WeWriWa—The joyless boy Tsar

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Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors, a weekly Sunday hop where writers share 8 sentences from a book or WIP. This week’s snippet picks up where we left off last week, as reality sinks in to 13-year-old Aleksey. Like it or not, he’s just become the Tsar, even if he’s too young and sick to rule in his own right. The liberating White soldiers have had to help him into his murdered mother’s wheelchair and take him into the dining hall, where he has absolutely no appetite for the sumptuous feast they’ve prepared for him and his three unwounded sisters. Mariya, the third Grand Duchess, is in the hospital after being shot in the thigh during last night’s interrupted massacre.

During breakfast, his sisters try to impress upon him the importance of regaining his health and scaling down all the normal boy things he’s always loved to do in spite of his illness. Now that he’s inherited the mantle of power, he has to start thinking seriously about how best to preserve his life as long as possible, even if that means going against his active nature.

***

He should’ve been enjoying this feast with his entire family.  Worse yet, the soldiers insisted on giving him the largest portions, and his sisters gave him some of their own food, all while the soldiers kept referring to him as “Your Majesty.”  He was no one’s Majesty, and this was no palace fit for a real Tsar.  The only throne he had now was a secondhand wheelchair.

“You need to eat your fill, Sunbeam, instead of just pushing it around the plate,” Tatyana said after the soldiers had left them in peace. “You’ve lost too much weight, on top of your injured knee.  Now that we have real food again, it’s your duty to eat as much as possible.  Your strength won’t regain itself.”

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In real life, the day after the Imperial Family and their servants were murdered, a number of their relatives (including the Tsaritsa’s sister Ella) were murdered in nearby Alapayevsk. In my alternative history, they’re also rescued, and two of these young men become the husbands of Olga and Tatyana. I may give another of the young men to Mariya.

All of the people who were murdered on these two days in July 1918 have been canonized as passion-bearing martyrs by the Russian Orthodox Church.

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16 thoughts on “WeWriWa—The joyless boy Tsar

    • This particular scene takes place the morning after. My story starts where the real-life story ended, when only the Imperial couple and two of their servants have been killed, with a few more people wounded.

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  1. Yeah, Tsar Baby doesn’t have the right ring to it . . .

    I don’t want to display my ignorance, but is Anastasia around here someplace? Or does she go by another name?

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    • In the current version of this scene, she doesn’t have any lines. I gave most of the other lines to Tatyana, since she was nicknamed “The Governess” for her responsible nature and how good she was with taking care of her younger siblings.

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  2. Family nicknames are always a little embarrassing, aren’t they? You can get away with calling a kid all sort of things they won’t accept as they grow up a bit.

    I see why they’re concerned about his appetite, but should he overeat, he’ll probably be sick.

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  3. What a great concept! I love how in depth and accurate you are on the history; I’m also very intrigued by your fictional twist on things. That is a fascinating 8! I’m definitely looking forward to reading more of your work!

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