Grandmama

by joetwo

“Go ahead girl! Take it!”

I looked at the ornate cup and the wizened old hand that held it. It terrified me.

To the outside my grandmama was beloved, always showing to the public the grace and dignity of the grieving widow and devoted mother to those who were monarchs in everything but name. Behind closed doors however, she was fully in charge. Her reach could extend across the world. She ruled with an iron fist, no one ever stood a chance against her. Father knew full well, his rebellious thoughts quickly tempered by the knowledge he had an older brother, smarter, headstrong, who had long since been buried. She didn’t just rule the state, she was the state.

I stared at the wine inside the cup. Grandmama’s mouth was all smiles while her eyes… expected something. I imagined what kind of horrible poision was in my drink.

‘If Grandmama wanted me gone,’ I thought, ‘I’d be dead already.’ The thought was reassuring, in a strange way and I drank deeply.

Grandmama’s smile was a big as ever. She beckoned me over “You drank that fast. But no matter!”

I moved to hand back the cup when a boney hand grabbed my wrist and dragged me down. I moved to struggle but a glare paralyzed me. She whispered with a voice as removed from her normal persona as a tiger from a kitten.

“This is my home!” She hissed “If a mouse squeaks I hear it. When I saw your hesitation with the wine, I knew.” I was petrified.

The grip relaxed. Grandmama’s voice lightened. “Still! You drank the wine. That’s interesting. You may still know how this game is played.” her eyes kept me stone-still. “You’re the daughter of a ruler. Many seek your hand. Who succeeds will depend on you.” She sat back on, her arm dismissed me. “I’m told you’re clever. I have yet to decide if you’re too clever.

“Leave me now granddaughter; I may send for you again.”

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Written for Trifecta Week ninety-three

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