Davon’s breath hung in the air, a mist frozen in time and space. He shivered and pulled his heavy brown cloak tighter around his body. The frozen grass crunched under his boots as he moved closer to the stone likeness of his King. He glanced to his left and to his right once more, just to be sure no one else had ventured out yet. The waking sun pushed against the black of night, softening the sky behind Davon. He kissed the stone foot of his King, and then lowered himself to one knee. The frosted grass melted under his knee, chilling his leg, but he did not stir.
The young man stared at the ground, each muscle in his face tense as he recalled the last time he’d seen his King. He laid his hand upon the stone foot. The sun warmed the marble and Davon remembered how the King’s flesh burned to the touch. He could still smell the fire. He could still smell the blood that soaked into the ground where his head came to rest. He could still taste the bile that lurched into his throat, though he tried desperately to swallow it back.
“It is no easy thing to marry a Lady of Komae,” King Alaen had said to Davon two months past as he practiced swords with the younger man, a pastime they had enjoyed together every New Star Day for the past eight years – ever since Davon was old enough to handle a blade. “Even if you manage to capture her heart, you somehow have to capture the hearts of her parents and all her family as well. It is no easy task, son. It is no easy task.”
“But I did love her,” Davon whispered, lifting his eyes to the stoic gaze of the man captured in stone. “You know I loved her. I would give anything to undo this.”
From the shores of Wicket Lake,