This story will appear in Holly’s anthology In Poor Taste, due out in 2018!
It’s Singles’ Awareness Day! How about some silliness?
“I’m not saying that no is my definitive answer, I’m just saying we should get to know each other first.”
Princess Evelina was being perfectly reasonable, but the prince’s jaw dropped. He was obviously not used to rejection. She could sympathize; he’d chosen her out of a long list of princesses and he’d traveled from country far to ask for her hand in marriage. It wasn’t his fault that.
“I appreciate your offer, and it might prove beneficial to our countries, but I’m not comfortable marrying a complete stranger,” Evelina explained.
“I have never been so insulted in all my life!” The prince’s face, visible under the lifted visor of his helm, had turned splotchy and red. Evelina did not deny him his anger, but she couldn’t help but notice that it made him less attractive.
“There’s no need to be upset. No offense was intended. Let’s have dinner this evening and discuss politics and country over some meat and wine,” Evelina suggested.
“Dinner?” The prince’s visor slammed shut. “DINNER?” he shouted.
“Yes. The third meal of the day,” Evelina said.
“You are a disgrace to princesses everywhere! You blaspheme the most basic tradition! You have spurned my romantic gifts and ignored my shining armour atop my white stallion! I am a prince, and a knight, and you have rejected the most perfect suitor you will ever have! I curse you, princess! I curse you with loneliness!”
The prince stormed out.
“Goodbye! Thanks for the flowers and chocolates!” Evelina said, because she was nothing if not polite.
SEVEN YEARS LATER
Broken bodies were strewn about the battlefield. The tip of the enemy’s sword was pressed to Beligan’s throat. He did not cower or beg. He merely closed his eyes, and asked that his death be swift.
“Prince Beligan? Is that you?” The enemy removed his helm.
The beauty underneath contrasted with the gore splattered on the enemy’s armour. She was the fiercest warrior he had ever met in battle – and he recognized her.
“It’s Queen, these days. What are you doing in the middle of this war, Prince Beligan?”
“I am prince no longer. My country was overtaken. I have been forced to serve a false leader,” Beligan said.
“That’s terrible! You should have come to me for help. Your country has always been friend to mine.”
“I could not go to you for help,” Beligan snarled.
“That’s too bad. It might have been nice to have a friend. It’s been quiet in my country the past few years, ever since you cursed me with loneliness.”
“I hope you have suffered,” said Beligan.
“Nope, not at all! My country has prospered and thrived. My social life isn’t exactly full, but I keep busy. I adopted a couple of dogs. We hunt together and they like to cuddle at bedtime. Country business is extremely fulfilling…which you’d know if you hadn’t been enslaved, but I don’t hold that against you.”
“I hate you,” Beligan said.
“I bet you wish you’d come to dinner that night, eh? Ah well, I wouldn’t have liked you anyway,” Evelina said cheerfully.
Beligan, infuriated beyond belief, shouted something incoherent.
“No need to lose your head over it,” Evelina said. “Wait – that was a poor choice of words, considering what’s about to happen here…You know what, I’m just going to put you out of your misery. There. Don’t worry, Beligan, there are no regrets in the afterlife…”