Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hardy Fools

"Yes," I heard myself say. His smile glimmered showing predatory white teeth. My stomach clenched and I told myself that I didn't have a choice, that this beat the alternative, that saying no hadn't really been an option anyway. Even if he hadn't brought a few guards outside my shop, he was enough of a threat.

"I'll give you a month," he said turning towards the door.

I laughed. Yes, it was stupid to laugh at someone like him, dangerous, cocky, pretentious, all that goes with being a prince, but I couldn't help it. "If you want eternal life, you'll have to be a little more patient than that. There are ingredients that I'll need from the four quarters of the world."
He looked skeptical, but I used my mystical voice, the one that I'd worked hard at perfecting and apparently gave me enough heft that he didn't draw his sword and lop off my head then and there. Always good.
"How long?" He was not patient. It was just as well. When you came right down to it, I wanted to get my own out of this deal as soon as possible. The sooner I saw the last of this prince, the better.
"One year beginning with summer solstice. Each season must be inbued into the candlestick." Of course it wouldn't do to admit that it was all in the candles. Not at all. "Also, you must give me proof of payment before I begin. That gives you two weeks to bring me the first head."
He nodded because he didn't mind the idea of bringing people heads. Of people. Perfect.

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