The Lonely Throne

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
King Arthur experiences a time of peace, and finds that he doesn't know what to do with himself. Alone in his throne room he broods, and relives aspects of past battles; the only place he feels comfortable and competent.

Submitted: March 22, 2011

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Submitted: March 22, 2011



Arthur played with the pommel of the great long sword with his left hand as he gazed at the empty throne room. The castle’s western ramparts cast large shadows across the room as the sun set. The last rays of the daylight gleamed off the pointed, golden crown that sat on a stool to Arthur’s left. He slumped on the thrown; weary of solving the problems of every miserable peasant that traipsed into his country. Arthur was hailed as the peace bringer, a man who had united the land, and freed his people from tyranny. While he was out on his great crusade, Arthur fully believed himself to be the savior of all oppressed people, but these were the lies of the old wizard. He spoke of destiny and a higher purpose, and Arthur had been taken in like a fool. In the beginning, Arthur had enjoyed being king. It allowed him to lead his mighty army into battle, and know he would always emerge victorious. But now the wars were over, and the old man gone, and all eyes turned to Arthur. Now he knew that he was incapable of running a government. He knew he was a fraud. The old man had been wrong about him. He hadn’t won all those battles because he was saving the people, or because he was destined to do so. He had won because he had the better army; essentially he was no different than any of the warlords he had trampled. It was only a matter of time before his people, and his knights realized what he was, and that would be the end of Merlin’s dream.
Arthur raised his hand and reached under the purple and gold robes he wore; his armor gathered dust in the war room. He placed his index finger over the tough, round piece of tissue just under his left shoulder. The scar had been made by the point of Saxon spear that had wedged its’ way under his left pualdron during one of his first battles. He shifted to a mark over his left breast. It was the mark left by the stroke of a long sword. The scar was the last legacy of the man who left it, for after being stuck, Arthur sent the man to meet his ancestors. Arthur traced the jagged scar diagonally to his solar plexus. Here most of the tissue was soft and pink with new growth. In his last battle Arthur had been hit in the chest with the full power of a Caledonian war-axe. The steel of his breastplate rent in two, and he could feel the cold metal weapon embedding itself in his chest. The breath being forced from his lungs was the only thing that prevented him from screaming.  He could only widen his eyes in surprise before falling into the black. Upon awaking in the field hospital Arthur was informed that the army had been victorious, and the last of their enemies were fleeing to unknown lands.  Arthur sighed remembering the jubilation he felt then as the last of his enemies scattered before him.  How he had relished the opportunity to rule his people with a benevolent hand. He barked a sardonic laugh at how ignorant he had been.
The great oak doors of the thrown room thundered as they were flung open. Gawain rushed into room, and knelt at Arthur’s feet. Looking up he said, “My lord Mordred and his horde approach from the east. They will be upon us within the hour.” Arthur sprang from the thrown, snatching up Excalibur as he leapt. A fight with his most powerful enemy was the perfect remedy for his melancholy. As he swept down the stairs to his armory Arthur vowed to bring glory to the name Pendragon.

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