The Wedding of the Millennium [Flash Fiction] #writephoto
Emperor Kral held out one of his four hands towards she-who-would-one-day-be-Empress, his most beloved child and only daughter, Princess Kiani. The Princess, resplendent in her marriage gown, watched him coolly in her typically womanish way before settling one of her hands on his.
They stepped out from the doorway, into the forest clearing where a thousand suitors waited. Princes and Kings and Overlords and Chief Executives from across the galaxy had come to supplicate themselves at the feet of Princess Kiani in the hopes of being chosen as her future husband.
The crowd bowed low, and as Kral and Kiani wound their way through the maze of potentials, the Emperor inserted a thought into his daughter’s mind. You could at least smile, and pretend. I know you find this custom distasteful and archaic, but this is the way it has been since our people first crawled out of the swamps, and this is how it will always be. She blanked him completely, so he added, You will understand, when you have a daughter of your own.
He’d thought their arrival at the Marriage Shrine might elicit some response, but she kept up her stoic indifference. The Emperor’s anger simmered in his third stomach.
I’m glad your mother isn’t here to see you. She would’ve wanted you to enjoy this day. Can’t you reach back into your maternal memory, and recall the day she and I met at the Marriage Shrine? The happiness she felt upon choosing me as her husband?
His daughter cast her gaze over the crowd of bowed heads—and other head-like appendages—but she did not deign to comment. Daughters! Pah!
Fine, he snapped. Be like that. See if I care. You may not enjoy the process, but I am going to keep throwing these Suitorfests until you find a man who will stay in your thoughts, warm your frozen heart, and put up with your womanishness for the rest of his life!
The Emperor turned, and gestured for the first suitor to approach.
* * *
Perched in the saddle atop her favourite kelpa, Princess Kiani leant forward into the wind and laughed as her steed picked up its pace, bearing her away from the confines of the palace. Overhead, another transport ship fired its thrusters in the atmosphere, on target for the royal landing pads. She watched the little vessel until it disappeared, then turned her gaze forward, to the path that lay ahead and the distant glow of the spaceport-city, Nabilos.
Thank the Ancestors she’d had the foresight to invest heavily in that Silent Clones Inc. startup she’d found on the galactic stock exchange last year.
Today’s piece was written for Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt. Stories are already pouring in, so click on the link to read more lovely stories and (if you wish) participate in the fun.
I’ve been trying to work on telling tales with fewer words… so please let me know if this story worked for you! I can picture it in my head, so I’m hoping you can picture it in yours, too.
Thanks to Sue for the prompt and the photograph.