Ragtag Daily Prompt: Art

All day the bells had been ringing. Now that the identity of the strange man had been confirmed, and it had been confirmed by the best source in the kingdom, that being the Queen. Now it was time to celebrate. Close all the shops! Fill the public fountains with wine! Let there be music and dancing in the streets. GarGar le comte des Deux Chats was home, safe and sound. If that wasn’t a cause célèbre, then what was?

Like any good politician, GarGar had made courting public opinion into a fine art. Just days after arriving at Court, he was already planning parades, parties, celebratory masses and even a masked ball in order to advance the celebrations. Queen Pirouette was sitting back, watching with bemusement as her future husband took matters into his capable hands. All she had to do at this point was simply to sign the checks.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Stranger

“Just answer her!” Hissed Lady Abigail who was clearly at the end of her rope with all this missing GarGar business. She was waiting for the stranger to perjure himself, to claim that he was the lost comte des Deux Chats. At which point, he would be executed or locked away forever, thus ending, if not the entire saga, then at least a chapter.

“Ever since I returned, I’ve been treated like a stranger. I’m tired of it. I’m GarGar, le comte des Deux Chats. There! I said it! I hope you’re happy!”

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Bubbles

The Queen’s bedchamber had been quickly changed into a sick room. Heavy tapestries covered all the windows. Wax candles provided flickering glimmers of light, but it was difficult for one to focus their vision on anything more than a few feet away. The rose and jasmine incense that fill the room made it feel stuffy and closed in.

After leaving the ball, Lady Abigail undressed Pirouette and put her under a pile of covers. “If she gets much hotter, we will have to soak her in cold water to bring down the fever.” The doctor on duty stroked his beard and shook his head. “Clearly this is a case that requires bleeding.” Tata Sous-sus chimed in with an approving “um-huh!”

Pirouette, who was covered with sweat began to mutter nonsense. “Don’t touch me!” She said. “My lords, it pleases us to see you jump into the river.” It was as though her thoughts were little bubbles popping out of her head and bursting into nonsensical words.

“Bring the Queen’s tub in here and fill it with cold water. Find some ice in the kitchens and have it brought forthwith.” Abby spoke with authority. Grabbing the physician by the shoulder, she pushed him toward the doors of the bedchamber. Clutching the box that held his wares: knives, twine, a jar of live leeches, and even a sleeping sponge, to his chest, the old man tried to protest. Several other of the ladies joined in, shoving the the man in his black, woolen robes from the room.

“Guards!” Shouted Lady Abigail. “Remove this man from the palace!”

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Carved

Detail of fountain at Dupont Circle, Washington, DC

The ball was in full swing. General Montclair was dancing with one of the Queen’s ladies in waiting. Even as he held the beautiful young woman in his arms, he found it difficult not to look at Queen Pirouette. As for Her Majesty, she could barely hear the music because of the pounding in her ears. She took Abigail’s hand and pressed the back of it against her cheek.

“My Queen!” Exclaimed Abigail. “You are burning up! You need to retire!”

“What rubbish,” replied Pirouette in a deadpan voice. “I never get sick.”

“When are you going to accept the fact that you are not carved from stone?” Said Lady Abigail. “I’m extremely worried about you, Pirouette!” As a rule, even in private, Lady Abigail sought to observe all court etiquette, even though she and the Queen were childhood friends. She chose the informal address in order to underscore her concern.

Pirouette was on the verge of countering Abby with a witty repartee, but suddenly, out of the blue, she felt all of her strength drain from her body, as if it were some liquid spilling on the marble floor. Still holding Abby’s hand, Pirouette leaned in and said, “You’re right. Help me to my rooms. I don’t want to make a fuss in front of all these people.” Then the Queen promptly fainted.

Xingfu Mama’s Pull up a Seat Challenge Week 22

For quite some time, I’ve been out of the loop with my favorite photo challenges. We’ve been going through a lot of traumatic changes. On October 8 of last year, my 99-year-old father in law died. I was in the middle of planning the 100th birthday party for this World War II veteran, when I found myself planning his funeral instead. Last month we sold the house that had been in our family for almost one hundred years. It the worst funerals that I’ve ever been asked to organize. I’m still having nightmares nearly every night. At any rate, life marches on and it thrills me to be able to participate in Xingfu Mama’s Pull Up a Seat Challenge!