Ragtag Daily Prompt: Bridge

Shocked by the Chamberlain’s rebuke, Monsignor von Thornbird forced his gaze downwards to the floor of the Presence Chamber. “Sir!” Had shouted the Queen’s Chamberlain. “You forget yourself!” Indeed, the Emperor’s new ambassador extraordinaire had forgotten himself. So beautiful was the Queen to whose Court he’d been sent, Monsignor von Thornbird had been ill-equipped to remember the rules of protocol that dictated he never look the Queen directly in the face. How not to look with admiration upon the most beautiful face in the world?

“My lord Chamberlain,” said Queen Pirouette in a voice so sweet that it made birdsong sound like thunder, “Please do not be so harsh with the Monsignor. He is new to our Court. He must be given some leeway in order to adjust to his new surroundings.”

The Chamberlain bowed deeply from the waist. “Forgive me, Sire,” he muttered. Scouring his mind for some excuse to explain his indecorous outburst, he rubbed his forehead, as if that would hatch a thought worthy of a man of his station. “Forgive me, Monsignor,” he finally managed to utter in a tone that sounded deeply sincere to all in the presence chamber. “Please forgive me,” he repeated.

“Let’s not become mired in blame,” said the Queen serenely. Extending her hand for the ambassador to kiss, she continued. “My lord Monsignor, it is my sincere hope that you shall act as a bridge between myself and your master, the Emperor.”

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Cobalt

When Monsignor Nigel von Thornbird entered the Presence Chamber, also known as the throne room, his heart was beating so hard that it felt as though it might burst from his chest. The Chamber was basically a long, wide hallway, fifty feet wide and one hundred and fifty feet long. On the left and right were galleries where the curious could look down upon the royal grandeur. Poor Nigel could feel the pressure of all these gazes weighing down upon him. He thanked the fact that he was employing a walking stick to help him maintain his equilibrium as he moved carefully, one careful step at a time, toward the Queen who sat enthroned on a dais at the end of the room.

As he progressed closer to Queen Pirouette, he could hear the hissing of the courtiers as they whispered to each other about this new intruder into their realm. The new Imperial ambassador chose to recite in his mind a childhood nursery rhyme in an effort to drown them out. Ring around the rosies. A pocket full of posies. Ashes! Ashes! We all fall down! Surprisingly, it worked rather well and he was able to concentrate his attention on the woman that he’d been sent to meet. While he used his right hand to clutch his walking stick, in his left hand, he held the letter of introduction for the Queen that had been written in the Emperor’s own hand.

Once within five feet of the bottom of the dais, he fell to one knee. The Royal Chamberlain struck the marble floor of the Presence Chamber with his staff and shouted, “Monsignor Nigel von Thornbird, ambassador extraordinaire of His Imperial Majesty,” he paused, not daring to speak the name of the Emperor in front of his Queen, and so he concluded the introduction with the words, “etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.”

Against all protocol, the Monsignor couldn’t resist the urge to look Queen Pirouette directly in the face. He had to suppress the urge to gasp. Never had he seen such beauty. Most striking were the Queen’s eyes, the deepest shade of blue that he’d ever seen on another human being. While she gazed straight ahead, as if concentrating on something in the distance, he felt drawn to the young woman on the throne. Cobalt, he thought. Her eyes are made of cobalt!

“You forget yourself, sir!” Said the Chamberlain angrily, shocked by the ambassador’s temerity.