WRITER NOTE: This is a retrospective for one of my characters, Queen Esther Greath, through her eyes in Chapter 41 of The Blacksmith's Nephew. This also happens to be one of my favorite chapters I have written so please enjoy.
It has been nearly four days since I, Queen Esther Greath of the Northern Kingdom of Rissindell, has sent my brave warriors out to save my one and only daughter Ruth. I have been hardly sleeping for the past few days. Each day, I keep on thinking about my daughter and each night, I was having nightmares which were being fueled with the Dark Wizard in them.
One night, I dreamt that Ruth gave up hope and said “I do” to the vile villain having to marry him for all eternity. The next night, I dreamt that the Dark Wizard killed all of her brave warriors and took Ruth beyond Rissindell, never to be seen again. But just last night had to be the worst one of them all! Ruth was somehow conceived to set her soul to darkness all thanks to the villain getting into her head. And with that, the two of them appeared in front of me trying to overthrown myself.
After the final one of these series of nightmares, I've decided that I should start drinking hot tea before heading to bed. I was never a fan of tea to begin with but with the endless sleep and unwanted dreams, I had no choice but consider it as an option.
It was about 6 o’clock in the evening at the Northern Kingdom. All was quiet throughout the night. Everyone in the village and castle were heading to bed early that evening. Ever since the kidnapping, everyone has been rather sad and depressed for the Princess was truly loved by many. The one who was suffering the most of them all was myself of course.
There hasn’t been much activity going around in the village because it was mostly Ruth who had made things such enjoyable. My Ruth would organize all kinds of events for us people in the Northern Kingdom. These events inlcluded: festivals, parties, masquerade balls, fashion shows, pie eating completions, singing and dancing contents. Everyone always had a blast at these events hosted by my lovely daughter of mine but with her gone and capture by the evil sorcerer, there was no need for such events.
No one worked at all and I was completely fine with this. I wouldn’t want my people to be out in case the Dark Wizard comes back to hurt them. Even the kids weren’t playing outside for their parents were awfully concerned about the evilness lurking about the village. Security was really tight within the week of my Ruth being gone. Though there haven’t even been any sorts of crimes at all in the village. This all made made the guards’ job easy yet extremely dull.
Everyone and everything was quarantined expect for the knights and guards, for they were the essential lookouts during this time of need.
With everything being on lockdown mode, I had made sure my people got enough food and drinks to last the whole week. My guards, knights, servants and I gave the villagers the essential supplies for all of them to survive by going to each household. Even my dear best friend, Flavia, and her band of Fanjesters helped out with the supplies.
I had made sure that Flavia and the Fanjesters would stay at the castle for the entire week. For I wouldn’t and didn't want them to be involved with any of this.
They accepted the offer but had no spirit of playing any type of music since Ruth was gone. I couldn't blame them; I won't have the heart for it either. The band was in lockdown as well as everyone else including myself was in the Northern Kingdom.
In my bedroom chambers up in the highest tower of the castle was where I slept. Before heading to bed, I had to drink my tea in order to try to get a good night rest. I sat there in my most comfortable chair near by the chimney which was warmed with fire. I wore a blue nightgown that night and with soft, delicate hands of mine, I held the cup as I felt the warmth given from the tea.
I've requested a guard every night in my chambers while I was alone for I had feared that the Dark Wizard might want me as his next victim. The guard of the night: Aimon gave me my tea which was stored in a pot along with some sugar cubes, honey, and three cups all on a sliver plated tray. I offered Aimon some tea but he politely declined it.
I then sat there and thought about my friend Flavia. We haven’t gotten talk much recently so I requested to have Flavia come join me for a cup of tea. Flavia accepts the invite, and shortly afterwards was seated on a chair next to me drinking some hot tea. Flavia wore a pink pair of onesies that evening. They also acquired white otters on it. She even wore some otters slippers made out of fake fur.
The two of us talked for some time once Flavia was acquired for. We chit chatted about the Fanjester’s journey across the country and beyond along with the my years of ruling and raising a child as a widowed parent over a cup of tea.
There I was, a more relaxed Queen sitting on a chair by the fire accompanied by a guard, best friend, and hot tea.
Suddenly the fire in her chimney went out. Myself along with my guard and bestie became startled. A flame came up from the ground. It took shape of a six foot figure, the Dark Wizard: Gerlard, who stood there in the middle of the room grinning at the three of us.
Aimon quickly drew out his sword pointing it at the villain yet I held out my hand out for him to remain calm. He withdrew his sword but kept a very close eye on the evil sorcerer standing there before us.
Meanwhile Flavia remained sitting there giving the villain an angry face. She didn’t want him here anymore than Aimon and I do.
“Hello Beautiful, how are you doing on this lovely evening?” asked the villain through his villainous grin. He was referring to me when he asked the question.
“What do you want now Gerlard?” I replied. “You are getting what you want! My warriors will be there before the week ends. Have you come here to surrender seeing my warriors’ potential of defeating you or did you want to kidnap me while you’re still at it?”
“I’ve come here for old time’s sakes,” the villain said. “You see, it’s been years since we had talked, my love. And yes…I know you’re precious warriors are still on their way. I’ve been watching their every move. But no, I will never surrender because I am no quitter. You should know that given our history together. Anyways I’m good with just having your daughter as my prisoner and future wife.”
I responded: “Save it! I don’t want to speak to you! You’re the cause of all of this! First of all, you waged war onto the great people of Rissindell; secondly, you killed my husband, Ruth’s father; third, you made everyone including my own people fear from any magic of the sort; and finally, you have kidnapped my daughter having me to be stressed and exhausted. There is no need to talk to you. You’re just wasting your time.”
