Part 29

The Fate of Hope 

The King had summoned his closest aides to his private drawing room, General Fendor,  his Priest, his Queen and a personal Shaman, a soothsayer he kept as some of novelty. Yet at times that caused unease and tickled his superstitious nerve, he summoned the native for council. 

Events from the previous night were foggy to say the least,  no one had any clear recollection as to what happened… The mass black out was initially feared to be poisoning, a terrorist attack or assassination attempt gone wrong. Though careful investigation ruled out this fear, still guard patrols were increased and security tightened. 

The King himself had awoken with an unexplained phobia of the crystal he had sought for so many long years of war. Countless had died in pursuit of the gem and now he could not bring himself to touch the stone,  nor gaze upon it too long.  Developing an irrational concept that it was trying to suck his soul straight through his eyes… 

Some of this neurosis could be explained by the raging hangover that hammered in his skull,  everything tasted vile and his stomach complained…  Indeed with the amount of sore heads among the guests,  the mass fainting was blamed upon a bad batch of wine and undoubtedly some innocent brewer would take the blame… 

“I believe the stone to be evil.” He proclaimed,  shielding his eyes from the glittery light.  

“I want it gone!”

The creepy Shaman rattled as he hobbled around the room, chanting foreign incantations, evoking spirits of the dead for answers… It was all a display, gibberish,  a side show act that The Queen saw through it effortlessly, yet her husband was wrapped up in paranoia, even her council would not cut through his stubbornness. 

The Shaman finished in a flurry of jangling bones and a cry that pierced through hangovers… He let himself dangle in an immobile disjointed position, more drama, then, for added effect, tossed his head back and spoke with a deeper voice… 

“The gem is dirty, it’s tainted, no good,  rotten!”  He screeched arching forwards… 

“I knew it!”  The King hissed 

Once again The Shaman convulsed and altered his voice… “A sour well must be sought, rancid return to rancid… The crystal must be buried deep in a stagnant well,  the well filled and bolted…  Only then will you have peace!”  

The Queen literally bit her tongue, furious at the fake prophecy, seething with disgust at the showmans ridiculous act… But her husband drank it in without question…  

“Let this be done,  at once.”  He demanded.  his Queen felt her heart sank as his order was resounded, the quest for a deep sour well was undertaken instantly. 
Anne Harrison 13.02.17 


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