Thursday, March 19, 2009

Katharine and Dane - Chapter 1 - Dane's Rant

Chapter 1 – Dane’s Rant

“And why again?” He began for the 5th time that week. “Why should I marry this shrew?” Dane continued his rant, as his father rolled his eyes. “Because if I don’t,” he answered himself, “She will have to marry King ‘Old Balls’.” He threw his hands up in the air, “So what!!! So what if she has to marry that old man? I. Don’t. Care. I see no problem with this.”

“Look, son. As I have said before, your Mother and I made a deal with King Douglas and Queen Rebecca, many, many years ago.” Dane flopped on the couch in his father’s office. “Don’t you think it would be unwise, and unfair, to ask us to break that promise? Especially with such dear friends.” It was Dane’s turn to roll his eyes. “Second, she is no shrew. Katharine is a kind, generous, and very beautiful young woman.”

Dane sat up. “Then why have I not seen her since we were children? Why is it that every time that we visit these ‘friends’ of yours that she is no where to be seen?”

“You now the answer to that question my boy.” King Edward shot back. He now sat down behind his most royal desk, handed down to him when his father King Brutus passed away. Edward was sure the desk had been in the family a least 4 generations. He had hoped to let his son sit behind the desk someday soon.

“Yeah, yeah, dead brother, blah, blah, blah.” He smart mouthed. “Whatever.” He stared out the window, there had to be someone out there for him, that complemented him, made him feel alive!

“Third,” Edward continued, more that a little peeved, “If she married King OSWALD, you will have to deal with the consequences.”

“Consequences?” His attention snapped back to his current predicament, “What consequences? I don’t have to marry some shrewish princess, and ‘Oswald’ gets what he wants. Everyone’s happy!”

“HA! Let me fill you in on a little something my dear child, If she marries Oswald, when her parents diie, those 2 kingdoms unite.” He pointed to the map on the wall. “Oswald hates us, as you well know, and Katharine won’t exactly be your biggest fan if you break the engagement and force her to marry him. See how large their two kingdoms will be? The army would be insurmountable. Any attack on us would be a sure victory for Oswald.” The fog began to lift in Dane’s brain.

“So, if I don’t marry her, I’ll lose my kingdom, maybe even my life?” Edward nodded sadly. “But if I DO…I’ll be miserable either way! That’s hardly fair!”

“You will be happy if you choose to be happy, my son. Either way, it is in the end, your decision. I will not force you to marry Katharine.” Edward sighed. “In the end, you can choose as to whether you will both be happy, together, or if Oswald will be happy.” Edward walked to the door, and looked back at his son. “Choose wisely, my son.” And with that left Dane to ponder his future.

Dane stared at the large desk, then at the map on the wall. He sat behind his father’s desk. He felt so small behind it. He was 18, a MAN! Yet he felt like such a child still.

It had been 7 years since he met his bride-to-be. Her brother had been alive then. They had sat together at dinner that night, talking of swords and horses and other manly pursuits. It was only after dinner that he was introduced to Katharine. She had been a little brat, sticking her tongue out at him and telling him that he smelled like a dog. As they were on their way home, his parents told him that he would have to marry her. It was only a few months later that her brother had died. Some tragic sword fighting accident. No one outside the Moscovia castle had seen Katharine since.

He had heard the stories tho. It was said that she was spoiled, demanding. If she didn’t get what she wanted she would throw fits. Yelling, screaming, throwing things, just awful stuff. Just the other day he had heard that Katharine had a baker put to death because he boiled her potatoes instead of frying them… or was it the other way around… he couldn’t remember.

How could his parents ask him to marry a girl like that? If only there were some other woman, someone suitable for marriage. He could claim love for her, appear noble, maybe even righteous, or at least not like the selfish oaf he felt like he was being perceived as. Dane knew he was being a teeny bit selfish, but weren’t his parents being all the more unreasonable? They expected him to marry some girl he had only met once, who didn’t like him then, and certainly wouldn’t like him now. Add to that her Royal Bitch-y-ness’s attitude, and, well… He’d pass. Perhaps the Duke would be able to help.