Saturday, October 17, 2015

Draft: The Tiger Queen, Part I

The Queen Goes Missing

It was some years after the adventures in the Forest of the Faerie, and the subsequent wedding, that the Tiger Queen disappeared. The Brown King awoke one cold morning in the fall of the year to find her side of the bed empty, the fire burned down and her dressing gown gone. It was not unlike the Tiger Queen to quit her bed abruptly, and so the King did not worry so much, right away.

It was only after breakfast was finished and several cups of hot milky coffee consumed that the King really began to worry. It was unlike the Queen to pass up coffee, and the kitchens assured him that she had not been in that morning. He made inquiries; her maid, his butler, the guards and the clerks had not seen her. It began to seem highly unusual.

The king enlisted the help of the guards, the clerks, her maid and his butler in his search. They began with the royal chambers, moved on the surrounds, spread into the rest of the keep, the castle, and, with the help of the clergy, the groundskeepers and the local urchins, moved into the King’s Park, the cathedral and the town.

The Queen was nowhere to be found. It was past lunch, and the Brown King began to worry in earnest.

“Where is she, do you think?”, he asked his closest friends and advisors, the black cat and the crow.

“Haven’t the foggiest,” replied the cat, speaking over the crow, who was croaking out an “I couldn’t tellya.”

“Helpful bunch, you two”, said the King, sitting down and pulling the heavy bearskin cloak of his office more tightly around his shoulders.

“Eh, sorry, and all that,” said the crow. “Truth be told, we’re as upset as you are. We love her too. All the kingdom does, really.”

“She might show up yet. There’s still a lot of the feline in that one, and we do love to slip out and wander,” said the cat. Looking around, he began to groom himself.

“She’s never been gone this long, and she always says when she wanders”, said the King. “I suppose it’ll have to be a search, then. Better pack a lunch.”

The King would pack a great many lunches before he was reunited with his Queen.