I Crave Love

Dear Readers,  Today,I was asked this question, do I believe in love? I had to take my time and think in order to give an authentic answer. I truly don’t know if there was ever a moment that I experienced love. I have mistaken other feelings and emotions to be love. To say that I have been in a place or moment to feel from the depths of my soul the warmth, peace, protection, affection, loyalty, compassion, empathy and selflessness that is pure love that flows from the depths of another person’s soul. A love that knows no lies, speaks truth, is not deceitful and is as flawless as the smile of a new born baby…hmmmm….I can’t say I believe in something I never touched.

Thank you for stopping by Dragthepen, I am  J. R. Floyd,  creator of Dragthepen, host of Conversations with J. R. available on You Tube ,and author of two novels:

 

Available on Amazon.

Story-time

Dear readers, please excuse me I posted part two of this story and forgot part one. ENJOY

 

The Prince and the Empress

King Leopold Edward Nenufar of the Slopheovaia kingdom is old and in poor health. The time has come for Prince Christian Edward Nenufar to marry. He is the only heir to the throne. Prince Christian desired to have a union like the one his parents’ had. Their marriage was forged out of love, not out of a call to duty.  While growing up in the palace, he witnessed his parent’s admiration for each other. When his mother, Queen Camila Nenufar died while giving birth to a second child, a girl, who also perished, his father almost ceased to live.  After many years, the Kings royal council pleaded with him to take another wife; He refused, the King said, “I had his one true love.”  This is the story of how Prince Christian Nenufar found his one true love.

Part 1:The encounter

Prince Christian shut himself in his bedchamber. He is weary from the activities at court. Women had come from eight different kingdoms to be presented as his brides. He disliked that these women wanted to marry him for the title and to live a comfortable life at court. Prince Christian sat by the window looks over the room he has lived in since childhood. Overtime the color of the walls changed from a light powered blue to a darker royal blue to reflect the mature status of a Prince. The room contains the Mahoney writing table, a gift from his grandfather. His bed is not the traditional canopy style; instead, he sleeps in an open Juliet four-posted bed. He looks down at the dark blue and gray Persian rug, and memories of rolling around with his playmate Lanceworth flash through his mind. He lets out a heavy sigh because he would be moved to his father’s room, the kings’ chambers, after his marriage, leaving all of these memories behind and creating new ones. Opening the curtains, he looks out over the garden.

He saw her in the palace garden among the rows of roses.  Her long black curly hair enchanted him as it shined in the sunlight like the stars at night.

He watched her moving around bending, placing her nose against the bud of each rose; her hair fell guarding her face. She walked like a goddess, and wore a pale blue gown with a long white train that floated like a cloud behind her.

He scrutinized her slender and delicate hands as she touched each rose with the gentleness of a mother’s love.

His thoughts are interrupted by the call of his manservant Lanceworth.  Prince Christian pointed towards the women in the garden, and asked, “Who is she?”

Lanceworth sighed, “I am sorry my prince, I know not this maiden.”

The moment he turned to leave the window, she raised her face towards the sun, inhaling the fragrance of the garden. Her hair fell in a wave of curls, revealing her pearly smooth skin.

She opened her eyes. He glanced into her teal colored eyes and was lost in the moment.

Deep in thought, he did not notice when she vanished from the garden.  Panic seized him; he turned to Lanceworth and shouted, “Where did she go?”

“Who?” he replied with caution.

“The woman who was in the garden,” Prince Christian demanded.

“My prince, I barely saw her.” Lanceworth responded with alarm in his voice.

“Lanceworth, I need you to summons all of the women who were at court today, she is the one I have found my bride.”

Lanceworth replied, “All of them are packing to leave.”

Prince Christian answered with anger in this voice, “I do not care what they have done and where they go, as long as I find her, my heart is telling me she is the one.”

‘As you wish my prince,” Lanceworth replied as he rushed from the room. “Alert the King,” The prince called out.

In the meantime, Prince Christian called for his royal tailors to change into his formal wear. He wanted to present himself in the proper manner to his future bride. Surely, his father was going to be pleased. He wished his mother lived to see this day. It felt like an eternity before he was  announced into court. Prince Christian stood before his father’s throne with the women crowded around him.

King Leopold spoke, “my son, I am told that you have chosen a bride.”

The prince replied with pride in his voice, “This is true father.” The king raised his hand towards the women and instructed his son to bring forth his bride.

Prince Christian walked slowly up and down, searching for the angelic beauty that he saw in the garden. In the midst of the smiling faces, heavy makeup, and tons of jewelry, he did not find her. He turned to his father and said, “She is not here.”

The King told him to look again.

He did but she was not there. Prince Christian called out to Lancewroth. “Is this all the women?”

“Yes, my prince,” answered Lancworth.

Filled with disappointment he turned towards the king, said, “I am sorry father, I must have been mistaken she is not among these women,”

The king asked him, “Can you describe her?”

“Yes,” said the prince, “she was in the west side of the garden where mother planted the rose bush. She has long black curly hair and bluish green eyes as big as crystal balls. Her skin glowed like satin; in the blue dressing gown,” she was wearing.

The king asked, “Was she in the garden alone?”

The prince answered “yes father I saw no one with her.”

The room is silent.

King Leopold spoke, “might I suggest that the ladies go back to their rooms, and the owner of the gown my son described, come forth.”

