The Wise Beast - Part 5
I swallowed. What relief it was to swallow. To have moisture inside my body once again.
“I…” I began, my first instinct was to berate the man, my surroundngs and everything else. But I remembered I was not myself. I was powerless. I restarted, with a much more subdued tone. “I am well enough, kind Guard.”
I bowed my head. Bowing really does not suit me. I needed to introduce myself. It would be expected, the first thing a guard asks to a stranger at the gate. Name. And then reason for coming. But I couldn’t very well state I was of the House of Auric. In my weakness, it would be a death sentence, even out here, wherever here actually was. Our enemies stretch far and wide.
“I am called Darlington.” My mind worked furiously. I had taken a lantern before I came to this place, and was required to …find it’s story. That is what the Voice had said. But NOW I needed a Reason. An Excuse for my presence at the gate. And with the Hellscape at the front gate, only someone insane or possessed would… A spark of hope. An Idea. A Chance. Maybe, just maybe… “I followed a vision.” I lied. “A vision of a Lightless Lantern. Do you know of it?” My Art had left, but perhaps my wit and silver tongue had not.
“Darlington,” The guard echoed, temporarily lost in thought. “What an odd title. From where do you hail?”
While waiting for a reply, the guard shuffled about the room and organized some of the stray things that had been left about the room while the Noble was unconscious. He returned some bottles to their proper cupboards, and was considering returning the pitcher of water they had used to the kitchen when the nurse returned. He was carrying a tray with a plate of oddly colored bulbous flesh. It looked revolting, but the guard clearly thought otherwise. He swiped a finger across the surface of whatever that was and licked it, humming with delight.
“Oh Maker, Nurse Racken went and got you a plate of barg’s head, you lucky fiend! It’s my favorite, it is.”
Olivius Racken plopped the tray right down into the noble’s lap, gave the guard a playful punch for tasting the patient’s food, and left the room habitually. The guard, having lost his train of thought, looked down at the Noble.
“Well go on, eat! You must be starving!”
The pile of revolting organic mush quivered from the guard’s enthusiasm.
The Special Day
The Wise Beast