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!