How on earth, on the earth that is our precious Russian soil, did I ever end up here? Am I just a piece of beautiful meat? A beautiful piece of meat? Another saucy Stroganoff? Am I even beautiful? Is Stroganoff beautiful? I don’t know. I have forgotten! This wretched diet!
My companions, my competition in tandem are all so handsome. Demure! Gloriously elaborate. We are all a fine commodity of girls. Women? No, still girls. Dressed up like brittle Dresden dolls.
Oh, Alex. Is this how a great Tsar Bomba should choose a Tsaritsa? The woman who will give you heirs? Put on resplendent airs for you? Be someone worthy to be in your presence, your royal chamber?
Oh, Alex! Of all we women who stand in your Muscovite light, I have been duty-bound to contend for your touch, your favour, with my sister, Maria. Will there ever be a time when sisters of the soul can exist without envy, without competing for the desires of a man, of a God?
Oh, Alex, as if by some tragic star-driven coincidence, I have caught the jaundiced eye of Morosov. He is late in years, rickety, and perhaps less virile than I would ever want but he has your ear and we all know his wisdom is received well at Court. Will the scales balance towards, Maria? Will my sacrifice pay dividends?
Oh, Alex! Will you know the love shown by your Anna? Will you ever fully appreciate my misery?
This story is my humble contribution to this weeks Jane Dougherty Microfiction challenge #21: The choice. Jane offered two paintings this week and I chose to riff off this one by Grigory Sedov (1836-1886,) Tsar Alexis of Russia chooses his bride. 1882 Canvas, Oil.