Queen Noragolden took a liking to Lila right away, admiring her authenticity and compassion, though the change she had brought about in Glenfrook would have been enough to recommend her. The Queen had pitied Glenfrook for being at the mercy of her over-bearing son. Seeing them flourishing brought her great joy that she intended to repay. Though she was heartbroken by Pynecris’ loss of status, she prayed it would be the fertilizer to encourage his growth.
After the engagement was announced, The Queen spent many hours with Lila. She had always been interested in the larger world, and asked lots of questions while Lila had dress fittings and carefully arranged the details for the wedding. Inevitably, these questions turned to practical matters.
“Where do you want to go on your honeymoon?” The Queen asked Lila one day, while she was advising on the seating plan. “There are plenty of nearby kingdoms where you could be quite comfortable with no need for displays of diplomacy. We’re quite at ease with a fair few of our neighbours.”
“How could anyone want to be anywhere but here?” Lila replied.
Queen Noragolden could see plainly she wasn’t simply being polite. Lila was as in love with the Fiddlefolk Kingdom as she was herself, and that was a love full of gratitude and wonder. The prospect of Lila someday taking her crown became a secret joy which warmed Noragolden’s heart immensely.
In the weeks leading up to the wedding, Glenfrook had even less time for Pynecris than usual. Glenfrook could see how deeply unhappy Pynecris had become, and made consistent efforts to spend time with him, but each day time became more scarce.
Glenfrook had easily forgiven Pynecris for the duel, and Pynecris had even apologized, which was out of character for him. From their side, the relationship was intact, though perhaps strained. Pynecris, however, was embittered by the shift in their dynamic. After having been made to fart into jars for months so Lila could spend time in the kingdom, only to be replaced by her (and have his future throne stolen to boot), Pynecris was demoralized. Patronizing offers of visits to the swimming hole or picnics by the waterfall when Glenfrook could “fit him in” between “more important things” like gown fittings and cake tastings, were not enough to salve the cuts in his pride. Eventually, without his companion to curb his foolhardy nature, Pynecris formulated a plan to regain his status. He would become a hero none could overlook.
When the day of the wedding finally arrived, Pynecris was nowhere to be found. Glenfrook worried, and sent many valets in search of him. It became impossible to maintain that concern, however, in the midst of their overwhelming joy. Glenfrook was keenly aware of their status as the luckiest Fiddlefolk in existence. Their love for Lila could have easily burst a river dam, but this day carried the promise of an eternity of equal love and happiness, which could not be contained within any bounds Glenfrook could imagine.
When they found themself face to face with Lila, her gown made from thread of silver linden shining in the afternoon sunlight as though a star defying the dawn, they could not contain their tears. Lila held Glenfrook until they were composed, whereupon the ceremony began.
King Pyneblade and Queen Noragolden stood before the couple and all the nobility of the kingdom, on a dais decorated with roses and honeysuckle as large as themselves. The two lovers held hands and were showered in poppy seeds, as a blessing from the congregation.
“As you have received the blessings of our people, I pronounce you bound to one another. May you remain this deeply in love all your lives, and share the bounty of that love willingly with everyone you encounter, so it may bring joy to all Fiddlefolk, forever.”
The King’s speech brought Lila to tears. Glenfrook wiped these away while neglecting their own. Queen Noragolden spoke next.
“The joy Lila and Glenfrook give to each other is paralleled in my joy at seeing them receive it. I asked myself what I could possibly give that would hope to compare. The answer was nothing, of course. It is my hope then, that my gift will aid them in administering their love to one another in all circumstances.”
The Queen placed her hand on Glenfrook’s forehead, and whispered an incantation. Glenfrook’s body became a lantern of soft, golden light. When this light receded, the Queen whispered to them, and Glenfrook’s smile became a beacon of its own.
This smile was not destined to last, however, for at that moment Pynecris appeared, dragging the pelt of a black and white animal far larger than himself. He left it behind and approached the king and queen, kneeling before them in reverence.
“Mother, Father, I bring this gift to the fine couple on their wedding day. There is no ill will between us. Is that not so, dear Glenfrook?” Pynecris stood and placed a friendly hand on Glenfrook’s shoulder. “In my heroic act of slaying this ravenous beast, have I not shown myself worthy of honour, Father? I do not wish to shift Glenfrook from their seat of power, but will you not allow me one of my own? You must concede I have brought honour to you with my heroism. Speak, my king, and let me hear your will.”
The King’s will was not what the assembly heard. What rose in volume quickly, and brought with it a primal fear, was the thundering of paws tearing through brush altogether too close to the party.
Before anyone had time to think, the Queen shouted to Glenfrook–
“Time to use your gift!”
Glenfrook grabbed Lila by the arm, and they ran as fast as they could to a clear bit of land away from the crowd. Glenfrook kissed Lila earnestly, and looked at her with urgent eyes.
“Up we go,” they said.
Glenfrook spoke archaic words Lila immediately understood, and she quickly recited her own incantation. The two were throttled into the air high above the wedding party. What they could see from human height was terrifying.
This story is my response to the June 17th prompt, “third person omniscient.”
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