a prince in distress: a short story
Hello! Welcome back to my blog ❤ Here on Chickadee Lover Maggie, you’ll find content spanning across my wide range of interests, from doodles and photoshoots, to short stories and helpful articles!
Today I’m publishing a short story I wrote in September. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to rewrite it at all, but it’s been well over a month and I don’t have any ideas for where I’d take a second draft. lol I had the idea for this story a few years ago! I love the thought of writing the opposite of book stereotypes for a while. This is one of them! There are so many stories about the prince rescuing the princess… so guess what happens in my story? 😉
Let me know what you’d like to see in a part two, or any critique you have for this story! I feel like it’s a rough first draft so I’m open to hearing what you’d change. ❤
a prince in distress
Derrick groaned and leaned his head against the wrought-iron bar. He had officially dashed his hopes of getting out of this little room, probably for good.
Who would think to look for him in the dungeon?
Letting his face drift down the rusted bar, his only companion at the moment, Derrick let his mind wander back to that conversation. This memory-searching was a vain attempt to distract himself from the immense darkness and looming smells that carried stories of past prisoners on the dank air.
“You have to believe me,” Derrick pleaded, hating how desperate he’d sounded.
The prison guard avoided his gaze, flipping through his keys at a pace reserved for the old. The otherwise friendly jingle of a key ring echoed around, bouncing off the walls and sealing Derrick’s fate.
“I’m the prince,” he tried again. Derrick attempted to give the grizzled man one of his award-winning, heartthrob smiles the damsels adored.
But this man wasn’t a damsel. And if his heart was throbbing, it was overworking in a vain attempt to filter out the wretched air that filled the dungeon.
“That’s what they all say.” The prison guard finally spoke up, but his foreign accent and slurred speech came out in a growl. Derrick might as well have been talking to a guard dog.
The correct key was finally located and slammed into the padlock, twisting around and securing Derrick probably for good. He sank to his knees as the guard trudged away.
If only Derrick hadn’t been hanging out with his friends in the stables, wearing their clothes and loitering past curfew. If only their bonfire hadn’t been fanned so close to the hay bales – whose fault had it been? It didn’t matter now. Derrick had run for the nearest guard, and when he’d come back his friends had disappeared… just like he’d asked them to. “I’ll handle it,” Derrick had said confidently, wishing to ease their horrified expressions. “I’m the prince. They’ll forgive me.”
Forgiveness had been the farthest thing from that guard’s mind.
Now Derrick would have to sleep here, live here, and die here.
He’d no previous idea that looking straight into the eyes of adversity would have such an effect on him.
Having no perception of time hindered his ability to keep track of it. It could have been hours or days when that new sound reached his ears.
Derrick focused on it, meditated on it, knew for a fact it was different from the rhythmic dripping of sewer water. No, this was footsteps. It had the distinct lifting-falling pattern of an approaching individual – although maybe they were moving away.
Derrick stood up and willed himself to understand what he was hearing.
It did not sound like the prison guard’s heavy, hardened saunter. It was too familiar to belong to a scurrying animal. Where had he heard it before?
Visions of castle hallways and courtyards flooded his memory, soft breezes and laughter and filtered sunlight. Those early morning walks, watching the sunset from the ramparts, touring the castle kitchen and living quarters…
He knew there was only one person it could be.
“Celia?” Derrick whispered, hardly believing his eyes.
There she was, alive and in person.
Woo! That was fun to write, haha! I used to love reading and writing fantasy novels, especially historical fiction set in the Middle Ages. It was nice to revisit a genre (and write a story idea I had years ago!) that I really used to enjoy!