Writober Day 3-6: Flash Fiction Exercise

 YES, let's do this!

I'm having a really fun time doing flash fiction and poetry with these writing prompts. I selected this prompt on October 3rd ( Yes...I know it's October 6th.) but I've been working on it for the past couple of days. This post is going to be a short exercise in flash fiction, mainly a direct play on how I use dialogue and action. Nothing fancy or particularly worth writing home about. Also, I don't really have a title for this selected work...meh. Enjoy though! Comment down below your favorite part!

            My hands flitted nervously over the skirt of my ballgown, a soft silk cloud beneath my fingertips. The blush-colored fabric a complementary color to my blond hair and pale skin.
            Too bad I hated the color pink.
            Perched on a plush chaise by the windowsill sat my younger sister. The waves of her elegant sweetheart gown a lilac shade to offset with her dark hair and tanned skin. These physical characteristics she inherited from my father’s side of the family. I looked more like my grandmother than actual parents
            It was coronation day−not my coronation, but my sweet sister's. Saelina had finally come of age to be considered in line for the crown. I long since voiced my objections towards taking a stake in our family's royal lineage. My purpose was best served in the chambers of my father's war council. Though my sister is just a skilled as hand to hand combat as me...I just don't have the personality to deal with people the way a queen should. 
            Therefore, I was willing to do whatever it takes to protect her because our kingdom needed someone to watch out for them. Saelina was their best option, though she’d be under my parent’s training until they full handed over the reins to the kingdom.
            "Are you uncomfortable?" Saelina's brow creased.
            "No I'm- uh, I think...maybe?" 
            "Not used to wearing anything beyond riding pants?" She crossed the room to me and reached for my hand. Then she gave it a soft squeeze. 
            I rolled my eyes, "I think the problem is that the dressmaker thinks the thinness of a twig and I share similar characteristics."
            "Ignorance is in abundance nowadays." 
            "So is my stomach and ass," I grumbled and readjusted my dress once more "I can't even move properly."
            "It's only a small ceremony, so you only have to gown on for a brief period."
            Small? The distant roar of an adoring crowd, probably nearing thousands, came from all over the kingdom to contradict her statement.
            Just relax Vana. One ceremony won’t ruin your life.
            My eyes wandered the back room of the ceremonial balcony, painted portraits of dead relatives and antique furniture surrounded the two of us. I couldn’t help but wrinkle my nose at the musty scent of the room. I wanted to go back to the stables to be with my horses; where I smelled the forest’s scents of wet dirt and pine.
            I had taken a deep breath to settle my nerves when my mother whirled into the room. Her skin ashen.
            “Mother?” Saelina rushed to her side, touching her face and arms as if to reassure herself our mother was not a ghost...though she looked like one.
            “May I speak to you a moment?” Her dark eyes stayed locked onto my own.
            “What is it?” Saelina asked.
            “I need you to go out into the hallway with your father.”
            My younger sister jutted her chin out with such bravado towards our mother I almost laughed. Saelina’s stubborn streak had been ingrained into her personality since the day she was born. Today was no exception.
            “I’m the future queen and you can’t tell me what’s bothering you? How does that make any sense?”
            “Sister.” I warned.
            Saelina’s dark glower turned on me, and with a huff, she whirled away from the room. A quiet mutter about stupid family secrets trailed behind her. I looked towards my mother again, this time I was a pillar of steel, and ready for a fight.
            “What’s wrong?”
            “You father’s sister has arrived for the coronation.” Is she serious?
            “You can’t be that shaken up about this?” I laughed.
            “No, you don’t understand! Daft child,” She shook me “It’s your father’s sister, the Seer!”
            “You don’t really believe in that superstitious garbage, do you?”
            “She came uninvited! We’ve never allowed any of his family to come and visit us. They’re strange folk.”
            “Aren’t all relatives a little strange?”
            “Yes. No! Not like this.” She grasped my hand tightly.
            “Don’t let her near your sister today, do you understand me? I don’t want her weird premonitions affecting her today.”
            Part of me wanted to downplay my mother’s chaotic notions. Send her away towards her rooms so she can go lie down and calmly process her emotions. She’s probably drained from having to plan today’s events for the past two months.
            Looking into her eyes I saw the true feeling of panic she felt.
            I hugged her softly.
            “I’ll do it.”
            Flowers floated down from the castle towers in a soft shower onto the ceremonial balcony. The coronation ran smoothly without interruption. My sisters radiant smile stood out to the crow of thousands. My mother, similar to my sister in her soft and delicate facial features, stood by her side beautifully. My father, a strong man, bore features streaked with age.
            I was down below with our kingdom’s people. My ballgown traded for steel armor and a sword. My horse Lilith shifted her feet as I surveyed the area. Once satisfied I turned and caught my father eyeing me with a look of…admiration.
            My chest burned with pride.
            Today would be fine.
            Everything had to be fine despite my mother’s insistence it wasn’t.
            I shifted around the throngs of people before finding a position at the castle’s main gate.
            “I hear you wore a gown earlier today.”
            I steeled myself against the shivers dancing up my spine at Kenneth Seran’s voice. The knight rode up leisurely on his horse before coming to a complete stop right next to me. He served under our kingdom’s esteemed diplomatic councils; in which he worked alongside my father and many others to protect our people.
            “Unfortunately yes, and I took it off as fast as a could.” I replied matter-of-factly.
            “What a shame I wasn’t there to witness that.”
            “Rake.” I focused my gaze straight ahead of me
            He laughed, deep and throaty, like he’d just sipped from a rich liquor. The deep brown curls atop his head shone brightly under the sun. I tried not to stare at how his dark skin peeked through the top of his steel armor. I could just barely see the outline of his collar bone. I wanted to trace it with my fingertips. He looked me over once more, “You're just too stubborn to admit you like my shameless flirting.”
            He wasn’t wrong.
            “Go away, I’m working.”
            “I am too.”
            “On what?”
            He smiled again, “Wooing you.”
            “We are already betrothed, there’s no need to constantly try to win my hand. You have me completely.”
            “Oh, on the contrary, I intend to shower you with love every chance I get.”
            We shared a soft smile and suddenly a defensive look eclipsed Kenneth’s face. I switched into a defensive mode; my mother’s earlier worries seeped into every fiber of my being as I turned around.
            A woman stood across the courtyard. Her slim body draped with ethereal blue robes with gold embellishments. 
            “My aunt.” I whispered.
            “Go to my mother,” I looked back toward Kenneth “Tell her I’m taking care of the Seer.”
            I steered Lilith towards the woman. Digging my heels into her sides, I launched across the distance to my aunt, not waiting to see if Kenneth followed my instructions.
            “My dear niece.” Her voice was gravel. Up close I could see the startling darkness of her pupils; they seemed to swallow up her irises.
            “No need to introduce ourselves,” She gave me an emotionless smile. “I’m not going to be here for long.”
            “I don’t care what reason brought you here to see my sister, but you won’t get the chance to talk to her.”
            “Don’t be so defensive. I’m here to see you…not your sister.”
            I tried to mimic my sister’s bravado, hopefully willing myself to appear unphased. “I don’t have time for this.”
            She tilted her head analyzing me. Around us, the crowd seemed ignorant about the tense conversation between us. People kept moving or brushed against us, but we stood still in this moment of time.
            She began again, “Today you’re going to be in a room with two people: one who loves you and one who wants to kill you.”
            I laughed at the ridiculousness of that statement, “I’m on my father’s war council. People want to kill me all the time.”
            “Not like this.”
            I stated into her eyes with disbelief. Suddenly, the world shifted. It was like a hand wrapped around my throat−slowly suffocating the life out of me. I slid from Lilith in a whoosh before darkness consumed my vision.
            And I knew no more.

