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  • Writer's pictureMarilyn Velez

Count Millicent hovers over Ernoldus

The end of the month arrived with much laughter and drink in The House of Elaple, as the garden was adorned with flowers and ribbons for the long-awaited Knotting Feast, but inside, a dispirited Ernoldus grew gloom as Count Millicent stood beside him in delight.


“Must you hover over me like a shadow, or is it to amuse yourself with my torment?” Ernoldus sighed, parting the drapes as he peered out the window and toward the garden.

“Glad to see you’re in such high spirits.”

“The only high spirit I desire is the one in that jug.” With a deep sigh of despair, Ernoldus glanced at the guests when seeing someone he recognized. Drawing the drapes shut, he placed his back against the wall, sneaking a peek from behind the curtains as he moved back and forth, hiding between the corners. “Is… is that… no… tell me you didn’t?”

“Oh, yes, the beautiful Annabelle LeFranc, in the flesh.”

“Beautiful? A swine covered in sludge looks better than that… that thing. I can’t believe father invited her. We both know her brows touch to no end and that… that thing on her lip. The gods sure had no mercy on her. If I didn’t know better, I’d say she was birthed by trolls.”

“Annabelle LeFranc is the third richest maiden in the feast. Her dowry alone could supply this kingdom with enough gold to house one of the biggest armies.”

“Oh, how I miss my little crumpet.” Ernoldus leaned against the wall.

“Your little crumpet will no longer be tending to you. I made sure of that.”

“What? What are you talking about?”

“I’ve removed her from the premises.”

“You’ve no right to remove my girls.”

“My job is to ensure everything runs smooth. Your little crumpet, as you call her, was pestering where she shouldn’t have been.”

“This, for sure, has got to be the worst day of my life. The gods are laughing at me, Millicent, the gods are laughing at me.”

“I suppose there are worse things than bearing heirs that resemble trolls,” said Count Millicent.

“I need a drink.” 

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