General Fiction posted January 8, 2018

Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
A romantic tale.

The Inner Court

by Sugarray77

The Forgotten Rose Contest Winner 
Lady Judith walked slowly along the garden path approaching the walled inner court. She was looking for the rose she had dropped. She was daydreaming, remembering, how the soft moonlight had reflected on his face. Would she ever forget it? She knew she wouldn't. How does one forget the perfect moments of life?

She had first seen him in the courtyard with Sir Galwin's group of men. They had arrived for the jousting contest and had come for the feasting to be held the days before the tournament. When he had looked up at the rampart, she caught her breath. Time seemed to stand still as she wondered who he was.

As the daughter of the Laird, Judith was seated on the dais for the evening meal. She was aware that she was noticed and looked on as a marital prospect by many of the knights. She hadn't cared before that her marriage would be political and a business transaction. She knew her father cared for her and would choose someone with consideration. But now it mattered, it would be intolerable to be promised to someone else without ever having met this mysterious knight.

His name was William. She heard her father address him in his hearty fashion, but couldn't hear anything more. He was taller than the other men and had strong, muscular shoulders honed from practicing with his sword. His lance would be heavy during the joust, but she could see that he would handle it well. She wished he would wear her colors, but knew that without an introduction, it would be improper. Perhaps, he was married. Why hadn't she heard of him before?

While she danced after dinner, Lady Judith noticed several knights approach her father. They were the men with Sir Galwin. A few minutes later they were gathered around William slapping him on the back. Could it be about her? She began to look for a place to get away to for a few moments. She needed some time to compose herself, settle her mind and think coherently. The inner court would be the perfect place to go.

The garden was peaceful in the moonlight and the inner court beckoned softly for her to come and rest. The fragrance of roses filled the air and she took a deep breath. Calm filled her as she sat with the moonlight fanning her face. She didn't hear his steps approaching, pausing, then softly enter the inner garden. He spoke her name and their eyes locked together. He held out a perfect red rose as he seated himself beside her. He told her of his travels and family ties to Sir Galwin's clan. He spoke of how the jousting tournament had seemed like a jaunty expedition until he had seen her, then it had become so much more.

He had asked the Laird if he could approach Lady Judith and with his consent had come to find her. They walked through the garden and the rose dropped as he reached for her hands. "May I wear your colors in the tournament?" he asked her. Shyly she took her scarf and tied it around his forearm. As she looked up to him, the smile in her eyes gave unspoken consent. Life promises were exchanged in that moonlit moment.

Writing Prompt
Write a romantic fictional story inspired by the artwork pictured. The name of the artwork is "The Forgotten Rose". It should not exceed 1500 words.

The Forgotten Rose
Contest Winner
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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