***Spoiler alert!!!*** This post contains information about my story My Choice, if you haven’t read this story, click here before reading on.
I’ve come to Ecclesia to interview the princess, only to learn she and the prince have been forced into hiding. It took me several weeks of searching before they got word I was looking for them. They have agreed to be interviewed.
In the distance the Crystal Mountains appear to dance in the morning light.
Wordlessly, a man beckons me to follow him. We weave our way into the forest, silver pines encompassing us, as uneasiness crawls up my spine.
In a clearing an old, haggard woman sits on a fallen tree. She begins to lead me away. When I turn to question the man, he has vanished.
We come to the edge of the forest a troop of guards swarm us and my heart begins to race. The woman grabs my arm and squeezes it in warning.
“What is your business here?” A guard says.
The woman points ahead and produces a small metal from the pocket of her dress. Opening her mouth, she points to where her tongue should be. It’s clearly been removed. Pointing to me, she mimics rocking a baby in her arms and then points to herself. I hold my breath as the guard thinks about what she’s said. After a moment, he allows us to pass.
We walk until it feels as if I’ve crushed all the bones in my feet but finally come to a small church. The woman leads me to a tiny room in the back where Princess Rein sits, her brother, Fiel, at her side. Her fine gowns have been replaced with the modest robes of a nun. She eyes me with suspicion, as Fiel’s hand goes to the dagger at his belt.
“Thank you, Ukweli,” she says to the woman.
“Why agree to do this interview when it’s such a dangerous choice?”
“To allow secrecy to rule is to court disaster. If Ecclesia is to find her way again, the truth must be spoken.” Princess Rein says.
I take a seat on the floor out of respect for the princess. The prince offers me a jamberkin jelly biscuit. Smiling, I take it with thanks and wince as I bite into it. My eyes water as my taste buds seem to wither and die. “One reader did ask what jamberkin jelly is,” I say, coughing. “and now I’m wondering that myself.”
The princess fights a laugh. “It’s the fermented fruit of the Jamberkin tree. Feil adores it, but perhaps after seeing your reaction he’ll believe me when I say it isn’t to everyone’s liking.
“Why did you choose to go against the law and spare your brother’s life?”
“Fiel had done nothing wrong. He’d merely tried to remind the king of the laws our hearts are governed by. They are not swayed by misguided conscience of the populace.”
“What charges are you facing now, Princess?”
“I am charged with treason. Our father forced us to watch the punishment of a so-called traitor when I was young,” her face pales, “I hadn’t realized someone could be brought so close to death so many times.”
“That’s all she will say on the matter.” Fiel squeezes her shoulder. “When I am king, I will see that man restored to his rightful place.”
“Aren’t you afraid you’ll be captured?”
The princess nods. “This is why we are mindful of our movements.” She pats her brother’s hand. “Fiel is the greatest mind in the battlefield. I trust him to keep me safe.” She pulls out a small dagger from the folds of her costume. “Though I have knowledge, I pray I’ll never need to use it.”
“Are you planning to fight the king?”
“Only if that is the sole choice we are given. If the king will remember the values he held as a prince, then war will not be needed.”
“How do you plan to win the war?”
Fiel squeezes her shoulder again. “Our plans are not yours to know. We have ways to succeed. That is all the king need know.”
“How does the possibility of having to fight your own father feel?”
Princess Rein looks at her lap. “The man we called father left us when the love of power overtook him to create the one we call King.”
“Do you worry that war will do more harm than good to Ecclesia?”
Princess Rein straightens her shoulders. “When morality vanishes, what is left of a nation? There is no more harm, no matter how much I wish this was false, that can be done.”
“Final question: What does your dream future for this nation look like?”
Princess Rein looks to her brother, a silent conversation in their eyes. “A nation of peace, ruled by a king that has remembered his heart. A nation ruled by a father that loves his children.”
Thank you so much for reading! I truly hope you’ve enjoyed this interview. If you’d like a sequel to this story, please let me know in the comments below.