Emerald Queen - Part 2

Written in response to: Write about someone in a thankless job.... view prompt

12 comments

Fiction Coming of Age Contemporary

Collab with Akshara. Link to Part ONE here: https://blog.reedsy.com/short-story/pdgbup/

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Early signs of fall flittered past the queen’s window. Leaves on the trees traded colors with the ground as they fell to eventually die for winter. Elma sat on her alcove looking over at the leaves falling. Her thoughts had troubled her as the night before flooded her memory. 


“Good morning, your majesty, is there anything I can get for you?” Bertha said, interrupting her thoughts. “Perhaps a cup of warm tea?”


Elma glanced up to shake her head, a tiny smile etched on her face. Bertha could tell something was wrong. Probably from the deep crevices and furrowed brows on the queen’s forehead. 


“What’s the matter with you?” Bertha strode over to the alcove and sat down in front of her. She cupped the young queen’s face and asked, “What’s on your mind, sweetheart? Something troubling you?”


“Yes, Bertha,” Elma responded somberly, the smile leaving her face. “I don’t know what I’m to do now that I am queen. I have the crown and the people, but what do I do once they actually need my help? What if I fail my people?”


“Oh my. That’s what you’re worrying about?” Bertha smiled tenderly. “You are well enough to be queen-”


Elma furiously shakes her head. “NO! NO! I have made a mistake,” the queen exclaims. “I can’t be queen. I cannot be queen. I cannot. I can’t follow in my dad’s footsteps. I… I can’t…” The queen sat back, leaning against the wall and she cupped her hands over her face. 


Bertha watched as the queen’s shoulders gently trembled. It was all she could do but to put a resting hand upon her knee. “What’s the matter, sweetheart?” she asked gently. “What do you mean follow in your father’s footsteps?”


Elma continued to sob once she dropped her hands. “I met someone.” Her words barely whisper.


“At the ceremony? Who is it? I bet it was Prince Sayed from Allende. I could tell by the way he kept staring at you. Or, or, or, it was Prince Rafeed from Gardenia. Oh Gardenia is such a beautiful palace-”


“It wasn’t a prince, Bertha.”


“What?” Bertha was taken aback. “So who is this man?”


The queen sighs and rests her head upon the wall, gazing back out of her window. “I’ve never met a man that I’ve loved more than him. Just one look and I knew he was meant to be my soulmate. But I cannot love him. I can’t make Alvia doubt their queen more than they already have.”


“Elma, who is this man?” Bertha prompted.


“Adnan” Elma sighed. “Adnan is his name. But he bore the title of peasant among Llanview. He is to serve Prince Crowe until the day he dies. That is his fair punishment.”


“Your majesty…” Bertha starts.


“I know, I know. I cannot fall for a slave. If the country knew that another of their leaders went against the rules God laid out for them they’ll surely try to have me removed.” Elma pouted. “But I cannot stop thinking about his eyes. His beautiful blue eyes and his bronze skin that practically glowed under the fluorescent lights last night. His soft fair hair and his broad shoulders… I don’t think I could fathom anyone other than him.” 


Bertha stares at Elma for a while before she starts laughing out loud. 


“What is so funny, Bertha?” the queen asks. “Is this amusing to you?”


“No it isn’t, darling.” she replies. “I just remember your father having the same glint in his eyes when he talked about your mother. My, he loved her so much. Anyone with a heart could see that he was the happiest man in this entire world, as long as he had Issoria by his side.”


“What do you propose I do then?” Elma asks, finally shifting her gaze away from the window. “I couldn’t possibly marry this man and make a mockery of my name. My mother has already done that enough.”


“Now you stop right there,” Bertha stated firmly. “Your mother was no fool and she didn’t leave such a scar on your name as you say. She fell in love. There’s nothing wrong with love. And by her loving your father they spread peace among the countries and we have been spared from many wars. Your mother was a highlight of this country. I will not let her bash her name because of your own pride…”


Quiet spread around the room. Elma shifted her gaze back to the window, proceeding to watch the circle of leaves float into a pile her gardner had already raked. 


“I’m sorry, your majesty. I have stepped out of line. I did not mean-”


“No,” the queen said. “Maybe I needed to hear that, Bertha. Maybe I have been selfish. I just… I lost hope. How can I rule my country when I can’t even control my own life. What will I do?”


“There’s only one thing to do,” Bertha got up from her seat and clasped her hands behind her back. “You must do what you think is best. If you really love this man like you say that you do, it shouldn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Do whatever makes you happy. And then you and {name again] can rule Alvia like no other king and queen could. Go farther than your father and mother. It’s what they would’ve wanted you to do.” 


Elma stared up at Bertha. “Where’d you get to be so wise, Bertha? How come you're a slave knowing what you know?”


Bertha started towards the door framing the queen’s room. “Because I used to be just like you. And I let him get away from me. I would never wish that for you.” Elma raised an eyebrow but Bertha was already out the door. 


Elma returned her gaze back to the window. She felt like she was about to throw up. She opened the window and a light breeze brushed her raven hair behind her. Nothing but her thoughts troubled her. 


A noise below drew attention away from her thoughts. She leaned over the edge and saw someone she had never thought she’d see again. Below near the pile of leaves was standing Adnan with his arms outstretched towards her.


“Please?” he asked. “Come with me.”


She hesitated, looking back at her door which was now closed. In one foul movement, she leaned farther over the edge. “You’d better catch me!” she said with a small laugh.


November 22, 2021 22:01

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12 comments

Daniel Hayes
06:32 Dec 12, 2021

Hi!! This was a great read, and I really enjoyed it. It was masterfully written. Great Job!!!!

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Cookie Carla🍪
14:44 Dec 13, 2021

Thank you!!

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Luna 🌹
18:26 Nov 30, 2021

I loved this story so much! I like the character Bertha a lot, Elma too, their relationship reminds me of my mom who passed away. Thanks for bringing those memories back, beautifully written! Can you both do another collab or something? I like your writing so bad together-

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Cookie Carla🍪
14:39 Dec 01, 2021

Thank you so much for the feedback and the comment!! Maybe there is some more collabs coming soon from us- Akshara whatdya say??

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17:33 Dec 02, 2021

I can't believe stalking your comments made me read my own name...

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Cookie Carla🍪
21:05 Dec 02, 2021

When to collab or when meaning the thing I put in my bio? Of course I want to!!! Lmk if you have any ideas!

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Rachel Rose
18:18 Nov 30, 2021

heyy! I'm came after reading Akshara's part one. :) You wrote this perfectly~The descriptions took me to the palace. I also love how you and Akshara showed Betha and Elma's relationship so purely. 😊 I LOVE this collaboration, hoping to see more of these from you. ;) soon...maybe?

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Luna 🌹
18:23 Nov 30, 2021

*not me commenting the same thing* 💀

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Cookie Carla🍪
14:40 Dec 01, 2021

Thank you so much for the feedback and the comment!! Maybe :)

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Rachel Rose
17:30 Dec 02, 2021

of-course!! yay lmk when you do! :)

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05:50 Nov 23, 2021

Oh My Gosh That's literally all I can say right now, you wrote this perfectly! 💕 Though I know what will happen in the end, I was still shocked LOL. :) It's been an absolute pleasure writing with you, hope to write more in the future. <3

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Cookie Carla🍪
16:24 Nov 29, 2021

💕💕tank yous!!

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