25 Days of Writing – Day 22

Day 22: Today is the end of an era in your character’s life. How do they feel about this? What is happening today? Write a scene of your character on this day.

——

Trey stood unsteadily in the center of the tournament grounds. He gazed sadly over the bodies of the dead, lain neatly in two rows, one to each side of him. Each of these people, men and women, had died to protect him, the King, and the nation of Herongarde.

The bodies of the dead lined a path toward one last body, lain on a raised platform before him. His father lay there, having sacrificed his life to find peace and freedom for Herongarde, and to preserve the country over which Trey now reigned.

Trey raised his eyes and scanned the crowd gathered here. Hundreds of people covered the hill slopes, stood on walls, and sat in trees to observe the proceedings. The people of Herongarde mourned the loss of good King Anthony.

He looked to his side at his mother. She stood looking on stoically, her face emotionless aside from the tears streaming down her cheeks. Trey’s heart ached for her. She and Anthony were to enjoy their remaining years in peace – a peace shattered by the renewed attack of Falgarth.

He swayed, nearly falling. He felt a hand grip his other arm, supporting him. He glanced to see Hanna holding him, a look of deep concern on her face. Hands touched his shoulders as well. Markus stood behind him, ready to catch him, should he fall.

Trey nodded, and they began to walk forward. Trey gazed down on each face as he passed. He knew them all, though some touched him more than others. Elsbeth, who captured the heart of the confirmed bachelor, Dean. She was a good woman and an asset to the nation. Trey bent and touched her face.

He moved on. Three women and five men – five Mark-bearers – dead by the steel of Falgarth.

Trey paused lastly at the body of Kevin. Anthony’s oldest friend, ever the skeptic, but he loved his King and his country. He fought fiercely for justice and the defense of the codes of Herongarde. Few Mark-bearers had more experience. He would be missed.

A few more steps brought him alongside the body of his father, King Anthony. He took his father’s hand and dropped to his knees. Trey leaned his head upon his father’s shoulder.

“I know not if I can do this, Father. Please guide me.”

All was silent.

Trey felt a hand on his back. His mother knelt beside him, holding him. He leaned upon her and allowed his emotions to flow. He shook with tears for a few minutes.

Slowly, he regained himself. He rose, with the help of Hanna and Markus, who remained close by.

He looked at his mother, who returned his gaze. “We must continue,” he muttered.

“Yes, my son. We move on.”

Trey drew a deep breath and nodded. They walked back to the platform where they had started their walk, upon which Trey stood and faced the crowd. He held up his hands.

“Let it be known this day that not one of these fine warriors gave their lives in vain. These are noble men and women of our nation. Their sacrifice will be remembered evermore and we shall celebrate their gift to us.”

Trey drew his sword and held it aloft. “Herongarde lives on!”

Every sword, staff, rake, or cane possessed by those who observed rose up. A great shout filled the air. Cheering. Trey was King. And the people loved their King.

 

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