Friday, July 28, 2006
New Beginning 13
His eyes fluttered, muscles attempting to revive; his flesh was cold, his bones weary. It seemed dark outside, but it had been dark for so long. Was he waking from a dream? Demons had troubled him in poisoned nightmare.
Timid, a voice: the harsh whisper of familiarity on the edge of remembrance. "My liege?"
Air exhumed itself from his chest in a whoosh; he tried to open his eyes but they were long crusted shut. But the voice--he recognized the voice, twisting and trailing through passages of thought, memories long not dwelled in. How long had he slept in fear? Stale, his breath; it felt of the dead. "Genvieve?"
"Bless the Sun, for all his warmth; we've needed you, my liege."
"My eyes, sore to move, Genvieve. My body aches. What witchery-?" He felt soft leather against his brow--felt, like he'd been starved of feeling for aeons.
Tense, the moment. A knife, the proper instrument for cutting it.
"How long?" he groaned. "How long have I been thus?"
"Since yesternight, my liege." Cool, her hand on his cheek. "'Twas not long after Pelleas challenged you," her timorous voice tiptoed through the alleyways of his brain, "to that drinking contest."
Aching, his head, as he recalled the whole sordid business. Never again, he vowed silently, would he mix dandelion wine with his mead. And most especially not after four helpings of Genvieve's venison stew.
Opening Kaolin Fire.....Continuation: Nancy Conner