Queen Eloise was very excited to be with her friend, Queen Evangeline. It was not often that they could travel to see each other, their swollen bellies and feet a hindrance to carriage travel, on top of overprotective husbands.
"Lu, my dearest friend, how are things going?"
Queen Evangeline was worried about her friend. She had been hesitant to allow her visit, her friend nearing her expected date and she herself not too far away herself. Her midwife and handmaidens were always at the ready, knowing their little royal heir-to-be would soon be arriving.
"Eva dearest, I'm quite alright. Theo had the doctors check me
four times before we left and your husband had me checked a fifth
time upon my arrival if you do not remember!"
The exasperation was clear in her voice, the overprotectiveness over her sister and husband driving her crazy. Eloise knew better than to continue to push the subject, her friend was as stubborn as they came, and if she wanted to see her there was no force in their lands that could stop her. Leaming back in her favorite padded chair, she let herself sigh as she rearranged herself. Her belly ached and she was excited to finally meet her child.
“How are you doing Lu? Your belly is as large as a pumpkin!”
Evangeline was also worried about her dearest friend but knew acting concerned would only heighten the stress the other was feeling. She had been making jokes about their bellies and their husbands the entire pregnancy, and it had helped them both to keep calm and avoid too much stress. The doctors had been quite clear- unneeded stress could trigger an early and dangerous labor, and the kings had not taken the warning lightly.
“I’m fine, the baby kicks quite often now and if the bruising I am sure I have on the inside of my ribs is any indication I feel like the baby is a strong boy. What about you? Any idea of the gender for your baby?”
Eloise was certain she had a boy, but she was also curious about her friend's feelings on the topic. She was surprised when a small warm smile graced Evangeline’s face. Evangeline turned from where she had been standing by Eloise to walk to the window and look at the sunset as it graced the room with a gentle warmth and a fierce red and purple light. She placed her hand on her protruding belly and replied, “I think that my baby is a gentle baby girl. The little one rarely kicks and for some reason I feel like the spirits above have granted me a sweet and adorable baby girl.”
Eloise smiled in reply and both sat content for a while watching the sun as it slowly sank below the horizon. As the colors faded and the cool night breeze swept across the garden outside, the two pondered their lives and what the lives of their children would be like. Both had already agreed many years ago that they would be the godmothers to each other’s children, and their husbands the godfathers and that fact had not changed in recent years.
Both stared at the other for a second as they realized they had spoken at the same time, before bursting into laughter and giggling like the girls they had been years before.
“You go first Eva!” Eloise was curious about what her sister had to say,
“Well,” She started hesitantly, “You know how we were talking about whether our children would be boys or girls?”
“Yes?” Eloise was curious to see where her counterpart was going with this.
“Say…what if we each are correct and have a boy and a girl. If that happens maybe we can be family for real! What if our children get married? Then we can unite the kingdoms and live and rule from one palace and then we can be together as much as we want! Wouldn’t that just be amazing!? Oh Lu, we should tell our husbands tonight at dinner about this and see what they-” Evangeline was suddenly cut off from her increasingly fast rant by a hand covering her mouth from behind. Turning she saw Eloise covering her mouth with an eyebrow raised and a small smirk on her face.
“Breathe Eva! Take a breath and slow down. Where did this come from?” Eloise had not even considered the idea of their children potentially marrying but hearing the idea certainly had piqued her interest.
“Well just think about it! If we had a boy and girl each, we could unite our kingdoms and be one whole family! Not to mention the logistical nightmare we currently have with our citizens intermingling and laws overlapping would be solved! We could rewrite all the laws at once and make everything easier for the kids in the long run!” Evangeline was clearly excited by this prospect, and she had to admit she was as well. It would certainly be beneficial to everyone in the long run.
“Why don’t we run the idea by them tonight? But don’t forget- this all rides on our guesses being right or at least reversed! If they end up being the same gender we will have to try again with more children or wait until the next generation,” Eloise reminded Evangeline.
She didn’t want her to get her hopes up too high just for them to be wrong and have to deal with the sadness of that. That or the potential refusal of the idea by their spouses. They were both from long lines of royal descent, their families ruling for centuries. The founding families' countries were named after the family, hence the similarity between the names of the royal families and their countries. They might not want to merge their countries after having built such astounding legacies.
It was while they were discussing this potential arrangement that a knock sounded at the door. With a call, Eloise beckoned whoever was there to open the door. The door opened to reveal one of her lady-in-waiting, who then informed them that it was time for supper and that they should begin to work their way down to the dining hall. With a glance both women exited the room with their arms linked, and slowly began to walk towards their meal and spouses. It was definitely going to be a dinner to remember.