While the king and the prince waited in the room, one of the woman came forth and requested to speak with the king.  She claimed to know the identity of the woman the prince was seeking. When she entered the Great Hall, and she told the prince that the women he is looking for is her daughters’ lady -in –waiting. She slipped into the garden today without permission.

Prince Christian asked her to bring the girl to him. She did as the prince requested.  As soon as he laid eyes on her, his heart leaped.

The king spoke, “come forth my child, do not be afraid, He asked her, “were you in the garden today, alone, by the rose bush?”

In a small soft voice, she answered, “Yes your Majesty, pardon me for the trouble I have caused, the roses are beautiful and I desired a closer look.”

The king laughed, “No harm my child, those roses were planted by wife, I am happy they brought you pleasure.” She bowed and left the room.

“Father she is the one,” the Prince said,

“My son, she is a lady- in- waiting.” The king replied. “No one in our blood line has ever married outside of the royal court.”

The prince pleaded with the King, “Father as soon as I saw her, I knew she was the one.”

“I am sorry but I cannot give my blessing to such a union.” Replied the king.

Prince Christian spoke in a sincere voice.  “Father, I have never asked much of you. Please, allow me to be with a woman that I can love and seek comfort with as you did with my mother.”

The king remained silent, as his son’s words penetrated his heart. The king wanted his son to be blissful in his married life. Nevertheless, he cannot overlook the fact that the former queen was of royal blood.

King Leopold looked into his sons pleading eyes; suggesting they call upon her mistress to inquire of the young woman’s heritage. This request from the King excited the prince and gave him hope. He sent for Lanceworth to bring the girl and her mistress forward.

“Forgive me my prince,” said Lanceworth,” all of the guest have set sail for home.”  The prince did not stay to hear another word. He rushed from the room, towards the sea running past the palace guards; they called out after him “my lord is there trouble?”

Prince Christian continued towards the sea where the fleet of ships were departing. He hoped he was not too late.

When he reached the shore, he dived into the sea swimming to catch the last ship. The guards rushed to pull him back on shore, but the prince in desperation, struggled against them yelling,

“Let me be! I must stop them.” As hard as he fought, they over powered him and brought him back on dry land.

Prince Christian sat on the shore watching the ships disappear one by one into the horizon. The guards pleaded with him to go back to the palace. The prince refused to move.  Only when Lanceworth kneeled at his side and whispered in his ear,

“My prince I have information concerning the royal house the maiden serves,” these words gave the prince the strength to stand and he allowed the guards to guide him back to the palace.

After the prince refreshed himself, the king called him to his chambers. He walked towards his father’s quarters with a heavy heart, feeling defeated.

When he entered the room, king Leopold sat up in bed, he looked fragile. Prince Christian felt a pain in his heart. He approached the bed and sat next to his father. He wondered how many more moments like these would they share before death took him.

The king broke the silence.

“Son, all future kings faced this same moment when they are presented with a bride not of their choosing.” The Prince looked at his father with an expression of confusion.

The king rose from the bed and began to pace the floor; the king asked his son, “Have I ever told you the story of how I meet your mother?”

“No father. You have not,” replied the prince.

“Your grandfather went in search of my bride, and when he found her, he came back with a portrait. Her name was Lady Pricilla Heathcott; you know her father, King Fredrick Heathcott’s of the Penfirden realm. She was young and beautiful; and I had to do what was required of me. At the time of my proposed marriage, our kingdom was threatened with war; my marriage to Lady Heathcott promised to form an alliance between the two smaller kingdoms in order to build a strong army.

While preparations were being made to receive my bride, we received the news that Lady Heathcott ships was caught in a violent storm, only two out of the four ships made it to safety, my bride was not so lucky. The lost was great. Her mother, brothers along with other family members, perished. Her father and eldest sister were unable to make the voyage.  Because of this tragedy, a period of mourning was declared. There was an agreement of peace out of respect for King Heathcott.

Months later, your grandfather and I made the trip to visit King Heathcott to pay our respects and that is when I met your mother, Lady Camila Heathcott. She was the eldest sister of my intended. She could not make the trip, due to illness.  I was comforting her over the loss of her sister we fall in love. We dared not allow anyone to know because we did not want to offend her father.

By some means your grandfather found out, and fearing the word would get back to her father, he forbade me to see her. I begged him to approach King Heathcott to ask for lady

Camila’s hand in marriage. Your grandfather did not think it was a good idea, but I would not give up, hence, your clever grandfather derived a plan. He suggested to her father that I marry Lady Heathcott in case their enemies changed their mind and declared war on them again.

At first, King Heathcott feared losing another daughter to the sea; she was his only remaining child. Your grandfather continued to press the issue about the protection of our two countries, and it worked. We were married in secret, not to alert the other kingdoms. We left immediately following the ceremony.  The day we departed for home, I promised her father that I would protect his daughter with my life. Your mother brought me many years of happiness, even in death “I still feel her presence.”  Finishing his story, the king sighed.

Prince Christian asked his father, “What am I to do?”

The king said, “Go my son and find your bride, as your mother’s father willingly departed with his only child, so to must I.”

Stay Tune for part 2…………

The Prince and the Empress

The Prince and the Empress

 King Leopold Edward Nenufar of the Slopheovaia kingdom is old and in poor health. The time has come for Prince Christian Edward Nenufar to marry. He is the only heir to the throne. Prince Christian desired to have a union like the one his parents’ had. Their marriage was forged out of love, not out of a call to duty.  While growing up in the palace, he witnessed his parent’s admiration for each other. When his mother, Queen Camila Nenufar died while giving birth to a second child, a girl, who also perished, his father almost ceased to live.  After many years, the Kings royal council pleaded with him to take another wife; He refused, the King said, “I had his one true love.”  This is the story of how Prince Christian Nenufar found his one true love.

