The Sovereign

 In Boot Hill

Written by: Collette Cottinghaam


The road was long, rough and treacherous, at seven months pregnant, the bouncy carriage tossed her about.

She was Queen, but had no say. The King was frustrated by her frequent stops to relieve herself. If the stops were a nuance for him, imagine how grueling they were for her. As if relieving herself along the road at seven months pregnant was a fun, easy task.

The cold bit through her entire body. She was always cold, even in the carriage. She felt like she would never be warm again.

He insisted on this journey the minute he discovered she was with child. He wanted his son to be born in the new lands he had conquered. She was to give birth in the middle of the frigid winter, in a land full of enemies.

The stress filled every fiber of her body. He expected a son. If she could not provide a son he would send her to the gallows like the wives before her. She was replaceable. Was she traveling to her death sentence?

Deep in the interior of the former Kingdom of Estonia, her water broke.

The King was not happy. He wanted to push on. The baby was to be born in the former capital. Per her doctor’s orders, this was not to be. The doctor was taking a great risk. The King could take his head for this decision.

She trembled with fear. It was too early. How would a baby with an early birth, survive in the freezing cold. She vomited the contents of her stomach, she just wanted it all to stop.

She was taken to the Castle Benison. There in the middle of a snow storm, in a room with a warm fire, she gave birth to her first child. She snuggled and cried over her five pound baby boy. She knew if she did things right this boy could be her sovereign.

The King was thrilled and wanted to push on immediately. Thankfully her doctor forbid it at the cost of losing the new baby. The King was more understanding now. He didn’t want anything to happen to the boy.

She would stay behind with the baby and her step children. In the spring when she departed she would have two souvenirs a new bond with her step children and a healthy happy baby. She would survive.



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