“Languid in Rose” by Frances Silversmith
(Originally published in Fantasy for Good.)
Lilia I, Queen of Roses, reluctantly opened her eyes to yet another perfect day, courtesy of the Enchantment. The briar rose outside her windows threw moving shadows on the salmon-colored material curtains of her four-poster bed. What a disgustingly lovely sight.
Lilia forced her heavy limbs to a sitting position. Instantly, her maid appeared with a cup of hot chocolate — as she did every morning. When she was younger, Lilia had often tried to trick the Enchantment, getting up in the middle of the night, or staying prone in bed until long past her usual hour — to no avail; the maid always appeared on time.
Lilia sipped the cocoa, wishing that she could decline the too-sweet drink. But Queen Rose I, Lilia’s great-great-grandmother and the Great Benefactress of the kingdom, had decreed that the queen should have a cup of hot chocolate upon awaking. And so the queen did.
Queen Rose I had made a Great Sacrifice a hundred years ago when she cast the Enchantment to protect the kingdom and give its citizens peace and prosperity. Disobeying the Great Benefactress’ commands could not be risked, because nobody alive knew which of those commands were vital for the protective spell’s stability.
Frances Silversmith writes computer software for a living and science fiction and fantasy stories for fun. She lives in a small town in Germany with her husband, six guinea pigs, and two Icelandic horses. Please visit her website at francessilversmith.com.
About the Narrator:
Deanna Sanchez is a voiceover artist and actress who has performed professionally for 14 years. She has voiced various commercials, industrials, and characters, and specializes in the “sexy voice” of powerful female roles. An avid fan of science fiction since her grandfather gave her a copy of Heinlein’s Tunnel in the Sky when she was 9, she feels greatly privileged to help bring this story to life. While pursuing a voice talent and acting career, Deanna also consults in Geographical Information Systems and develops custom mapping applications for real estate and other industries. Her background in IT management does not prevent her from owning multiple old computers, some with Windows 98 still running. Three-dimensional visualization of spatial data is a favorite pastime, and she has spent many hours translating real-Earth elevation data into unique 3-D worlds. Deanna’s voice over demo can be heard at the Lambert Studios website, an outstanding full service recording studio.