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.

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.

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

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85 responses to “THE KING’S HEIR”

      • 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

  1. 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,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 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

  3. 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

    • 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


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