Anticipation in the AirMature

Prince Stephen

I awoke with a start, trouble and unease clouding my usual quick ability to assess my surroundings. The wall behind me was a rough wood, hay under my feet, and the foul odor of... the stables. Yes, the stables. I had succumbed to a few hours of sleep to try to ease my mind, hiding here in the depths of night. As my eyes adjusted, I remained absolutely still, using the sounds around me and testing the weight of the air to determine what time of evening it might be.

It was already a candle's light away from daybreak, and the idea that I had slept longer than necessary creeped into the tiny folds of insecurity residing in my thoughts. Pulling myself together, using my breeding to remember that I must always stay in control and my training to remember to do so swiftly and efficiently, I stepped out of the dark horse stall, ready.


Continuing my guise as the lame young man from the tavern, I joined the sparse crowd that had awoken early to follow the gossip of an impending battle. Whispers had swirled in the late hours regarding an enraged Myrkin stalking through the castle, muttering and planning with his men. I suspected that the usurper had been just as oblivious to the gossiping tendencies of the kitchen staff as my own family had always been, smiling at this piece of ironic good fortune. There were many things I had learned in the last few days hanging around the low classes, them frightened yet still needed by their new 'lord', and willing to keep their jobs by following anyone's directions. What could a simple man gain, after all, by standing for a King who had been so easily removed from his own home?

Although I certainly believed in my brother's ability to rule this kingdom with a righteous and kind hand, I was comforted to see that the people holding up the chair of the rich could still function and go on as before. When I first saw the frozen fear and unease, it was because of the change. That and perhaps to see their friends and relatives' staked heads along the roads and forest edges...

Today, though, something else was in the air. With the dew came anticipation. Not quite excitement, but enough fear mixed with expectation to know that anyone who had an inkling of this morning's events would be in attendance. Although I had no firm grasp of what was happening, and itched to be in my brother's tents to assist with the plotting, I knew in my soul and in the reports of Mirkyn's recent reactions that we were prepared to strike our enemy.

The End

164 comments about this exercise Feed