It could not often be said that Kingdoms coexisted peacefully together in the history lore. Countries tended to go to war for resources or territory, and alliances could be formed and forgotten within a generation, all on the whims and power plays of those above. It was not uncommon for countries to even use marriages and adoptions of key nobles and royal families to unite their countries or factions. One notable outlier to this apparent trend was the alliance between the Romalis Kingdom and the Monastalis Kingdom.
Ruled for generations by reliable and wise rulers, the two kingdoms worked together to slowly grow their Kingdoms until both had reached enormous proportions. The current generation of rulers of both countries were indeed good friends, having been raised together as friends and allies. Their childhoods had consisted of trips to each other's castles and socialization between the two during social events.
As Princes, Prince Gregorus Romal and Prince Theodoracius Monasta had attended tutoring and classes at the prestigious Academy together and had been fast friends. The two had eventually fallen in love with esteemed ladies from their respective countries and proceeded to woo their loves. Not only were the girls perfect matches for their men, but they were also very close to each other, even going so far as to refer to each other as “sister.” Their parents were overjoyed by the news and each country had grand celebrations to enjoy the union of these couples.
Soon the two couples had become Kings and Queens and continued to rule as fair and just as their parents before them had, guided by the retired royal's wisdom and experience. Shortly after the people of both kingdoms rejoiced as word spread that the two Queens were pregnant. By this point, the citizens of the two countries were very intermingled, and considered people from the other country to be their “sister” or “brother” countrymen.
Both countries used the same currency and language and had similar cultures and beliefs. Therefore, when news broke out of the two Queens conditions, the people wondered if maybe the two countries would have a chance to unite. Every dress shop and cafe became a source of gossip about the possible gender of the babies and the outcomes of their birth. Men in the field and in the government alike debated the likelihood of each gender for the babies and made deals and bets to reflect their thoughts. It was during this exciting time that everything began…
A Moment in Time
When I close my eyes,
I find myself back in time,
When I close my eyes,
I lose myself in thoughts divine.
When I close my eyes,
I think back on my life,
When I close my eyes,
I remember all of the strife.
When I close my eyes,
I see how I've grown,
When I close my eyes,
I think of what I've known.
When I close my eyes,
I reflect within,
When I close my eyes,
I feel my life once again, begin.
It started off as a casual observation here and there. It was always something like a streetlight turning on right as I approached, a test I hadn't studied for being cancelled the day of, meeting a new friend by accidently bumping into them, little things like that. I didn't think much of it at the time, and I certainly had no idea what those little chances would lead to for me and for the world.
It started off (as cliche as it sounds) just like any other day when I followed my parents onto the plane. We were finishing up our Winter Break vacation and I couldn't wait to be back home and relaxing with my family. It was a bit too chaotic at the airport for my tastes, as many other families were also waiting at the gates for our plane to begin loading passengers. I pushed back my long dark brown hair, grunting in frustration. My hair was very thin, but I had a lot of it, and it served as a nuisance more often than not.
I looked over to my father who was checking the latest football game scores on his phone. He had a fantasy football team and always checked the scores without fail, and judging from the look on his face, his team was definitely not doing as well as he had hoped early that day. I decided I would ask him about the rest of our travel plans so I wasn't confused when we landed at the next airport for our connecting flight.
"Hey Dad, I have a question for you. Got a sec'?" Dad looked up as I spoke, a small smile spreading across his face as he regarded me.
"Hey, Honey Bunches, what's up?" That was one of his pet names he had for me, and as embarrassing as it was to be called that when I was with my friends, when it was just us it made me feel special to have that relationship and connection with him.
"What's the plan for when we reach the next airport? Do we have time in-between or are we gonna have to make a mad dash to the next gate?" I was curious because although our airport experiences so far had been more relaxed and unrushed thanks to my mom's expert booking skills, I felt that our luck had to run out at some point.
"I as your father have always promised to not lie to you, if possible," Dad's face turned serious as he said this, placing the back of his hand to his forehead and leaning back dramatically, "but unfortunately for us, it's gonna be as fast as molasses in the winter!"
I stared at him for a second and opened my mouth to respond, but before a sound had even left my mouth, my father continued, "I'm kidding kiddo, we actually are gonna have to sprint as fast as we can to the next plane as the flight times are gonna be really close."
