Flash Fiction Friday: Royal Apples

Gala Apple on Tree by Randy Cockrell

Gala Apple on Tree by Randy Cockrell

The prompt for this story came from a Chuck Wendig challenge. From a list of uncommon apple names, pick three and create a story using those names. I had fun with this and used more than three names.

King Solomon sat on his throne, Reverend Morgan standing on the floor of the throne room in front of him. All of the King’s advisors and courtiers had been sent from the room. He even dismissed the guards. They were alone.

“Tell me again?”

“Yes, Sire. Your son, Crown Prince Rudolph has come to me in private asking me to wed him and one of your maids, Malinda. I put him off, but it seemed to me that the young man was making an error in judgment. I’ve come to you, despite Prince Rudolph’s confidence in me, to let you know.” He spun his hat in his hands around and around the brim as he spoke.

The King drummed his fingers on the arm of the throne. It was just like his son to run off and try to secretly wed one of the servants. He scowled at the Reverend. “I find it disconcerting, sir, that you betray a confidence of one of your flock.”

Reverend Morgan had the grace to look ashamed.

“That being said, I appreciate the information. Have you met the girl?”

“No, Sire. Just the Crown Prince.” The man shuffled his feet and looked at the floor.

King Solomon glared at the far wall. “That will be all, Reverend. Thank you for telling me.”

The Reverend bowed, turned and hurried to the door of the throne room. By the time the echos of the door closing behind the man finished ricocheting around the room, the King decided what to do. “Guard!”

Two guards opened the door to the throne room and stood at attention. One of you find the Prince and bring him to my apartments. The other one, find the servant Malinda. Bring her to me after the Prince arrives in my apartment.”

The guards bowed and hurried off.

An hour later, Crown Prince Rudolph was shown into the King’s apartment. He was at his carved oaken desk in front of a window, reading dispatches.”

“Father,” the Prince bowed in front of the desk. “You sent for me?”

The King put down the dispatch he was reading and stared at his son. “You’re twenty-three this year, son, are you not?”

“Yes, Father.”

“And you think it’s time for you to marry?”

A blush crept up the young man’s face. He straightened his spine. “I do, Father. I take it Reverend Morgan spoke with you?”

The King stacked his papers neatly and set them to the side of the desk. He folded his hands in front of himself. “He did. You are aware that I am negotiating an alliance with the King of Russet for the hand of his daughter for you?”

“I’m aware, Father. But I’ve never met the girl. She could look like a horse and weigh as much.”

They were interrupted by a knock at the door. “Enter,” the King called out.

The guards escorted the servant, Malinda, into the room. The King dismissed them with a wave of his hand. A comely girl, the King thought to himself, as he watched the two young people exchange worried glances. She stood next to the Prince after a curtsy to the King.

“You wish to wed my son?”

She glanced at the Prince and swallowed. “Yes, Sire.”

“I have plans for the Prince. Marrying a servant does the kingdom no favors, girl.”

Her head drooped. “I understand, Sire.”

A teardrop sparkled in the sunlight streaming through the window. He felt sorry for them but he had to think about the kingdom. “Where are you from, girl?”

“From the Kingdom of Apple, Sire. I came here as a child, my parents were killed there.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. I remember an uprising there, oh, ten years ago. The royal family was all killed. The country still hasn’t recovered.” He looked closely at the girl.

“Yes, Sire.”

“The King and his Queen were friends of mine. We held a hunt every year.” He leaned forward. “Let me see your face.”

The Prince nodded for her to comply. She held up her head, tears still in her blue eyes.

The King’s brow furrowed. “Who were your parents?”

Malinda twisted her skirt in her hand and looked as though she wanted to bolt from the room. “My parents here are shop keepers, Sire. They sell dry goods and imported items from other lands.”

He shook his head. “Your birth parents. Who were they?”

Her mouth worked and she twisted the bit of skirt even harder. “I was told never to say, Sire. For my own protection.”

The King pushed away from the desk and walked to the girl taking her face in his hand. He peered into her face. “Tell me.”

He could see her throat work. “King Oliver and Queen Lacy.”

“I knew it,” he shouted and dropped his hand. “You look just like your mother.”

She shrank back as the Prince put his arm around her.

“What is it, Father?”

“I’d heard that the Princess’ body had never been found. I sent spies into the revolution to try and find out what happened but the girl was gone without a trace. The shop keepers, who were they?”

She took the Prince’s hand. “My guard and my nanny. They married when they got here and kept me safe.”

King Solomon clapped his son on the shoulder. “Perfect. I’ve wanted to do something about that revolution for years. This is excellent.”

Two months later, the Crown Prince Rudolph married Princess Malinda. In the spring, he led the army to the Kingdom of Apple to retake the throne. After the war, he and Queen Malinda reigned there happily ever after.


The End

936 Words

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