Wrong Perceptions

Penelope looked exquisite in the pearly white dress she wore, a vision of purity and perfection. Philip almost gasped when she entered the church. She was an image of what a bride should be: poised, serene and happy. The smile on her face precluded any hidden doubt or sorrow about the situation. Everyone’s preconception of love and marriage were realized in this instant they watched Penelope walk down the aisle, holding onto her father’s arm.

Not once did her gaze look away from her promised, her groom who stood, handsome and perfect in his own way at the altar, watching her approach. But anyone who would have looked at the groom instead of the bride, might have a presentiment about the truth. Penelope might only be a lamb going to its sacrifice.

And if they’d looked upon Philip, sitting by his parents and glancing at the couple, they would have known that their perception of the couple’s perfection was unwarranted. But Philip knew the truth; he kept his peace because he’d foreseen what would happen. In fairness, no premonition or precognitive gift was necessary. Penelope never lied to him and she made her plans clear to him.

To everyone else, she was only a gentle young woman who was pliable and suggestible. It had taken almost no effort on her parents’ side to ensure she realized Lord Devon was the best match. Politically he was aligned with her family’s ideas and he also financed heavily her father’s industrial endeavours. Preternaturally calm, she was chosen by the man right away. Nobody would have guessed the passion burning inside the woman’s heart.

But Philip had seen the future: the gift that made him unsuited for her according to Society’s rules: a noblewoman and a seer. Unheard of in Thelon. He’d seen her perfect white dress marred with blood; her beautiful face distorted in a mask of anger and hatred. He’d done everything to prevent that from happening. He’d tried to convince her to flee with him. But she’d refused. She would marry the calculating pig her father wanted her to. But he wouldn’t touch her. Never. And she would ensure he didn’t.

“Lady Penelope Prudence de Santerre, will you swear to love Lord Devon, obey him…”
She interrupted. Philip looked up as a gasp of surprise ran through the crowd.
“I won’t. I will not be the slave of this man I despise.”
Devon slapped her.
“She doesn’t know what she says, continue my Lord priest.”
The priest seemed shocked.
“My Lord, the Lady refused you. She’s of sane mind and is able to make her own choices. I cannot continue this ceremony and force her into a wedlock she doesn’t want.”

Philip’s world drowned as he saw Devon pull out a knife from his pocket and stabbed Penelope in the chest. A flower of blood spread over her breast, as anger and hatred showed in Penelope’s face. While everyone ran, screaming, he pushed his way through them to approach her. But he couldn’t. And everything stopped.

“Lady Penelope Prudence de Santerre, will you swear to love Lord Devon, obey him…”
Philip moved before he truly understood what had happened. While people looked at him in surprise and Devon slapped Penelope. Before the priest finished the sentence Philip had already heard, he grabbed Penelope’s hand and pulled her away.
“He has a knife. Run.”
The weapon flashed in Devon’s hand, but Penelope was already safe behind him. Philip stepped back, protecting her. It was the priest who called the temple’s guards and in moments the man was in shackles.
“A weapon at a wedding Lord Devon. How dare you?”
The look the man threw them was vicious.
“I expected a trick. She’s a whore. Not even a virgin. And he’s a seer.”

Penelope stood straight.
“Where I choose to bestow my love is my prerogative Lord Devon. And though you’re wrong in one of your assumptions, you aren’t in the other. I’m entitled to the white, although you would have spoiled it.”
“My Lord priest,” Philip asked softly. “Would you marry us presently?”


In response to Linda G Hill’s stream of consciousness prompt “p” and to the Daily Post writing prompt for today January 15th Exquisite


5 Comments Add yours

  1. AprilEsutton says:

    Can the seer see his own future?


    1. I don’t know… that’s the thing with streams of consciousness it doesn’t yield all the story’s secrets 😉 .

      Liked by 1 person

  2. True George says:

    I thought she got stabbed in the chest


    1. A premonition that didn’t happen 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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