The Touch

The Touch

A Story by Rhia Barton

A civil war has broken out in Yuscarta, a country that has been experiencing the Touch for centuries; when a person comes of age, they partake in a ceremony to bond their soul to a weapon (hopefully).



“I do not care for the whims of those who refuse to pay taxes.” The King said, lazily reclining in his ornate throne. The hall in which he received his audience was vast and grand, pillars towering almost a hundred feet above their heads. Before him knelt a small man with thinning hair and thinning clothes, his hands clasped together in a plea. The King was a stark contrast to his subject; dressed in the finest materials and with long hair that, while peppered with grey hair, was still rich and dark. The eighty year old man had a sneer that was in no way obscured by his well-groomed moustache and beard. An intricately designed crossbow leaned against his throne.

“I-I don’t mean to correct you, S-Sire, b-but I don’t do it willingly, I swear! It’s just the Insurgents are ransacking villages and pillaging-”

“When your King makes a demand, you obey.” He cut him off, a sly grin starting to break out across his lips. “When your King raises taxes, you pay. When your King requires you to fight against the heretics, you fight. When your King orders you to wipe his arse, you wipe. Do you understand how this exchange works now?” The small man was quivering on the floor. “When your King asks you a question, you answer.”

“I-I understand.” A disgusting smile was on King Ofrid’s face.

“Good. As for the Insurgents that invade your villages, gather every able bodied person, from fifteen to a hundred, give them a weapon and fight for your property.” The small man froze and stared at him. The King’s guards shifted.

“B-But, S-Sire, mere children and the elderly cannot possibly-”

“I feel a trend is beginning to start with you, subject.” The King interrupted. “Didn’t I just say that when a King makes a demand, his subject obeys?” The small man didn’t answer. “Whether they have the Touch or not, every person who can pick up a sharp or blunt weapon must fight. Don’t you want to stamp out the heretics, little man?” No response. “Don’t you want the heretics to fail? Do you want my reign threatened?” Ofrid rubbed the salt deeper, enjoying watching the small man getting smaller and smaller. “Well? Answer your King.” The small man shook with sobs. “ANSWER.”

“No, Sire, I do not want the heretics to usurp you! My village and I have always supported your occupation of the throne, we will fight for you!” He screamed, his eyes screwed up tight and his fists clenched by his sides. There was silence. And then laughter. Ofrid was clapping his hands together, head thrown back, tears running down his face, and his laugh was terrible. It lasted far too long. Once he’d sobered, he smiled down at the man.

“Good. Now go.” He didn’t need to be told twice and ran away as fast as his legs could carry him. “I think that’s all I’ll take for now.” Ofrid looked at his Commander, Joven Lye. Lye was a large man with a fearsome look in his face and stature, but a softer glint in his eyes; a mountain of a man with a shrub of a soul.

“There are over twenty subjects left with issues to raise with you, Sire.”


“So where shall I direct them? An inn? The dungeons? Guest rooms?” Ofrid snorted.

“They’re all peasants, are they not?” He laughed.

“They are all farmers, millers, smiths and merchants.”

“Then send them back to their villages.” Lye froze.

“Sire, many of them have travelled days and nights to speak with you.”

“Then they shall travel days and nights to return home. Send them away, I’m returning to my chambers.” Lye nodded after a moment and strode off down the steps to the throne towards the large doors, five guards following him. “And Lye?” He stopped but didn’t turn. “Do not question me again.” Lye inclined his head and exited the hall. Ofrid rose from his throne and swept out of the hall. Morons, he thought to himself as he climbed the winding staircases. He looked at the architecture in disdain as he passed. I must change all of this really, he pondered, gold is too cliche. Why not platinum? He reached the end of the corridor he was walking and pushed the door into his chambers.

In his bed was an elderly man sleeping. His skin was sallow and sagging and his white hair was falling out in places. His face was a perfect, albeit unhealthy, replica of the King who had just walked into the room. Beside the bed sat a woman with a face as pointed as a needle. She turned to face him and a beautiful smile crossed her otherwise unpleasant face.

“How did it go?” She asked. Ofrid smiled and then his face slipped off.

“Swimmingly.” Heflin said.

© 2016 Rhia Barton

Author's Note

Rhia Barton
Rating may be changing due to swearing and gore. This was just a little taster to see what's going on in the royal family but I've got more of a plan for everything else. Please let me know what you think!

My Review

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Thus far the story sounds pretty good. Kind of ended unexpectedly but I guess that is to be expected when its a prologue and the real story begins in the first chapter. Mostly I find this very intriguing although none of what is really going on is explained as its still the prologue. How did the old man get to the King? Did the insurgents bring him there? Why wasn't he able to pay for his taxes? Who exactly are these insurgents? How are they being really chosen amongst the rest. Again I don't know if these questions are answered outside of the prologue.

I shall keep reading once you post more.

Posted 7 Years Ago

it's great i liked it very much happy to see someone just like me
thankyou for sharing this lovely novel rhia


Posted 7 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Rhia Barton

7 Years Ago

Thank you so much, I'll give yours a read!
A sort of portrait of Dorian Gray meets Game of Thrones? It bodes well as a prologue.

Posted 7 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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3 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on October 27, 2015
Last Updated on January 17, 2016
Tags: fantasy, civil war, rebellion, tyrant, fighting, magic, weapons, sentient, traitor, betrayal, death


Rhia Barton
Rhia Barton

Milton Keynes, Bucks, United Kingdom

Horror, fantasy and sarcasm. more..


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