Part 25

Those Awake

As the chaos dulled into a peaceful silence, the sapphire glow pulsed and hummed with a shimmering radiance than showered upon the feasting guests rendering each one harmlessly into a deep natural sleep where they stood, sat or danced, they fell and snoozed.

Hera stood unaffected by the magical glow, she blinked startled, witnessing each person tumble and doze. Turning in a slow lazy circle she noticed the caged animals sink into slumber. Only the proud noble Phoenix stood awake on his perch. The Prince lightly touched Hera’s arm, causing her to near leap from her skin…

“You’re awake?” He blinked against the fading light.

“So are you…”

Off in the distance they could hear the thunder of boots as the palace guards approached the scene swiftly.

“How curious…” The Queen mused, stepping down from the throne dais, lightly tip-toeing over fallen celebrants towards Hera and her son. The noise of the heavily armed troops edged closer to the hall.

“I believe we should fake a faint…” The Queen suggested, though her expression indicated a questioning that would demand answers once all the chaos had dissipated.

They fell, eyes closed, pretending… waiting…

As a score of fierce soldiers poured into the banqueting hall… Only the Phoenix stood proud screeching against his confinement, causing the troops to flinch as they searched the room for any danger…

Anne Harrison 06.02.17

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