Prompt: August 25th, 2020

You check the time. Perfect. As intended, you’ve arrived fashionably late.

The whispers greet my ears as I stroll into the lecture hall. I’d timed it perfectly, making the perfect statement. If they were going to force me to be here, I’d be fashionably late to every class. As I strode down the stairs to the front row, I make eye contact with the professor.

“My deepest apologies, sir, I barely had time to prepare this morning.” I flash him a smile, full of mirth and dripping with sarcasm. His eyes drop to the sword at my side, following the eclectic baldric along my chest and shoulders.

“You certainly look prepared, soldier. You needn’t be so heavily armed in my classroom. I know you’re a slight boy, but no one is going to attack you here.” Condescension oozes from every word, his certainty in my inferiority disgustingly solid. Behind me, I hear Manson groan and the General sigh, deeply put upon.

“Here we go,” Manson breathes to his commander as I raise my hands to the hood of my cloak. My curls are close cropped, short enough to fool those behind me. The front row and the instructor are, however, anything story.

“You’re a woman.”

“And you are a man.”

“Why are you in full get-up?”

“Get up? You’re a professor! Surely you can identify Royal Attire Grade Three.” There’s a sound behind me that is almost certainly Manson banging his head into the wall. My grin stretches wider and the General cusses a blue streak, plopping down in the nearest chair.

“Royal . . . Attire?” He gapes, the blood leeching out of his face.

“Mmhmm, I’m Minnie Buldrow, the black sheep of the royal family. I would’ve thought you’d check your student roster.”

“You’re the criminal.”

“Why do you think these buffoons are here?”

Published by K. E. Diller

Young adult attempting to do a million things at once, including write books and follow my dreams.

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