So this is what came out of this long writing day. I had this picture of a knight with long white hair in my head, this isn’t him, maybe a version of him. I hope you enjoy this weeks story. Happy Wednesday.
Final update, it's Thursday (Happy Thursday) and finally I’ve gotten this posted. Internet broke last night, works now, please read and enjoy.
Word Count: 1060
Writing: 50 minutes
Editing: 23 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 13 minutes
It wasn’t the world he’d planned to help shape, far from it. The young man walked down the hall, his robes dragging heavily behind, lifting the cold breath the lay just on top of the stone floor up to his unseen ankles. Everything still seemed unreal. This had all just been an idea around the campfire only a few fortnights ago, now he was escorted down the halls of castle Ozat by strangers. His friends, Tully, Semaj, Alan, Gregory, Loneon, all gone; buried in the sea of battle awaiting their disintegration by time. King Peeril smirked as the faces illuminated in his mind and he went back to that icy winter night when they were nothing more than rebellious boys.
“All I’m sayin’ is if someone wanted to change things the people are here and ready, they just need a leader. Someone to show them where to place their steel,” said Tully.
“Nobody cares to fight Tull, they only want to claim what food and land they can, and get on with their lives. Praying for a swift death and something better for their children.” Gregory never wanted to fight, always trying to avoid the conflict no matter what the cost.
“Aye, you’re right, the both of you,” Peeril chimed in over the crackle of the fire. He was always the leader of the group, since they were children. Never had he asked to be, or told anyone he was, he just naturally assumed the position. When he spoke it was with a confident calmness that made one instantly trust whatever thoughts were released. When the time came it was only natural that he would become King as well.
“If someone showed them the way, like sheep they’d follow him. And so long as they do nothing but pray, there won’t ever be that better life for their children.” The shadow of the dancing fire on his face, and the heat of his breath rhythmically appearing below his nostrils made Peeril look like a dragon, as he stared thoughtfully into the flames. Nothing but the steady crackle of the searing wood could be heard for some time, and when the man spoke again, the light had dimmed.
“My friends, brothers,” such passion on his words, one could do nothing but love him. “I have an idea. This is something different than the games we played as children, or even the great bread heist,” the men smirked at the inside joke remembering when they’d robbed the King’s wagon full of bread and distributing it around the countryside to the hungry children. To this day, they claim it as their greatest success. “Do you trust me?” The men all nodded silently and Tull added.
“With our lives,” Peeril smiled and nodded meeting his friend’s eyes.
“I think it’s time, we took back the kingdom for the men of the country.”
They followed him all the way, each one right up to their dying breath. Now as he walked down the great hall he wondered for what? Of course he’d changed things at first, but now was he not just a different version of the King he’d overthrown? Were there not still poor, starving people which he’d promised to feed on every corner? It seemed to him that the job of the King came with very little free will. An ancient institution, created by heartless men in order to keep the downtrodden as close to the ground as possible, no matter who wore the crown.
“Sire,” King Peeril was drawn from his thoughts. He looked at the guard who said his name and took the sword that was being held out for him. The metal of the sword was light, but the hundreds, maybe thousands, of lives whose soul it judged, made it heavy as a boulder in his hand. In front of the men, the large doors that led to the throne room swung open with a loud creak, that shattered the silent air like thunder.
The room was full to the walls with the people of his city. On one side the rebels stood together with many different banners, faces, hair colors, skin colors; some were refugees of the war, others just hungry citizens. The other side of the room held his people, the ones who’d come with him in the beginning. Many had sustained injuries or lost loved ones, thus they were rewarded with the lavish life they’d always dreamt of.
King Peeril ascended the steps of the platform that sat in the middle of the room. He surveyed the crowd around him and felt lost standing above them all. This was not the peaceful and wholesome room he’d imagined that night around the fire. It seemed no matter who you pleased someone would always be equally as displeased. It made Peeril feel as if no choice really mattered at all. Or maybe that’s just what he told himself to deal with situations like this.
A loud bang came from behind him and chains rattled echoing loudly off every wall. A young man, no more than fifteen, came into sight and the crowd of his people began to boo, while the rebels hissed at them and the King. The boy was led to a pedestal in the center of the platform. Peeril didn’t look at the dirty boy with the matted hair, he simply stared out into the crowd, trying to remember why this needed to be done, trying to remember the man who had a big idea next that fire.
“By order of the King of Ozat, this boy has been sentenced to death for crimes against the crown.” The words read by the guard could barely be heard over the sounds of the angry crowd.
It was time.
King Peeril turned and raised his sword over the head of the boy as he was held down. The child didn’t move, nor did he cry, but right before the sword could make its way to his neck he managed to turn his head.
“I was just hungry,” the words were almost lost in the gush of blood that erupted as the sword easily moved through his neck. King Peeril pulled the blade free and wiped it clean staring into the basket that now held the head, and all he could see was his own face staring back.