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 immediately follows last week’s, where Arkadiya finally revealed the secret on her arms. When she was twelve, she accidentally pulled a pot of boiling water onto herself, and sustained extensive burns on both arms and her stomach. She’s offered to change into a long-sleeved gown for the engagement photos, or suggested the photography session might be rescheduled so a long-sleeved gown can be made in the exact style and color as the gown she was asked to wear.
A gown worn by Aleksey’s mother, Empress Aleksandra
“No, you should present yourself to the public exactly as you are. If only I had the courage to do the same and tell the people about my illness. I’ve long preferred people who aren’t perfect, people who’ve known suffering and aren’t just like everyone else. It builds character and compassion. Didn’t I tell you you’re the exact type of empress-consort I need?”
“You really want your official engagement photograph to show those blemishes on your bride, Your Majesty?” the photographer asked. “People will talk, you know.”
“I don’t care what the wrong type of people have to say about me or my betrothed. I specifically wanted a Tsaritsa who’s not considered a traditionally desirable marriage candidate. For the love of God, it’s not like some visible scars on her arms could ever possibly invite worse gossip and criticism than the kinds of things which were said about my mother from the beginning.”