the rats had made their headquarters in the rafters, but it kept us dry and out of the lightning and thunder so we decided to weather the storm there.

We hadn't been there long, about one hour I'd say. Trudy was up in the loft checking for any hay that may have escaped the leaky roof so we could burn it for a fire.
Suddenly, the barn door slammed open. It was so unexpected, I jumped backwards, tripping over a hay bale and disappearing behind it in a puff of dust.

Because of this, I missed what happened next.

Trudy heard the commotion from below and stopped scrounging for hay. She made her way to the edge of the loft, where you could peer over a low railing and see the whole of the barn floor below.

She says she doesn't know WHY the rock was there on the loft floor, where any hapless fool might accidentally kick it, knocking it over the edge and onto the unprotected head of the unsuspecting victim below.

Very unfortunately for our lovely princess, it was just this set of coincidences, and she happened to be standing in the exact wrong spot at the exact wrong moment that Trudy's foot made contact with said rock. The medium sized rock, not even big enough really for the toe that stubbed it to be very painful the next day, fell. Gravity leant it weight. I'm sure you know the rest.

" O dear! Deary deary me...."

This all happened in the space of a minute, I hadn't even properly gotten up from behind the haystack yet.

"No...NO NO NO Deeny!"

Trudy only ever used my pet name when she was feeling particularly affectionate towards me.

"What? I only fell a little ways! Hit my head on soft hay, didn't even get a bump or anything..."

She whirled around at the sound of my voice, her face as white as a sheet.

" What's going on Trudy..."

Then I saw the girl behind her.


" You look just like her Deeny! I mean, spitting image right? You could be twins! Maybe you are twins! Always thought you was a bit of an odd ball growing up..."

Trudy was chattering away endlessly as we trudged through the storm towards Bjork, trying to find someone to help us. I lowered my cloak to cover my face, trying to block out the sound of Trudy's voice. Lucky thing I did as it transpired.

We hadn't been walking long when we came across a small party of men on horseback.

" Ho there ladies! Walking about in this storm?"

" It would appear so kind sir." He was quite a looker that one, sir something or the other. Never did get his name...

" but then again so are you..."

He didn't waste any time on idle chit chat. Dam.

" Ladies, a few questions and we'll be on our way. We are searching most desperately for a young lady. Small lass, yellow hair and blue eye's..."
Trudy looked at me, eye's wide with shock, and I turned back to the men, ready to speak.

" We lost her in the storm. Quiet unfortunate for us if we don't find her. Queen Helena is not as forgiving as her daughter, princess Hadely."

" Queen!? Princess?...!!!" I struggled to string it all together. There was a word for those who killed someone of the royal blood.. accident or not. It was widely known. That word was 'Drawn and quartered.'

Luckily for us, while I inherited whatever looks may be running in the Donker blood, Trudy got the lions share of the brains.

Before I could blurt out what was slowly coming to realization, Trudy saved us and stepped swiftly in front of me.

" No, sorry sirs. She doesn't sound familiar...In fact, we have not seen a soul save yourselves, for the past two days. Just two aimless wonderers, wondering aimlessly...looking for shelter from the storm."

The man barely heard her. Suppose he was too occupied imagining the horrible punishments the queen would have heaped upon his head if he went back without the princess.

" OK. Right then. Thanks all the same ladies..."

And they reigned in their horses and galloped away.

It was all Trudy's idea. I wanted no part. I wanted to run away from Bjork and never EVER look back...we might not be as advanced as this nation, but even we knew what happened to poor peasant girls that killed princesses.

After much pleading, arguing, shouting and gesticulating, Trudy had me convinced.

We circled back the way we had come, careful not to let the riders see us, they were moving slowly by then , scouring the surrounding woods for their princess.

We came to the barn just as they were about to enter it. And the body of the late princess Hadely lying there lifeless for all the world to see.

We ran up behind them, Trudy whooping with joy.

" Found her kind sirs! We found your princess!"

I lowered my cloak and they saw my face.
No questions were asked.
They didn't even think to ask where Trudy's companion had gone.
Their relief was too great.

Turns out they need not have worried.

Upon returning to the castle on horseback, I tried to say as little as possible the entire time, there was much blowing of horns and frantic activity outside the castle gates.

" Is it ALWAYS like this? " Trudy and I looked at each other nervously from our perspective mounts. I knew she was thinking what I was thinking...THEY FOUND HER!!!

That wasn't it. We found out a little while later, after several attempts at escape that were unknowingly thwarted, that the queen had choked on a chicken bone and died earlier in the day.

Not many people in the castle were well acquainted with Hadely, her mother had forbidden it. She had no siblings and few friends, none of whom lived in the castle. All the people that would have been able to tell Hadely from me, her wet nurse, her friends, perspective boyfriends ( not many) her mother, all gone.

So I took her place. And went from being a princess for the smaller part of an afternoon, to being 'Her Majesty Hadely Herald Herring, the tenth Queen of the Yorkshire pudding dynasty, ruler over the kingdom Laverna and all her subjects.'

Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

They have not as yet discovered the body of the, well REAL Queen, strictly in the sense of the word. She's not missing out on very much....poor girl probably made a good meal for the rats...

I have been queen going on three weeks not, and I really don't see the fuss of it.
There are a lot of important people who sort out the boring stuff like taxes, war, famine...etc.
All I need do is to appear queenly in the public eye, which involves dressing in elaborate puffy dresses and wigs almost taller than me, much dancing with eligible Lords of the kingdom..Every Queen needs her king after all!

And much eating of cake.

Lord or Lady contest entry

Just a light hearted story...would have elaborated on her life as queen, but it was getting too long...she would have been the Marie Antoinette of the Yorkshire pudding dynasty!:) Hope you enjoy it
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