Part 2

The voyage

Prince Christian was overseeing the preparations for the voyage he chose four of the finest ships from the royal fleet. One of the ships would carry gifts to present to the bride’s father and mother.  Due to his poor health, King Leopold could not travel with the prince. Instead, he choose six of the wisest men from the royal council to accompany Prince Christian to help with the marriage contract. During the activity, Prince Christian remembered Lanceworth telling him that he had information about this mystery woman. He left the shipyard to find Lanceworth to inquire about what he knows. Prince Christian, Lanceworth in his bedchamber packing for the voyage.

“Lanceworth my good man” he called out to him.

“Yes my lord,” answered Lanceworth.

“I see you have been busy,” said the prince looking around the room at the packed trunks.

“Yes my lord there is much to be done. We set sail tomorrow “Lancewoth said moving around the room.

“Sit for a while and talk to me. Share all that you know about the maiden I seek.” asked the prince

Lanceworth “her name is Drusilla she is a lady at the house of Laurelton.

Interrupting him, the prince said aloud, “Laurelton, Laurelton, where have I heard that name?”

Lanceworth replied, “It is one of the lesser known kingdoms west of Penfirden.”

“That’s about a month’s journey we can make good time if the sea is fair to us.” Prince Christian declared.

Lanceworth replied with these words to encourage the prince, “My lord you need not fear Fate is on your side. The king has sealed this union with his blessings. You must believe that all will be well. You will find her.”

Prince Christian. Smiled at him and said, “You have always been a trusted friend and brother, and I will put my worries aside.”

“You must take your rest because you will need your strength for this journey.” Said Lanceworth, “I will be back first light to gather the rest of your belongings.” When Lanceworth left the room, Prince Christian wondered if he could sleep; he feared that if they did not find her he would be doomed to select another bride.

It was noon the next day when King Leopold walked with Prince Christian to the ship. The sun shined brightly and the wind blew at a steady pace.

The prince spoke in a somber voice, “Father I wished that you were able to make this journey with me.”

“My son, it’s a heavy burden seeing you take this journey, but you are wise you will make it to your destination. When you do stay but a week, to rest your crew and replenish your ships, remember to leave the negations of the marriage contract to the men who sit on my council, soon they will be serving you. Lastly, if your mother were here she would advise you not to allow your emotions to take hold of you. Remember you are of royal blood.” With these last words, the king embraced him, and watched the prince disappear below deck.

As the ships drifted deeper into the sea, the king looked up at the sky and whispered, “Bring him back to me.”

Prince Christian stood on the deck of the ship looking out over the horizon. It has been six days since he left home they traveled a great distance. The weather and sea had been kind. If they continued at the current pace, they will arrive at Laurelton in twenty days. In the meantime, the prince made himself busy. He met with the council and they prepared him for the marriage negotiation.

On the twelfth night of the journey, the sea remained calm. As a reward for the crews’ hard work Prince Christian announced that, the men could enjoy an evening of music and a few rounds of ale. During the night the helmsman, fell asleep at the steer causing the ship to drift of course and away from the other vessels. By sunrise, panic sieged the ship. Prince Christian was awaken and told of the mishap. The ship’s captain ordered the crew on deck. It had to be decided what punishment the helmsman should face.

Prince Christian was the last to arrive on deck this would be his first decision made on his own. He had no desire to punish the Helmsman’s mistake. After all, it was because of his order they indulged themselves in ale. Prince Christian was more concerned about getting back on course then disciplining the helmsman. In the meantime, the captain went below deck to study the maps to get them back on course.

After being asked to step forward by the Prince, the helmsman immediately began to beg the Prince’s pardon, by saying “this is all my fault whatever my end I will except it”

As the Prince stood still and speechless, all eyes were fixed on him. He knew that he had to make the right choice or these men would not respect him when he becomes king. The Prince decided to include the entire crew in this mishap and this is what he said.

“I don’t think that one man must shoulder the blame I hold my entire crew at fault. We are a team are we not? If one man falls then we all share in this failure. The task now is to push forward; there will be no further talk about this. We need to keep our wits and work together to get back on course.

The Prince did not notice when Captain Bartholomew arrived back on deck, He addressed Prince Christian, “Permission to speak” Asked the captain.

“Permission granted, “Replied the prince.

“There is a way to get back on course and shorten the travel time to Laurelton but it will take us through enemy territory.”

Prince Christian asked the Captain “And what about the other ships do you think that they will turn about looking for us? “

Captain Bartholomew responded, “I am sorry my prince I did not think of this,”

The Prince continued, “I am not a navigator of the sea, however, if we turn around and go back towards Laurelton, we could run into the other ships, if not pray that they will continue on and find us there.”

Captain Bartholomew bowed to Prince Christian and said, “As you command my prince.” He turned to the crew and gave the order to turn the shop around. The men scattered to their stations.  The captain asked Prince Christian, “What is to become of the helmsman?”

Prince Christian replied, “Let him be, I have a feeling that after today he will never fall asleep at the steer again.” And with that, Prince Christian returned to his cabin. He wanted to be alone. As soon as he entered the room, there was a knock at the door.

