Day 7: FREE DAY! Write any scene you want!
Trey sat alone among the undergrowth, contemplating his life. He glared into the pond, the shore of which was only a few steps from his feet. Tiny fish swirled near the shore, snapping up insects that lit on the surface. A light breeze shifted the leaves in the trees, causing the dappled sunlight to twinkle in the water. A lovely, peaceful scene it was. It enraged him.
Trey found a stone near his hand and hurled it into the water. Ker-PLOP! He found and threw another, and another. And when there were no longer stones within reach, he tore up grass and flung it. And gobs of dirt and mud. He hated this place. He hated this day. He hated everything and everyone.
“Aaaaugh!” he hollered, clinching his fists and alternately waving them in the air and pounding them into the ground. He pounded the ground until the pain in his hands made him stop. He felt tears coming on, so he hastily rose and stalked off to find a less-beautiful setting.
Rion was dead. Rion was dead and now Trey was heir to the throne. He didn’t want the throne. He better served his kingdom as Mark-bearer and defender. The throne would mean stifling meetings, and courtly behavior. No more days and days afield, removed from all the bitterness of Herongarde. Now he would have to face everyone every single day. Rion was trained and groomed for the throne. This was never part of Trey’s destiny.
There would be a forced marriage, most likely. No proper king was unmarried. This enraged him the most. He did not want a wife. To have a wife can only bring pain. This marriage would be arranged for diplomatic reasons, no doubt, so at least he wouldn’t be forced to love her. But he’d have duties to her, duties that he did not want.
Trey broke from the woods near into a small open glade. A few people were gathered there, discussing the days burial. They noticed Trey and tried to wave him over, but he marched in the opposite direction. People! People everywhere!
He found a crumbling stone wall a short distance away beyond another stand of trees and sat. How could this have happened? What had he done so wrong? He gazed at the open field in front of him. He had played here with Rosaline as a child, and as they grew. He remembered her laugh, and how well she could kick the old puffball, when they could find them. She seemed to always hit him in the head with it, covering him with fungus spores, which would always result in a fit of sneezing from him and a solid scolding from his mother. He missed those days.
He had loved her, with every ember of his being. They grew up together. They were best friends. After he earned his Mark, he married her, and felt that no man could be as happy as he. But it was not to last. He had lost her two years ago. Lost her and their son as she tried to give birth. He had wanted a son desperately. She was not as eager, but she loved him so. The effort had killed her. Trey had killed her with his wish for a son.
Despite assurances from all that this was a matter beyond the control of any mortal man, and that surely Rosaline did not blame him, Trey could not forgive himself. His mother’s constant assurances that the pain would heal over time never came to pass.
Over time, he found himself withdrawing from all those formerly close to him. He committed himself to being the finest defender of Herongarde that lived. He would proudly serve the King, whether it be his father or his brother. He would lead men into battle and risk his life – daily if necessary – for the protection of his King’s lands. He would busy himself with this, and remove himself from the possibility of suffering that pain only women can cause ever again. It was the perfect outcome, he had thought. His life may be shortened, but it would be worthy.
But now Rion was dead. His plan was meaningless. His future destroyed. What now? he thought.
Tears welled in his eyes again and a sob built in his chest. He fought them back. Leaping off the wall, he began to walk back toward the castle. The emotional wave loomed over him. He walked faster, as if to escape. Before long he was running, but no longer toward the castle but toward the stables. A ride. A ride would do him good. And he would ride until this pain was gone.