The Brother To the Queen


The old man nosed his car to the curb in front of the light blue beach house. His ancient Studebaker faced the wrong way, but he really didn’t care. He took parking tickets in stride, his sister could fix them; she was Queen of the Realm, after all. What good is it to be the Queen’s brother if you can’t get your tickets fixed.

He set the brake, slid out onto the pavement, and straightened his epaulets. Then he leaned back into the sedan to collect his walking stick and a well worn cardboard box. He took a deep breath and began the long twisting walk amidst the red blooming geraniums towards the cottage front door.

He knocked on the door, but he was tired; this was his last stop of the day. His knuckles sounded weak and hollow against the hard wood. He waited but no one came so he tried again, with the same results.

As a last resort he lifted his walking stick and beat it against the door with all his might. No matter; he was still a feeble old man, and there was still no response. He shrugged his shoulders and was about to give up when he noticed the doorbell. The button was illuminated with a dim orange light. He wondered how he had missed it, but decided not to fret and simply pressed the button with the end of his thumb. Chimes echoed inside the beach house and in no time, a smiling young girl opened the door wide. She looked just like Cindy, before she had run out of his life, on that fateful night so long ago. This could be the place.

“May I help you?” the girl quizzed him.

“My God,” he whispered, “You’re Cindy? You haven’t changed a bit, you’re as beautiful as ever. I can’t believe I’ve found you after all these years!” He spread his arms wide and took a step towards her for a hug.

“Whoa, whoa! Hold on, Pops” the girl admonished as she stepped quickly backwards into the house. “I don’t know who Cindy is, but I’m not her. I’m Eileen! I’m not sure I want to be giving you a hug either. I don’t know you.”

“Of course you don’t,” he stammered and took a step back himself. “And, of course you aren’t Cindy. Cindy would be much older now. Please accept my apologies and allow me to introduce myself. I promise not to accost you again. My name is Angus, Angus Charming and I believe you are the key to a puzzle I’ve been trying to solve for a long, long time.” He held up the worn corrugated box and lifted the lid allowing her to view the opalescent glass slipper nestled inside, on a brocade silk cushion.

“It’s beautiful,” she said, “My Grandmother has one just like it. If you’d like, I can show you, but we must be quiet. She’s sleeping and we don’t want to wake her.”

A Monday evening response to another Monday Writing Prompt generously provided by The Secret Keeper.


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