Exile

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.

15 Comments

  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.

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

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

  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.

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

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

    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.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    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?

    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!

      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 🙂

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

  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.

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