Less than an hour to go and I'm finally getting this week's entry in! (Oy what a week it's been!)
Sorry - the brain is fried and I can't seem to get the photo to link to the site, so here's the link: Tipsy Lit
“Are you certain?” the king asked bleakly.
“Sire, the signs never lie,” the grim soothsayer replied. “And to be honest, Your Majesty, I pray I don’t live long enough to see it come to pass.”
With that the aged man left the king alone with his thoughts. What a terrible prophecy! Being a generally good-humored man however, the king could not help but smile at the utter lack of creativity on the part of the Fates.
“Father!” The single word pulled him instantly from his musings. He looked up to see his beautiful young daughter sneak into the room – knowing the old sage had left.
“Come here, my sweet child,” he said as jovially as he could muster.
The young princess ran into his arms and he clung to his only daughter with a paternal passion he was rarely able to indulge in. Why must such a wicked prophecy be bestowed upon him? Why should in involve such a loving child.
“Father, what did the soothsayer say?” she asked, pulling away to study her father’s face.
The king looked back into a face verging on womanhood, yet his daughter’s eyes still contained the untarnished innocence of youth. He forced a smile and patted her cheek. “Crops, my love. Nothing to concern yourself with.”
Dimples formed in her cheeks as she settled herself in his lap and demanded a story. How could the kings of old lock their daughters away in secret towers when similar portents were laid upon them? Were their own miserable lives so much more important than the ones they sired?
As he rattled off an ancient tale they both knew by heart he contemplated telling her the awful truth: that her future son would bring about his own death and the ruin of the kingdom. Yet he knew that such awful knowledge would drive her to a convent in the hopes that taking holy vows would avert disaster. The king knew those stories too: some mysterious traveler comes along and woos or forces himself upon the unsuspecting maiden and the prophecy becomes fulfilled.
No. Though he always strove to be honest with his beloved daughter, ignorance would be best in this case. This way she would marry a man the king knew and approved of. She’d marry for love and have many years of happiness. She may not even bear a son right away. She may be allowed decades of peaceful bliss before the inevitable strikes.
All the while the king would be watching, waiting and knowing that when she presents her firstborn son to him, that he’d be holding in his hands his own demise. A strange notion no doubt; but he saw no other choice.