Perwyn (i)Mature

Thirty years and I still don’t know how, he wanted to say, but this cannot go on.
                Many things were being shouted but only one cry “The cursed widow is mad” really caught his attention. His mother stood tall, but she said no more.
                She will ask no further questions, make no comments, Perwyn considered, not openly, at least, there is only so far you can go before words like treason are hurled about in a crowd.
                “Give her a private audience, My Liege,” he heard himself say.
                The King turned to fix his hazel eyes on Perwyn. He had an especially weathered look, with patches of grey on his sideburns and temple encroaching on the gold. His jewelled crown pulsed in the light.
                The King nodded, then turned back, slamming a hand on his chair. “Enough.” The chamber fell silent besides the few late gasps from the Lords and Ladies. “Court will resume on the morrow, you are dismissed lest any business be so urgent as to require my immediate attention, in which case it shall be resolved in an hour. I must convene with my council.” He stood up as he spoke, and walked amidst the guard, all twelve of them, who stood like wings outside the throne.
                “What is your wish, sire?” Perwyn asked.
                “Ordinarily, I would have you with me, but in this case, well, perhaps you should go see to Sir Dunsul and your squire.” He put a hand on his shoulder then watched the others.
                Perwyn bowed, a little stiffly, and span on his heels, taking the long walk down the hall to the sound of rattling chain and the slicing of metal as he sheathed the sword.
                His mother held out her arm as he passed and he took it.
                “What a ghastly spot of business,” she hissed in his ear. “The dark horse lives up to his bastard heritage. I told him before this charade his case was hopeless but no, Lord Too-Much-Oil-In-His-Hair had to make this public. He overreaches, I always said as much—not now, important people are speaking.”
                A page dogged their heels, stuttering a “but m’lady—“
                “You’d think one dose of humility would cure him, but that boy will only bite back harder.”
                “Mother he is older than I am.” Perwyn objected,
                “Thirteen, thirty, it’s all the same, all boys are boys and all men are boys pretending to be something that doesn’t exist—oh don’t be so petulant.” She snapped, then stopped, just shy of the door. “Haven’t you got something better to do? Speak already.”
                The page struggled with his words, sweat clear on his brow.
                “Oh yes, you’re going the wrong way.” Perwyn said “The King would speak with you.”
                Lady Layla looked at the page, who smiled, a nervous tick at his mouth.
                “Well, the job is done, run away you little fool.”
                The page sprinted away from them.
                “And you, why didn’t you tell me sooner, you’d have an old woman walk up and down the draughty room—no don’t answer, stupid oaf, just like your father.”
                Perwyn bit his tongue. He was used to this. “What will you say?” He chanced.
                His mother smiled at that, and stepped in front of him. “On that score, tarry not. I have council of my own to give and I am much harder to disagree with, wouldn’t you say—no don’t answer, and close your mouth.” She stepped away from him. “The Dark Horse would disagree, but he won’t be there.” Perwyn couldn’t help his mouth opening. She planned it. “Now fetch Red and Blue, you may as well be of some use.” 

The End

0 comments about this story Feed