There was once a lovely
young maiden and she was the daughter of a powerful man who was lord
of all of Great Britain. This woman was named Florence and she was
soon sixteen-years old, the age many young women like her would get
Her father wished for her to wed for without new descendants the land will no longer have a ruler.
Florence was very tall, and rather slim, she had dark hair which tangled its way down to her lower back. Many would think such a beauty would work on embroidery in the house, only she did this and much more. Her embroidery skills were admired across the village for she had a talent for stitching patterns and pretty pictures onto clothing or pieces of fabric. Her father had taught her how to defend herself against an enemy, how to use a sword, a bow and how to ride a horse.
The girl herself was very proud and intelligent and spent a lot of time in the garden tending to the wonderful flowers that only added to her splendor. She also spent a lot of time in the castle village, giving remedies to those of her father's people who were unwell. Cruelty was not something Florence practiced.
There was much gossip around the household about who her future husband would be… for there had been many who had proposed to Florence.
One day, she called all of the men who had proposed to her together for a meeting in a secluded room. Her father thought this unwise but Florence had something in mind.
'All of you will come
forward, one by one and give me your reasons for marrying me. Only
one of you will be chosen.' Florence says clearly, 'You, sir,'
she points at a scruffy fellow with a sword at his belt, 'You may
Florence listens to all of the men and was unsatisfied with every single one of them, the men all huddle together, waiting to hear her decision.
'All of you will be sentenced to death. You will meet me down in the dungeons,'
There is confusion among the men and a few roar in outrage, but Florence merely waits a few moments and cries 'so make haste! Off to the dungeons with the lot of you!'
When she arrives in the dank, dark dungeon she notices a few of the men had disappeared, clearly out of cowardice.
Florence sends the guards by each of their sides and binds each man forcibly to the guillotines, so there is one for each.
'You may all say your final words if you wish, for
they will be recorded and sent to your home towns.' Florence
scratches nervously at her hand, although her voice is kept strong.
'You are all being sentenced to death for-'she pauses, 'For
offending this household and intruding on this land.'
She walks towards the first man who looks ready to strangle her; she bends down and looks into the man's fierce blue eyes. 'Do you have any last words?' Florence asks kindly.
The man spits in the girl's face and she quickly wipes her cheek, smiling at the man.
'You are merely a roadside slut.' The first man seethes.
Florence is impervious.
'Very well.' And she moves towards the next man, her ego unscathed.
Some men give long speeches wishing the
well-being of their families and homelands, some don't say
anything, and some merely swear and curse at the beautiful Florence
for her cruel desire to kill them all in cold blood. This petty
exercise continues for five more minutes.
Then Florence came to the last man.
This fellow has dark wires growing out of his head and he wears an expression of cruel understanding yet his eye are pale and shows nothing but longing and desire for the young maiden. Florence is startled to see such a thing in his eyes and the young man gives a jovial laugh.
'I can see what you're doing.'
He whispered, a smirk plastered on his face.
'Your final words, sir?' Florence asks. She now struggles to keep her voice steady; she refuses let this man hear her uncertainty.
'Ah yes,' the man pauses as if he had just remembered that he was supposed to make a speech, 'Florence,' he peers up with innocent eyes into Florence's and she feels her heart turn over at the mere sight, 'I wish, more than anything, my final wish would be to marry you,' he paused, very aware that the other men strapped to guillotines can hear him, 'Of course, you can't marry a dead man, but if I were to live past this day,' he breathes in, 'I would like to be your husband. No, I need to be your husband. Your mere presence fills me with a joy no other human being can give to me, I wish for my heart to beat with your own, our breaths in unison and-'
Beads of sweat appear on the man's brow.
'-for you to bear my child.' He speaks at a faster pace now, 'Together we can, we could, continue to reign this magnificent country, and,' he adds hastily, 'I can not imagine myself living with any other woman.'
Such a silence followed that you could hear water dripping from the ceiling and the flickering of flames from the torches at the walls.
The man breaths heavily and Florence can feel his hot breath on her delicate features.
Florence stands up.
'Guards! Release all of these men, they are free to go.' She turns boldly to face the mysterious man, 'What is your name?'
The skinny wolf is released and he rubs his wrists to rid the red marks which now lie there. He brushes off his coat and stares intently into Florence.
'My name is Linton Slade, my Lady.' He bows stiffly.
'I will call you Lin,' Florence began, 'and I accept your proposal of marriage.'
It would have been a very happy moment for the both of them if the other men weren't around. These men were very upset that they had been tricked in such a manner and shouted foul words in their direction. In a few seconds however they were sent away from the dungeon and far from the castle.
Lin and Florence were wed at the full moon and a large festival was held with lots of music and dancing, and a spectacular meal.
Nine months later Florence bore a son, and another son and daughter followed by the names Edward, Daniel and Judith respectively.
Lin and Florence lived very happily together, raising their young with kindness. They taught their sons and daughters tricks that would be handy to them in their futures such as the ways of bow and sword, herb lore and how to ride on horseback. For the new rulers of Great Britain, there was a new generation, and new hope. All was well.