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vignette challenge

This week's prompt is:
birthday

Anyone can join, with a 50-word vignette in the comments. Your vignette does not have to include the prompt term.

My efforts:

The voice that came over the stones was honey-sweet. "Such a sweet child. Do you wish a rich gift for your birthday? I can give you one."
Tom jerked back. "Not my birthday," he muttered, but the figure seemed to hear him, for he nodded and said, "All the better."

A bright-eyed girl, her skirts and hair blown by the wind, her face not showing a trace of fear as if she had been caught unaware.
"Eleanor," I said, and realized only when the squires were looking at me. A daughter of a minor noble. It had been her birthday.

Said one knight in silver armor, as flexible as cloth and gleaming like metal, "It can't be the king's birthday, or we would not gather this far from court."
"Don't be such a wise acre," said a woman, no higher than Halley's knee. "You can see our guest." She waved.

"We could go out and find some treat for the girls. Since it will be Natalie's birthday next week," said Mr. Fitton. "It would have to be a surprise."
He looked thoughtful. I bit down the observation that it would be my birthday in two days.
"What would she like?"

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
starshipcat
Jun. 3rd, 2017 08:15 pm (UTC)
"And as a member of the diplomatic staff, you will also need to be aware of the national days of the various nations with whom we have diplomatic relations."

I skimmed the paper he handed me. "This shouldn't be too hard to memorize."

The secretary gave me an odd smile. "Don't be too quick to assume that every nation has a fixed and permanent national day. Republics generally celebrate the day of their founding, or their Gate-Crossing like our own Deliverance Day. But republics are few and far between on this side of the Gates."

He gestured toward the open window, through which the spires of the royal palace could be seen. "In a monarchy, the national day is generally the birthday of the current monarch. With the obvious consequences for that list as time goes by."

That bit of indirection was a sharp reminder of how different things were. Back home in the Land of the Cincinnati, it was considered bad form to speculate too openly about the death of the First Citizen, but only a direct threat to his life was a criminal matter. Here, even imagining the death of the king could be considered high treason.

And none of us needed reminding that King Michael's health was very fragile. A subject we must handle very delicately when talking with the locals.
marycatelli
Jun. 4th, 2017 01:17 am (UTC)
ooo -- such a fraught birthday!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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