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.”
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.