The Agreement

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic


Someone travels a dirt road to arrange a new future, he hopes.


As our story begins, we start by observing from a high place; maybe high in a tree. We are looking down at what might be called a road in the days of kings, knights, and damsels in distress.

For the most part, the road is just a well worn dirt path where people, animals, and wagons, have followed the same path from one place to another.

Along the road rides a rather handsome man, about thirty years old, and he rides a fine war-horse. However, neither the man nor the horse is suited for battle. No, they ride light on this day; just a cross-bow and a half sword are visible.

The man is singing and the horse seems to be trotting to the beat of the tune.

 

"The lady was lost in the storm that night --- So I summoned my steed to her delight --- Then I whisk her away to my castle at Cray --- and we ..."

 

The man's singing was cut short by a thunderous voice which bellowed, "Singing is not allowed in my forest! Who are you to disturb the peaceful sounds of the forest's stream gurgling, and the birds warbling in the trees?"

The man on the horse was startled and the horse was spooked, to say the least; it whinnied and rose up on its hind legs while doing so.

"Woo Charger," the man said as he patted the horse on the side of the neck. "It is safe boy, it is safe. Be calm," he stated further.

Then the man questioned the voice while looking up into the tree-tops, "Who are you to question a King?

I am Robert the Destroyer, Lord of Granite and First General of the Granite Alliance.

I am on my way to the City of Rivers on state business. And for your information, I travel this road, my road, through my forest, any time I so choose!

Now who might you be?!?"

At that moment a great eagle swooped down from above and landed on the road in front of the King. The eagle stood taller than the horse and its seated rider.

"I am called Time," bellowed the eagle, "but some have called me Death and Destruction. Which name shall you find me to be, Oh Great King?" the eagle asked as it cackled with the cackling sounds of an old witch.

The King guided his steed slowly around the eagle in a clockwise motion, as if to seek a point of attack. Then he replied, "I shall call you a dishonorable servant if you do not acknowledge your King, --- you shape-shifting vixen."

With that said, the eagle morphed into an old hag of a witch.

"What gave me away, my brother?" The Witch asked.

"That laugh of yours, I would recognize it anywhere," King Robert replied while chuckling to himself. Now get out of that witch form and ride with me, oh sister by another mother."

 

The witch quickly changed into her natural state, this time into a beautiful woman that looked to be about 30 years old.

Her hair was long and flowing, looking much like Dark-waters flowing over a babbling brook.

Her skin color was the lighter-side of a transitioning moon, textured in velvet.

And what of her eyes? Her eyes were pools, as deep as any ocean and an emotional danger to anyone that looked into them for any length of time.

 

Up and onto the back of the horse she effortlessly sprang, leaning her back against the King's and placing her feet on the horse's rump.

"Are we really going to the City of Rivers, --- finally?" asked the woman.

The King replied, "Yes Kate, promises need to be fulfilled and there is no time any better. War may be brewing and alliances need to be strengthened, --- or rearranged."

"War, war, war, honestly, sometimes I think that is all you kings think about," Kate said as she giggled. --- Then continued, "I have a fun idea, let us have a Grand Ball instead of a war! Everyone can come all dressed up in costumes.

We could decorate this forest and the surrounding fields with lanterns and flowers, and we could have orchestras and dancing too! The servants could dress up as well. It would be loads of fun! Don't you think?"

 

And so it went, Kate talked about a pyramid of whimsical subjects as the two moseyed down the road-way on the King's trusty steed.

***

The City of Rivers is built at the fork of two massive waterways.

Some say that the city is a thousand years old and its castle has never been successfully breached.

The Queen that rules this Queen-dom, Ana Conda, is a half-breed Reptilian and her combined families have ruled these lands for 500 of those years. However, those successions have seldom been easy.

One brother did away with the other; a son jailed his mother on charges of treason, just for the sake of the crown. A King was stabbed in the back, literally, by his half sister and her lover. And even Queen Ana has a iffy right to the throne that she sits upon.

Queen Ana is a tough nut to crack. Unlike her father and his father's before him, she refuses to join the Alliance.

