Spoiler alert! This post contains information about my short story titled, Arising. If you have not already read this story then click the link below before reading on.
I am lead by armed guards into the castle. Queen Leighahna, of Naltra is on the steps of her throne talking to two young boys.
“But Mama!” They say.
“Hush. You have lessons today. Riding will wait.”
A woman leads them away.
Looking to me Queen Leighahna smiles, small lines appearing at her eyes, the silken blue fabric of her cloak billowing as she greets me. “I didn’t realize knowledge of our history had traveled so far. We shall begin your—interview.” She takes to her throne and I sit on the steps.
“I’d like to interview King Harcue as well. Is that possible?”
“No.” She sighs. “Harcue died in battle a decade ago. His desire was to rule, through conquer or through marriage, every land he saw. Ultimately the weapons he created were more than he could handle.”
“Why did you marry Harcue after he attacked your nation?”
“To do otherwise would have cost too many innocent lives.” She wipes away a tear. “When I left my home I believed I was proving I was capable of ruling. I did not realize where that decision would lead.”
“One reader asked, ‘Why did you feel that you had to go seek aid for your kingdom in secret?’ ”
“I believed if I could bring aid to my nation my father would see me as a cable ruler.” Her gaze falls to the floor. “I was naïve.”
“Why didn’t he want you to rule?”
A smile appears. “But he did, from the moment of my birth. He would reward servants for having disagreements so I might learn to rule fairly between warring factions. He trained me to recognize a lie by the increase of pulse.”
“Readers question why you didn’t wonder about being let into the castle so easily.”
“I had been greatly sheltered, a matter my father apologized for as he died in my arms the day of my wedding.” Pursing her lips, she wipes away her tears. “I thought he had been entertaining offers of marriage from Naltra, when in reality he had been refusing them. I believed I had been promised to the second prince, and Naltra’s rulers, while not our closest allies, could be trusted in the face of what seemed to threaten us both.”
“How have you ruled Naltra when the people hate your homeland?”
“When I came to this land, the people believed my father was a brutish king who wanted to murder them in their beds, a complete lie.” She takes a deep breath. “When he died there was no longer reason to hate the ‘idiot princess.’ I opened schools and often taught in them myself. They learned to read, to write, and to think for themselves. Once they knew my heart, they accepted me as their queen.”
“One reader asked if you were in love with anyone else when you had to marry Harcue.”
She shakes her head. “I was blessed in avoiding such heartache.”
“Have you remarried since Harcue’s passing?”
Her gaze trails off, a smile curling her lips. “No.”
“Who rules Altrour now?”
“I appointed my cousin when Harcue passed. Although I’d take pride in ruling both lands, I know I could not give sufficient attention to both. Naltra is a land still deeply afflicted by the pain of the past. I’m where I’m needed when I’m here.”
“Will your children someday rule Altrour?”
She shakes her head. “That is my greatest dream, but first they must prove they are not their father.”
Thank you so much for reading, and for all the wonderful questions you asked Leighahna.To see her board on Pinterest, click here:
Want to know what’s going on in my imagination before the rest of the blogging world? Like my Facebook page! http://www.facebook.com/authorjustinaluther