This Short Story Sunday uses the character and same premise as Short Story Sunday 18.
Wendy swept the dirt-covered stone pathway right outside her house. The broom was old and stiff that it would have just been easier for her to kick the dirt away with her shoe. Yet, her blue slippers were dirty enough and she didn’t have enough money to pay for new ones.
“Wendy,” her mother poked her head out of the kitchen window.
Wendy turned around practically face to face with her mother.
“Would you run to town and get a few supplies? We’re out of hay and flour.” Her mother smiled sticking her arm out of the window.
Wendy took the gold coin from her mother’s hand and rubbed it in between her fingers. She looked up at her mother with her mouth gaped open.
“Where did this come from?” she asked.
Her mother’s smile faded. “Saving it for a rainy day. It should cover one barrel of hay and a sack of flour. You may get some silver left over. I can’t keep track anymore… The prices seem to always be going up and up each and every day.”
Wendy nodded slightly and put the gold coin in her apron pocket. She leaned the broom up against the house and gave her mother a quick smile before stepping off of the porch.
When Wendy made it to town she stopped at the entrance of the market. There, inside, was King Harold of Merryport and his wife, Queen Anita. Wendy gasped at the two royals. She assumed they would be in the castle preparing for the festivities that night. Wendy turned the other way and pretended to look at something else.
She hoped she would be able to get flour and hay right away and go straight home. Instead she was looking at jars of honey. She didn’t even like honey. They were expensive, too.
Wendy rolled her eyes back trying to peek through the corner of her eyes. She didn’t know whether the King and Queen were heading in her direction or if they were leaving. She hoped for the latter.
It was hard to see with the crowd around her, so she turned her head and became face to face with Queen Anita.
“Oh!” Wendy gasped startled. “Excuse me, your majesty.” She bowed her head and kneeled to the ground.
She stared at the cobblestone trying to steady her breathing. How clumsy of her to practically knock the queen over. Wendy continued to stare at the ground wondering if the queen was still there or not. If she was, she wasn’t saying a word.
Wendy closed her eyes at the sound of King Harold’s voice.
“This commoner almost knocked me to the ground.” Queen Anita replied.
Wendy furrowed her brows. Sure, it was her fault, but the queen was much larger than Wendy. Surely Queen Anita was exaggerating just a bit.
“On your feet.” The king demanded.
Wendy obeyed. She stood up tall and looked the king in the eye. “My apologies.” She said politely.
King Harold’s eyes grew wide at the sight of Wendy. She kept a steady gaze on him pretending as though nothing was wrong. She hoped Queen Anita didn’t see the obvious look on her husband’s face.
“Do be more careful next time, will you?” Queen Anita sighed. She took King Harold’s hand in her own and looked at him. “Let’s go back to the castle. I’m tired.”
“Of course,” King Harold cleared his throat. He followed his wife out of the market without looking back.
Wendy watched them leave and heaved a sigh. She didn’t imagine her first encounter with King Harold to be that embarrassing. She hoped she would get a chance to explain the incident to him if they got a chance to meet alone.