For visually challenged writers, the image shows a small figure of an angel, releasing a dove of peace. Around the angel are lighted candles, pine cones, and a small wooden donkey.
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.
The Saga Continues – Who Are These Twins
By Teresa Smeigh 2019
Jack was avoided by almost everyone on his way over. He would have to have a royal proclamation made to insist that everyone cooperated with his questioning. He needed to know the whole story as he was now the acting King, while a new one was officially proclaimed by the customary laws. Jack was pretty sure the twins, as their father and a lawyer, weren’t in any shape to take on the leadership as it stood now.
Reaching the castle, he went to find Joanne, who was seeing that everyone was fed. Once a mother, always a mother. He smiled at her and waved. She handed him a sandwich and a plate of chips along with a glass of soda. They both smiled that such simple food was now available here in the castle kitchen.
“How did it go,” Joanne asked him while swallowing a sip of soda?
“I think we have a long road ahead of us. I will know later once I start going through the King’s papers and interviewing everyone who is ignoring me right now. It might be a good idea to call the USA and get some more farmers out there to help with the farm. I have a staff in the place where I live, but I know you helped out the farmers along with John. Speaking of John, how are all the boys doing?”
“They are speaking a little bit among themselves, but they all seem shy and don’t know what to say, even John, who is a chatterbox, is being abnormally quiet. I feel bad for all of them.”
“Ok let me know once the doctor has the results from the DNA tests. I am going to start the royal proclamation and make a list of who I need to talk to first. That will take some time, and then tomorrow, I will hope to start going through the papers. I am not looking forward to 16 years worth of paperwork. Who knows what I might find?”
Sighing, Jack heads to the royal King’s office and shuts the door. He checks previous proclamations and writes one up and lists the people he expects to talk to today or tomorrow at specific times. Jail time would be appointed to those disregarding the royal proclamation.
The proclamation is announced, and slowly the cook knocks on the open door frame of the office. She looks frightened.
“I am not going to hurt you. I just want to know what you know about what has been going on around here while I was gone. I had appointed friends to keep me abreast of the happenings in the castle and the town, and they reported that everything was fine. I trusted them, and then this happens. I don’t blame you, but if you know anything at all, I will be most thankful for any information.”
“Well, I know the King and Queen took that Princess Isabella and gave her full run of the castle, and then one day she arrives here with a double pram with two little boys who looked like twins in it. She took them upstairs and told everyone her husband, who we all know you divorced her, had given her the boys to raise on her own. She took over the nursery and walked them every day, but even I knew she wasn’t feeding them the right food for their age or even teaching them anything. Those boys are behind in their studies because the Princess didn’t get much schooling herself since she was a female. In my opinion, they aren’t fit to run the Kingdom yet. Not even with the two of them together. Prince Jack, we need you back to run this place. I hope you are considering it.”
“Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere for quite some time. I won’t leave my people floundering around with no leadership. Depending on the investigation, punishment will be meted out to my parents as the Kingdom sees fit. You are free to go, and thank you for talking so freely to me.”
The cook left, and the Princess’ handmaiden was there. “Come in, Stella, I won’t bite. You can be honest with me. This is not about you, but the Princess.”
Stella sidled into the room and sat on the edge of the chair opposite Jack. She looked like she had been crying. This wasn’t going well.
“Stella, tell me about how the Princess treated you and the boys? She seemed a little crazy when they took her out of here screaming about her children, and she knew they weren’t hers.”
“Oh, but she did think they were hers. I mean, she really thought they were hers. I didn’t contradict her since she could get me fired, but she told everyone they were her children, and everyone just let it be. She was mean, though. She beat those boys for no reason at all, not that she should have been beating them, to begin with. I don’t believe that is the way to discipline a child. The boys were afraid of her, and she taught then nothing. They can barely read, and write and I think that was due to the people around here helping them with words so they could read some simple books. I hate to say it, but those boys can’t run the Kingdom. They need help and training. Your Majesty, I hope you are going to stay here and run the Kingdom. I am worried that things are simply going to go down here.”
“Don’t worry Stella, I am not going anywhere soon. I will see my people through this, and hopefully, the royal twin will be able to take over for me eventually. I will stand by my people even if it means giving up my dreams of living a regular life.
“So glad to hear that your Majesty.” Stella got up and moved at a much happier pace after her talk with Jack ended.
The next to enter was the gate guard, John. Jack asked him if the Princess left the castle a lot. The guard started to laugh. “Are you kidding me? She left early in the morning with the twins and returned late at night, usually escorted by some bum. Certainly not the life for a child of any age. She didn’t care about them.”
“And my parents didn’t do anything about this behavior of their grandchildren? I can’t believe this.”
Joanne bursts into the room. “Jack, the doctor’s DNA results are here. Quick open them.”
Jack ripped open the envelope that was still sealed. The guard, who had escorted her upstairs with the sealed enveloped, retreated and closed the door. His boss remained as he was not asked to leave. Jack was silent. There was no smile.
“What’s going on, Jack,” Joanne asked, although afraid of the answer.
“Those boys are not our children either. This can’t be happening. I am glad the Princess wasn’t corrupting our boys, but where are our boys,” Jack was shouting now.
Joanne stared at him in disbelief. “What do you mean by not our boys, either?”
