A to Z Challenge — A is for Audacious

I must be mad.

Spring is truly around the corner, and the seedlings I have started are exhibiting proof of life and will need nurturing until the soil warms enough to plant them out. My duties for my 9-5 will be escalating in the coming month requiring more of my time. Of course, there is my beloved writing which I cannot and will not abandon.

But, here I am about to commit myself to the April A to Z Challenge. I decided my A to Z posts would be stories that convey an emotion. I used the site ID Your Emotions to select emotions which conveyed a positive aspect of the human experience. (At least that is my hope).

In keeping with the Foolishness of the Day here we go with the Letter A:

A is for Audacious.

Answer Me

Mother groomed Arletta. Prepared and educated her for a role she might assume. She was not simple, not like her elder brother, Charles. “Twice her age and half the sense” one of her tutors often said.

Charles offended Duke Alan. Embolden with the rush of power conveyed upon him with their father’s death, he dismissed the warnings of the advisors. His arrogance launched them into a war and to his death at the tip of a spear. Duke Alan, their new enemy was gracious, granting them time to grieve, time to inter another king and coronate a queen.

Photo credit: Qsimple, Memories For The Future Photography via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Appointed by God, queen of a country her advisor said was her destiny to lose. She had met with them for hours, searching for a solution. The strength of the enemy’s army was undeniable, reinforcements arrived while they waited for the coronation. Duke Alan demanded satisfaction for the injustice of her brother. This man did not stop short of attaining his goals. And, she was, well, a woman. The Duke didn’t negotiate with women, not even queens.

“Is there no way in which I keep my kingdom?” she asked. The downcast eyes, the grim expressions were the only reply. She could not bear their verdict and fled to the chapel.

“Why have you done this?” she yelled as she threw open the doors. “Why bring me to this place and deny me? You can’t mean for my people to suffer at the hands of the Duke. You say I am appointed by God to lead my people. Then why don’t you show me the way?” She raised her fist shaking it before her God. The priest ran into the church, searching for the source of the commotion.

“How dare you defy God? The audacity of you, a woman, attempting to command God.”

“How dare I? How dare He?”

“He will strike you down.” The priest blinked, wringing his hands as his face drained of color.

“You spoke words at my coronation saying God works thru me. Were they only words priest? He wants me to do His work? Yes? Then tell me what to do. He must show me how to save my people. His people. You spoke of Divine Intervention. I say we need it right now.”

“You’re upset, the strain of these past days. I’ll call the physician for a calming tincture…”

“You will not sedate me. I need an answer from God.” She turned to stare at the crucifix above the altar. “God. Answer me.” She waited in the silent church. Nothing moved. Everything was quiet, even the priest.

After a long while, Arletta heaved a great sigh and turning her back to God, she left the chapel without uttering another word. The priest fell to his knees and prayed.

Sleep did not come that night. She tossed and turned, dreading the morning. Dreading her fate. At last, exhausted, she slept. When she woke, she no longer feared. The calm worried her maids who cast furtive glances at each other as they helped her dress.

“Call my council, and have this messenger deliver this to the Duke’s encampment,” she said handing the parchment bearing her seal to her maid.

“Mum? Is everything, all right?” the maid asked.

“Everything will be fine. Today I will turn our enemy to an ally and I shall increase the reign of our country.” She smiled at the expression on the girl’s face.

“Mum?”

“God has spoken. It is His will.”

__________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

57 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge — A is for Audacious

  1. That’s a lovely story. I wonder how she came up with the idea… Waiting to read more of your a to Z posts. Have a fun April.

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  2. I admire your courage to write a story-a-day!
    I have not heard of the website, ID Your Emotions, but I plan to check it out. I’m sure it would be quite helpful to me for character development.

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    • LOL I told you I am mad. I believe some of them will be shorter than this one. I stumbled upon the ID your Emotions site and found it very useful. I will be back there to help on some of my characters. Look forward to visiting your site.

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  3. I smiled at the “we’re all mad” line. April brings busy for me too – full time work, new job, and SURE! Let’s post daily. I wish you luck and may we both still be here at month’s end. The story was lovely too – I look forward to reading more.

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  6. Hello, fellow A-To-Zer (and Fictioneer!). I liked this piece, and I really want to know what that parchment says… I shall read on!
    Melanie Atherton Allen, from Atherton’s Magic Vapour

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