Part 20

Ooh how the other half live…

… If the shock of the poverty within the slums and tumble down cottages within the city wasn’t enough to distress Hera, then the banquet that awaited the Kings elite men – Not the common soldiers – just those dressed up hogs at the top of the food chain, would turn her stomach.

Before them, generous golden platters were presented heavily laden with various exotic dishes, meats and fishes, game birds, wild boar a whole venison, fresh rabbit and peacock and swan. Fruits and cakes were brought in next and the wine never ceased to flow. There was far too much food for the handful of men around the table, yet they tore into the feast like rabid dogs. Hera picked, feeling sick, sat by the side of her fiance listening to the lies and bull shit which danced on greedy tongues, spreading wild exaggeration about recent events. Painting the prince Regent to be the hero he clearly was not.

The Prince himself sat to the left of his mother in reigned silence, occasionally he glanced over to Hera, sharing her distaste for the gossip, hardly touching his food. A bumbling fool dressed up to be a hero, mended by a witches magic, his mind healed and opened to the falsehood of his life. His sisters danced, entertaining their noble husbands who had traveled far for this celebration. The re-capture of the stone of prophecy signified victory for these foul heaving mass of greed and vulgar depravity… Hera feared for the people living in filth far below these high towers.

A display of captured creatures following the dancing Princesses as entertainment, for the rich to poke and scoff at. Rare beasts, wild beauties, exotic magical animals, paraded in gilded cages, new exhibits for the Kings personal zoo…

Among them a Phoenix, cramped in glittering jewels, no room to spread his rainbow wings, his beak tied up with a chain, eyes dead, hollow, haunted. Hera gasped, her disgust masked as awe, she stepped forth approaching the cage desiring nothing more than to free the magnificent bird, but was halted by it’s stern glare. The Phoenix was a creature of magic, he would sense and see beyond the illusion which dressed Hera, he would see her pure thoughts, her wild heart. He understood any action would cause them both unnecessary conflict and told her this by his thoughts, clear as crystal captured sunlight, his voice reached out to the disguised witch and promised action at the right point in time. Not before…

Hera nodded to herself and glanced over to the Prince in sudden alarm, he was altered by magic, would he have heard the silent conversation?

The Prince just smiled…


Anne Harrison 25.01.17


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