Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Catalina by Danny Fahey



King Kovis and his wife, the Witch Queen Isabella, stood on the bedroom balcony of the impregnable Castle Draggonade. It was early morning, the sun’s first rays clearing the horizon. Behind them a thick red curtain swished in the gentle breeze. Behind the curtain slept their newly born daughter, blissfully unaware she was being discussed.

‘I fear invoking the Landsreag, darling,’ whispered Isabella. ‘It will be a terrible burden on her. And in all this she is the innocent.’

‘We must do what we must do,’ said Kovis. ‘The prophecies about this daughter of ours leave us little choice in the matter.’

‘But to deny our daughter her birthright…’

‘You said yourself that her power could send her insane. This is as much for her as us.’

‘But the Landsreag itself might drive her mad.’

‘Better she is mad and powerless than mad and powerful, wouldn’t you say?’

‘Still…’ Isabella fell silent. Her hands pushed down hard upon the balcony’s stone railing until her knuckles whitened under the pressure. Her eyes stared vacantly out across the land. She did not take in the distant sight of three dragons that rose from the sea and spun lazy circles, their jubilant cries carrying to the castle.

King Kovis moved beside his wife and drew her beneath the shelter of his right arm, so that his thick, warm cloak covered them both. He brushed aside her lustrous red hair and moved his face close to her ear. Gently, he asked, ‘What is it, my love?’

‘Even The Land doubts the wisdom of what we propose. Hubert also.’

‘Bah. Hubert, the fickle young fool; let him worry. It seems to be what he enjoys most of all. But please, dearest; spare me the bumbling musings of that wizard. If he had his way we would never have married.’

‘Perhaps we should not have?’

‘No,’ replied Kovis, becoming angry. ‘That was never an option.’ Then he paused and studied Isabella, his features softening as he did so. ‘Besides, would you deny the existence of Branax?’

‘No. Never that.’

‘And do you regret your love for me?’

‘No, my husband; never that also.’

‘Then forget Hubert. He whispers and he mumbles and all the time he seeks to undermine us so that his power might grow.’

‘Do you believe that?’

‘Truthfully, I do not know what to believe, except that I love you, My Queen, and that we must act. To do nothing about our daughter would be the greatest wrongdoing of all.’

‘And The Land? I sense She has misgivings.’

‘The Land may have misgivings but, remember, She is not human. Her concerns stretch over thousands of years. We cannot construct our lives around such timeframes.’

‘And so we come back to the Landsreag.’

‘It’s what we must do.’

‘Our daughter will forever feel that something has been done to her. She will not know what, or how, but she will know something is amiss and she will ache. I tell you Kovis, her whole life, she will ache.’

‘Better her, I am sorry to say, than The Land, the people, our son.’

‘So are we to again go against the wishes of The Land and the wizards?’

‘We must set things right.’

‘I fear we will only make it worse.’

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Genre – Fantasy

Rating – PG

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