Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write in the ROMANCE genre (04/19/07)
TITLE: The Retrieval
By Katherine Kimbley
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The days drug on, yet she knew he was coming. He had already paid her dowry. The price had been high, and no compromises had been made. She knew that no man would pay so high a price and forget to redeem the prize. Every day since the payment was complete, she planned for the wedding. She prepared herself with beauty treatments, and subsisted on a diet comprised solely of specially prepared food, with the perfect balance of flavor and nutrients. It was the only food that would adequately nurture and satisfy the future queen.
Finally, amidst of a season of great prosperity for the ruling prince, and much hard labor and dejection for her people, she became weary. For the first time, she considered forfeiting her hopes for a place of prosperity in the kingdom at hand. This particular night was darker than most, clouds hovered above the pregnant fields, and there was no moon to cast shadows off the ripened crops.
The noise began as a faint hum, distant and muffled. When it persisted, she drug her weary body out of bed and cast her eyes upon the horizon. She saw a multitude of pinprick lights coming over the great hills. As the sounds gradually became louder and more distinct, she recognized lyrics to the ancient wedding hymns! At last, her groom and his party were on their way to bring her home!
She rushed to the wardrobe, where she found layer upon layer of radiant garments, each one hand-picked by the king himself. Over the years, he had sent them to her in the hands of servants, one at a time. She had tried each of them on, and finding them to fit perfectly, had carefully stowed them close at hand. Now, as she rushed to gather them together, she realized how well they complimented each other. Each piece perfectly fit with the others, and as she adorned herself, her own reflection took her breath away. How had he known so precisely which garments would make her so radiant?
Tears of joy filled her eyes as the sounds of the wedding party grew louder and the lights of the torches came closer. She couldn’t wait to see the look on his face when he saw her adorned with the gleaming garments he had provided her. She only prayed that she would be all he had hoped for in a bride. She hoped that she would take his breath away and put a smile on his face.
As promised, he had come for her. He would take her back to his kingdom, and they would truly live happily ever after.
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