The Lost Prince (part 19)

TEN

Maybe I should be happy he’s gone. But it’s all too late. Much of the damage is already done, and the rest is coming, no matter what. It’s like being on a burning ship. The flames will go out when it sinks beneath the waves, but there’s not much comfort in the knowledge. All you can do is wait for events to run their course. That’s what it’s like in the city now. Waiting for the end to come. I guess there’s a slight consolation in knowing he won’t be there to see the fruits of his handiwork. But it’s so, so slight.

He didn’t even have the decency to die on the battlefield. But I guess that’s fitting. You live by the poison arrow, you die by the poison arrow. And in his agony, he just would not shut up. Kept going on about how his wife was the only one who could heal him. His first wife, that is. Not the one who was tending him by his bedside. That must have made Helen feel good about her life choices.

Eventually he got his way, like he always did. I had to go with him, of course. Nobody else in the city knew the area as well. It’s a miracle he survived as he was dragged, writhing and screaming, up the mountain. Dying along the way would have been uncharacteristically thoughtful.

After all these years on the harsh mountain, I wasn’t even sure she’d still be alive. So many aren’t, back in the city.  But there she was, as if she’d been waiting for him since the day he left.


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