Palace for Peace

Taking a deep breath, the queen steadied herself against the oaken door. She’d made a promise to herself, to never enter this particular room angry; it was her private, secret chambers, the one that Harold didn’t know about — her sanctuary. She loved her husband, but if he got involved in one more bathroom renovation…

She took another deep breath to counter the sudden spike in her blood pressure. It had been weeks since she’d found the time to relax by herself and she wasn’t going to let anything ruin it. 

With a gentle smile, she swung open the door.

‘Hi honey!’ Harold smiled at her, looking up from the block of timber he was sawing.

‘H-Harold?’ she stammered, physically unable to comprehend what was happening.

‘I didn’t think you knew about this place,’ he smiled at her. ‘I found it a few weeks ago when I was looking at the plans for the castle, and nobody could tell me what it was for!’

The queen’s mouth slowly opened as she glanced around the half-renovated room.

‘Now, I know how much you hate when I get in the renovation spirit,’ he chuckled, ‘so I’ve been coming here, getting that bath tub conversion urge out of my system.’

He fell quiet, beaming as his eyes wandered around the room.

‘I guess you could say it’s become a bit of a sanctuary.’

The queen’s eye twitched so hard she was surprised her eyelashes didn’t fall out.

‘Plus, I just got an amazing quote for a bathtub remodel cost near Sydney, I’ve been dying to tell you about it for ages!’ he laughed. ‘I’m so happy that you’re here and I don’t have to hide it from you anymore!’

His face dropped as he looked at her and finally noticed her expression.

‘What? What could I have possibly done now?’

The queen wanted to yell. She wanted to cry. She wanted to get furious — but she’d made herself a promise.

So instead… she very softly closed the door.