I closed my mouth and laughed, knowing that my father had a flair for the dramatics and deciding that we would probably have to make sure not to lag at the airport and to get to the next gate as quickly as possible but probably not full on racing like in the movies that played on the TV.
My mother had taken a trip to the bathroom and returned as we bickered back and forth over who was slower of the two of us.
"Alright kids, that's enough. You both know I'm the quickest!" My dad and I both dropped our jaws and made the same disbelieving face before looking at each other and bursting in laughing fits. Mom joined in and we were just about to start back at it again when they announced that they would now start boarding passengers.
Fighting now not important, we grabbed our gear and got into line. The group we were flying with was very diverse. I heard a family behind me speaking in what might have been Chinese and a large family in front of me was discussing something quickly amongst themselves in what was most likely Spanish. The group was eager to get on and everyone began getting everything figured out quickly.
As my turn to approach neared, my nerves began to stir. For all of my previous flights all of my family had sat in the same row together, but for this flight, the airline had experienced a freak glitch in their system, and no one could book group tickets. As a result of everyone trying to buy tickets for this flight at the same time, many families were split up and spread all over the plane, and ours was no different.
A large part of me was scared I would be sitting next to some creepy old person or a really annoying small kid who would cry. I checked my ticket seat row and number again and stepped onto the plane. I slowly walked through the plane and when I got to my row, I found a kid from the large Latino family in front of me was sitting in the window seat. He looked up as I stopped, and I showed him that my seat was next to his by showing him my ticket. He glanced at it, looked at the seat, and then with a wide smile pat the seat in a "Welcome here," kind of gesture.
I smiled back at him and then placed my bag in the compartment above and sat down next to him. People continued by, and soon enough a girl stopped at our row. Both the boy and I were looking out the window, but the click of the overhead compartment drew our attention. The girl was also around our age and said something in a language that sounded like Chinese and then showed us her ticket, informing us she was our last seatmate. We looked at each other, then both gave her a smile and gestured to the seat. She smiled back and sat down.
Even though none of us could understand each other, we were all happy that by chance we had gotten what seemed to be nice seat mates for our trip. The rows in the front and back continued to fill and soon everyone was boarded and awaiting takeoff. The engines roared and the plane pushed back from the airport. The airplane turned and taxied to the runway where it paused.
I always got nervous when planes began to takeoff because the sudden lurch in my stomach made me shiver in fear. As the plane engines roared, I heard a small gasp from both sides of me. I glanced to either side and noticed that both of my row mates appeared to be just as nervous, if not more so, than I was. I slowly reached my hands out to each of theirs which had death grips on their seats and gripped them in my own. They both jumped at the touch and looked at me.
We looked back and forth at each other, communicating through our eyes that we were feeling the same thing, and leaned back into our seats. As the plane took off, we kept a firm grip on each other, and it was a surreal experience because I felt comforted by the touch even if I didn't know who these other kids were.
The plane eventually got to its cruising speed and leveled off and we let go of each other's hands. The flight after that was uneventful. We all had earbuds in and were playing games or watching movies while the plane continued to soar through the air. Suddenly a load roar filled the cabin, and a thick fog filled the air. Everything not tied down begin to fly through the air and a horrific wind whipped through the cabin. I loved planes and learning about them and this seemed to be what was called an explosive decompression. Panicking, the air stewardesses began to suddenly yell above the wind that everyone needed to try and move to the front of the plane if possible.
Confused we all looked around and tried to figure out what the problem was and as I glanced towards the back of the plane my blood ran cold. There was a giant hole a row or two behind us and it appeared to be slowly growing and creeping towards us. The other passengers further back quickly unbuckled and keeping a grip on the seats around them began moving up the plane.
As we waited for our row to go, I felt a hand grip mine. I jumped a bit and turned to see the boy had reached for my hand. I gripped his hand back and felt my other hand reach out on its own to grab the hand of the girls once more. She squeezed my hand back and I felt reassured that we would be ok and that we had each other to rely on.
The pilots had sent the plane into a steep dive as soon as the explosion hit the plane, racing to get everyone to a breathable level before everyone began to have trouble breathing. This had also meant that everyone trying to get away from the explosion basically fell towards the front of the plane and it made the evacuation go much quicker. It was finally our turn and we all squeezed hands once more and began filing out of our row together. Right as the boy left our seat row the plane gave a shudder.
