The heavy canvas tents of the royal camp bucked and snapped in the heavy winds outside the walls of Adkarna. Dead leaves had gathered and begun to molder against the skirting, and King Jeraziah noted they would have to be removed soon or would freeze there and remain until spring. It was an absent thought, something to keep his mind from the task at hand. He’d avoided it for as long as he could.
He stood outside the tent staked furthest from the city, set apart from the rest. Not by much, but in the typical straight lines and exact spacing of Jeraziah’s camp, the outlier stood out like a tumor on a biscuit.
A voice mocked his hesitation: Why is the boy king frightened?
Jeraziah scowled at the all-too familiar inner dialogue, wondering yet again if all rulers shared the constant nattering and self-doubt. If they did, they kept it to themselves, just as he did. But that did not mean he had to take it idly.
I am not frightened. Simply irritated with this…chore.
The voice scoffed. I know of at least one ruler who doesn’t share this curse of indecision with you. And he’s waiting inside the tent. Continue reading The Forsaken Crown