            My field of vision was hazy. I blinked my eyes more as the blurry face above me became clearer, it was Kenneth’s face. 
             I took in my surroundings. I was in a room, dimly lit, smelling of soft lilac and fresh cotton. My private chambers I guessed based on the smells and familiar canopy bed I laid on. My body was fine except for the sharp ache in my temples. 
            “What happened?” I said.
            “I rushed over with your father and a few other guards,” Kenneth brushed the hair from my forehead “You were passed out on the ground next to your horse when I found you.”
            “Oh.” A meek croak.
            “Who was that woman?”
            I balked at Saelina’s voice. She stood at the edge of the bed with her arms wrapped around the canopy’s pillar. She looked far more mundane in her relax attire: a simple dress, nothing like the one she wore earlier.
            “It’s nothing.”
            “Nothing? We found you passed out on the ground!”
Saelina moved closer to my bedside. Sitting down next to me, Saelina placed her hand over mine. Delicate and comforting.
            “Tell us…please.” Kenneth also added.
            “Mother asked me not to say anything…” I trailed off.
            “Relax Vana,” Saelina assured me “It’s just the three of us.”
            Just the three of us.
            My chest had grown tight−my heart a pounding drum.
            Today you’re going to be in a room with two people: one who loves you and one who wants to kill you.
            I switched my gaze to Kenneth’s face and Saelina’s face. My sister and the man I’m betrothed to. The real question was…
            Who loved me…and who wanted to kill me?