19. A PILE OF SPLINTERED STICKS

19. A PILE OF SPLINTERED STICKS

A Chapter by Peter Rogerson
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The priest wanders off and old Kevvy finds his throne...

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It didn’t take too long for Brumble, the robed Priest, to learn to dislike Jackiss more than he’d ever disliked anyone before. To start with, the man was a bully. He might have liked to look upon himself as a reformed bully, but he wasn’t very reformed. He was powerful, and if he’d had possession of a complete set of arms he would have been intolerable.

On the other hand, he liked Jackiss’s two companions even though the so-called wizard was almost, to all intents and purposes, a girl with very girlie tastes. For a start he seemed devoted to the bully, though Brumble thought that might be due to an innate instinct to worship strength. The truth was, he couldn’t understand Mirelin, but just knew that he was a good man.

As for the queen dressed as a widow, Brumble couldn’t take to her. For a start, she was sex-obsessed, a trait that was fascinating to start with but which became overpowering after a very short period of time. Secondly, her voice was an off-putting feature because, when she spoke, she sounded very much like a pre-pubescent schoolgirl with thoughts and notions beyond her years.

So he took Mirelin to one side when Jackiss was at his toilet behind a bush and Amyheart was doing her best to spy on him without being noticed, and spoke quietly to him.

“They say you’re a wizard,” he said so quietly that he had to repeat his words.

“I am the king’s wizard,” agreed Mirelin, wondering what the fat priest might be up to.

“What do you make of Jackiss?” asked the priest, nodding his head in the direction of the bush behind which the one-armed man crouched.

“He’s a thug and a bully, and I love him,” replied Mirelin without hesitation and displaying no sense of shame at the truth behind his words. “I always have,” he added, “we used to sleep together, once, when I was young and he wasn’t much older. It was wonderful knowing that someone so strong and with such passion in his heart could even look at one such as myself. You see, I’m not as strong as most men and I cry easily.”

“I see,” mused Brumble, then, “but you are a wizard? You can do magic? Create something out of nothing, light out of darkness?”

“Sort of,” replied Mirelin, slightly uncomfortably.

“How would you like to split with me?” asked Brumble after a moment’s hesitation, “I mean, how would it be if you and I went our own way? I’m guided by Woden, you know, the great god of all things, and I can do no wrong. I might even let you sleep with me if that’s your thing!”

Mirelin looked at hi, horrified. “It’s not my thing at all,” he said firmly, “to sleep with fat priests even if all the gods in all the heavens are guiding them! I’m for Jackiss. He’s the light of my life, and when he’s fed up with the queen he’ll come back to me. I know he will. And I’ll be here waiting for him, no matter how long it takes and how many limbs he sheds on the journey.”

“You silly boy,” growled the Priest. “I could offer you so much more. After all, I have both of my arms, and the love of Woden.”

“Then you could go off on your own,” suggested Mirelin, “if you are confident of such guidance. And leave me to wait for my own true love. Do as you please.”

Rejection never came easy to the priest, and he frowned at Mirelin. “You’re as bad as my woman who drove me out of my home!” he spat. “And I will go off on my own! I’ll leave you to the fates whilst I allow myself to be guided by the gods!”

And without another word, Brumble stomped off, going as North as he could, which was west.

“Where’s that dratted Priest?” asked Jackiss when he returned, wiping his bottom with a rather large dock leaf. “We must continue on our journey. So where is he?”

“Can I help you?” asked the Queen, eyeing the dock leaf.

“He’s gone,” replied Mirelin, and he added, “he fancied me and I rejected him,” with a smile.

“That’s odd. He fancied me too,” muttered Amyheart, “but I didn’t like the rancid smell of his armpits after he’d been, you know, exerting himself.”

“I know,” growled Jackiss. “Good riddance, that’s what I say. Who wants a Priest without a throne anyway? After all, with him it’s all gods and going North. I know we’re going North, for goodness’ sake: north’s where my lands are, and I don’t need a Priest to tell me that!”

Oo0oo

Meanwhile,

Kevvy followed Angel through the fragrant herb garden with its climbing roses intertwining and filling the air with their own sweet but heady scent, until they came to a huge oak door.

This might have been the way Jackiss and his partners had come, crawling along dimly lit subterranean passages smelling of the stench of the dead, but it wasn’t. This was a grand entrance created for a line of great kings and it looked as magnificent as such an entrance should be.

“Some door,” he said, quietly, wondering how much it had cost. Value was something he’d been brought up to appreciate.

“It was erected in times when the king deserved it,” sighed Angel. “There was a time, long ago, when the King was worthy of the word king. But the line has faltered. Weak blood has entered into it and we now have King Jasper. He believes himself to be the equal to the old kings, but I, who have been here down the generations, know otherwise.”

“You speak of ages as if they were but specks of time,” he mused, “yet I am reckoned to be an old man and I have seen so little.”

“Age is what people make it,” she told him. “To my people you’d be little more than an infant with the tally of years you’ve lived through.”

“To your people? You speak of your people as though they were from another place and time,” mused Kevvy.

“Do I? Well, maybe we are. Yet once upon a time we were the same. Kings and Queens we were then, with thrones for the mighty to sit upon and rule creation. But some of my kind let the blood of lesser beings merge with their own and blood-lines became fractured. But I am one of the originals. I am a witch!”

“And you know magic?” he asked, in awe.

“I was a frog, wasn’t I? Could you be a frog? Do you have the magic in you to be anything you like, even perhaps a young child, or a babe in arms, to being a foetus? Can you be born again?”

Kevvy shook his head. “I don’t think I’d want to,” he said quietly.

“Maybe you would if you could,” smiled Angel. “Now come on, my young friend, and see your throne...”

He followed her through the great door and along a mighty passage with massive drapes hanging on its walls, coloured with vivid illustrations to show great moments from a past he knew nothing about.

Then they went into a huge hall with a polished floor and a ceiling so high that just glancing up at it made him feel dizzy.

“This is some place,” he whispered.

“I know,” she said, “my people built it for kings and queens. But times have changed and few are those who can claim but one percent of my ancient blood-line. There is the throne. That is yours:”

And she pointed to the splintered remains of a broken chair, and smiled at him.

“Build your own throne, and you will be the master of all you survey,” she said quietly, “and fail, and the world will fail with you.”

© Peter Rogerson 05.12.18



© 2018 Peter Rogerson


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Added on December 5, 2018
Last Updated on December 5, 2018
Tags: Priest, Woden, wizard, queen, Kevvy, witch, throne


Author

Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom



About
I am 76 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..

Writing