Friday Short Fiction: Runaway King Part #1

To add to my normal posting schedule, I am adding a Short Fiction Friday to sample some of the short story work that I have done in the past. The first short fiction will take place over the next three Friday’s. I hope you enjoy. So here is our first sample: Runaway King

The court was silent while they awaited an answer from the king. The eyes were all about him, staring at him, looking deep into his soul to try and find an answer for this travesty; war was upon the kingdom. Crecadia had crossed the border and was quickly marching on the capital city of Gregon. It was the first conflict in the realms for centuries. Years ago a bond of peace between the kingdoms was established after war had nearly destroyed them both. This act of aggression was unwarrented.

On the throne sat King Byron Regulan trying to hide from the eyese of the crows. They didn’t know what it took to be king. They did not believe that he had the guts to give the order. No one in the community believed that the son of King Jeron would be strong enough to lead this kingdom. Now was their chance to laugh at him from the rooftops while he fumbled over the right things to say. He would prove all of them wrong, he had no choice!

“What do you want us to do, my lord?” a noble asked from the side of the room.

The question startled King Byron out of his deep thoughts. He felt a quick second of panic as he realized that he didn’t know what to tell the nobles. Normally he would order the troops to get ready for battle, but Grigon had no troops. The peace treaty was supposed to be kept for all time and Crecadia had shown no outright acts of aggression, however, Grigon had not been spying on them either. We had not reason to, the king thought to himself, everything was going normal. He lowered his head into his hands and stifled back a moment of self-pity. He was a leader that had no idea how he was going to save his people. They were defenseless.

“Told you he’d freeze,” came a snicker from the back of the room.

King Byron shot out of his chair and grabbed the nobleman by the collar. He nearly lifted him off the ground by his shear will, even though the nobleman was a foot taller then he. The king shoved the nobleman against the wall. Byron could feel the man kicking the wall as he fought for his life, his face quickly turning a dark shade of purple. “Is there something you wanted to tell the group?” King Byron asked.

“No, sire.” the nobleman squeaked. The king lowered him back to the ground and allowed him to catch his breath. The nobleman wobbled on his legs and coughed as he tried to catch his breath. Serves him right for questioning his leader, Byron thought to himself with a chuckle.

Turning to the crowded nobles, he said, “Rally the workers and villagers. We need people that can fight. Our land is being invaded, our people are going to be killed, stand up and fight for what you believe. Show these people the reason you have noble blood running through your veins. We haven’t faced a threat for centuries. Pull out that fighting spirit and get your people on the walls and on the gates!”

“But the workers have no weapons!”

“I don’t care what they use for weapons. If we have to grab brooms, pitchforks, and chairs we will. No one comes into our land and takes over as we stand by and watch.”

The throne room quickly emptied as the king’s last words were heard. All the nobles passed by the man that was still red in the face, anxious to be away from the king and not suffer the same embarrassment as the red faced man.

King Byron let out a sigh as the guards closed the door. He felt that a mountain sized weight had been lifted off his shoulders. He always hated being on parade in front of the nobles all the time. Nobles, pfft, the king thought to himself, they always want to make the decisions as long as someone can tell them what to do. Not worth the supposedly noble blood that is in their veins.

The king walked to his chambers and reached into the cabinet for his sword. He unsheathed the weapon and caught the reflection of a man that had aged too many years in too short a time. The problems of the kingdom had taken a toll on Byron. He used to have so many prospects when he was younger, now he just sat as a withered middle-aged man that hadn’t really accomplished anything in his life. He was thrust into the leadership role when his father was killed on a hunt in the northern forest. His older brother should have had the role if he hadn’t passed in a fire in an outlying village. Byron had felt the weight sink down on his shoulders upon hearing of his brother’s death. Byron went from being an innocent kid to a world of responsibility and boredom. How easy it would be to turn his sword on his gut and end it all right now.

A noise in the hallway startled Byron and he quickly sheathed his sword and threw it on the bed. The notion seemed absurd to him, that even in this time he cared what someone might think. What did he care what they thought, they were going to be overrun in a matter of hours. Byron sighed. Crecadia had crossed his borders and was marching on his capital. After all the power that his kingdom had amassed, Byron felt so helpless.

Hell the townspeople will probably point them straight at the keep and release them on me, its not like anyone down there would care at all if I was hung. Hell they’d probably help, the king thought to himself as he stared out the window at the bustle of the main courtyard. All these people running around, trying to do something to help keep their beloved home from being razed. The futility of it all. Byron shook his head. Worthless, every one of them. Why should I die for these worthless souls? I know they would gladly send the Crecadian armies to the keep to save their own skins. Byron paused as he thought of a way out. He could be rid of his responsibilities, start over, a new life in a new place.


5 thoughts on “Friday Short Fiction: Runaway King Part #1

  1. I think I kind of like this pessimistic king. Although it’s not very kingly of him to leave his people to a horrible fate, if they haven’t treated him with respect he might as well do it. I’ve always loved characters that weren’t all good 🙂

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