Part 27

By the Light of the Moons…

 

The twin moons hung heavy over the palace towers, as though silently watching events unfolding therein…

…In the barracks, those guards off duty mostly slumbered in an exhausted sleep, a handful gambled by flame light awaiting news from their comrades regarding the rumpus reported from the ball room. Kane sat alone on his bunk, knees pulled up to his chin, starring absently ahead at a cracked brick in the wall. He couldn’t sleep and even though he felt bitterly cold, he made no move to warm himself. His stone was gone and although initially he thought it had slipped out of his pocket in the maze, a single memory kept replaying in his mind. Somehow he had pushed the crystal into the Princess, it was in his hand, he remembered that clearly, he had it in his hand while they were together. Had it in his hand, warm, red, pulsing, humming… It enhanced the intensity of their experience, Kane recalled placing the crystal over her heart, but could not logically consider a reason why he would do such a thing. He remembered it was hot in his hand… Kane swore under his breath, he could not recall clearly what had happened to his stone… He felt frustrated and horny, for other such recent memories were delicious to savour and yet there was still the lingering dread of having to face General Fendor after being caught in such a compromising position… He sighed, no wonder he couldn’t sleep!

***

General Fendor was able to return Princess Alleia to her quarters and her snoring husband without any issue. The moons must have blessed their passage and any carefully planned excuses were redundant. Staff and guards were carefully distributing sleeping party guests to their assigned quarters, or finding quarters  for those which required them. Some awoke sluggish and confused, but most (including the King) were sleeping soundly. Apart from a few bumps and bruises and ruined garments, everyone had escaped any injury and once all were resting comfortably the army of staff began a swift and efficient clean up operation with perfection. By dawn light no display of any disturbance would be evident and a superb breakfast feast would calm any rattled nerves or sore heads. At least that was the hope.

***

The Queen waited until all the staff had left the ball room and returned alone. The Phoenix called upon seeing her, slipper footed, she glided across the freshly polished dance floor to her feathered companion and lovingly stroked his long slender neck, fingers pausing against an ugly heavy collar the King had employed to chain the creature to his cage.

“I hate it, it’s horrible.” She said softly as the magnificent bird nudged her shoulder with a squawk, bumping her arm, focused upon the clear blue crystal, still perched upon it’s pedestal, still softly glowing with a pale blue light, glittering reflections upon the highly varnished table. The Queen, following the gaze of the magical bird, allowed her eyes to linger upon her husbands most treasured trophy. “I wonder what caused it to flare so?” She pondered, inching over to the stone, hand hesitating over it, she could feel the cool heat and resisted the urge to grasp it tightly and hold it to her chest, even though her instinct near demanded the action. She closed her eyes, an image of a red stone, pressed against pale flesh flashed into her mind. The Queen glanced up at the Phoenix…

“Rebirth?” She mused in a soft whisper…

 

Anne Harrison 08.02.17

 

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