She does not want to pay her fare share of military costs, even though she enjoys their protection by sheer default. You see, her kingdom borders three alliance kingdoms, so she is protected because they kingdoms act as a barrier against enemies. But without the Alliance surrounding her, the two rivers are her only deterrent against invasion.

***

"Halt, state you names and your business!" came the call from the guard tower. The tower being at the entrance to one of two bridges that leads to the City.

"I am King Robert, Lord of Granite and First General of the Granite Alliance; and this is my hand-servant, Mur."

Kate now stood on the ground and to the right hand of King Robert, and she now looked like a boy of about nine years old.

 

The guard wrote a note and dispatched a Falcon to the city. Within minutes a flaming arrow was seen in the sky over the river.

 

"You may pass, King Robert," said the bridge guard, "my Queen awaits your arrival. However, I am afraid your servant and the horse must stay in the Guards stable until you return.

The King replied, "That will be inconvenient, but I guess you can't be too cautious these days, Corporal."

Then the King turned to the child and said with an eye-wink, "Mur, take my horse to the stable and wait there for my return."

At about the same time, a coach arrived from the city and two emissaries got out, greeting King Robert in the process. And in no time the three were in the coach and heading toward the city.

After accommodations were made at the stable for King Robert's horse, a Night-Owl flew toward the castle.

***

"Robert, it has been a long time sense our last visit. You are looking well," said Queen Ana.

Robert replied quickly, "May we speak alone dear Queen, there are spies throughout the land and what I'm about to say should be for your ears only."

"Of course," the Queen stated as she waved her people out of the room.

"It has been much too long, dear Queen," King Robert replied, "and it saddens me that I have to bring bad tidings to such a lovely woman as you."

Emotions, --- but never enough to open my purse to your military needs," Ana laughingly stated.

"War is certain without additional troops, dear lady, and your participation is much needed at this time.

King Tagus and his power hungry brothers are about to amass an army that rivals the alliance's combined forces. If they breach our southern ranks your kingdom will fall; make no mistake about that," Robert replied with overtones of dread in his voice. 

Ana laughed and said, "I have heard all this before and nothing has ever come of it. It is not my doing that my lands are surrounded and protected by those that mean me no harm. But honestly, should I pay for friendship and for what I have never asked for?

You should have married me before my brother's death, then our two kingdoms would be one and all this pleading would be unnecessary."

Robert replied, "I admired your strength and I was very fond of you, Ana, but I did not love you. But why speak of such things? The past is all water under the bridge.

I plead with you, Dear Queen, take a lesson from your Father and his Father's before him, and do what is right to save yourself and your kingdom.

Your brother understood the need to belong to the Alliance and if he had become king, we would be united."

"That halfwit brother of mine never had an original thought, he did whatever was in Father's little rule book.

On the other hand, I think for myself," Ana stated defiantly.

Then she continued by saying, "It may have been for the best that my brother was never king. His love for wine and women would have cost this kingdom dearly. But fate stepped in, along with a great deal of wine in his belly, and he fell into the Sim River just before his coronation."

Robert smiled and said, "Did he fall, or was he pushed?"

The Queen looked scornfully at Robert, and then laughed before replying, "I'm sure he fell. The servants said that they didn't remember anyone else in that living area. Besides, he was warned many times about the dangers of that balcony, the way it hangs over the river's edge.

But I'll just repeat what you have said, Robert, it is all water under the bridge, --- the Siam River Bridge to be exact.

I have saved this kingdom much gold by staying out of the Alliance and that is the way it will stay."

King Robert grew angry and replied, "Some of your kingdom's people still starve, do they not?

It is common knowledge that the gold goes into your purse, not to the kingdom's treasury! If your kingdom was of the Alliance then there would be work and prosperity for all, they would not go hungry.

Those in the Alliance share the wealth which makes for strong and prosperous kingdoms, as well as very loyal subjects. So join us and let all prosper."

Again Queen Ana just laughed, and shook her head, "NO."

 

With such futile negotiations over, Robert stepped forward and hit Ana with a closed fist, but before she could fall to the floor he caught her.

King Robert quickly covered her mouth, bound her, and carried her to the balcony.

