Part 18

*Of Crystals and Kings*


He paced, alone across cold marble tiles, his steps echoed throughout the rafters of the tall tower. Occasionally he would approach the narrow diamond leaded glass window to watch the steady journey of the caravan. His anticipation was heavily laced with anxiety, excitement and apprehension. His mind racing with a thousand possible outcomes, what to say? What to do? How to resolve and problems which might arise… All of which were non-existent beyond his over active thoughts. Yet he felt obliged to play out every circumstance in his mind, so he could be mentally prepared for any possible situation.

A long heavy sigh escaped his lips as he turned away from the window once again to resume his pacing. A subtle cough drew attention from his swirling mind to the fact that he was no longer alone. His wife, the Queen, stepped forth to stand before him, absently straightening the cravat of his uniform without looking up to face him. “You are never usually nervous My Lord.” She spoke softly, yet it felt as though her very words resonated around the tower like a church bell toll. It grated upon his resolve, she was of course, correct. “Nervous to see our son?” Said as a question, yet this was another correct observation, for the King and Prince had parted upon ill terms and now the arrogant youth returned with the Crystal of Legend, potentially successfully ending the lingering war. Triumph was so closely in grasp and still the King feared his bumbling child would ruin this victory. He simply nodded his accord.

The Queen looked up from under feather tinted lashes and perched on tip toe to kiss the end of his nose, her smile warm and the action resulted in a wide grin from the nervous King. She was far younger than him, her youth still evident in her actions, her graceful manners and carefree flow. She was loved by her Lord and by the people he reigned, yet she had only borne one son from six children. Their daughters, as hansom as their mother, as regal as their father were scattered throughout surrounding lands, sealing many treaties and contracts with neighboring Lords through marriage.

The Prince was the youngest child, the sole male and the most difficult to raise. His arrogance was insufferable, so he was sent off into the wilds, flanked by a loyal General and wise Priest on an impossible mission to seek the fabled Crystal, stolen years ago, the story, near a legend now, yet it was this theft which had triggered the war. The King hardly anticipated the Princes success, news of which had reached him ahead of the returning caravan.

“Be a Father first, My Lord, then King.” His Queen spoke with a soft smile and once again he simply nodded his accord…


Anne Harrison 10.01.17


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