TITLE: The Social Season
GENRE: Adult Speculative Fiction
I was pacing in my father’s office, searching for an escape route from this horrid conversation. He’d doubtless spent many hours crafting this particular speech. It had been lingering at the edge of our meetings for months now. My hands clenched into fists.
The wood floor creaked as I made another turn. I tuned it out, focusing instead on my father’s words.
“Son, it’s time for you to choose. I’m not saying it has to be this season. I’ll give you…let’s say…three seasons. But you will attend each one until you’ve claimed a mate. Do you understand?”
He was just barely speaking, his voice a bit louder than a whisper. He didn’t need to yell. I’d spent enough time with him to know when to argue. But I’d no interest in a wife; I didn’t need a woman following me around, groveling at my feet.
“Father.” I planted my feet. He was reclining in his chair, staring up at me expectantly. He looked perfectly calm.
I swallowed heavily, trying to find a solid argument. “I’m only twenty-five. I’ve been training under you for five years now. I shadowed you for a long time before that. Don’t you think I should be able to relax for just a bit before I take on a wife? And if I’m going to be the next Lord of Dolfian, do you really think I should be distracted? Why don’t I go through a season looking for a servant or a mistr-”