Thursday, July 23, 2009

Maureen (Friday Fiction)

This week's friday fiction is hosted by Dee Yoder @ her blog, My Heart's Dee-light. Click here to read and share more great fiction!

Author's Ramblings: This is a short continuation of my Faithwriter's Challenge Article this week Nanny Maureen. Continuing the adventures of Queen Maureen battling for the kingdom from her Husband/king turned traitor, King Remy. This is shortly after she has quit her job as Danielle's nanny. Please enjoy! I tried not to make it into the next epic novel with a single post...LOL. Have a great weekend-please comment and let me know how you liked the story! ^_^



“Queen Maureen?” Brae’n slipped through the crack in the stables. He wrinkled his nose. “Hardly the place for your highness to be…”

“Over here, Brae’n.” Maureen half-smiled as he skirted the freshly swept dirt. “No footprints?” She questioned.

“None.” He wiped his brow. “I’ve been looking for you for nearly four months, why did you not contact me sooner?”

“Was not exactly possible, Captain.” Maureen rose to her feet, brushing dust from the hay bale that had served as her throne. “What is the matter, is there something wrong?”

The frustrated look turned to an expression of annoyance. “With all due respect, your highness-”

“Spit it out, man!”

“The rebels are ready, we can move by this weekend.”

Her eyes closed and she took a careful breath. “I see. We are all in agreement, then, yes?”

“Yes.”

“Very well then, shall we go?”

“One at a time.” He sighed. “I’ll leave last, you go first, meet me at the Singing Lark’s.”

“Aye.” She unhooked the cloak from the wooden peg and swirled it around her shoulders. “And the rest of everyone else?”

“All is ready, your highness.” Brae’n spoke with deliberate slowness. “I shall see you then?”

“Within the hour.” Maureen drew the hood up over her head. “I have somewhere I must…visit, first.”

“Visit?”

“It’s complicated, Brae’n.”

“Try me. You were missing for four months. I promised I wouldn’t let you out of my sight, but I did. Are you all right?”

“Meaning specifically, of course, if there is something you ought to know about that I should tell you. In that way, Brae’n, no. I have been quite well, thank you. I was actually disguised in the town as a…nanny.”

“A nanny?” Brae’n’s calm paleness shifted at once to a near bright, livid red. “A nanny?” He repeated. “You worked as a common-”

“Royalty is not a badge that removes us as human beings from the tangles of honest, hard work. We are normal people, Brae’n. I am, at the very least, and how can you expect the people to rally behind me when they believe I cannot even identify with them?”

“Who did you work for?”

“It’s not a matter of who, Brae’n, it’s merely a-”

“Who did you work for?”

“They needed help and I stepped in; it was the right thing to do.”

“Who?”

“The great duke of Dalimar.”

“The Duke?” Brae’n transitioned once more from red to his original pale colors. “You spoke to the Duke?”

“He interviewed me for the position.”

“Which was?”

“His daughter, Danielle.” A soft smile graced her face. “She’s sixteen years old…she grew up on him while he was busy running his…” She sighed.

“Your highness?” Brae’n moved forward, but Maureen took a step back.

“No, Brae’n, it’s best if you’re not too close to me right now. I’ve had my energies bottled up for too long.”

“You should-”

“I will go in a moment. I-I read his mind, Brae’n, he’s not as…as…” She wobbled and Brae’n surged forward. “No!”

The warning was too late and therefore rendered useless, for the moment his fingers touched her arm, a bright flash of pearl green energy sparked out from her body, traveling up his arm and over his entire being. The force of the shock sent him sprawling on the barn floor, causing his neatly bush of hair to stick straight up, as if from sheer fright. He tried to speak and croaked.

Queen Maureen sagged heavily against the wooden stall door to her left. “Brae’n!” She exclaimed in dismay. “I told you not to touch me! Do not move or else I shall-” She grimaced again and then a tiny, quiet hiccup emerged.

Brae’n froze, one eye brow arched in question.

She closed her eyes and traced a symbol in front of the air. There was the sound of a loud explosion in the distance. She winced. “I am sorry.” She murmured. “Brae’n? Be you well?”

“Fine, your ladyship.” He rasped, coughing. “Can I move now?”

“If you feel up to it.” She said, graciously. He did. She looked him over, a frown hovering at the corner of her mouth. “Well?”

Tears pooled in the corner of his eyes as his body gave a violent shudder and he leaned against the door opposite of her for support. “All those people-!” His voice was hoarse still. “So many of them…you helped them all?”

“Fifteen years is a long time to spend in your own lands, among your own people without counting what it would take to keep a mindset like my husband’s.”

His head bowed. “I-if I may say, your highness, you have done well. Exceedingly so.”

She gave a sad sigh. “No, Brae’n, I have not. If I had married you, instead of the prince, perhaps my kingdom would not have taken to the depths of despair.”

Brae’n tried to smile. “You wouldn’t have made a Captain’s wife, and I couldn't have given up protecting you. I wouldn’t have been a good king. You, my dear, are a true queen.”

“You may have that, then.” She agreed. “Very well, I have a…visit to make. As I said, I will meet you at the Singing Lark, you said? I will find you there, afterwards. From there, we will journey and take back what my husband has stolen from these good people.”

“And you.” Brae’n inserted.

“Excuse me?” Maureen asked, absently, already lost in thought.

“What he has stolen from you.” He said quietly. “Everything that as King, he should have been more than able to provide and supply you with. A king, who should have been a father, who has stolen that away from the girl who his is daughter, hiding out in the highlands so that she will live. Not just for the people, my queen, but for every wrong he has done to you. You are the voice of these people, you are the one to represent them. This is more than just a trip to a castle to overthrow the wicked king.”

