Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors, a weekly Sunday hop where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. This scene comes right after last week’s, as Arkadiya Gagarina has accepted a ride back to her hotel following her dreamlike day at the Aleksandr Palace. She just came to make a petition for a better school and hospital in her hometown, and it turned into a long, personal conversation with the new Emperor, being created a princess of the House of Gagarin, dining with His Majesty and several other important people, and now getting a ride back to her hotel in a Duesenberg.


Arkadiya watched the darkened streets of the capital going by, not looking forward to the moment when she’d arrive back at her simple hotel and have to return to her normal existence.  When the car stopped, she suddenly realized she’d never given the Emperor any detailed information about what exactly the people of Yekaterinburg wanted in their new school and hospital.  All she’d said, over the last few hours, was that they wanted both of those things to be improved, and that they’d most sorely appreciate a big splash of money their way in order to pay for it.

“So I won’t waste even more of your time tomorrow, I’ll just send the formal text of my petition from my hotel,” she said as she got out of the car. “If you’d like, we’ll name both the school and hospital after you.”

“There’s no need.  You can just write down the specifics in the lobby, and I’ll see to it that both these requests are most speedily granted.” He offered his arm again.

Arkadiya was in a daze as she limped the short distance into the hotel.  This day had been one long dream, and the more time progressed, the more incredible her story was going to seem once she was back home and telling everyone about the new Tsar’s kindness.


(ROC=Russian Orthodox Church, the church in Russia itself; ROCA=Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, also called ROCOR, Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.)

If you’re so inclined, please have a look at the memorial post I created for the Russian Imperial Family. 17 and 18 July made 97 years since they were murdered, one group in Yekaterinburg and another group in Alapayevsk. All but one of these people, Grand Duke Sergey’s secretary Fyodor Remez, have been canonized by the ROCA, and the ROC has canonized the seven immediate members of the Imperial Family plus Aleksandra’s sister Ella and her nun Varvara. Two other servants murdered in September 1918 have also been canonized by the ROCA.

In the ROC, they’re passion-bearers, but in the ROCA, they’re New Martyrs. It’s a whole political thing with the ROC not wanting to admit they were really murdered and doubting the DNA results. There’s also a whole controversy over whether all of them merited sainthood and martyr status, particularly Nicholas and Aleksandra. Though the servants weren’t canonized by the ROC, that same church canonized Ella and Varvara as New Martyrs, not passion-bearers. But that’s the subject for another post.


This ikon is in Church Slavonic, which I can’t read very well. I know the five major Cyrillic alphabets (Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Serbian), but Church Slavonic has a number of radical differences.

9 thoughts on “WeWriWa—Arrival at the hotel

  1. This part of your story is fairy-tale like. I mean that in the best possible way. I think the reader picks up on the wonder of it all to her…her Cinderella sort of feeling.

    I’ll never stop questioning how anyone can kill a child. How does a person do that? Pull the trigger?? There’s something seriously wrong with the brain in someone who can find a way to justify it… Sick…


  2. Arkadiya knows this isn’t going to be the end. I get that feeling from her… but, I also get a bit of a sense that she wishes it was because then she can believe it was truly wonderful and magical for that moment, without all the uncertainties of how it might end if she allows herself to enjoy it more fully….

    The memorial is lovely. Even if the faces are as sad as they’d been in so many of the old photos….


  3. I’m loving this story and the Cinderella-like aspects…yet tempered by sadness knowing the real fate of Aleksey and his family. You’re really doing a wonderful job with the alternate history.


Share your thoughts respectfully

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s