“They don’t match our DNA, either Joanne. Now I really don’t know what is going on. Mom and Dad didn’t even defend themselves. Is it possible they thought they were their grandson’s and that ditzy Princess sold them on the Black Market or something? She sure seemed to know where to get the first set to change, and I can see her wanting the money the boys would bring on the Black Market. Oh, God, please don’t let that be the answer. She could have also sold them as single children to disguise them. Though by now, there might be two boys walking around that look alike and are most likely blond like us. Hard to tell as babies, but teenagers really look alike. Now he had to search the Kingdom and the town and hope that no one had left the area and took one or both of them away. He should check the mainland as well. He would send out a royal proclamation requesting information.
Just then, Priscilla is escorted to the office. “Jack, where have you been all this time? I have been worried about you and Oliver. You just disappeared without a word.”
“Priscilla, you watch the news and read the newspapers I am sure you know damn well where I have been and what has been going on and now my biological children are also missing.”
“I am sorry to hear that, but when are you coming home to us?”
“I am not coming home to you. I want a divorce immediately. I have always been in love with Joanne, and we’re getting married as soon as the divorce is final by a Justice of the Peace. We will hold a proper wedding once we find all of our children and have them in one place. You, I believe, married me for the status of Princess only. Well, that isn’t happening.”
“What do you think that bitch wants,” and she points to Joanne?
“I want a man who is not afraid to stand up for what he wants and who will live with me in poverty because he loves me, although he certainly doesn’t have to. I love Jack, and always will. He is the father of my children, both biological and the two we were given by God to raise, and they are fine boys at that. Go away, Priscilla, and leave us be in our current grief.”
Jack requested a lawyer from town to come to the castle immediately after drawing up the divorce papers and to finalize the divorce as quickly as possible. He planned to marry Joanne as soon as possible. No more waiting for the woman of his dreams.
Now back to the proclamation to the return of his sons, the princes. He thought about the wording.
‘To the fine people of my country, the Kingdom of Bhatangary and our friends from the town and mainland, I beseech thee to come forward if you know of two boys who look alike. They most likely have blond hair and blue eyes, although that can’t be wholly established at this point. The boys would be about 16 years old. They may be living together with one family or living separately with two different families. These boys are the royal Princes, Prince Oliver Mason Wright and Prince John Jacob Wright, mine and Joanne Wright’s legal sons that were switched at birth by an unscrupulous person or persons unknown while at the hospital. We just discovered we have been raising someone else’s twin boys as our own. I plan to get to the bottom of this. I am offering a reward of USD 50,000 for the return of my two boys. Please, people, search your souls and do the right thing. If your twins went missing at that time, I also want information on that.
Signed Prince Jack Mason Wright, acting Prince of Bhatangary’
Once the proclamation was sent out, Jack sent everyone out of the office and began his search for all papers during the timeframe and then began the tedious task of looking through them for any helpful information. He came across the name Prince Richard Joseph Wright. He wasn’t familiar with this name. Richard was married to Princess Jane Susanna Wright Nee Lewis. Now, where did they fall on the family tree? Jack kept searching. Hours went by, and then the checkbook showed up. Jack looked at his father’s script. He began noticing a monthly fee of USD 50,000 that went on for at least 16 years to Richard.
Could this be a clue? Jack still had no idea who he was. He went to his father’s box of old family pictures. He found his father as a child, but there was something a little different about some of the photos. Sometimes he was wearing glasses. Then he came across a picture of him with another boy who looked just like him. Twins? Identical twins except one of them wore glasses. His father didn’t, so maybe that was Richard, although the one with glasses could now be wearing contact lenses.
Jack headed down to the jail. He had to talk to his father, the King. At least he hoped he was the King. Things were so complicated right now. Anything was possible.
“Sire? It has come to my attention that you have an identical twin and that he wore glasses. As I watched you here for several minutes, I noticed you squinting at the newspaper. Just who are you?”
“Jack, I am sorry for all the subterfuge. I usually wear contact lenses but didn’t get the chance to put them in before they arrested me. Like you, John never wanted to be a King, but I did. We both married, and John initially accepted the seat on the throne as the older brother, but it just wasn’t to his taste. I was born to the throne. We talked to our wives, and they both agreed to go on with the charade if that would make us happy. The thing is you are not my son, and the boys are not my grandchildren, and they are safe with their grandfather at my estate and have been since your father first got the crazy idea to kidnap them and raise them to be the future King. Like us, one is strong, and one is not. The oldest should go to the throne, but like us, the oldest is not suitable for the job. Even though John didn’t want to be the King and run the country, he had been taught everything so he could raise the boys correctly. That ditzy Princess was a simple nuisance, and I don’t know why I kept her on with all the stuff she pulled and is still pulling. I ignored her antics. I guess I should have paid more attention, but really the boys are safe. I will have my brother John send the boys over, and you can run the DNA tests on them. They will pass, you will see.”
“Why didn’t you tell me this earlier before I went through all this? I have caused quite a stir on my own, which could have been avoided, and poor Joanne was heartbroken when those boys weren’t ours and thought they might have been lost forever.
Jack left the jail and headed back to the castle. In all his worry about his sons, he had forgotten that it was the Christmas season. He stopped at the local church and watched a live play. An angel was releasing a dove of peace. Around the angel are lighted candles, pine cones, and a small wooden donkey.
Jack relaxed and believed that all would be well. It seemed his son just might be able to take over the throne once he turned 18. Jack would see him prepared. Although what to do about Oliver not wanting to be a prince either was a problem. Jack didn’t go about it the right way either and part of this mess was his fault. He loved Joanne and his sons, all four of them. He would do his duty and then go on with his life as a regular man. He just didn’t feel like he was supposed to be the King.
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.