Writing Prompt: Bookcase and Queen
Marybeth was starting to completely panic. The Queen would be here any minute. It felt like absolutely nothing was done at all. She knew that she was being silly. She had made sure that all of the chores were tasked out. Everybody was doing what they needed to be doing. There was just one thing that was left unknown. The new bookshelf.
It absoultely had to be installed before the Queen got in. They also needed to have the books put in it so that it looked natural. Of course, the Queen would notice it right away. That wasn’t really the point. The point was how livid she would be to come back home to find that it wasn’t even put in its proper place. Nevermind that this is a surprise for her and she has no knowledge of it. The Queen loved to pretend that she knew about everything and was in on everything.
Bradley came into the study looking panicked. His face was flushed and he was gasping for breath. Marybeth ran to him without thinking. She put her hands on his arms and poured calmness into him. She didn’t remove her hands until the color had returned to his face and he was breathing normally again.
“Dear, what has you so upset?”
“You haven’t heard?”
“Now Bradley, you know I’ve been too busy this week for idle gossip.”
“You’re right, ma’am. I’m very sorry. It’s just I thought you’d know. Victoria has returned. Nobody can get in touch with the Queen to tell her the news.”
“What is she doing here? I thought the Queen made it very clear that she is not to be in the castle for any reason while she is not here!”
“She did! That new maid let her in. She doesn’t know better. She’s only been here a week. Nobody really told her about Victoria or the horror that follows her.”
“No. I supposed they didn’t. We haven’t had to deal with her for years now. It’s only natural that we would have considered the problem long since solved.”
Marybeth sat down behind the desk and got out a notepad. She spent several minutes writing out a very detailed letter. It was hard to do with Bradley almost hovering over her waiting to be told what to do. At last, she finished the letter and neatly folded it in half. She gave it to Bradley.
“I need you to deliver this letter to Victoria at once. I am not to go anywhere near her, but I can write her a letter to show my displeasure of her coming here when she’s not welcome. Please make sure that she doesn’t come anywhere near my quarters.”
“Yes ma’aam. When should we be expecting the Queen?”
“First thing in the morning. This place is nowhere near ready for her return.”
“You are too hard on yourself, Mary. It looks amazing. You’ve really outdone yourself this time.”
“You really think so?”
“I know so.”
He smiled at her and put his hand under her chin. He held her eyes for a few seconds before he left the room and went back to his tasks.
“One day he will find himself a wonderful wife. Somebody who will absolutely take care of him. It’s just a shame that it couldn’t be me.”
Marybeth had no more time to think. She spent the rest of the night making sure meals were planned. She checked every single room in the place to make sure there wasn’t a speck of dust anywhere. She even checked to make sure that the bookshelf was properly set up and held all of the finest books. She had just found a seat and got comfortable with a book in the library when she heard a voice clear from the entrance.
“My love. You do too much.”
“Your majesty! You’re not supposed to be in until the morning!”
The Queen chuckled.
“That’s what everybody else thinks. That’s what I want them to think for now. I want to spend the night with my favorite consort on the planet.”