The King’s Son, Chapter 1

I’ve spent a week writing about writing, but I haven’t actually shown any of my work. I’m not sure what the protocol is. Or if there even is protocol. But I would like to post one of my pieces today.

It’s the first chapter in the book I’m now working on: The King’s Son.

Any and all comments would be GREATLY appreciated. Though, to be honest, a “like” is good too. Of course, a “share” would be EVEN better.

And, for those of you that have been following my blog lately and clicking “like” on my things, I want to thank you. It has really meant a lot to me.

I’ll admit that I haven’t been the best in returning those likes. And I’m sorry for that.

This thing is that, until a week ago, I was never much into the blogging world. That was me putting my toe into the water. I’m ready now to get a little more wet. So I’ll check out your stuff this week. I promise.

Okay, back to my story. Here it is: The King’s Son, Chapter 1. But please keep in mind that I still have one more edit to do to tighten up the sentences and work on the pacing.

***

The night grew dark around them. Snow fell heavily from the skies and the wind blew in every direction. Their leader was dead and a new one led them along. He was far ahead, barely visible from where they were standing. They called to him.

“What is it?” he asked, coming back to them. His voice bordered on frustration and exhaustion. His shoulders seemed weighted down by the snow. “Why have you all stopped?”

The men were huddled together, surrounding a body lying in the snow.

“It’s Timgho,” one of them said.

“Is he dead?”

“He’s not dead!” came a response from another man. He was kneeling down beside the one in the snow.

“I’m sorry, Orik,” the leader said. “I was only asking.”

“Well, he’s not dead,” Orik said. “He’s only tired, that’s all.”

The leader glanced between the two men. They were the oldest members of the group and had been friends for longer than many of the other men had been alive.

He took a step closer to get a better view of the man in the snow. Timgho’s eyes were open and moving, but it didn’t seem like he understood much of what was going on. His mouth bobbed open and shut much like a fish taking its last few breaths out of water.

“What happened?” the new leader asked.

“We were walking,” Orik explained, “talking about how good it was going to be to get home, when he collapsed. Gave no signs or anything. Just fell.”

“Not good,” someone from the crowd commented. The new leader didn’t bother to see who it was.

“He’ll be fine,” Orik continued. “He only needs a little time to rest.” He smiled. In that smile was a plea for someone to tell him he was right. No one did.

“We don’t have time to rest,” the new leader said.

“But…” Orik turned from the new leader to his best, and oldest, friend. “That’s okay. I’m sure he doesn’t need any more time. If we help him up, he’ll be fine.”

The new leader barked a command as Orik’s hand went to Timgho’s shoulder: “Stop!”

Orik’s neck swivelled quickly and his eyes took in the new leader once more. “What do you mean stop?” he asked. “We have to help him up. He can’t get up on his own.”

“Then he must stay where he is.”

“Stay where he is?” Orik looked for support from any of the other men. They all remained silent. Some even lowered their heads and refused to meet his gaze. “We can’t leave him here. He’ll die!”

“Then he’ll die,” the new leader said.

There was an uncomfortable shuffling of bodies, but still no one said anything.

Orik turned back to Timgho. He saw that his hand was on his best friend’s shoulder, regardless of being told not to do so. He shook the limp body. “Timgho,” he said, “you’ve got to get up.”

Timgho muttered something incoherent.

The new leader spoke again: “We don’t have time for this. We must leave.”

Orik ignored him. “Listen to me, Timgho,” he said. “You’ve got to get up!”

Timgho’s eyes spun around and his mouth bobbed open a few more times. But then he focused in on the man beside him and spoke: “Orik?” he asked. “Is that you?”

“Yes, it’s me,” Orik replied.

“What happened?” Timgho said. “I’m cold.”

“You’re in the snow. You’ve fallen. But don’t worry about any of that. I need for you to get up. You have to get up!”

“Get up?” Timgho asked. “Fallen? In the snow?” His eyes teetered around once more.

“Listen to me,” Orik begged of him. “You need to get up!”

His best friend’s eyes came back to him. “Get up?” he asked again. “I’ve fallen?”

“Yes, you’ve fallen.”

“In the snow?”

“Please, Orik, stop asking questions. You need to listen to me. You have to get up. You need to…”

“Enough!” the new leader shouted. “You’ve told him what he needs to do. It’s up to him now to do it. We’ve already waited too long as it is.”

“Do you hear that, Timgho?” Orik asked.

Timgho nodded his head. “Yes, yes,” he said. “I heard that.” There was a look in his eyes that showed he understood it as well.

“Then get up.”

Timgho struggled to turn onto his side, but he managed. Next, he pressed his hands into the snow, shivering at the cold. When his palms reached the ground underneath, he took a deep breath.

“You can do this,” Orik said. “I know you can.”

Timgho looked to his best friend and grinned weakly. Then he turned back to his hands in the snow. He took another deep breath. And another. Then he breathed out and pushed himself upward.

His body began to shake. His eyes rolled around. And what little strength he had left him. There was a gasp from the men, then a soft moan, as Timgho fell back into the snow.

“We must leave him,” the new leader said.

Orik ignored him again. “Try once more,” he said to his best friend. “You’ve got to try.”

Timgho sputtered snow from his mouth. He tried to blink it from his lashes. “I…I…”

“You’ve got to try,” Orik repeated.

“Yes, I’ll try.”

And he did try, but with the same result. It was only with great effort that he was able to turn himself around. He sputtered again and took in ragged breaths. “I can’t do it,” he said. “I can’t.”

“There’s no more we can do,” the new leader announced. “He’s said it himself.”

Orik’s eyes turned to the new leader, slowly this time. There was no anger in them. No surprise. They were filled with resignation. Tears streamed down his cheek as he got to his feet.

“What…what…what are you doing?” Timgho asked.

“I’m leaving,” his best friend said.

“Le…leaving? But…you can’t.”

“I’m sorry.” Orik walked behing some of the other men, shielding himself from view.

“But you can’t!” Timgho said again.

Orik and the men began walking away. Only the new leader stayed behind.

“I’m sorry it has to be this way,” he said. “I never wanted for any of this to happen.”

“Any of this to happen?” Timgho asked. His eyes were fluttering around again, but this time out of fear. “Help me up. I…I…can make it.”

The new leader shook his head. “I’m sorry.” He turned and followed the trail of men in front of him.

“D…don’t le…leave me!” Timgho called out. “C…c…come baaaaack!”

But, before long, there was no one left to hear him and his pleas drifted off aimlessly into the wind.

2 thoughts on “The King’s Son, Chapter 1

  1. maryhouston2013 August 30, 2016 / 9:56 pm

    Michael, I was brought to the scene and could feel the tension. Thanks for sharing!

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