“Who’s there?” asked the prince in an irritated tone.

“Lanceworth my lord, you haven’t had your tea.”

“Enter” the prince called out.

Lanceworth entered the room with a tray he busied himself setting up tea for the prince.

Prince Christian let out a sigh “This situation is my fault. I thought I was doing right by these men. I ordered them to enjoy a night of fun because they are far from home and their families.”

Lanceworth answered, “You’re wrong, the helmsmen is to blame he should have exercised better judgement.”

“Was I wrong not to make an example of him in front of the others?” asked the prince.

“No, what good would punishing him do, these men need to see that their future king can show mercy, they don’t need a king they fear, in this way they will be loyal to you.”

“lanceworth, you are wise beyond your station maybe when I become King I will give you a position on my counsel.”

“Much thanks my lord, “replied Lanceworth, but “I must prefer the position I have now.”

“Good “uttered the prince “I like having you serving close to me. I feel a kinship between us that I don’t feel with the others.”

“Thank you my lord I am honored.”

“You need not be so serious or formal when we are alone. What is there to eat?”

After Prince Christian had his meal, he dismissed Lanceworth, and told him to inform the captain that he is not to be disturbed unless it is of uttermost importance. He wanted to rest and join him after a few hours.

“As you wish” Lanceworth said, as he closed the door.

Prince Christian lay across the bed, feeling weary.  He drafted off to sleep…

He allowed himself to get into a deep sleep that was sweet and colorful. He entered a garden where the scent of the flowers was strong and intoxicating.  When the prince looked down at his feet, he discovered that he was floating on a rainbow colored path that lead him into a mystical forest where there are hundreds of butterflies that looked like fairies. He came upon a bluish green waterfall that reminded him of Drusilla’s eyes. At the end of the waterfall was a pond. He kneeled to touch the water; it felt cold on his hands. While he was looking across the pond, he heard someone singing.  It was a women’s voice and she was calling his name. He listened to hear the direction the voice was coming from.

He noticed that the butterflies started to fly in the direction of the voice as; he followed them deeper into the forest. The singing became louder. He kept going until he came to what seemed to be the end of the forest. There was a bright blinding light, the voice continued calling to him. As he walked into the light, he felt a hand, touching his shoulder. The voice kept calling, “Wake up, wake up.”

Prince Christian opens his eyes, and sees Drusilla. For a moment, he does not know where he is. Looking around the room, nothing is familiar to him except his Mahoney writing table. The walls are a deep purple with Gold flowers. The bed is draped in a canopy with the royal   signea for the king.

He remembers seeing Drusilla in the palace garden. Their eyes met and there was no need for words. Something stirred within their souls at that moment. Prince Christian know he had found his one true love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something New

Dear Readers,

Coming soon… A Different Flavor of Love. Coming soon, my first short story on my Amazon page for FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is a sneak peek:

Desiree Hancock is the oldest of three children raised by a single mother. Pregnant at sixteen by a young man who has big plans for his life, which do not include her. While living in public housing, she gives birth to two children, and attempts to liberate herself from the welfare system by returning to school and earning her High School Diploma. In comes Leslie Lambert, a white, wealthy lawyer, no children and never married. She is attracted to Desiree, but, Desiree’s only interest in Leslie is the lifestyle that she can give to her children; for a while, Desiree plays along until Leslie asks her to make a choice. Desiree is uncertain about exposing who Leslie is. It takes a life-changing event for Desiree to come to terms with the knowledge that Leslie is offering her more than any man ever did.

 

 

Don’t Say Forever……

Dear Readers,  A sneak peek into a short story in progress. Happy Reading.

Don’t Say Forever……

I did not hear the urgency in her voice I was excited about our weekly rant session. The first clue that something was wrong we didn’t meet at our usual diner for loaded nachos and Long Island Ice tea, with an extra shot. Instead, we met at a fancy tea-house in China Town. When I sat down Katherine looked at me with a death stare and said,

“I hope you have some spare time, this could take a while.” When I looked into Katherine’s usually big brown, beautiful, shiny, eyes, they were dull and blood-shot.

The atmosphere of the teahouse is solemn and dim. This disturbed me because I was in the mood for the cheerful, bright lights and noise of the diner. Kathrine ordered a pot of Earl Grey tea and a glass of sake. My thoughts were racing I’m confused, we talked two days ago and she was her normal lively self. After the table was set and I made tea Katherine took a long drink from her glass of sake, and initiated the conversation…

“This was supposed to be the greatest adventure of my life. I have waited a decade for my King and soul mate. When Samuel got down on one knee, and placed this ring on my finger and ask me to be his life partner, at that moment I felt as though I’d awaken from a long and terrible nightmare.”

I’ve known Katherine for fifteen years she’s been my rock and road dog. I’ve seen this fearless women battle life struggles like a true warrior Queen. She has slayed some ugly demons and dethroned men, and like a hunger and anger lioness, she pursued her ambition of becoming a tenure English Professor and accomplished that goal. The person sitting in front of me, I don’t know her.  Katherine took another drink from her glass of sake and continued.

“It’s my fault, I moved too fast. I should have taken your advice and kept my apartment; my haven; where no one dictated to me. He kept pushing me to move in. I wanted to wait until we were husband and wife.”

Katherine ordered another glass of sake. I reached out across the table grabbing her hand; she squeezed mine with a death grip. Our eyes locked. In hers, I saw grief, regret and something I’ve never seen before defeat.

