Hadley shuffled through the empty hallway; thankful her sisters weren’t up yet. Maybe Sable had gone out already. She should go out somewhere; a walk, a ride, a nap. Some place away from these grandiose walls.
One of her father’s old counselors had just recovered from a bad illness. She could visit him. They could talk about him. Ah, to talk about the weather and ones health.
Zamora would be unpleasant today after their ruling went counter to her view. They had all argued adamantly and much more passionately than usual. There had been some hurt pride or feelings on all sides. When they met again, she’d propose a recess. They had been working to hard. She sighed remembering when they used to play and braid each others’ hair. Did they ever used to laugh together with their brother? He was off with the armies and Hadley was sure he’d never crack a smile again. The horrors of war. The price made her wonder if any result was worth it. But she did agree they needed to keep the cutthroats at the borders away from their people. Blood-thirsty neighbors required a certain use of force that no one was happy about, except opportunists and certain merchants that gained money, power and influence because of it.
Perhaps one of them should visit the front lines not to visit their brother then at least to see the price being paid for their comfort. Wouldn’t that help as they made their judgments and urge them toward more diplomatic methods? Though putting any of the sisters into a battle zone was ridiculous, but maybe they could send counselors or one of their underlings on a rotation to avoid hurt feelings and ensure they got a more truthful version.
She heard Zamora storming at a servant, so Hadley ran to the kitchens to grab a little something. She stuffed a couple of warm breakfast rolls into her pockets and a handful of red berries and nodded her thanks to a silent cook then pressed her finger to her lip urging them to keep her escape a secret. She ran into one of the scribes just outside the backdoor. His face bright read as he fumbled with his papers. He refused to meet her eyes as he stumbled over apologies.
“I was the one running out the back door.” She said. “You’re new here, right?”
His face faded to match his strawberry blonde curls as he dared a moment of eye contact.
“Yes, I’ve been here a week.”
She wracked her head for his name.
“Franderson? No that was the other fellow. I’m sorry. What was your name?”
He smiled revealing a dimple. “Branderson. Though my friends usually call me Red.” Just his cheeks glowed with a blush this time.
“Red.” She smiled. “That I can remember. Well, welcome and accept my apologies.” She looked out into the garden. “Do you have a pen and paper? Three sheets?”
“Oh yes.” He pulled one out of his coat pocket and counted out the sheets from his stack.
“Perfect.” She looked for a place to write.
“Here.” Red had turned and offered his back.
“Do this often?”
She giggled at this as she wrote out notes to her sisters and one to her secretary. She handed them to Red to see that they were delivered immediately.
“But you have no idea where I went.” She winked at him.
He smiled and returned inside.
She never got used to how she made people feel. This young clerk was probably about her age, even a year or two older. Why should he be nervous around her? She smiled. He was pretty cute. Her smile slid off, but how could she ever meet anyone when she was surrounded by papers and making laws. Sixteen was too young for this burden. Even Sable who was 18, burst into tears at least once a week. The kingdom must continue and the work needed to be done.
I used “Sisters” as my writing prompt today. Pick a prompt and write.
Photo Credit: Salva Barbera