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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Singing (10/31/05)

TITLE: Singing that did NOT befit a queen
By Suzanne R


It was wrong. Degrading.

But what more could one expect from a commoner?

A lady, I am. A princess by birth. A queen by marriage.

I know my place. I do not compromise.

My name is Michal. Queen Michal. Married to a singing oaf of a king, admittedly. But royalty, nonetheless.

It wasn’t always this way. When a hormone-riddled young woman, I foolishly believed myself ‘in love’ with the singer. I adored him just as my second husband idolized me. But I run ahead of myself.

My world revolved around the singer. And his around me. We literally risked life and limb to be together. He not only met the bride price demanded by my crazy father, but doubled it. The foreskins of one hundred Philistines was the dowry. Two hundred foreskins, he paid for me.

Oh, our marriage bed was passionate. After my father turned against him, I risked my life to give him the opportunity to flee. That was the end of our marriage part one. I believed his escape meant that we had life, hope, freedom and a future. I was mistaken.

My maniac of a father again gave me in marriage, but this time to member of the nobility. Noble he was, but pathetic. When the oaf of my first husband grasped power from my father’s family and sent for me, the wimp who had shared my bed in those intervening years followed me as far as he was permitted, weeping bitterly every step of the way. Looking back, maybe I should have stayed with the sobbing sook rather than return to the carolling commoner. I was still living in a fairytale.

I assumed my rightful place as queen. Music was everywhere in the palace, but only music befitting ladies and gentleman of nobility. Ordered choirs, quartets, orchestras - music appropriate for a cultured lady of my standing. Music which I thought would appeal to a king too. Before I remembered that he was but a commoner.

Then our marriage ended in everything but name.

It was meant to be a joyful day. The ark of God was finally liberated from its lowly lodging in some far-flung corner of the country. I was adorned as befitted a queen welcoming the presence of Almighty God into her city. I sat in the window, demure, of course. The eyes of my subjects were on me. I waved slowly, gently, as a queen should.

I could hear music. The people turned their attention to the city gates. I strained to hear the triumphant trumpet tributes. Or perhaps the lilting harp melodies. But what was this? There were drums. Cymbals. And common singing.

It became worse. As the procession drew closer, I saw a hobo at the front, dancing like a madman. The crowds went wild. That was reasonable. They were uncultured. But surely it should be the king leading a solemn procession … not this ignoramus. As they came closer, I saw that the lunatic had stripped off his clothes, and was down to just a linen cloth around his waist. The idiot sang and jigged about like one drugged and overstimulated, all the while throwing food out to the adoring crowds.

That was when my world fell apart. As the procession neared the palace, I saw that the lurching lunatic, the singing imbecile, was the king. My husband.

In that instant, my passionate love turned to passionate disdain. I should have known that he couldn’t shed his common origins. Can a tiger change its spots? He started life singing to a bunch of sheep, and now he entertained a herd of commoners.

We talked later. He didn’t see a problem. “Man looks at the outside, but God looks at the heart,” he explained. “I only expressed the joy of my heart in song. That was appropriate for a king, a peasant or even you, my dear.”

My demeanour was as ice. A princess by birth, a queen by marriage, will not compromise.

Some say I’m a bitter lady now. No children, no grandchildren, barely belonging to the dysfunctional household in which I reside, my bitterness is well-earned. And a lady, I most certainly am. One who knows her station in life.

Music I appreciate. The caterwauling that assaulted my senses that day was not music. I am a lady. A princess by birth. A queen by marriage, albeit married to an singing oaf. And I will not compromise.

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This article has been read 1366 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Val Clark11/08/05
Ah, the price of an unforgiving heart - you've conveyed her uncompromisingly bitter character very convincingly. She may well have been surrounded by music but not much joy.
Karen Jimmy11/09/05
oh, brilliant!!! i loved it. well done. and I agree with val-yeggy...a very convincing characterisation of Michal. this is my favourite this week!
Jan Ackerson 11/09/05
Suzanne, I had to read this twice to find the "silly thing she said,"--but it was a pleasure to read this twice; you gave her a wonderful and authentic voice. Just that one little slip...kinda funny, you must admit.
Pat Guy 11/09/05
I enjoyed reading this a few times trying to find the 'silly thing' - not sure if I did (oaf?)- regardless, 'What a fantastic take on this account and topic!' Cool 'out of the box' entry! Really well done and well written.
Brandi Roberts11/09/05
A very unique view! Thanks for sharing!
Ann Grover11/09/05
Good job! What a convincing portrayal of Michal.. I wanted to slap her, then felt sorry for her... I loved it!
Shari Armstrong 11/10/05
I really liked this! Very well done!
Anita Neuman11/10/05
Oh, I LOVED this! Humourous, realistic, well-written. Almost perfect (but who am I to judge? I couldn't find that mistake for the life of me until I read Karen's comment. Oops!)
Denise Stanford11/10/05
Brilliant link this event and the challenge theme. I could taste the bitterness, you portrayed the hardness of heart so well - a difficult task for one so warm and giving. Very well written.
Jeffrey Snell11/11/05
Terrific job! I read it twice...her resentment and complete disassociation with David is tangible.
Julianne Jones11/11/05
Dear me, you of all people should know that tigers do not have spots! Haha. Excellent writing. You've managed to enter into your character so well and portrayed her so realistically. Incredible when you are so removed from her (as someone else has mentioned). Good on you!
Judy Hollins11/12/05
fatastic job suzanne! I really liked this one, you do a great job of drawing in all the elements and leading the reader on to the end. Good descriptions too.
Linda Watson Owen11/12/05
Engaging take on Michal! I read "Queenmaker", and it's a treat to compare your version of Michal to that novel's.
Karen Jimmy11/14/05
awww, man, my favuorite entry didnt get a place! never mind suz- it really is good! (have you stopped kicking yourself over the boo-boo yet?!)kaz
B Brenton11/14/05
Wow, Suz.
You took it and you ran with it.
It was kinda interesting the way you portrayed her, but not contradictory.
I like it. Too bad it didn't place.