Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors, a weekly Sunday hop where writers share 8 sentences from a book or WIP. These are the final eight lines of the opening chapter of my WIP, And Aleksey Lived, an alternative history which is based on the premise that the Russian Imperial Family was rescued before the entire family could be murdered.
Thirteen-year-old Aleksey has been carried upstairs by one of the liberating soldiers, but he finds it impossible to sleep after the nightmare he just survived. Only his old faithful dog Joy provides comfort. In real life, Joy was the only member of the family to survive, found his way to England, and lived out his days by Windsor Castle. He was blind by that point, but he seemed to still be looking for his young master, unable to understand why he wasn’t coming back.
They loved their people no matter what, and didn’t care about petty things like what station in life one had been born into. Perhaps God had put animals on Earth to try to deliver a message about unconditional love and acceptance, basic virtues many humans were most sorely lacking in.
Before he drifted off to a nightmarish, fitful sleep, Alekséy made up his mind to become a kind, loving, accepting Tsar like his great-grandfather Aleksándr II, not a strict, by the rules, out of touch autocrat like his father and grandfather. Assuming he’d live into adulthood, that was. He desperately wanted to believe he’d become an adult and be able to fulfill his destiny. Surely it was a sign from God that he was meant to grow up and be Tsar if he’d survived so long already, and just now been snatched from the lions’ den. His survival so many times wasn’t about to be a miracle in vain. In the meantime, he hoped his Dyadya Mísha would be a good regent and harness the best of both worlds, necessary strictness when need be with gentle lovingkindness.
I think I’ll post a few more excerpts from Part I, and then skip ahead to Part III so you can meet Arkadiya Gagarina, the morganatic princess who quite by accident stumbles into the role of a lifetime when she steals the heart of the handsome, young new Tsar.