My husband has missed my flash fiction posts and so have I honestly, so I’m going to try to start writing them again. The image below is from Full HD Wallpapers Blog.

The young woman stared out the window, her grey eyes reflecting the storm clouds just beginning to part. She watched the ships glide gracefully across the chasm, the faithful arriving. The snakes, too, she thought, well aware that the death of the Empress would attract the devoted, the hopeful, the angry, the lunatics, and the powerful in equal and often interchangeable numbers. Roxane’s rule had been long and, at times, bloody. Few loved her, but all had respected her.

Tomorrow’s funeral would be a pompous affair with the Bishop would intoning the traditional service in front of the elect, the royal families, the upper echelon of the governement. Hours of sitting on the hard pew, standing, kneeling on the marble floor. Somber. And each of the attendees, with eyes focussed on the satin draped casket, would be mentally scanning the room, deciding who would rise in favor, who would fall, who could be bought and how much it would cost. The casket would be placed at the front of the sancuary and left for three days, allowing all, servants, slaves, curiosity seekers, to pass by, paying homage. The lid would be closed and none would know that the body had been removed, was in fact already buried in the family vault, safe from any who would want to deface the Empress or snatch a memento of the somber occasion.

The woman brushed her chocolate brown hair behind her ear and took a deep breath, ignoring the footsteps echoing through the halls as more and more people arrived. Frederic, the Empress’ nephew was, of course, the obvious heir. He had been groomed for the position for years after the Empress’ own son was killed, sent to the finest school abroad for his own safety, taught languages and fencing, classic works of literature and military strategy. Unfortunately the man was a fool, weak, indecisive. He cared more for his pleasure than the affairs of the kingdom and if the fate of the nation were to be in his hands she feared for their safety. There were too many threats, from enemies at their borders certainly, but also from those with agendas of their own within these very palace walls. She smiled smugly and ran her fingers across the intricately engraved gold band around her wrist. Thankfully the reigns of control would never be his, as she, his wife, was so much more suited to the position.

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Today’s Flash Fiction post is based on a prompt at Flash Fiction Friday. The assignment was to “tell us a story about a character facing the end of something–a job, a relationship, their sanity…  What is actually ending can be whatever your imagination dreams up, but also let us know how it turns out for him or her.  Give us some type of ending (pun intended).”