Kathrine continued, “This relationship is a mistake. Samuel is smothering me and wants to take away my life. He want me to become the relationship.”

I had to say something; I wanted her to stop and breathe. “I’m confused. I thought you said he’s being supportive.”

“Yes, he was while we were under two separate roofs. Samuel says that my goals are for a single person, and since I’m no longer single, I need to think about what’s good for the relationship.”

“What?”

“I rejected an offer to teach for six weeks in Korea because he feels that we haven’t established a solid foundation. He follows me everywhere, he is clingy, needy and he whines. There’s no peace in the house because he talks nonstop, and he interrogates me about everything. The only peace I have is when he isn’t home, when I’m at work and when he doesn’t follow me to church.”

Guilt swept over me. I encouraged Katherine to open her heart and give Samuel a chance.    I watched Katherine dry her teary eyes.

“Come stay with me.”

“Oh no, I will remain right where I am for the next two years.”

“What? Why? I don’t understand.”

“I’ve pondered this situation for weeks; I don’t have to think about forever with Samuel.”

“I don’t get it; you’re going to continue to live with a man you say is not the one.”

“Yes, I am in the best possible position to achieve my goals with financial ease. What is our biggest struggle as single women?”

“Rent.”

“Yes, I don’t pay rent, Samuel does. I pay the smaller expenses. I will continue to play the dutiful fiancé while completing my next two novels, my M.F.A. in addition to going back to the  New York City DownTown Chours to sing at Carnegie Hall, and Samuel will be standing beside me.  In two years, I can retire from teaching. To solidify the deal I will marry him and plan our honeymoon in Aruba.”

“Now I’m truly lost, you’re going to marry him.”

“Yes. Remember the little villa I have in the hills of St. Vincent that no one knows about except you.”

“Yes.”

“While we’re on our blissful honeymoon I will escape and go there. When he reports me missing he’ll become the main suspect.”

“Are you seriously going to do this?”

“Yes. I will be very happy on my little island; while he sits in jail.”

“What make you think Samuel will go to jail?”

“I’ll plant evidence pointing to his guilt.”

“What do you need me to do?”

“Oh, no I’m not going to get you involved in this the less you know the better.”

“I won’t let you do this alone. Remember we promised to be friend until the end, no matter what.”

“This is going to be a long two years, but I can’t leave unless I have the funds to support myself. I have a friend who works for a bank in St. Vincent she, will help me transfer my retirement checks there without anyone being able to trace them.”

My best friend will be gone in two years. What am I going to do?”

We continued to meet for our weekly rant sessions. I don’t know how Katherine did it; living each say in such misery.  Katherine kept an exhausting schedule, when she needed rest, she stayed at my place; by the end of the first year, she published one novel, half way through the second manuscript, and had completed her M.F.A.

The start of the second year Katherine said it was time to begin to focus the plan. She began to close all of her accounts transferring the money to a bank overseas. She cancelled her credits cards and for the rest of her life she will have to use cash she did not want to create a paper trail. Katherine through of everything she knows a someone who knows a guy who can create fake documents for her to assume a new identity. I begin to panic this was becoming real. I’ve heard of people doing stuff like this, I’ve seen movies of people planning how they would vanish, but this is close to home……stay tune for more of  Don’t Say Forever……

 

In the meantime, Read A Different Flavor of Love, by J. R, Floyd, Available On Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Different-Flavor-Love-J-Floyd

Also, tune into my new YouTube Channel, Conversations from my Couch, and Hosted by me. Here is a sneak peek……. https://youtu.be/qYj5sSJepqE

 

Family Roots

Dear Readers,

The late Reverend Joseph N. Floyd SR was a stone cold to the bone country boy, born off the shores of South Georgia. He is the offspring of a Cherokee mother and he described his father as a big red skin man. His height can be match to that of Mount Kilimanjaro, with a deep thunderous voice, and soft wide light green emeralds eyes. Catherine Barbara Floyd is a humble, beautiful Southern Belle, born in the Hills of Charlotte South Carolina. The union between them lasted 32 years and produced twelve children. They first crossed paths on the narrow back road of Lyons GA. My mother was visiting family in Vidalia Georgia; and at night, she and the other youngsters would sneak out when the adults were sleeping. On one such night, she found herself in the bushes at a shack called the “Jook Joint” where Joseph was the bartender. When I eighteen my father told me the story of how he felt when he saw my mother, he said, “when she walked in all eyes were on her because she was the most beautiful, long-legged, big hip gal he’d seen in them parts.” My mother’s account of the meeting was different she said that she thought that my father was “the dumbest, fouled mouth, red face creature she has ever met.” Later, she confessed that it was one of those love at first sight encounters, but it was a matter of not letting him know. They had a shotgun wedding because back in those days the rules of courtship were different from today, if a boy got the girl in the family way, they had to get married. Soon after their wedding, he enlisted in the army. In 1967, stationed at Fort Hamilton Army base in New York City, my father persuaded his beautiful and shy country bride to relocate from the country to the city.

After 32 years of marriage 12 children, 25 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren, dad was laid to rest. My parents battled through some bad storms, but they stayed together, their love and strength kept the family strong. My mother said that my father was her best friend. I admired how my mother was able to take care of her children, a husband, and all the family pets, as well as having a well-polished home, and still managed to find time to care for herself. There is no other woman in the world like her. She said looking back if she had to do it all over again, she would not change one aspect of her life.

