Friday, August 10, 2012

Death By Marriage

Today's guest post is an excerpt from blogger and author Scott Bartlett's new novel Royal Flush. In this vignette, the Wisest King Alive is getting ready for his wedding ceremony. I think the same man presided over my nuptials.
The Wisest King Alive buttoned his tuxedo lethargically. His beard flowed absurdly over the front.

“Tuck it back like this,” Eliza suggested. She had been fussing with his facial hair for the past hour.

“Are we sure we want to do this?” he said. “I mean, is marriage really for us? What if we have kids? Imagine the jokes people will make. ‘Hey, look, there go the Wisest Kids Alive!’ And supposing we get a cat? The margin for ridicule is overwhelming.”

“These last minute worries are to be expected. Everybody has them before their wedding.”

The Wisest King Alive paused. “Then why don’t you have any?”

King Cedric entered the room. “Everyone is assembled in the Royal Square, oh Wisest King. Everything is prepared.” Strangely, he giggled. “We await only you and your bride. Er, aren’t the bride and groom supposed to be kept separate?”

“We couldn’t bear to be apart,” said Eliza. The Wisest King Alive shrugged uneasily.

“A good sign, I think,” said King Cedric, and began rubbing his hands together vigorously. The Wisest King Alive eyed him askance. He hadn’t expected Cedric to be so excited for him.

They made their way out of the castle and through the town streets. The Wisest King Alive felt like he was heading for the gallows.

“Who will be performing the wedding, King Cedric?” he asked, struggling to keep his voice level.

“The royal executioner.”

The Wisest King Alive felt sweat drip from his nose and into his beard.

The Royal Square was only half full. Most peasants opted to stay at home, and the few that were present raised a half-hearted cheer at the arrival of the bride and groom. King Cedric’s entourage was also there, in its entirety.

An aisle was cleared down the center of the Square. At its end stood Earl, wearing his black executioner’s hood.

“Is that really necessary?” the Wisest King Alive asked King Cedric. Eliza had already begun her walk up the aisle.

“He was nervous,” Cedric said. “He’s never done a wedding before. For him, the hood is like a security blanket.”

Finally it was the Wisest King Alive’s turn to walk. He began shuffling reluctantly toward the executioner, his many years weighing heavily on him. He didn’t feel very wise at all. He felt as ignorant as the basest commoner. The basest commoner’s dog.

And so it was almost a relief when the former King charged into the Square, accompanied by a horde of screaming, club-wielding savages.
Scott Bartlett has been writing fiction since he was fifteen. His recently released novel, Royal Flush, is a recipient of the H. R. (Bill) Percy Prize. Click here to buy the ebook ($3.99) or to order the print book ($12.99).


  1. I believe I got an email from this guy wanting me to be a part of his blog tour. Unfortunately, I accidentally deleted it.

    Scott, if you're reading this, I had every intention of hosting you on my blog! Shoot me an email and we can make arrangements.

  2. Hey Dan, awesome, thanks for getting in touch! I'll email you to iron out the details.

    Thank you, Joe, and hello Living in Kellie's World readers! If you're feeling up for a chat, I'd be happy to :)