“I know.” The tiredness seemed to slowly trickle away. “And if I do it for them, then I surely do the same for myself and my daughter.” Her jaw set into a line. “May he regret the day it crossed his mind to cross me.” One hand closed into a fist. “I travel under cover of night, Brae’n. Make sure we are ready!” With an explosion of jade dust and soft chimes, Queen Maureen disappeared.

The empty stable seemed to darken at once, the very moment her presence had melted away. Brae’n took a careful breath and then let it out. “Be careful…my queen.” He murmured. “May the Lord watch over you and keep you within the palm of His hand.”

* * * * *

Heavy rain poured down from the skies as Queen Maureen materialized on the marble steps of the western temple. Giant carved pillars flashed with the lightening streaks illuminating the inner sanctuary within. Clutching her cloak and skirts about her, the slippery steps took her upwards and inward.

Darkness was the most obvious thing within and a the shiver that ran down her spine and then through her entire body. Her eyes closed, then opened, gleaming with determination. “You were here, Remy.” She whispered, hearing the sound echo throughout. “You destroyed something you should have left.”

She snapped her fingers and a tiny spark of green light flickered to life at her fingertips. Holding it high, she surveyed the damage. Broken pieces of marble and thick sheets of dust layered the ground as if a giant had merely played with toys and left them in disarray. Threading her way through the debris, Queen Maureen continued until she reached the inner chambers.

One hand raised towards the tattered curtain hiding the innermost chamber from view and then hesitated. Her hand shook, trembling as she slowly withdrew it, turning her back towards the ripped length of beautiful scarlet tapestry. “The candle.” She spoke aloud. “I must find the candle.”

Drawing the spark into her hand, she threw it upwards into the air. “The candle.” She repeated. “Find me the candle, please.”

The green light swirled around the ceiling and then streaked downwards and into the giant pile of rubble in the center of the rectangular room. She almost smiled. “Of course.” Her voice was saddened. “Only you, Remy, would believe you could smother the Lord’s flame.” With a wave of her hand, the dust began to vibrate and the chunks of stone and metal began to move.

Her eyes closed as a heavy wind blew through and the stones and metal pieces replaced themselves, the dust carried out by the gusts. When she opened her eyes again, the room had been repaired and the beginnings of a headache had birthed in the back of her mind.

But on the center of the floor, a fat white candle stood, waiting.

Gathering her skirts around her, Queen Maureen glided forward, dropping to her knees in front of it. She whispered a prayer, then touched a finger to her lips and then to the new wick. The spark of green energy gave way to a steady, golden flame.

Fat tears of happiness weaved their way down her waxen cheeks. “Thank you.” She whispered, rocking back and forth. “I do not deserve this of you, Lord, but thank you.” A sniffle came from her, accompanied by a quiet breath. “I am not worthy to replace this light where it rightly belongs, but I ask your blessing, Father.” And her prayer began again, in earnest. “Tomorrow, my people, your people…our people. They move forward in good faith, to return to the castle-” She hiccupped. “To overthrow Remy. The king they put their trust in. The king I wrongly trusted in, over you, Father. I understand what you meant to teach me now. Father, this heart of mine is still healing, these people are trusting me and I am trusting you. Please…”

She sat in prayer, until the tears could not come anymore. Weeping for what was lost, what was to come and the death that would fill the gaps between. Her head bowed when she finished and carefully, gently, she scooped up the candle from the floor. Pulling the hood over her head once more, she walked backwards until she could feel the scarlet curtain with her fingertips.

Her eyes closed as she kept her head bowed, feeling with her fingers until it touched the cool pedestal. A tremor ran through her and her hand shook so hard, the candle wobbled, but she didn’t dare open her eyes to see if all was well. A few short, precious breaths allowed the moment of insanity to pass and then she walked her fingers around the edge of the pedestal until she felt the candle holder.

The moment the candle was safely nestled within, Queen Maureen jerked away, bolting forward, away from the inner chamber, the curtain and into the center of the rectangular room once more. She trembled, heart beating thousands of short rapid beats than her mind could comprehend.

And then it came.

Like a tidal wave, a burning, brilliant explosion of light.

Darkness screeched in fear, melting away as the Lord’s Temple was restored. The very last tears in her body, trickled out as she whispered her thanks, tracing the symbol of loyalty over her left shoulder. “Thank you.” She breathed.

Her eyes opened, aching at the sheer beauty of the Temple, fully restored in every resplendent detail. Rainbows seemed to hover in the corners of the ceiling, as light continued to spill out and into the outer passageways.

The smile stuck on her face and with renewed strength, she glided from the room and out in the hallway. When the fuzzy feeling settled in her stomach, she drew the cloak up over one arm and disappeared in a flash of jade green and soft chimes.

© Sara Harricharan

4 comments:

Yvonne Blake said...

What a great story!

Joanne Sher said...

BEEEEEautiful!!! Great job with the emotions especially. Super.

Dee Yoder said...

You're a master of descriptions and emotions, Sara. Love the feel of this story.

Catrina Bradley... said...

I KNEW there was more to the Nanny Maureen story! I enjoyed it, but the things obviously left unsaid disappointed me. Now I'm seeing the character and the story slowly unfold, and it's so much better. (Sorry, but I think you're wrong - this has the feel of another 15-part saga, a.k.a. the first draft of another novel. ;) )

I haven't read the ending installments of "Rachel" yet, but I plan to, believe me. I've just been SOOO busy!

I admire the creativity and freedom in your writing and your characters. I never know what to expect next. Makes for very good reading.

:)
Cat