Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. Hope you’re enjoying these more pleasant (at least here in the PNW, anyway) waning days of summer. Can’t believe we’re headed into fall, especially with this year still feeling a lot like 2020
After a too-long break, I’ve started sharing again from my work-in-progress, a romantic gay fantasy inspired by the tale of Snow White. Last week, Gabriel’s conversation with his Uncle Aldous was interrupted when his brother, King Tristan, entered the feast hall.
His servants had worked wonders on the bedraggled wildman Gabriel had encountered in the forest. Tristan had the bearing of a king when he entered. His red tunic bore a much larger image of the family crest than the one on Gabriel’s tunic, stitched in black and gold across his chest. His high black boots were polished to a gloss that reflected candlelight and his long red hair had been cleaned, combed and curled. Someone had forced strong tea into him, no doubt, because his eyes were clear and sharp. He scanned the room like a hawk excited by the chitters and squeaks of mice in a field. The mice sensed his presence and the roar of conversation dropped. Chairs scraped against the stone floor as everyone stood and bowed.
A plump trumpeter lifted his horn and let out a grating blast. This was followed by a declaration.
That’s the official Ten. Here’s a bit more, if you like:
“All hail king Tristan!”
“Hail King Tristan!” came the general, jumbled, reply. Hearty enough, but to Gabriel’s ear, tinged with grumblings. Perhaps it was due to the quantity of wine consumed or the lateness of the meal.
Goblets were raised and drained as Tristan made his way to the head table. He inspected each guest in turn, gaze piercing, until it landed on Gabriel. An eager expression overtook Tristan’s face and he marched up to Gabriel and seized him in a hug.
“Brother! Do you have any idea how it gladdens my heart to see you here in your rightful spot by my side?” Tristan slapped him on the back and released him. He seized up a goblet and turned to the room.
“To Prince Gabriel, returned from his studies in Craigmoor at long last!”
Here’s the current blurb for Snow:
Following the death of his mother the Queen, Prince Gabriel returns home for the first time in three years, hoping for a reconciliation with his estranged brother, the new king, but all is not well at Castle Rosenthal. King Tristan has fallen under the sway of a mysterious noble woman with a dark past, and all along the border of the Black Forest, magical denizens are on the move. Gabriel begins to fear for his life. Is the handsome huntsman in on a plot to assassinate him, or is there an even darker, more evil power afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient magic at work, if Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover it.
I love how observant he is of his brother! And I’m very curious as to what’s going to happen at dinner.
Wonderfully set scene. I’m surprised and delighted by the enthusiastic greeting given by his brother. Not to last, I suspect.
I’m feeling a bit suspicious of Tristan’s response to Gabriel. Can’t wait to see what happens next.
Hmmm, somehow this all seems ominous despite the surface good mood. I enjoyed the description, especially the chittering part LOL. Great snippet.
Tristan’s welcome seems genuine. I hope it is. Which could mean that the treachery afoot is coming from Tristan’s own people?? Loving this tale, Alexis!