By chance, no turbulence or shaking had occurred, but by some stroke of bad luck, the plane suddenly lurched and sent the three of us falling back towards the giant hole in the side of the plane. We screamed as we stumbled, and although other passengers desperately tried to grab onto us, one more erratic swing sent the three of us falling out of the plane and towards the water below. I screamed as we raced towards the ocean that was much closer than I had thought. With a start I realized that the other's hands were still in mine, and they were also screaming as we fell. I couldn't believe what was happening to us and as we fell, I simply had one thought flying through my mind.
What were the odds I would die like this?
As my world burned and the sky filled with smoke and the smell of death, I came into life with a cry. What the war had violently taken away from the survivors, the world brought back to them in miracles and salvations. I was what everyone had thought to be lost- a sign that life could begin anew- that a Phoenix would rise again!
Wake up, get up, maybe; Work, Eat, Volunteer, Plan, Socialize, Emote, Forget, Remember. Sleep. Repeat.
One Good Kick
Mama always told me to give 'em one good kick,
Nana always told me to lay it on thick,
Daddy always told me to give 'em a nick,
Bro always told me to make my hit stick.
So when I went to party that night,
I kept that advice close,
And when that idiot called me his special light,
I aimed my kick fairly high- just under his nose.
I felt his face resist,
Felt his body go slack,
I felt his teeth give in,
And the sounds of clack clack clack!
The terror and infamy is mine,
I will gladly admit my crime,
For I'm on special TV time.
Well It’s An Interesting Story...
If you are wondering how I appeared on this boat in the water,
Clearly wearing a dress meant for a much different setting,
Then it all begins with a necessary little fact,
That is that this story is certainly interesting.
I originally was going to a formal ball,
I was supposed to be entertaining those around,
Not as the guest of honor mind you,
But simply as one of the family members honor bound.
I had to attend, make no mistake,
My family would have killed me if I had skipped,
I would have been disowned and banished without a trace,
But they never said I couldn't leave early to give my toes a dip.
Those shoes are uncomfortable,
Much like the idle chatting and dancing,
With gossiping and judgement,
I much preferred walking barefoot in the woods and prancing.
As fate would have it I was caught on my run,
By none other than a famous bachelor and rich son.
Embarrasment hidden down deep I confronted the man,
And told him where he could shove it if he interrupted my fun.
Rather surprisingly he joined in,
And we both escaped society for a while,
But soon the sun was sailing across the sky,
And he had to return back inside with pretend guile.
Soon my family trying to find me a man noticed my absence,
And the subtle search for their plans began,
While I planned my complete escape,
Being watched by the amused man.
I found a rowboat nearby and quickly climbed on,
I beseeched the single man to not reveal my spot (my chastisty was at stake)
And he said for a kiss that would be fine,
When I blushed and hissed no, he pushed the boat onto the lake.
So that is how I got here onto this lake,
And how my brother caught a memorable picture of me,
But despite the trauma I am grateful the image was saved,
Since that was the day I met my future husband, Lee.
I say the accused is not guilty,
I say the accused has committed no crime,
I say to my fellow jurors to not make haste,
I say to my fellow jurors to not waste time.
Every murder has a motive,
Every murder has a place,
This crime was done much different,
This crime has no trace.
There is no evidence,
There is no DNA,
We have but one option,
We have but one role to play.
This person is innocent until proven not,
This person is innocent until guilty found,
We have to deliberate carefully,
We have to deliberate with minds sound.
It happened on Tuesday,
It happened at night,
But no one saw it at the park,
But no one saw the gruesome fight.
The coroner said the victim fought til the end,
The coroner said that the attacker also would have bled,
The police report indicated that our defendant was untouched,
The police report indicated that others turned their head.
The defense plead with us to listen to the facts,
The defense gave a shaky alibi with some regret,
The prosecutor lunged on to that little nook,
The prosecutor focused on that little fret.
The evidence is circumstanstial at best,
The evidence simply hasn't held up with time,
The testimonies are simply a jest,
The testimonies don't match to the crime.
The defendant unharmed went to a bar,
The defendant unharmed drowned their night's sorrows glass by glass,
Unhurried and uninjured they snuck back to their bed to get some rest,
Unhurried and uninjured they layed down to the quiet sound of whispering grass.
The murder weapon was a gun fired several times,
The murder weapon has yet to be found,
But you would have this man arrested for one bad day,
But you would have this man headed toward the gallows bound.
I urge you fellows in the court of law,
I urge you fellows in the juror box,
Let us review the evidence once more,
Let us review a crime most unorthodox.
I will stand firm that they are innocent until the very end,
I will stand firm that the evidence does not show a connection,
For if they are the culprit who raped and killed their friend,
How do you explain their documented inability to gain an erection?