For visually challenged writers, the image shows a landscape wearing a light dusting of snow. From the hill, where skeletal heather and brown grasses pierce the snow, a valley spreads out below, lit by the rays of a pale sun.
This is the continuation of John and Susan. I have decided to make this a book. I am working on that on NANOWRIMO since there is a beginning that needs to be told. Part of these prompts won’t fit into the book but will use some of them eventually after a proper beginning. This manuscript now has a beginning, middle and end although it is not fleshed out yet. It is more like a slightly detailed outline.
Punishment Meted Out
By Teresa Smeigh 2019
As the plane was coming in for a landing, Jack snapped out of his reverie. He looked across at Joanne, who was obviously thinking as well. The boys were talking quietly, but not loud enough to hear what they were saying.
Their lives are about to change in a big way for all of them. It was most definitely going to be an unpleasant change. He had no desire to arrest his parents and Princess Isabella, but if they did what it appears they have done then they must be arrested and his father, the King, must abdicate his thrown and Jack must take over and rule the Kingdom until Oliver (his real son) is ready to do it himself.
Both boys threw themselves into Joanne’s arms. She held them, and the three of them cried. Jack wanted to join them, but he had something he had to do, no matter how unpleasant it was. He disembarked, and directions were given for the security team to keep an eye on Joanne and the boys.
Jack hired a car to take him, Joanne and the boys to the island kingdom. He was dropped off at the police station in the town outside the castle. Joanne and the boys were taken to the nearest hotel to wait for the next step in this terrible situation. There was a chill in the air and Jack pulled his coat closer. Bits of snow clung here and there and the water surrounding the island had some ice in it although it wasn’t frozen solid.
Jack headed inside the police station and talked to Marcus Green. They hadn’t seen each other since Jack left the Kingdom 16 years ago, but now was not the time to become reacquainted. Jack explained in detail what he had believed had happened to his and Joanne’s sons, and about the boys they raised, thinking they were the real princes all along, and the DNA testing proved that they were not. He told him what he remembered about the time of the birth and the grandfatherly man and the young girl with the double pram with twins in it and that coincidentally there was a bomb threat, and the hospital had to be evacuated, and when the twins were returned to the nursery, they were missing their bracelet alarms.
When they tried to get testing done on their boys, someone kept preventing them from getting a DNA test. After finally getting the police in Pennsylvania to escort the DNA checks to the lab and they came back that neither he nor Joanne were the parents of the boys they raised, he was horrified to realize that his parents must have kidnapped his children and kept them from removing them from the Kingdom to be raised.
Jack requested Marcus to come with him to the castle and ask to have the boys brought out and tested. He also wanted to talk to his parents and Princess Isabella if she was still there. Marcus assured him that she was and that she was raising a set of twins and that she claimed to have the legal rights to them. He never contested her claim, so nothing was done about it. No one knew that Jack had no idea that she was raising the boys. They just assumed that they turned the boys over to her to make up for the divorce.
Jack was shocked at what he heard. None of his friends thought that it would be unusual for him to give up his children along with his crown. No one asked him or wondered why?
Jack decided to go to the castle now and see his sons. Marcus and his patrol came along. It was apparent that they would be arresting the King, Queen, and Princess from what Jack has told him and the proof he has. Princess Isabella flaunted her custody of the boys, so he believes Jack, and he was also shocked that Jack’s parents would do such a thing. This was going to be a difficult task to do.
Approaching the castle gate, Marcus Green, the police chief, demands the gates to open. After stating his business, the gates opened, and Jack joined then by Joanne and the two boys they raised, entered, along with Marcus.
“What’s going on here,” the King demanded?
“Sorry, Sire, but it seems that Jack here has proof that you have kidnapped his two sons and had Princess Isabella raise them. We must run a DNA test on your two grandsons and see just who are their parents as it has been proven that the two boys they have raised are not their children biologically. The hospital records show the day they were discharged was the day of the bomb scare, and many people remember the story of the grandfatherly man who always came in and one day brought a young girl with a double pram with twins in it. Both disappeared right after the alarm was sounded, and the hospital evacuated. I have brought the town’s doctor to do the DNA test, so there is no chance of trickery. Bring the boys and the Princess down now, Sire!”
The Princess was screaming at the top of her lungs to leave her babies alone. She was totally delusional. “Nooooooooooo,” she continued screaming and holding onto the boys.
The boys were confused since they had not been privy to the story of their real lives. They had been told that their father left their mother and was killed in a plane accident. They thought the Princess was their mother, and no one told them otherwise.
Now they were escorted downstairs separate from the Princess. She was cuffed and taken off to the local jail in town.
The story was explained to them in full, and they met Jack and Joanne, and both boys who, of course, had the exact same names. The four 16-year-olds stared at each other, and none of them said a word. The actual royal children were blond-haired and blue-eyed, just like Jack and Joanne.
The doctor swabbed each boy and went to run the tests supervised by a patrolman.
In the meantime, Marcus now had to explain to the King and the Queen that they were both guilty of kidnapping as well or at the very least aiding and abetting in the abduction, and for that, they would also reside in the town jail while it was decided what would be done about them. They may have thought they were doing what was best for the kingdom, but it was still illegal, and they drew the Princess in and got her involved in their scheme, and she lost her sanity and really thought they were her children. They didn’t do her any favors. The town had already voted, and no matter what the King was finally sentenced to, he would most likely have to abdicate his throne. The townspeople were horrified that the man they looked up to had done such a thing. He couldn’t claim that for 16 years, he had no idea children were living in the castle and in the nursery.
Jack knew that meant he would have to step up for now, and considering that the Princess raised his royal sons, it could be for a long time until Oliver would be ready to take over for his father.
To spare the King and Queen, the full humiliation, the chief of police, didn’t handcuff them. He had them led to the town jail to join Princess Isabella, who was still wailing over her children. He put them in a quieter area by themselves and went back to see what was going on in the castle and if he was still needed. He and Jack sat down to talk.
“Jack, do you have any idea what to do at this point concerning the Kingdom. I know you haven’t really been in touch. Your few friends bragged about the money they were making to let you think that all was going well here. I am sorry I didn’t notice anything strange going on. I had no idea what the Princess was doing, but since she told everyone, except the boys, that their father had left them for her to raise, I didn’t think anything of it. I knew you didn’t want to be part of running the Kingdom.” Marcus sighed, disgusted with himself. He should have been a better friend to Jack.
“Someone shut the Princess up. Use a potion if necessary to calm her down. She is getting on my nerves,” Marcus yelled to the other side of the office near the holding cell where they had her.
Well, Marcus,” Jack said thoughtfully, “ I am going to have to go through all my dad’s records for the last 16 years to see what has been going on. I know he is young, but I wonder if he has some kind of mental health problem. That could account for his crazy behavior. I think he should have a full physical and mental workup by the doctor from the mainland. Specialists in mental health and I will get busy going through his books, plus I need to talk to those poor children. They are bewildered and upset right now, and that includes the two I raised as my own. To be honest, I am confused myself. How could this have happened?”
“I was looking at those two boys, and I am not sure they are mine either. They have blond hair, but there is no resemblance to Joanne or I. You don’t think that crazy Princess or my parents actually did another switch to throw everyone off?”
“Jack, that is quite a conspiracy you have going there,” Marcus mused. “Though after what I have seen so far, I wouldn’t be surprised.”
“I am going to head over to the castle and talk to the family first and then the servants to get their ideas on what might have been going on while I was gone,” Jack said.
Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian
Author of a book, a work in progress on the blog, https://tessacandoit.com/government-property-a-memoir-as-a-military-wife/
Highlighted chapters are done and ready to be read.