Stories ]

The Royal Family of Al Medina

The royal family of Al Medina in private.

As he was Leader of the Free World, opportunities for pure family-only fun were limited, so they occasionally hired the Arts Centre as a private venue and simply jammed.

Princess Sara was tired of the "suitable" boyfriends her mother kept introducing her to, while from what he said, her father intended to marry her off to a prince of some unspecified foreign country. She wanted independence from her family. She had known from the day of his birth that her little brother was going to inherit her father's title, rather than she, and she wanted to make her own way - anyway, she had become fond of Elliott Childress, a clerk at the Consignment Store, one of the few places she was allowed to go without a chaperone or her mother: his blonde hair and fair skin pleased her.

After sneaking out for dates became too complicated, she bought a little apartment in the Old City, and asked him to move in with her. Of course this was not acceptable to her parents. "Think about what the media will say when they find out!" her desperate mother pleaded.

"Mother! We are going to get married. I've a lovely engagement ring! But it took all our savings."

"Oh, that's a relief at least. His intentions are honourable. But really this isn't acceptable. A Royal family is constantly in the public eye. Now if you would come straight back home, we can probably conceal this..."

"No!" it was strange how empowering it was to say NO to her mother. "You are concealing NOTHING! I'm going to marry Elliott! And be a Director. I've got a job at the Studios, Mother, and it's only a matter of time."

"Then you will have no share of the family's money! Whoever heard of a member of a Royal Family having a career in Show Business?" And her mother hung up.

So Sara and Elliott lived blissfully on grilled cheese sandwiches and love, until finally, driven by unpaid bills, she phoned her father.

"Well, my dear, the main thing is for you to be happy. That's all I've ever wanted for you. Your mother will calm down. Meanwhile, tell me about Elliott. In face, let's do better than that. Will you bring him to meet us? You know, I really do know what will calm your mother down. I think she would be delighted if you would agree to get married here, at the palace. She ADORES hosting big parties, when she can swan around and remind everybody she is Queen."

The Palace at dawn.

Mom was already up and organising the wedding.

"What do you mean, you can't do the catering till next week? The wedding is today!"

Ready for her big day. I hope the swords on the wall behind her are not omens.

"Blast the catering company. I know I've forgotten something."

To unlock the gate!

"Tita will be over later, when her shift finishes. And I do like your daughter. She takes after you, she's so pretty, and clever too. She'll do well as a director, telling everyone what to do and where to go..."

"Huh. Looks? She's not a patch on me. Now when I was her age, I was quite the belle of the ball. And now she wants a Career? She's a member of the Royal Family! How can she have a career?"

Oops. She heard. Vidcund turned away to hide a smile.


Vidcund had met ladies like the Queen before. "It's her day. Let her enjoy it. You know it's not dignified to have a family row in front of guests."

"There's no row really. She's moved out, and this is the modern world, even though this is what you'd call a backwards little kingdom. I'm sorry for my outburst."

The children arrived back from school. Here are Tita Third and Prince Moulay.

"Your big sister's getting married today? I hope my big brother NEVER gets married. 'Cos then there will be lots of baybees, and poop and mess. Yuck! I was never a baby. I was a clone! I never did poop my pants!"

Sanjib and Sara got on very well.

Scheherezade, keeping an eye on things. Never in any doubt as to who was in charge here, she was happy to allow the Queen and the rest of the family to do all the running around. So long as she got her dues, homage from all and the odd slice of roast turkey.

Princess Sara sneaking off to find the one man she knew wouldn't refuse her.

The always-helpful Vidcund!

"I've always wanted to try this!"

And explaining oh so delicately what exactly she liked best about Elliott.

A few minutes later, on the front table, Elliott himself, cautiously encouraging peace between his mother-in-law and his bride. King Hassan is sharing the table behind with his very studious son and Tita Third sits nearby.

"Aren't you hungry, son?"

"Mom's rules, Dad. I have to finish this, then I'll be able to play."

"So I have a question! What's it like being a king? And why are you wearing that so silly hat instead of your crown?"

The crowns, both the King's and the Queen's, had special display cases.

"That's it? I thought it would be prettier! And bigger! Needs more jewels! You should ask my Daddy, he's got lots of jewels."

Ilias was an elder statesman who had always adored the Queen, and she in turn knew it full well and used him to get whatever political advantage she needed.

"I think in his next speech he should reassure the people what a fine King his son will be. Leave Sara out of it, she's made her choice, wants a life of her own. Actually, a little publicity wouldn't be bad for her - she wants to be a Director. Let's use that, and her Celebrity status won't hurt either."

Enough snoozing for Scheherezade.

Somebody's coming!

It was Tita Curious-Lights, back from a very long shift. "Ah! My favourite Astronaut!" exlaimed King Hassan, slightly distracted by his daughter and her overly romantic bridegroom.

"Oh, I must greet the mistress of the house."

Tita knew where to pay homage.

"I love your new bathing room."

Much, much later, the last guests to leave were the Curious-Lights.

Later. "Well, it's over. A very good party, my dear. One of your best."

"Not my best, but weddings are always tricky. But we were right to restrict the guest list. Sara was happier that way. She hates being a public spectacle, as she calls it."

"Joys of being a Royal, my dear."


The Royal family came with the savegame of Al Medina.



Tita and Sara really didn't get on well at first. I don't know what Tita said to her but Sara was ready for a fight.