Trifecta: Ascension

Camilia stared out the window of her father’s sitting room.  Temash’s body, still bloody from the hunt, had been taken away to be prepared for burial.  Now all that was left was three of his wives, Tamedijl having been taken away in hysterics, and half a dozen of his children.

Dahla was crying.  Camilia’s own mother Cahlila, who had actually cared for him, was exerting an iron focus on a cup of tea in her hand.  Sala, sitting with her two oldest children, merely looked grim.

Camilia lifted her chin and turned.  “Dahla, I know that you miss my father, but try not to dwell on it.  It would be so bad for your health.”

The look she gave Dahla was sweet, but she held Dahla’s gaze just a little too long, until the older woman reared back slightly and a touch of fear showed.  Camilia smiled and let the contact break.  Cruel, perhaps, but necessary.  Dahla had never moved against Camilia because Temash would not have hesitated to execute her.  But now, her father’s protection?  Gone.  And until Camilia had an heir, Dahla’s son stood right behind her, ready to take the throne should something happen.  She wasn’t stupid enough to think that Dahla wasn’t thinking it too.

“Sai, will you direct the arrangements for the funeral?”  Her half-sister looked up from beside her mother.  “It will be good practice,” Camilia added.  She saw that register.  The post of the Empress’ personal representative was a plum — and she was going to need someone she could trust.  Sala, a sudden satisfaction showing through the grimness, gave her daughter a light touch on the back to send her off.

Sai met Camilia’s eyes and gave her a hint of a smile. The knot in Camilia’s chest relaxed a fraction. “Of course.”  She rose and left the room.

Camilia took a seat across from her mother.  “I believe I’d like a cup of tea.”  She could hold this together.  She could.


This week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge calls for 33 to 333 words on the third definition of the word DWELL (verb):

3 : to keep the attention directed —used with on or upon<tried not to dwell on my fears>

: to speak or write insistently —used with on or upon<reporters dwelling on the recent scandal>

For more of Camilia and her family, start with The Inquisition or click on the Tacar category on the sidebar.  Thanks for reading!


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  1. Joe says:

    Who gets the throne. The mess kings leave behind them!

  2. Wow, what insane amounts of drama it is to be in the royal family… makes me darn happy to be a mere peasant. Great tale 😉

  3. Atreyee says:

    Power struggle in a royal scenario-oo,I like it:-)I also liked that Camilla has not only the courage to fight for what is rightfully her’s but also has her wits about-& uses people & situations to her advantage-hope she ascends the throne.Good job:-)

  4. Bee says:

    I love power struggles and monarchies! I wonder if there’s going to be any intrigue. That Dahla is not to be trusted!

  5. JannaTWrites says:

    Oh my goodness, there’s a lot of power play going on here…I think someone is going to end up dead before it’s all done!

  6. tedstrutz says:

    “exerting an iron focus on a cup of tea”… I liked this line. I liked the style of the story. Trying to figure from the names when, where, what… guess I have to go investigate…

  7. kz says:

    there’s always sordid scandals, drama and death where royalty is concerned…. and that’s why i love such stories 🙂 great work

  8. kgwaite says:

    Oh, wow. This is great. Strong women rules. I hope there will be more to come.

  9. Jennifer says:

    I love a woman that takes charge and asserts herself.

  10. lumdog says:

    What an interesting story. I hope we get to read more. Nice entry!

  11. barbara says:

    oh, nicely dne – looking forward to reading more. 🙂

  12. Katie says:

    Wow, so talented, able to do two different stories for Trifecta and WOE. I am new to a lot of the writers who have continuing stories I will have to check this story as well.

  13. Draug says:

    This would make for a great soap opera (:

  14. Annabelle, I’m not sure if you want this kind of comment, because I read these pieces as flash fiction, not as ongoing stories.
    This one was particularly confusing with all the different characters in such a short space. The confines of microfiction are what make it special, so that writing within them has its own difficulties, and rewards. I would have enjoyed a more in-depth display of the tension between Camilia and Dahla, like here:
    Camilia lifted her chin and turned. “Dahla, I know that you miss my father, but try not to dwell on it. It would be so bad for your health.”
    The look she gave Dahla was sweet, but she held Dahla’s gaze just a little too long, until the older woman reared back slightly and a touch of fear showed. Camilia smiled and let the contact break. Cruel, perhaps, but necessary.

  15. deana says:

    This is amazing writing. I love how you keep the reader pulled in.

  16. Suzanne says:

    This is a wonderful depiction of the female side of power. I really enjoyed it!

  17. sonya says:

    And you tell me that the stuff that I write about is all drama… That’s very well done. Excellent amount of tension and suspense.

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