And as he opened the balcony doors, there was Kate, in the form of the great eagle. The eagle momentarily descended, and then ever so gently carried the queen into the obscurity of the clouds above. 

Within minutes Kate returned to the balcony and morphed into the likeness of Queen Ana Conda.

"Is the queen secured?" Robert asked Kate.

"I left her with the gypsies, just as you instructed," Kate replied.

"Good," Robert said, "with a few gypsy potions in her food she will forget her past. And with constant reminders of the terrible fall she took, and the loss of her memory, she will not be concerned with her past. She will settle into the life of a gypsy woman, proud, stubborn, and defiant. It is all for the best.

Now Kate, I mean Queen Ana, you have your kingdom as I promised. And in return you will provide me with the military alliance that I have sought sense that unreasonable and unwavering woman was crowned.

"So what happens after this? I don't want to stay looking like Ana forever," Kate stated.

Robert replied with a smile on his boyish face, "Over the next few months Queen Ana will take ill.

You can act sick, can't you?"

Kate laughed and turned her snake-like skin a sickly shade of green, "How's that for starters," Kate quipped.

"That will work," Robert replied. "Now, as the queen grows frailer she will begin relinquishing her powers to the newly arrived family member, Princess Katalina Montoyia.

The queen's closest advisers and her generals will be informed that you are her only daughter; this, by a secret union with an un-named king. You, sorry, I meant to say the Queen, shall have the necessary documents drawn up naming the Princess as the queen's successor.

At that point Queen Ana Conda, racked with unbearable pain, will take her own life by jumping into the river.

And of course, the Queen's daughter will be the only witness to the tragic event.

 

JE Falcon

02-19-2017

Revised: 03-2018


Submitted: February 21, 2017

© Copyright 2022 JE Falcon aka JEF. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:

Comments

Vance Currie

You were kind enough to comment on one of my stories. I have returned the courtesy by reading one of yours. I rarely comment unless I like the story enough to make the effort, and I liked this story a lot. I am a bit surprised that nobody else has commented, but so many new stories appear each day that it is hard to keep up with them all. I like the way in which you wrote it a style that suits its fairy tale nature. Kate's shape changing power would be wonderful to have. Think of the havoc that one could cause by 'becoming' someone else. But I guess you did that. Well done.

Fri, August 4th, 2017 9:26pm

Author
Reply

Much thanks. --- I gave up trying to understand the lack of comments, but maybe it wasn't their cup of tea, so to speak. I have stories that have hundreds of reads, but only two or three comments. --- Oh well, I write what comes to mind and what tickles my fancy. Besides, once I start a story I have to finish it to see how the ending is going to come out, I often have no idea when I start writing, LOL. --- Thanks for the comment.

Mon, August 7th, 2017 1:22pm

Jeff Bezaire

This, sir, is a brilliant story! I love the fairy tale quality from the fun opening narrative to the devious scheme at the end. There are so many fantastic elements in this piece: the shape shifter, the city and the method of notification to a guest's arrival, the wicked queen herself, as well as her fate and the further scheme of the king and his half-sister, the alliance. Your descriptions are amazing! I love your use of words - there's so much flavour! A great story all-around!
I look forward to checking out more of your work!

Thu, March 15th, 2018 7:01pm

Author
Reply

Much thanks. It was another that had no ending when it was started.

Fri, March 16th, 2018 11:57am

Alex S. Foley

A great story but what would have happened if Queen Ana had agreed to join the alliance? It seems King Robert and his sister planned to replace her no matter what, just a thought. Is it possible that the good King Robert was as much a villain as Queen Ana just better at hiding it?

Sat, February 6th, 2021 9:05pm

Author
Reply

Sorry, I thought it was a given that King Robert had been dealing with Ann and her stubborn, money grubbing, ways for years. And I thought that King Robert's plan to eliminate Ann from the throne was in motion from the very start of the story. --- All the pleading with Ann was just a time stalling moment, buying time for his half-sister to get herself in position for the take-away. After all, one can't be Lord of Granite, First General of the Granite Alliance, and still be a nice guy all the time. LOL

Sat, February 6th, 2021 2:02pm

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