WeWriWa— “Scars tell interesting stories”


Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. This week’s snippet comes right after last week’s, as Arkadiya Gagarina has reported for her interview for the position of empress-consort. She’s convinced nothing will come of it, but decides to humor His Majesty after how good he’s been to her.

Arkadiya is shocked when the Emperor kisses her hands, and chooses to attribute her quickened heartbeat and lightheadedness to the fact that she’s still recovering her strength from diphtheria.


Modern view of the Aleksandr Palace’s Working Study, Copyright Vitold Muratov

“Praise Christ you’ve recovered.  Do you know how close you came to dying?” He looked at her neck. “I’m glad that tube came out.  Dr. Merkulov said it won’t leave a real scar, but I wouldn’t care if it did leave a noticeable scar.  Scars tell interesting stories about what we’ve experienced, and remind us we’ve survived.” He indicated the cushioned chair in front of the desk. “Please, have a seat.”

Arkadiya eased into the chair and folded her hands in her lap, puzzled at why her hands were still tingling. “This is going to just be a waste of both of our time, but it can’t hurt to indulge you after you’ve been so nice to me.”


I agree with the majority that the best match for Aleksey would’ve been his double-second-cousin Princess Ileana of Romania, though another excellent choice not often considered was Princess Ingrid of Sweden, later Queen of Denmark. She was just as compassionate, progressive, and courageous as Ileana. Ingrid defied the Nazi occupiers and her worried grandfather by riding her bicycle, taking her baby for walks, and displaying the Swedish, Danish, and British flags in the palace’s nursery window. This made her very popular with the Danish people.

If you come back on Monday, I’ll be starting a series on A Night at the Opera at 80. That’s probably one of the rare few films I’ve discussed which most of my readers have actually heard of or seen!


14 comments on “WeWriWa— “Scars tell interesting stories”

  1. Kim Magennis says:

    She truly does not see that she has any attributes or assets to admire. She feels she has no worth so it is logical to her that she is not a real contender. Will she believe him if he offers her marriage, I wonder?


  2. P.T. Wyant says:

    She’s very straight-forward. I like that.


  3. She really is determined not to notice how much he likes her, and not notice her own reaction to him. I’ll enjoy reading along as they figure this out.


  4. siobhanmuir says:

    i like his determination and her forthright statement of what she believes to be true. Good snippet, Carrie-Anne.


  5. Enjoyed the excerpt, liked his comment about scars. Always fascinating to read the bits of actual history you share with us too.


  6. Harsh but right to the point. I like that. Great snippet. Lovely photos. 🙂


  7. I get a kick from Arkadiya. I like her because although she’s a quiet sort of person, she’s genuine. She’s not pretending to be meek because she thinks that’s what he wants. I’m sure that’s what he likes about her, too! You’ve got a fascinating story here, sure hope you pick up from this spot next week.


  8. Love the character dynamics in the snippet and your historical tidbits in the post. Looking forward to reading more!


  9. He’s winning her over already! And he’s right. You survive, and you’re tougher for it.


  10. I think he’s attracted to her modesty. We’re doing a study right now, but it isn’t anything like that in the picture, LOL/


  11. jessehanna says:

    “It can’t hurt to indulge you after you’ve been so nice to me.” The line stabs at me. I love it!


  12. I really like Arkadiya. Wonderful character building you’ve done with her.

    And I thoroughly enjoyed the history tidbits about Princess Ingrid. Courageous woman.


  13. Alexis Duran says:

    It sounds like the emperor had already made up his mind, even though Arkadiya is in denial. The details you use really bring these characters and the time they lived in to life.


  14. She doesn’t seem ready to accept. I wonder how he is going to make her change her mind.


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