I’ve decided to do a Fairy Tale theme for the next few months. See a list of what I’m rolling on at the end of the post.
In the meantime, this is why crafting can be bad for your health.
Princess Kathlyn watched as the peasant entered the throne room through the far door. She could practically feel the woman’s fear as she crept along the plush, red rug that ran the length of the room. The heavy wooden doors with a clunk, and the peasant jumped and stopped.
“Approach,” Claus, Kathlyn’s advisor said in a deep voice that echoed through the large chamber.
The peasant woman let out a little meep, before she continued. She couldn’t be much older that Kathlyn—perhaps twenty. Dirty, golden tresses had been pinned up under a soiled kerchief. A dress of an uncertain color fell to her ankles, and a tear cut her once white apron almost in half. She held a blue satchel to her chest. Grime covered her face, making it impossible to see much besides her bright, green eyes. Eyes that looked as if they might pop out of their sockets.
When she reached the end of the red rug, she dropped to one knee and bowed her head.
Claus glanced at Kathlyn, his brown eyes communicating his disdain.
Kathlyn gave him a small nod before turning her eyes on the woman. “Rise.”
Every muscle in the woman tensed. She got to her feet, still clutching the bag to herself, and looked at Princess Kathlyn for a moment before lowering her eyes.
Kathlyn shifted on the throne, her silver dress catching the light as it spilled down from the windows above. She gave the peasant woman a kind smile. “My dear, what is your name?”
The woman swallowed. Her hands trembled as did her voice. “Maddie, your Highness.”
“Maddie. They tell me that you are a master of Weaving.”
“I have long wished to learn the art. Will you teach me?”
Maddie glanced back and forth, as if hoping for a rescue, or a way to escape. Instead she found only the vast throne room with its tapestries on the walls and pillars that rose to the ceiling far above. She swallowed hard, and her eyes rose to met Kathlyn’s.
Kathlyn gave Maddie her most reassuring smile, mixed with just enough magic to get the girl to trust her. “I would be eternally grateful, and I would make it worth your while. Your father died last winter and your mother is struggling to put food on the table even with you Weaving. I will pay you enough that you will never have to worry about food again.”
That got Maddie’s attention, and some of her apprehension melted away. “What—what did you wish to learn?”
“Something simple. Perhaps a warming spell? Even here in the castle the rooms get cold at night.”
Maddie’s eyes softened, but she bit her lip.
Apparently she needed more motivation. Kathlyn leaned forward. “If the truth be told, since my own father’s death, I have been in need of something to keep my hands busy. I’m sure you understand.”
Maddie nodded. “Yes, I do.”
“I thought you might. Will you help me?”
If there is one thing Kathlyn had learned about people is that most of them wanted to help. Especially peasants. Maddie’s expression finally relaxed and she nodded. “Of course, your Highness.”
“Wonderful!” Kathlyn stood and walked down the stairs. “I have a room prepared with yarn.” She smiled and had to keep from gagging at the smell of body odor and filth as she slipped her arm through Maddie’s. “The servants should have lunch ready for us.”
Kathlyn led Maddie to a nearby room that had indeed been prepared for them. A table covered in yarn lay in the middle with two cushioned chairs nearby. A chandelier hung overhead adding to the light spilling in from the window. Food covered a second table. “Eat,” Kathlyn said.
“I—I’m not hungry,” Maddie said. “But thank you.” She smiled a forced smile.
The Princess shrugged. “As you wish. Shall we get started?”
Maddie nodded, picked out a few skeins of yarn then gingerly sat in one of the chairs as if she were afraid to get it dirty.
Kathlyn was planning to burn the chair after this. “I know how to knit, hopefully that will speed things up.”
“It will,” Maddie said. She set her bag on the ground and pulled out a set of silver needles the length of Kathlyn’s forearm. They gleamed in the light and Kathlyn licked her lips. “Weaving a warming spell is simple.” She set out starting a small cloth with the yarn and needles. Once it was as long as the needles she shifted directions and went back the other way. “Are you familiar with this?”
“Yes,” Kathlyn said.
“Well, if you have some power, all you have to do is wind into the pattern. Imagine it as another strand of yarn.” Maddie handed the small square over. “Try it.”
Kathlyn took the offering and began to knit. Weavers did not disclose their secrets, but as Maddie had said, it was easy for Kathlyn to weave her magic into the pattern. “It works,” Kathlyn said.
“Yes, it does.”
Kathlyn looked up and found Maddie watching her.
Maddie stood. “I am sorry, Princess, but your fate is now sealed.”
“What?” Kathlyn went to set the needles down, but she could not unhook her fingers from them or the yarn, nor could she stop them from knitting. “What did you do?”
Maddie smiled. “Saved our kingdom from your tyrannical reign. You will knit until you die.”
“You won’t get out of the castle,” Kathlyn growled.
Maddie pulled a wig and her dress off. Underneath lay a servant’s outfit. “I will. But you won’t. This is the price you will pay for your greed.”
Kathlyn watched in horror as the girl left and locked the door behind her. She could not move from the seat. She could not stop knitting. She screamed, but no one came. No one would ever come.
I kind of want to write more of this one! By the way, the castle is in the mountains. 😉
Character – Evil Princess
Random Object – Knitting Needles (Possibly Cursed)
Setting – High on a Mountain
Fairy Tale Flash Fiction Friday
- Big Bad Hamster
- Beautiful Witch
- Evil Princess
- Cowardly Prince
- Gentle Giant
- Tall Dwarf
- Clumsy Elf
- Tidy Ogre
- Magical Servant
- Forgetful Mage
- Knitting Needles (Possibly cursed)
- A candle
- Unicorn Horn
- Dented Black Knight Helmet
- Giant Letter R Made of Wood
- Garden Hoe
- Bunny Bracelet
- Small Bell with Pitch so High it Shatters Glass
- Empty roll of toilet paper
- A Peg Leg
- Book Ends
- Golden Gong of Victory
- An Expired Coupon
- A Lego
- Overly Oily, Slightly Slimy, Eleven Toothed Gear Piece
- Desert Island
- Small Town or Village
- Fast Food Restaurant
- Old House
- Magic School
- A Ship
- High on a Mountain
- In Space
- A City Park