THE KING’S HEIR

They found him lying between the petals of the ornamental pink flower that was the centrepiece of the fountain.

A little too much consumed at the masked ball.

Nymphs and faeries ruled the gardens that night, dancing in the shadows created by the fireworks.

He had been in good humour, blessing all with goodwill, even the plotters.

Until the news had been broken to him – another daughter at the stroke of midnight born.

He put on a brave face, the festivities continued, he drowned his sorrows behind his mask of joy.

Better that than drowning the new princess for the crime of not being a son.


from-david-stewart
Copyright David Stewart

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.


STATE OF WAR squrere

My new novel, ‘State Of War’, is now available in both paperback and ebook. Follow the links below to check it out!

STATE OF WAR – Available now in Paperback and eBook:

AMAZON.COM     AMAZON.CO.UK      GERMANY      FRANCE

SPAIN  INDIA       CANADA       ITALY      NETHERLANDS

AUSTRALIA     MEXICO    BRAZIL      JAPAN

SMASHWORDS          BARNES & NOBLE         KOBO      BOOK DEPOSITORY

GOOGLE BOOKS      ALSO AVAILABLE ON APPLE BOOKS

TRILOGY FULL REVIEW

Links to the first two parts of the trilogy – A Justified State and State Of Denial – can be found here: AVAILABLE NOW

85 responses to “THE KING’S HEIR”

  1. I love the way you leave the twist to the very last word!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sure she’ll lead an army against the Armada

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If only he was so enlightened. Thanks Neil

      Like

  3. Delicious ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good riddance. He’s simply not progressive.😀Fun story though.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. To be fair to him, back then not many were! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Iain,

    I hope he learns to appreciate his daughter. Nicely done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perhaps it will inspire him to change the laws of inheritance in the kingdom 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I sense disapproval – thankfully most royal families have changed their laws since these times. But not all.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is not just about royal families. We had to declare sex detection tests during pregnancy illegal, to prevent female foeticide. There were cases of female infants discarded on streets, and stray dogs organised help to save the baby.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Daughters are the best.
    I am sure she’ll make him proud!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He will learn that soon enough 🙂

      Like

  7. Women, eh, they’ll want the vote next…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And take all our jobs.

      Like

  8. Great story with beautiful language, Iain.
    I had a great something grandfather who survived the Irish Famine and made good here in Australia becoming a wealthy grazier. Only one of his sons had children…my great great grandfather and they had 8 daughters. Apparently, the old man was quite cranky in his old age and wasn’t happy every time another granddaughter was born. The property was sold and the family moved to Sydney.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A happy ending perhaps, if not for the old man, at least for the others!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh man. That last line is a doozy. Well done

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow, there’s a lot going on here – and what a last line! Great take on the photo prompt, Iain.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I admire the way you recreate the thoughts and feelings of a time very different from our own. Nicely done!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Poor little girl. What an awful world into which she is born. Sadly realistic.

    I started reading “State of War” yesterday. Best yet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, my first bit of feedback from a purchaser! Glad you are liking it so far, look forward to hearing your thoughts by the end. Do leave a quick review or drop me a message 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Will do. The tension in this one starts on the very first page 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Hopefully, he was one of those that determined to change history.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Let’s hope so. Thanks Keith

      Liked by 1 person

  14. He’s the King, he can change the rules.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point – will others let him though?

      Like

      1. depends how many Court Jesters and side kicks hes got I suppose!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. I like the twist at the end! And here’s hoping he will become enlightened. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure he will 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. The little princess might just turn out to be their best monarch yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t doubt it.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. So many men have not appreciated the gift of daughters. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fortunately nowadays plenty of fathers do appreciate it, including me 🙂

      Like

  18. Funk dat! Not a king I’d follow! I’m glad he has enough conscience to be bothered by it. Interesting story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just as well you weren’t around a few centuries ago 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sure that if I was I wouldn’t have lived long…

        Liked by 1 person

  19. I think it’s even worse for the queen… she has to suffer yet a life-threatening pregnancy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And take the blame.

      Like

  20. Great story! I love the line “Nymphs and faeries ruled the gardens that night, dancing in the shadows created by the fireworks.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I fear few were the men in those days who could appreciate a gaggle of girls… The whole name passing on thing, for one…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And to think it is only in this generation that the British Royals have changed to allow the first born daughter to have a claim to the throne ahead of her younger brothers!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Crazy! And about time!!

        Liked by 1 person

  22. How dare she!

    It’s crazy that it was borderline criminal to have a daughter. If only those kings knew, it’s the male who contributes the deciding chromosome.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately scientific knowledge was a few centuries late in catching up with that one.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Back then, he needed that male heir to maintain power and the throne. It’s quite ironic that most fathers think they want a son (though I do understand the context of your story) but, in the end, are crazy about their little girls. Incredible storytelling as always, Iain!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Everyone is unhappy because of a stupid belief! And yet no one challenged it, not even the kings, even though they had all the power :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder what other beliefs have caused unhappiness because no one questioned them?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We are are subject to lots. I can reel off a few personal ones, lol 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Yeek. A prevailing sentiment for many even today, and not always within royal families. Nice one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You would think men had proved themselves useless enough by now…

      Like

  26. she’ll be a better monarch because she’s a woman. check about this post i wrote about women being smarter and all.

    http://wp.me/p6FwZ-1u

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I’m not sure how much gender has to do with it – good or bad.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Christ, thats harsh! Good stuff mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They were harsh times

      Like

  28. The world will be much better if fathers treat and love daughters and sons the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it is getting there in most places

      Like

  29. Even kings were slaves to some insanity, eh?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. More than most I bet

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And queens and princesses even more so …

        Liked by 1 person

  30. Whoa
    There’s a terrible twist.
    Well done. Didn’t see that coming

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Laurie, hopefully just fiction these days!

      Like

  31. Henry VIII didn’t kill his princesses — just his wives. The Windsors seem to be running to boys okay, just enough princesses to keep things interesting. What a fun take on the picture. I could just see the carousing nobles and the king wondering how to deal with these darn brats.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Henry VIII didn’t kill his princesses, but Elizabeth was overlooked as his heir for her younger brother originally, until she eventually became monarch as she was the only Tudor left! Thanks Eugenia

      Like

  32. And then before he knows it she will have grown up and will be after his job. Maybe she will return the favour then and not have his head chopped off.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Or maybe she will! 🙂

      Like

  33. One can only hope he will love her as a person, his child. Enjoyable read.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Despite being narrow-minded, he seems to have a good heart. Hopefully, he will find it in his heart to love her. Excellent sstorytelling.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Sounds like it’s time they changed the laws of the land. If he’s like Henry VIII, he’ll be looking for a new queen soon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, some kings are never happy.

      Like

  36. How and why a daughter not considered as the heir? The archaic patriarchy rules, I must say.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Times have changed in many places fortunately, but not all.

      Like

  37. An absorbing tale, a sense of 1001 nights, in keeping with the photo prompt. I’m glad the daughter was spared.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: