WeWriWa— “This one seems different”

Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors, a weekly Sunday hop where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. This week’s snippet comes right after last week’s, as Arkadiya Gagarina, a morganatic princess, quite by accident stumbles into the role of a lifetime. She’s arrived at the Aleksandr Palace soon after a delegation of princesses from non-ruling houses left, and has no idea she’s been mistaken for an unexpected latecomer trying to become empress-consort.

At 32, Arkadiya is seven years older than Aleksey, has been raised like a commoner in spite of having a prince for a father, walks with a limp, feels herself a confirmed spinster, and has burn scars on her arms and stomach. But in spite of her supposed imperfections and disqualifications, she steals Aleksey’s heart with her kind heart, genuine personality, and sincere nature.


“May I have a private audience with His Majesty?  I’d prefer to speak without extra people hovering around.  He always says in his radio addresses that he wants us to be able to meet with him one-on-one, like we’re each important, special people.”

“If you’re anything like the princesses who just left, this’ll be a very short meeting,” the head bodyguard said. “Your Majesty, do you wish to speak with her personally?”

“This one seems different,” Alekséy said. “It can’t hurt to speak with her in private.  Please sit down, Princess Gagarina.”




18 thoughts on “WeWriWa— “This one seems different”

    • Thanks! I’m really glad I radically altered the storyline about the unlikely Tsaritsa. The way it was originally written (in 1996 and 2001) was just too implausible and stupid.


  1. Lovely succinct excerpt. Did they really troop in potential consorts by groups? What a way to meet somebody to marry! I like that she’s not intimidated and asks to speak to Aleksey alone.


    • She’s going to be so embarrassed and stunned when she discovers this is a case of mistaken identity, though very apologetic if she’s interrupted the Emperor in his screening of potential brides.


  2. Like some others, I’m curious to know why Arkadiya is here. It’s interesting to see her manner in the face of the guard’s attitude. “This one seems different” though… such a hard tone. It’s clear that Aleksey is at the end of his rope as well.


    • She’s definitely a very strong-minded person, and far from the only petitioner who’s come to the palace. However, she’s the first petitioner so far to come from so far outside the immediate environs of St. Petersburg, and she travelled all that way by herself.

      Liked by 1 person

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