Pena Castle, Portugal

The servant bowed one last time at the door, leaving the tray of pastries on the tea table. Amélie tasted the rich travesseiro and realized—it might well be her last taste of such a delicacy. Though her chef and staff might join her in London—England had not the rich-yolked eggs, nor the abundance of sun-ripened almonds for such a delight. What did they know of fine dining in there? Their king hosted decadent feasts glutted with rich food. He knew nothing of the simple delight of sun-ripened olives. His 12-course meals were sort of indulgence that would have a royal deposed in a fortnight.

As she had been.

Tomorrow she would not be Queen Consort. Tomorrow the son she had saved by her own hand would no longer be king.

One final stroll through the courtyard, one final prayer in the chapel.

It was what the people wanted.

150 words

Oh boy, now I remember why I don’t like to write historical fiction. I’m exhausted and am going to spend the rest of the afternoon just closing all these browser tabs. Kudos to the great writers who astound me from week to week with their historical fiction. This shit is hard. Plus, I have no idea if any of it is true, aside from the fact that Queen Amélie spent her last night in Portugal at the Pena castle before going to London to live out her life in exile. (Yay, Wikipedia)

Anyway, this has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt, or to submit your own, click here.


  1. This made me hungry despite the vision of the English cooks boiling mutton and lamb kidneys until the gray bits break off and roil in the pot. I imagine that Amélie would get awfully tired of the endless wet of English summer, too. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Poor thing, moving from the land of sun-ripened olives to the country of “pie ‘n chips” (yum) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is all making me hungry! Thanks for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nicely told historically fictional(fish) story, Kelly. Oh dear Queen Amelie sounds so sensible. So down to earth, with such simple tastes and such a delicate tone. Tough crowd in Portugal, I guess, as alluded to in Josh’s story (sorry, I’m still getting error 403 Josh every time I post comment, by whatever means – but I am enjoying reading your un-pretentious style!) I loved the ending on this one, Kelly, that prayer, for the people when it should have been for herself, and the people should have been praying for her. Maybe they (some) were.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. By accounts, she was loved and charitable, but she did like the finer things. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I get my “history lessons” from Wikipedia as well, and for a 150 word story, how accurate does it have to be? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey it’s as accurate as Encyclopedia Britannica–at least according to Wiki 😉 The ‘official’ history is written by the victors. Novelists get to write their own!


  5. Dear Karen,

    I love taking real people and imagining the what if’s and might’ve been’s about them. Kudos to you for taking a stab at it. You did it well.



    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so kind! Thanks for reading 😉


  6. Love the sound of travassiero – no wonder she’ll miss them. And the sun of course. I think you did a lovely job and most of us rely on the net to fill in the blanks – what would we do without it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I got so hungry researching the desserts it about drove me crazy! I don’t know how writers managed before they had the internet. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, I was wondering that about the internet the other day. I remember doing research on a university paper, having to order books through the library, waiting for the books, renewing the books because I hadn’t yet finished with them. Feels like an ancient way of doing things now 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We never got the flying cars we were promised, but the internet is much more useful! And distracting 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ha! So true 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. peterkirsch

    I’m with you, girl. I love history, and research, but bringing those stories to the page…well, maybe later on in life.
    Still, this was well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. mandibelle16

    I was hoping this Queen would depose this king, but as many Queens who tried in history, it doesn’t seem she is able to go through with her plan and is in exile. Very sad indeed.

    There was an English queen Eleanor (I think that’s her name) she was older when she married a king (one of the Henry’s in England I believe) and they were very much in love even though she was older. But Eleanor had agirst for power as well. She also had 4 sons, two of which were the eventually King Richard from Robinhood and one was his younger brother King John who ended up having to sign the Magna Carta. Eleanor too ended up in a sense exiled, after trying to depose her husband and or doing that with her sons, she ended up locked in her bedroom for the remainder of her days. Although I believe her son John was quite fond of her and let her out 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love reading about those kinds of accounts.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mandibelle16

        Yeah it’s fascinating in some cases. Thanks

        Liked by 1 person

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