A last-minute client
Today has been a slow day, it’s almost closing time, no one got lost. Grandpa told me about this before he passed away, leaving the inn in my care. A small building, with two floors, twenty rooms, a cellar, a kitchen and the lobby, which also has the purpose of a bar. The room was overstuffed with chairs and tables, both made of wood, the fireplace showering the room in soft light, the crack of the burning wood interrupting the silence.
I was pouring myself some mead in a mug, contemplating if I should close early when an old man came in. He wore a regal uniform and a crown, but it looked dusty and raggedy. He looked around confused, his eyes glassy. I approached him and introduced myself but got no reaction. He was not the first client with this problem, they all come in with their minds faded. I grab his hand and sit him at a table, giving him the mug of mead. After a few sips he lets out a sigh.
‘Where am I?’ he asks.
‘You are at the Timeless Inn’ I reply.
‘I have never heard of it’
‘No one knows of it. It’s late already so I recommend staying over.’
‘I’m a king! I don’t want to stay at a shabby place like this one’
‘I know you don’t have money with you, there is no monetary fee to stay over.’
He shuffled on the chair, looking at the exit.
‘What do I have to do then?’
I go to the counter and grab the register and a pen.
‘You have to tell me what you last remember, tell me your story.’
He visibly relaxed and took a big gulp from the mug and turned towards me.
‘That’s all? It seems pointless’
‘Yes. The reason why, it is up to you. I’m just collect stories’
I take a chair and sit down next to him. I open the register and prepare myself to write.
‘You can start by introducing yourself.’
The King who escaped death - Part one
I am king Reginald the second. My father was the best ruler of the Asreel Kingdom. He taught me how to take care of the people with a fair and just hand, to always listen to the requests of the farmers and which ones to accept. He taught me how to fight with a sword, how to shoot a bow, and how to take care of my horse. He was poisoned, leaving me to follow in his footsteps. My mother soon followed him into the afterlife, she could not fathom living without him. That was five years ago.
Today I started with the usual, waiting patiently in my lavish bedroom for the servants to finish preparing the bath. The silky sheets enveloping my almost naked body, I looked like a baby ready to be pampered. That is how it is when you are king. My master servant and best friend Merlon, was ordered to keep his mouth shut and stand in the corner; I do not like it when someone wakes me up.
‘I need a bookshelf here, I hate going to the palace library. There are too many staircases.’
The servant only grumbled a response, his back still towards me.
‘I still think I should eat before I take a bath’
The servant only mumbled, the only word that I heard was fat.
‘I am not fat!’ I shout grabbing my flabby bely.
Again, he did not respond.
‘Ok fine! I might indulge from time to time…’
I know I was being mean, but I don’t like it when people point out my weight, even if it comes from Merlon. He is, or was, my only and best friend since I was small. Merlon is older than me, the one who tutored me in my childhood. Even though he acted high and mighty, he did enjoy the occasional prank that I pulled on father.
‘Merlon, I’m sorry I yelled at you. You can talk.’
‘Thank you sire. And yes, you have gained weight.’ He snaps.
‘I order you to keep your mouth shut.’ I shout.
In that moment the other servants came in and grabbed me. I was to take a bath.
After the usual embarrassment where I get scrubbed my other people and get dunked in water I’m back in my room. The meal was already on the table, a glass of wine next to it.
That wine was poisoned.
Author Notes: This is still a work in progress and just the first part of the first part.