A Prince: Part 2
Earlier this week, I finally had to admit that my dearest office chair – the ergonomic kneeling chair where I plunk my butt while writing – had compressed to the point where I was basically perched on the frame. The foam had died after six years of constant use (including most of my second pregnancy) and I couldn't pretend it was comfortable anymore. I used a regular chair for a day so I could remember why I'd switched to using a kneeling chair – my back painfully reminded me – and we luckily found a replacement the same day. Used, and not the same style, but still so much better than 'sitting'. My hubby then watched a couple of YouTube videos for reupholstering furniture, bought new foam, and this morning rebuilt my dear chair. I now have two chairs (the replacement can be folded for storage) and we know where to get new foam for the next time. *Happy* :D
Hope you have a good weekend!
2. Out of the Cauldron...
What was there at first appeared to be a girl. As she drifted closer it soon became apparent that she was a very small woman. Smooth and fragile featured, her fine boned height barely reached the distance of his feet to his waist. Her hair and clothing looked white, but as the details settled into place in his mind he could see hints of color. The air behind her shimmered and danced as she hovered in front of him.
It took a couple of blinks, but he finally realized that the shifting air behind her was light reflecting off her nearly transparent wings. Her tiny hands were held clasped to her mouth, and her wide, upward sloping eyes were full of laughter. She touched down within arm’s reach of him, her wings folding out of sight behind her.
"I shouldn't be laughing," she dropped her hands to reveal a sweet smile. "But you look just as shocked friend Drevin said you would."
Aston gaped at the tiny woman, feeling as shocked as she’d been told he would look that his highly confidential, High Prince brother would send out a public notice for him to be looked for. "Friend Drevin?" he finally managed to ask.
She giggled again, nodding. "Yes. He said you would be tired and worn." Her smile widened further at the corners of her bow-shaped mouth around her small, pointed teeth. "Friend Drevin also said that you 'would be likely to be wounded'."
Aston stiffened at the tone in the little woman's voice. Her words weren’t at all something that Drevin would say, but she suddenly sounded like Drevin used to when scolding for troublesome. Usually that tone was followed by Aston doing something clumsy and self-injuring, and then the tone would shift to an angry. And always – always – Drevin would have been right.
Through Aston’s eyes, Drevin was well on his way to becoming the exceptional King he’d been raised to grow into. Just like their father, Drevin was wiser than his years, smarter than he looked, and more dangerous than he posed. That was why he had been sent to lead the kingdom clear of the war that their ally was losing. The threat to their island was real as they reached the end of their father's reign. Aston, however, was often clumsy and didn’t really understand the situations he was in until he was in trouble. Like right now. He was sitting wounded in an unknown forest with nothing but the clothes on his back, the knife in his boot, and the magical stones in his pocket. He had a strong suspicion of having proved capable of living up to his established place as the family screw-up rather well.
The woman chimed out a sweet laugh. "Friend Drevin did not say your face would make so funny a look as it just did!" With that, she doubled over laughing. Aston rolled around a few choice words in his head for the next time that he and 'friend Drevin' met. (Not that he would say them out loud, but he would definitely be thinking them.)
She started speaking again as soon as she could. The woman, named Murial he soon learned, called herself a Forest Fairy. She took his hand and, pulling him to his feet, began leading him through the trees as she happily babbled about this and that. He half listened to her. She seemed content to do the talking, so he remained content to mostly ignore her as he followed where she led.
Not for the first time, Aston wondered at his exceptional lack of wisdom in wanting to test the stones. Knowing Drevin, Aston had few doubts that the Mages were now under orders to find him and bring him home as quickly as possible because Drevin was always the one getting Aston out of trouble. Drevin may be the perfect King-in-training and an older brother, but he still always tried to help Aston not to be such a... well, failure. So Drevin would be looking for him, and probably have half the army involved by now. Aston hoped, anyway.
As long as nothing during the past weeks had happened to him while he was leading the army. Into a war. Far away from home.
The forest was slowly darkening as Aston and Murial walked on for seemingly endless hours. Aston felt his body growing wearier as they walked. The slice from the dragon's talon, starting at his left shoulder and crossing to his right hip, was a constant burning pain filling his back with every movement of his body. Soon he stopped paying attention to his little companion entirely, preferring simply to focus on getting one foot continuously in front of the other as he followed her promises of food and shelter.
Leave a Reply.
A weekly blog updating on Fridays with quick personal blurbs about me, as in what's going on during my life as an Author and mom, and that doles out my short stories and novellas in bite-sized parts for everyone to read for free!