 

A Different Flavor of Love

Desiree Hancock is born during the worst snowstorm New York City has seen in decades. Her entrance into the world takes place on the living room floor of the Marlboro Houses in Coney Island. Her mother Olivia barely survives on public assistance, bringing home any man who is willing to buy food and stay for the night. Desiree only hears rumors about her supposed father, Luis Figueroa, a low-level gang-banger and drug dealer. He never officially claims Desiree as his child because he knows that Olivia is in the habit of having more than one sexual partner. As Desiree matures, he sees some resemblance to his grandmother; this softens his heart enough for him to give Olivia money when she claims to need things for his daughter.

Growing up, Desiree becomes used to Olivia’s staying out all night and seeing a new man sitting at the breakfast table in each morning. She struggles with issues children her age should not have to. One of her biggest problems was staying in school. She is absent whenever Olivia stays out and doesn’t come home the next day.

At school, the other kids wear nice clothes and shoes. Desiree’s clothes are worn thin and sometimes dirty. Despite not wearing the best of clothes, the happiest hours of her day are at school. There she can be a child, and eat lunch without having to share with her sister. At home, there is always the baby to feed, clothes to wash, and a mother who glares at her with hatred.

Desiree makes a few friends at school: her best friend is Sophia Evans, who lives a few buildings away from her. Sophia’s apartment is different from Desiree’s; they have nice furniture and their apartment always smells nice. Sophia has two parents who work. Mrs. Evans works part-time in the school cafeteria, and her father is a security guard. Wallace is Sophia’s older brother, a senior in high school. After graduation, he plans to go into the army, getting out of the projects. As often as Desiree can, she sneaks over to Sophia’s, claiming that she needs help with her homework.

Desiree barely makes it to the eighth grade; she is struggling to keep up with the rest of her peers. The school administrator threatens Olivia if she does not take responsibility for sending Desiree to school on a regular basis. If she fails to comply, the school will recommend a home visit from Child Protective Services. For a short period, things improve, but not much.  Olivia stops talking to Desiree, and when she does speak, she yells orders at her.

Olivia is pregnant, giving Desiree a reprieve from her mother’s meanness. Desiree takes this opportunity to spend time visiting Sophia. Wallace notices that Desiree is developing physically, so he hangs around the house during her visits. When it is time for her to go home, Wallace offers to walk with her.  He is seventeen and she is fifteen. Wallace is horny and Desiree is primary bait.

Desiree is excited because her sixteenth birthday is approaching. For days, she begs and almost gets on her knees asking Olivia to have a party. A week before her birthday, her mother gives in on the condition that she does all the work. Desiree turns to the only people she knows will help her. On the day of the party, Mrs. Evans makes fried chicken and potato salad, to go with Desiree’s BBQ chicken, rice and string beans. Wallace brings the cake, Sophia uses her allowance to buy the decorations, and she gives Desiree a blue dress to wear.

Olivia leaves to stay at a friend’s house, claiming that she cannot be around the noise. Desiree is not disappointed; secretly, she does not want her mother there.  At 4 o’clock, Sophia arrives to help decorate and to style Desiree’s hair. By the time they are done, it is 7pm. Wallace, the DJ, his friend, and Mrs. Evans come to set up the food and the music. At 7:30, Luis (Desiree’s father) shows up, after hearing about the party from Olivia. He asks Desiree if she needs anything, and gives him a list of things that will help to make the party better. Half an hour later, Luis comes back with three girls about Desiree’s age; he introduces them as family members. He brings the items that were on the list.  Slowly, the other guests arrive, and by 8:30pm there are fifteen teenagers at the party, Desiree is hoping more will show up. Despite the low turnout, she is having a good time.

Mrs. Evans stays to help serve the food; Luis makes himself useful by setting up an area to serve the soda and water. By 9:00, the party is going full blast; Desiree is asked to dance twice, once by Wallace and then by his friend the DJ. At 10pm, the music stops, so they can sing happy birthday to Desiree. She blows out all the sixteen candles on her cake, and wishes for a better life.  A few people give her gifts; Mrs. Evans gives her a card with sixteen one-dollar bills, and Sophia, a pair of blue earrings, her favorite color.  Finally, Luis gives her an envelope and whispers in her ear not to open it until she is alone.

Desiree is overwhelmed with emotions, and does not know how to process her feelings. Never in her sixteen years has anybody done so much for her as the people standing in that room. To break the awkwardness of the moment, Mrs. Evans steps forward and gives her a hug. The DJ starts the music and the party continues with everyone eating cake and dancing. At 11:30 pm, Olivia comes back and the party is over. A few people stay to help Desiree clean up, while Olivia sits at the table eating. Mrs. Evans, Wallace, and Sophia are the last to leave. Before they go, Desiree gives Sophia her birthday money to hold for safekeeping, because she knows that Olivia will search her room and take the money.

When Desiree returns to the apartment, Olivia rolls her eyes at her and says, “I guess you consider yourself a woman now that you’re old enough to spread your legs.” Desiree goes to her room and cries herself to sleep. The next day, while taking a shower, she gets her first period. She does not tell her mother; she dresses and goes to Sophia’s. She spends the entire Sunday with Sophia, who teaches her how to take care of herself, because Sophia had gotten her period last year. First, they go to the store to buy feminine products. Sophia warned Desiree not to tell anyone at school when she had her “friend.”