“Ha-ha-ha, sweet little Esther...always blaming it all on me for the troubles within the land of Rissindell…” said the villain as he drawls forward. Aimon the guard quickly drew out his sword again while Flavia and I immediately stood up from our cozy chairs. Gerlard sees this and chuckles. “Don’t mind me,” said the villain as he reached for the pot and cup from the table pouring himself some tea.
Gerlard poured his tea very dramatically and slow while having the three of us there standing feeling tense. The Dark Wizard takes his first sip from his tea, sighs with relieve and replied: “Ah, I do love me some tea…”
My dear friend Flavia then chimes in by saying: “I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”
“Flavia, please don’t provoke him,” I whispered to her.
Flavia looks at me and replied: “It’s alright, my dear. I can handle this.” She then turns to Gerlard and continues on by saying: “You shouldn’t be here Gerlard. No one wants you here. You should leave because not only you have been stressing Esther out, but you’ve also have stressed me and the others out as well. All of this stress is killing me because of you kidnapping my precious niece.”
“Ha,” chuckles the villain while rolling his eyes. He continued: “she isn’t your actual niece because you both aren’t blood related.”
Flavia replied with frustration after hearing that comment: “That all doesn’t matter because I treat her as of my own. She is adopted by heart. Family is more than just being blood related. No matter who we are or where we have come from, we will always be there for each other. SHE IS MY NIECE NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY!”
I had some tears in my eyes. I've always appreciated that Flavia always treated my daughter as her own niece. But I had no patience with the villain at this point. “Gerlard, I’ll ask you one last time: what is it that you want?”
The villain stood there mid-sip while the I asked my question once more. He finishes his sip and then replied: “Why I have missed you oh so very much my dear. The only way I can reach you is through your dreams. You and I both know we had a thing for each other until that fowl king had to come into the picture and ruined everything.”
I saw that coming. It wasn’t surprising that Gerlard would bring those sorts of stuff up especially with all the things he had pulled in the past. He always had to blame it on someone or something else he has done onto himself. 'I can’t believe we’re arguing over this,' I said this to myself mentally, 'especially when it was his own doing.'
But with soft sigh, I replied back: “Yes…we did have a thing, but that was a very long time ago before you started talking madness. You talked about wanting unlimited power and gaining control over everyone. Plus, I didn’t like that we were secretly dating considering it was against the rule for a knight to be in any sort of romance. Reuben came to me when I was at my lowest. I was only a milkmaid having with little to no pay. When he visited at the Capital’s market day all those years ago, he had brought all the milk he needed for him and his people. I could see his kindness from my own eyes with that gesture! He also saw something in me no one else could see and neither could I back then, which was my beauty. Since then, I have loved him and he loved me. Reuben’s twice the man you ever will be!”
“SHUT IT!” shouted Gerlard making his flame burst upward making him look a little taller than he was.
Flavia and I both took a step back. Meanwhile my loyal guard: Aimon went in front of us while we stood behind him.
The villain then takes his fist over his mouth and coughs, continuing more calmly now: “I loved you and you broke my heart. You should have given me a chance. No one else did and here I was thinking you’ll be different. But nope, I was wrong. You can’t be trusted. Not you, not anyone.”
I was quite frustrated and tired. I've had enough of this man’s grudge towards me. Yet somehow I had felt a little bad from what he had to go through but even still, his actions were as of a madman.
I sighed once again before continuing with a calm voice: “I had feelings for you too but that was all gone when I saw something in you that I didn’t want. I saw the ugliness from within. I’m sorry for breaking your heart but I couldn’t trust you either with all the things you had did in your past at the Knight’s Academy especially when you started the war. I hope you had made some closure today because I did what I can do for you. Now, please leave and never come back here ever again! And also stay out of my dreams, you creep!”
Gerlard responded: “As a matter of fact: yes, I now have some closure. It was about time I did. You know, you and I are the same if you think about it…Still holds true.”
The Dark Wizard then threw the tea cup into the chimney causing it to break in pieces onto the warmed logs. The villain then walks away to the middle of the room and slightly turns his head continuing: “And thank you Esther for the apology. You were always apologetic.”
I was furious at this point from what he had said. For what he had said was true. In actuality, Gerlard and I were the same in a sense because both blame each other for what had happened all those years ago. So I threw my cup towards the Dark Wizard but as far as it went, it didn’t hit him for the fire was already gone, deceasing to the floor.
I stood there for a moment with some heavy breathing through my mouth and nose. Aimon withdrew his sword as Flavia attends to me and says: “You must sit down, Esther dear.”
“Yes, yes Flavia, you are right. Thank you honey,” I replied as I sat back down back on my cozy chair with Flavia and Aimon watching over me. I sat there praying in thought as my eyes shut: “Lord, please help my dear daughter and brave warriors come back home safe and sound.”
After my little prayer, the chimney fire came back after the conversation with Gerlard and the pot was now filled with lukewarm tea.
As I seated still there, I thought about the knight rule and how silly it was. I've been thinking of changing it for quite some time now ever since I met Terrance all those years ago. I thought to myself: 'I shall have it taken care of once my warriors come back safely with my one and only daughter.'
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Hi Sean. “It has been nearly four days since I, Queen Esther Greath of the Northern Kingdom of Rissindell, has sent my brave warriors out to save my one and only daughter Ruth.” I think the sentence works better if you remove ‘has’ from ‘has sent’ because has is present tense and sent is past tense. “Ruth was somehow conceived to set her soul to darkness.” Convinced? “ pie eating completions” I’m sure that must be competitions. Do you have autocorrect on your word processing software? Some of these little mistakes seem like the ones softw...
Thank you for all the feedback Graham. Much appreciated. Most definitely going to fix some of that in my second edition. But yeah, I like the history between them too so glad you enjoyed it bro