Everyone has them. Nightmares. I am no exception. Though the tendency is for the nightmares to be restricted to the dreamscape of your mind at night, my life was fast becoming one long nightmare.
After my arrival back from the "dead" my Uncle threw a little celebration for me as it just happened to coincide with my 20th birthday. 20! Arnet was only three weeks younger than me. But celebration over I found myself sitting at my desk looking at the papers which I had looked through and dealt with instead of the space where there was supposed to be some for me to look through. Being as it was a slow day I thought I might as well go to my father's estate and see what had become of it in my absence and that of any liege lord. Riding to the estate from my Uncle's home took the best part of 3 days and it was dusk on the third day as I rode down the track road leading to the village. Several farmers and work-hands were still in the fields and obviously recognising me cheered and bowed to me. I made no protest to them despite my continuing uncertainty about whether or not I actually wanted to take my father's place as the Baron.
Entering the family house it was obvious that the word of my arrival had preceded me because the whole place was a bustle of activity. Servants were carrying fresh flowers and cleaned carpets while maids ran round with wood baskets. In fact there were only two people not matching the panicked rush and that was myself as I stood at the base of the large stair case and the family treasurer and all around good man, Kalen, who shuffled his way down the stairs occasionally shouting orders.
"Master Raven it's so good to see you back here"
"I only wish I could say that it was for good Kalen" I sighed, though the place was place I'd loathed in my younger years I now found that it was somewhere that did actually have memories in it.
"You've not come for the seat sir?"
"I'm still undecided. Tell me old man, is Thunor still pottering around?"
Thinking for a moment Kalen smiled, "Indeed he is my lord. His taxes are all paid and he seems to have had quite a bountiful harvest this year."
Smiling grimly I followed Kalen to my room where I freshened up before going to the dining hall for the veritable feast which was my dinner. Before we ate I asked a servant to put black clothes over my father and brother's chairs as I resumed my place. Me and Kalen were busy discussing matters which had gone on in my time away when the doors opened again. Looking up I watched as the guard let my mother through.
"Raven! Have you no manners?" She scolded as she approached the table, "I thought you had been raised better than to eat before all guests are here. And Kalen did you not tell him?"
I glared at my mother. She was aged but the cruel streak still shone through. "I wasn't aware that you were still plaguing this castle you old crone" I spat. She was mortified. However the effect didn't last long as she continued to the table and sat in her space. Seething, I made a point of turning my back to her and continuing my conversation with Kalen, who was now pained to be seen siding with me. The affair didn't last long as I was feeling tired after the long journey from my Uncle's castle so I bid Kalen good night and retired to my room where I looked out of the window heavenwards praying for the strength to deliver the news I had to when I went to Thunor's farm tomorrow before climbing into bed.