“Friend, what friend are you talking about?”

“That’s what my mother calls having your period.”

Sophia also tells her to wear pants, take two Tylenols, and drink hot tea if she has stomach pain. Desiree goes home after eating Sunday dinner with the Evanses.

She is happy that Olivia is asleep. She goes to her room and finds a good hiding place for her feminine products and the extra cash she has acquired as birthday money. Enjoying the quietness of the apartment, Desiree falls asleep, and is awakened by her mother’s screaming for her to get up and cook.

It is the end of June. School is out; Olivia gives birth to a girl and the baby’s daddy moves into their already crowded two-bedroom apartment. His name is Baron, an unemployed hustler. Despite not having a job, Baron helps around the apartment, and he seems to be happy being a father, maybe because this is his first child. Desiree is lucky to get a summer job as a counselor at a day camp. However, she dislikes Olivia for demanding that she give her fifty dollars from each paycheck, claiming to need the money to buy Pampers. The truth is the money is for Baron.

Sophia goes to her grandparents’ house in Florida. She does not get a summer job, and her parents do not want her hanging around the projects. Wallace’s father gets him hired as security guard at his agency. Desiree is free to spend time with Wallace. He finds a secret place for them to meet, a small room in the basement of the building he lives in. He spreads a blanket on the floor; there is no light, so they use candles. They spend time there eating food that Desiree buys with the money she earns from her summer job. Wallace introduces her to wine, and she discovers that she likes it.

One day before they meet Wallace has another surprise for her; he leads her to the room with a blindfold. When he removes the blindfold, Desiree opens her eyes to see that he has set up a twin mattress, pillows, and a crate with candles and a small radio. Desiree feels special, and she becomes eager to meet Wallace at their special place.  Wallace takes an old cooler from his house to keep the wine, beer and water cold. They talk about the future: he tells her about his plans to join the army. Each time they meet, Wallace gets Desiree more comfortable with his touching her. He knows Desiree is a virgin; he likes the fact that no one has touched her, unlike the other girls he has known. It is not too long before Desiree experiences her first time. He makes sure that she drinks a good amount of wine and he gives her a massage, helping her to relax. When she questions him about using a condom, he tells her she is safe, that he will pull out when the time comes. Desiree does not know any better, so she goes along with him…….

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Thank you for stopping by.

J. R.

The Prince and the Empress

 King Leopold Edward Nenufar of the Slopheovaia kingdom is old and in poor health. The time has come for Prince Christian Edward Nenufar to marry. He is the only heir to the throne. Prince Christian desired to have a union like the one his parents’ had. Their marriage was forged out of love, not out of a call to duty.  While growing up in the palace, he witnessed his parent’s admiration for each other. When his mother, Queen Camila Nenufar died while giving birth to a second child, a girl, who also perished, his father almost ceased to live.  After many years, the Kings royal council pleaded with him to take another wife; He refused, the King said, “I had his one true love.”  This is the story of how Prince Christian Nenufar found his one true love.

Part 2

The voyage

Prince Christian was overseeing the preparations for the voyage he chose four of the finest ships from the royal fleet. One of the ships would carry gifts to present to the bride’s father and mother.  Due to his poor health, King Leopold could not travel with the prince. Instead, he choose six of the wisest men from the royal council to accompany Prince Christian to help with the marriage contract. During the activity, Prince Christian remembered Lanceworth telling him that he had information about this mystery woman. He left the shipyard to find Lanceworth to inquire about what he knows. Prince Christian, Lanceworth in his bedchamber packing for the voyage.

“Lanceworth my good man” he called out to him.

“Yes my lord,” answered Lanceworth.

“I see you have been busy,” said the prince looking around the room at the packed trunks.

“Yes my lord there is much to be done. We set sail tomorrow “Lancewoth said moving around the room.

“Sit for a while and talk to me. Share all that you know about the maiden I seek.” asked the prince

Lanceworth “her name is Drusilla she is a lady at the house of Laurelton.

Interrupting him, the prince said aloud, “Laurelton, Laurelton, where have I heard that name?”

Lanceworth replied, “It is one of the lesser known kingdoms west of Penfirden.”

“That’s about a month’s journey we can make good time if the sea is fair to us.” Prince Christian declared.

Lanceworth replied with these words to encourage the prince, “My lord you need not fear Fate is on your side. The king has sealed this union with his blessings. You must believe that all will be well. You will find her.”

Prince Christian. Smiled at him and said, “You have always been a trusted friend and brother, and I will put my worries aside.”

“You must take your rest because you will need your strength for this journey.” Said Lanceworth, “I will be back first light to gather the rest of your belongings.” When Lanceworth left the room, Prince Christian wondered if he could sleep; he feared that if they did not find her he would be doomed to select another bride.

It was noon the next day when King Leopold walked with Prince Christian to the ship. The sun shined brightly and the wind blew at a steady pace.

The prince spoke in a somber voice, “Father I wished that you were able to make this journey with me.”

“My son, it’s a heavy burden seeing you take this journey, but you are wise you will make it to your destination. When you do stay but a week, to rest your crew and replenish your ships, remember to leave the negations of the marriage contract to the men who sit on my council, soon they will be serving you. Lastly, if your mother were here she would advise you not to allow your emotions to take hold of you. Remember you are of royal blood.” With these last words, the king embraced him, and watched the prince disappear below deck.

