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Once Upon A Time Excerpt

Prologue

 

“Mama, tell us a story.”

 

Lying beneath the quilts were two mischievous raven-haired twin girls. All that gazed upon them did so in wonder. How could they look so innocent, yet be such little terrors. The villagers thought the twins to be the most beautiful children ever born to the royal bloodline.

 

The Queen carefully sat on the edge of the bed. “What kind of story shall we have tonight my angels?” She pulled the covers up around their necks to ward off the chill in the room, as the fire died down in the fireplace. She could not believe they were six seasons old already. It seemed they were born only a sunrise ago.

 

Their foreheads touching, the girls whispered to each other. Since their first words were uttered, Rhiannon spoke for both of them. “Tell us the story about the princess and the pirate that saved her again. Please Mama.”

 

The twins’ older sister Amara standing in the doorway rolling her eyes, caused Rhiannon to giggle. “Amara, Mama’s going to tell Flora and me about the princess again.”

 

 

Amara smiled. Everything was falling into place. It was just a matter of time. The final prophecy was almost at hand. Her heart hurt that her older brother Aiden, who was now ruler of his own kingdom and their deceased sister Bryanne could not be there. Amara could not help but be upset with her brother that he thought the birth of their younger siblings was not important enough to be by their mother’s side.

 

 

 

 

The Queen ruffled Rhiannon’s hair while looking at her daughter’s twin. At first they were not sure she could speak. The Queen’s eldest daughter, Amara, had told them not to worry for Flora was just a soft-spoken soul.

 

When the twins had been born, Amara told her mother to name her Flora after the Goddess of Flowers. Almost from the first breath they took, Flora had let her twin, Rhiannon take the lead.

 

More importantly though, Amara’s vision was that Flora would protect the people when she became Queen, as was her destiny. All had great faith the small child would grow into her own and become that woman when the time was right. She would rule as her grandfather had, yet with the iron fist she inherited from her mothers.

 

Amara then foretold that the more vocal of her younger twin sisters would be the one to protect the lands and their people. She would use every gift given to her, whether it be with her physical presence or her grandmother’s powers that she would inherit when she turned sixteen. That is why she told them to name her Rhiannon after the Witch Nymph Goddess. To have two seers born into one generation was truly a miracle.

 

 

 

 

All knew the children would live up to their names just as Amara and her siblings had and just as her mother, the Queen of Pavlone had by becoming the Queen she was destined to be.

 

The Queen remembered back to when she had first met the now reigning Lord. My reigning Lord...  My life... She smiled. A single tear of happiness rolled down her cheek. My Lord... The thought filled her with warmth and love.

 

“As you wish my little ones.  For my Princesses Rhiannon and Flora, the tale of a Princess and her Pirate. Let’s see how does that story begin?” Tapping her chin, Kat pretended to think.

 

The twins spoke in unison, “Mama, you know how it begins. It begins with ‘Once upon a time…’ Remember Mama?”

 

With eyes damp from unshed tears the Queen started the tale that she knew by heart and not just from telling it every other nightfall to their daughters. She happily told the story, as the love for her Lord filled her heart. She smoothed her bodice, then her skirts and laid her hands in her lap as best she could.

 

“Okay the Princess and the Pirate.” Queen Kataryna felt a movement by the doorway, knowing, without looking, who was there. She was finally home.

 

 

 

 

Her Lord’s presence could be felt the moment she had stepped foot back into the palace from her long journey to visit her friends in Baul. The Queen had wished to make the journey herself but the timing would not allow it, she was too far along to travel safely. Especially since she had been having false pains for over a full cycle of the moon. So instead, she stayed at the palace making preparations and awaiting her return. Kataryna prayed, to all the Gods that would hear her; that her Lord would return in time.

 

A warm loving smile engulfed the Queen’s features. Her Lord had made it in time; her life was now almost complete.

 

The Queen looked down upon her twins who begged each night for the telling of the fairy tale. The tale they heard of course was the much edited and whimsical version.

 

The real version goes a more like this:

 

Once upon a time there lived a Princess named Kataryna. Her father King Theos ruled over Pavlone and was loved very much by his people. He wanted only for her happiness. That is why he kept her sheltered from the real world. He wanted nothing to hurt his beautiful child. He was able to keep this from happening until her fifteenth season when her pirate found her. This is their story.

 

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