Promise Her the Moon

1 taj mahal

(800 words)

“Be polite and listen carefully,” said the old man to his four daughters, “and don’t speak unless you’re spoken to!”
Their names were Anshula, Bakula, Chandhini and Darshini. By the grace of God they had been born exactly three years apart so that all four shared the same birthday – today, November 1st – unique in all the land.
Anshula was 16, Bakula 13, Chandhini 10, and little Darshini just seven. Now they waited, dressed in beautiful saris, Anshula in maroon, Bakula in ruby red, Chandhini in royal blue and finally, little Darshini in emerald green. Their mother was considerably younger than her husband and now stood, nervously adjusting their saris and combing their long black hair. “He’ll be here soon. Be sure to stand straight and smile!”
There was a knock on the door which made them all jump. The old man answered it to a messenger, who proclaimed, “The Great Prince will be here within the quarter hour, he approaches the edge of town.”
“Thank you,” said the old man, handing the messenger a coin. He turned to his daughters. “You may sit until his Royal Highness arrives.”
The daughters sat down on two long sofas in the large, high-ceilinged chamber. The family were not rich but by virtue of the daughters’ shared birthday, they had acquired a certain fame. People would visit them, regarding them as holy due to the coincidence, and were accustomed to leaving gifts of money, sides of meat, fine wines and the like.
 –
PLEASE NOTE: AS OF 11TH DECEMBER 2017 THIS STORY, IN A SLIGHTLY EXTENDED VERSION, HAS BEEN SUBMITTED TO SEVERAL PUBLISHERS FOR CONSIDERATION AS A CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOK, SO I’M REMOVING IT FROM THE BLOG FOR THE TIME BEING. IF IT DOESN’T GET ACCEPTED BY THE SUMMER OF 2018 I’LL REINSTATE IT WITH THE NEW ENDING.
I’LL POST UPDATES HERE REGARDING ITS PROGRESS (IF ANY!)

 





Don’t forget to check out some of the other stories on my blog. There are over 150! 
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4 thoughts on “Promise Her the Moon

  1. Q I U Δ says:

    This sure is an interesting piece, and especially the undertone. Even though it’s now been close to 2 years, congratulations for getting published as a writer and still working so hard!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Simon J Wood says:

      Hello Qiu, thanks for checking this one out and I’m glad you liked it!

      Yes, back in October 2016 you left a comment on my story A Merry Dance, ‘You should try your hand at getting your work published.’ At the time I didn’t think there was any chance of that, but in your next comment you said, ‘Keep persevering and I’m sure one day, you’ll be surprised how much you’ve accomplished!’ so you were right! Thank you again for that encouraging remark!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Simon J Wood says:

      Hi Matthew, thanks, glad you appreciated it! I live in Lincolnshire which is quite flat so there’s a huge open sky. About a year ago I was walking along an old Roman road, looking up at an amazing cloudscape and the scenario of a poor farmer and his son just came into my head. The son was saying ‘you never give me anything, the other boys make fun of me,’ to which his father replied, ‘I’ll give you the clouds!’ and then the little boy was happy. I started to write that story but it had too many words for what was required at the time.

      Then the other week, when I needed a story line, I happened to look out of the bathroom window at the clouds and I remembered my previous plot. Why I set it in India and where the Sun, Moon and Stars came from I have no idea! I don’t know how original it is but it became a kind of fable along the lines of The Emperor’s New Clothes and I think would make a nice illustrated children’s story!

      Liked by 1 person

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