Evadne stood behind the hulking armoire and stared as the middle-aged queen thrust something under the lowest mattress and tiptoed triumphantly out. Evadne sighed. What the hell kind of place was this? The house was beautiful, a vision of architectural details without and sumptuous within, but if it hadn’t been raining, she would have gone off to sleep in a haystack.
She probably should have known from the way they’d reacted to finding out she was a princess. The prince, it transpired, was having trouble finding a wife. Evadne had opinions on why that was, but her attempts to indicate that it was really none of her business had gone completely unnoticed. Neither of them seemed to grasp the fact that Evadne wouldn’t have taken the man as a gift, much less competed for him.
Evadne dropped down next to the bed and shoved an arm in to fish for whatever the queen had left. A hard, grainy lump rolled under her fingers, and she pulled it out. A pea. “Seriously?” She dropped her forehead against the preposterous tower of mattresses, where it sank in with a squish.
God, she was glad she was going home. The weirdness out here never ended. But her father hadn’t been born a king; he was an old campaigner, and when he’d sent her on this trip, it wasn’t to end up with an heir incapable of dealing with a lumpy mattress. Just a few more days. Evadne reached up, yanked the covers off into a nest on the rug, and slept like a log.
“How did you sleep?” The queen smirked.
“Beautifully!” Evadne said, cheerily shoveling down as much breakfast as she could manage. “Thanks for the pea, by the way. Such a practical gift; flowers and food all at once.” She stood up and walked to the door. “I think I’ll take it with me, if you don’t mind.”
She waved, stepped out into the sun, and smiled. Dad always did like a garden.
This week, a return to my fairy tale retellings as inspired by the gorgeous photos of The Breakers for the Write at the Merge prompt this week. I also worked in this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge, which called for 33 to 333 words on the third definition of the work GRASP (verb):