Ragtag Daily Prompt: Myocarditis

While the Duchess du Linge was grateful to Pirouette for giving her a place in the Royal Household, she found many of her duties most unpleasant. Her main objection was the need to interact with tradesmen. If the Queen wanted a new wig, it was up to the Duchess to contact the wigmakers with specific instructions about the style required. Worse yet, she was required to change the Queens bedsheets everyday, like some common housemaid. I’m sure that there are some who’d be honored to pour the Queen’s bathwater. She thought to herself.

It was while she was in the middle of changing the Queen’s bedsheets that she felt a terrible pain in her chest. Even more alarming was the inability to take a deep breath. Overcome with dizziness, she perched herself on the edge of the Queen’s bed in order to collect herself, but she found it impossible. It was Abigail who found her in this state. “Madam! Are you alright?” Asked Abigail alarmed.

“Yes, yes,” murmured the Duchess. “I just need a moment-” She cut herself off in mid-sentence because the pain in her chest was like a dagger stabbing her in the heart. Abigail immediately called for a doctor. What the doctor did not know, could not know, was that the Duchess was suffering from a viral infection of the heart, leading to a condition called myocarditis. Bleeding and a senna purge were ordered which, of course, had no effect beyond making the poor Duchess feel even more light-headed. She was put into bed and a priest was called to administer the last rites.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Fanciful

“What’s the first order of business?” Asked Pirouette of the prime minister.

Giving his papers a final shuffle, clearing his throat and looking about at the the stony faces around the table, he spoke, “Your coronation- I mean to say, the planning of your coronation, is of the utmost importance. I’d say that the sooner the better.”

Pirouette looked around the room, every head was nodding in agreement. “But what about my marriage to Monsieur le comte?”

Monsieur le duc des Potins spoke up. “It is feared, Your Majesty, that if you wed Monsieur le comte before your coronation, then he will be seen as your equal, or worse yet, your superior. He will undoubtably wish to be coronated beside you. That would never do. It would engender dangerous jealousies among the noblemen of the Kingdom.”

“Are you all in agreement with these fanciful ideas?” Asked Pirouette quietly. Murmurs of assent drifted around the table. Abigail, who was standing directly behind Pirouette’s chair, leaned in and whispered something in Pirouette’s ear. Pirouette laughed. “Perhaps Monsieur le duc would care to replace my beloved GarGar as my consort?”

Everybody in the room, even the guards, burst into laughter. The only person not laughing was the duke himself who was not only twenty years Pirouette’s senior but also already married to one of the wealthiest women in the Kingdom. He had a high opinion of himself, so he secretly resented being the brunt of the Queen’s joke.

“Perhaps Monsieur le duc could be the new Court jester!” Chimed in Tata Sous-sus, never one to measure her words before speaking.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Bromide

When the late King had been a young man, he attended every meeting of his Privy Council. As he grew older, his appearances at these important gatherings became fewer and further between. In his dotage, he stopped going altogether. The Prime Minister, for all intents and purposes, had been running the show for years. Nobody was more surprised than he when the new Queen didn’t dismiss him out of hand. So when the clock struck twelve noon, he shuffled his papers, cleared his throat and called the meeting to order.

Suddenly to everybody’s surprise, the sound of trumpets penetrated the brass double-doors that were the main entrance of the council chamber. There was a loud rapping on the door and the voice of the Royal Chamberlain could be heard, “The Queen! The Queen!” To the dismay of all of the Royal Councilors, Pirouette entered the room, followed by her ladies, chief among them Abigail Hoffenhoff and Tata Sous-sus. Everybody rose quickly to their feet, some knocking their chairs over in their hurry.

Pirouette moved quickly to the chair at the head of the table (where Monsieur le premier ministre normally sat.) “Gentlemen, you may sit,” she said smoothly.

Without missing a beat, the Prime Minister sat at the chair to Pirouette’s right, creating a mad shuffle of musical chairs as the other men of the Council scrambled for a place at the table. The odd man out, Monsieur le duc des Potins was forced to sit on a hassock where one of the scribes usually sat. In a huff, the displaced scribe handed Monsieur le duc his tray that contained virgin parchment, ink pots and quills, saying simply, “Here! You’re going to need these!” Without even bowing to the Queen, the scribe fled the room through a side door.

“Go take a bromide!” Shouted Monsieur le duc at the scribe’s back.

“Welcome, Your Majesty!” Said the Prime Minister with his most winning smile.

“How dare you address me before I’ve spoken to you first!” Snapped Pirouette, “And how dare you commence this meeting of my Privy Council before I’d arrived.” Her words had the effect of wiping the Prime Minister’s smile from his face, replacing it with a downcast frown. “I mean to rule here, not just reign. You will do well to remember that henceforth.”