Flash Fiction | To Decide Otherwise
This month’s AW blog chain has us writing a story based on three words given to us by a previous writer. The words given to me were : Diana, dreaming and castle by LostWanderer.
I give you To Decide Otherwise,
Diana spent her life savings on the modest home that sat at the top of the rise. It’s designation as castle came from its location, the slate that enveloped it and the spire built into the front corner.
She didn’t care that it wasn’t hundreds of years old, in Ireland or Scotland. Hidden within the cover of dense forest, the former owners had built it with the intention of raising a family of princesses — instead they produced tough and rugged boys.
Like them, Diana had a set of expectations. She’d been dreaming, nightly, of her prince and how he’d find her — a maiden in need of his tending. Handsome. Charming. The fairy tale of men. She’d talk and he’d listen. They’d share meals and wine. They’d make love and create their own family.
But, five years later, she continued to mow, rake leaves, paint and care for her beloved home on her own.
The chore of gathering additional firewood fell yet again into her hands. She thought of having it delivered but fell back on the old adage that chopping it herself would be both good exercise and cathartic.
“Maybe the house is cursed.” She said to no one but herself as she stood with ax in hand, prepared to split the logs left at the base.
“Maybe it’s me.” She added as sweat dripped and her muscles, tired with exertion, pulled the handle and steel down upon the piece.
Had she become an old maid, destined to live a solitary life, never to share love with someone else, a servant instead of royal family?
Her muscles burned with the final chop and the steel buried itself into the stump block. A self-reliant woman she was and would be.
Diana saw the car as it slowly made its way up the drive. It’s identification — Independence Realty — was plastered across its side.
Irritation ran through her, not at the intrusion, her neighbors were always welcome and often popped in. This group had pestered her repeatedly in the course of the last few months asking her to sell her property to an anonymous buyer purporting to be a member of the royal family. She’d laughed them off.
The house was her dream, not theirs.
Diana threw her gloves to the ground, tucked her hair under her cap and walked toward the circular, paved drive that led toward and thankfully, away.
The gentleman that exited surprised her. Six feet at a minimum, his dark hair a shaggy short. Piercing blue eyes caught her gaze as she stopped just shy of his car. Her resolve began to fade, though she knew she’d never give up.
“Hello.” She called out, arms crossed.
“Hallo.” He returned with a faint accent. “My apologies for the intrusion. I am looking for Diana Powell.”
“Ah. Lovely. Wonderful.” His hands clapped together as his smile grew.
“And you would be?”
“A dreamer.” He extended his hand toward her. “My name is Charles Prince.”
My words for Claire Crossdale of The romantic query letter and the Happy-Ever-After are: light, Jane and statue.