As the ships drifted deeper into the sea, the king looked up at the sky and whispered, “Bring him back to me.”

Prince Christian stood on the deck of the ship looking out over the horizon. It has been six days since he left home they traveled a great distance. The weather and sea had been kind. If they continued at the current pace, they will arrive at Laurelton in twenty days. In the meantime, the prince made himself busy. He met with the council and they prepared him for the marriage negotiation.

On the twelfth night of the journey, the sea remained calm. As a reward for the crews’ hard work Prince Christian announced that, the men could enjoy an evening of music and a few rounds of ale. During the night the helmsman, fell asleep at the steer causing the ship to drift of course and away from the other vessels. By sunrise, panic sieged the ship. Prince Christian was awaken and told of the mishap. The ship’s captain ordered the crew on deck. It had to be decided what punishment the helmsman should face.

Prince Christian was the last to arrive on deck this would be his first decision made on his own. He had no desire to punish the Helmsman’s mistake. After all, it was because of his order they indulged themselves in ale. Prince Christian was more concerned about getting back on course then disciplining the helmsman. In the meantime, the captain went below deck to study the maps to get them back on course.

After being asked to step forward by the Prince, the helmsman immediately began to beg the Prince’s pardon, by saying “this is all my fault whatever my end I will except it”

As the Prince stood still and speechless, all eyes were fixed on him. He knew that he had to make the right choice or these men would not respect him when he becomes king. The Prince decided to include the entire crew in this mishap and this is what he said.

“I don’t think that one man must shoulder the blame I hold my entire crew at fault. We are a team are we not? If one man falls then we all share in this failure. The task now is to push forward; there will be no further talk about this. We need to keep our wits and work together to get back on course.

The Prince did not notice when Captain Bartholomew arrived back on deck, He addressed Prince Christian, “Permission to speak” Asked the captain.

“Permission granted, “Replied the prince.

“There is a way to get back on course and shorten the travel time to Laurelton but it will take us through enemy territory.”

Prince Christian asked the Captain “And what about the other ships do you think that they will turn about looking for us? “

Captain Bartholomew responded, “I am sorry my prince I did not think of this,”

The Prince continued, “I am not a navigator of the sea, however, if we turn around and go back towards Laurelton, we could run into the other ships, if not pray that they will continue on and find us there.”

Captain Bartholomew bowed to Prince Christian and said, “As you command my prince.” He turned to the crew and gave the order to turn the shop around. The men scattered to their stations.  The captain asked Prince Christian, “What is to become of the helmsman?”

Prince Christian replied, “Let him be, I have a feeling that after today he will never fall asleep at the steer again.” And with that, Prince Christian returned to his cabin. He wanted to be alone. As soon as he entered the room, there was a knock at the door.

“Who’s there?” asked the prince in an irritated tone.

“Lanceworth my lord, you haven’t had your tea.”

“Enter” the prince called out.

Lanceworth entered the room with a tray he busied himself setting up tea for the prince.

Prince Christian let out a sigh “This situation is my fault. I thought I was doing right by these men. I ordered them to enjoy a night of fun because they are far from home and their families.”

Lanceworth answered, “You’re wrong, the helmsmen is to blame he should have exercised better judgement.”

“Was I wrong not to make an example of him in front of the others?” asked the prince.

“No, what good would punishing him do, these men need to see that their future king can show mercy, they don’t need a king they fear, in this way they will be loyal to you.”

“lanceworth, you are wise beyond your station maybe when I become King I will give you a position on my counsel.”

“Much thanks my lord, “replied Lanceworth, but “I must prefer the position I have now.”

“Good “uttered the prince “I like having you serving close to me. I feel a kinship between us that I don’t feel with the others.”

“Thank you my lord I am honored.”

“You need not be so serious or formal when we are alone. What is there to eat?”

After Prince Christian had his meal, he dismissed Lanceworth, and told him to inform the captain that he is not to be disturbed unless it is of uttermost importance. He wanted to rest and join him after a few hours.

“As you wish” Lanceworth said, as he closed the door.

Prince Christian lay across the bed, feeling weary.  He drafted off to sleep…

He allowed himself to get into a deep sleep that was sweet and colorful. He entered a garden where the scent of the flowers was strong and intoxicating.  When the prince looked down at his feet, he discovered that he was floating on a rainbow colored path that lead him into a mystical forest where there are hundreds of butterflies that looked like fairies. He came upon a bluish green waterfall that reminded him of Drusilla’s eyes. At the end of the waterfall was a pond. He kneeled to touch the water; it felt cold on his hands. While he was looking across the pond, he heard someone singing.  It was a women’s voice and she was calling his name. He listened to hear the direction the voice was coming from.

He noticed that the butterflies started to fly in the direction of the voice as; he followed them deeper into the forest. The singing became louder. He kept going until he came to what seemed to be the end of the forest. There was a bright blinding light, the voice continued calling to him. As he walked into the light, he felt a hand, touching his shoulder. The voice kept calling, “Wake up, wake up.”

Prince Christian opens his eyes, and sees Drusilla. For a moment, he does not know where he is. Looking around the room, nothing is familiar to him except his Mahoney writing table. The walls are a deep purple with Gold flowers. The bed is draped in a canopy with the royal   signea for the king.

He remembers seeing Drusilla in the palace garden. Their eyes met and there was no need for words. Something stirred within their souls at that moment. Prince Christian know he had found his one true love.