story cover

Night bloom

Soon now. Arkub waited. He was not alone in his wait. Soon, 200 sleep periods had passed. And this marked the beginning of the Commoner's night. Arkub was king, he was not king by his own choice, as often was the case he had inherited the throne from his father, who in turn had inherited it by his father. He had been told that his family had been chosen by the gods to speak form them on Thorg. But what he could never understand was how this could be. If his family had been selected, why did his grandfather have to take the throne from the other king by force? They all believed in the same god. When he asked his mentors about this they all looked over their shoulder and said that the history lesson was over. Arkub was not very smart. He was not stupid, but still not very smart. In fact his wife, the queen, Persea was ruling the country. She was of course not allowed to, but Arkub had long since realized his need for support. And who would be better than his wife? He loved her so much, she was his everything. She ruled the nation in his name, and he was just a face. As it was it functioned perfectly. 
 
And now the Commoner's night was approaching. It was a very old tradition. During the Commoner's night, the commoners where allowed into the castle garden for a feast. At first this invitation had been open for every citizen. But the city had grown, and the castle garden had not. So now they had to select the people invited. The noblemen had directly tried to seize a permanent invitation. But Persea and told them no. When they insisted that she was "just a girl" she had turned to her husband who always on those occasion only spoke one phrase "The one who call my wife 'just a girl' again will be executed in this room, no court, just the axe. Now listen to her" It was amazing what those words did, suddenly everyone was very interested in what she had to say. She had banned all the noblemen from the castle grounds during this special night. She had picked commoners from all classes of society.

The astronomers were always very busy those last days before the sun began to set. The sunset itself was magnificent. No one watched all of it though, seeing it took the sun 7 sleep periods to set. But the sunsets start always marked the time for the beginning of preparations for the Commoner's night. He resented when he woke up to find the sky slightly pink. Because it always meant his wife would be so busy she barely spoke to him. He loved when she spoke to him. She was so good for him. He laughed a bit as he remembered an elderly astronomer approach him 8 sleep periods ago. He had asked him to procrastinate the whole event another 10 sleep periods. As if he ruled over the sun! He had excused himself and told the astronomer that the commoners were expecting it on a particular date. 
 
A knock on the door pulled him out of his thoughts. So it was time then? He went and answered the door. The servant there bowed to him, then rose and stared at him. The king was dressed like any other commoner. That was the rule for commoner's night. No one was supposed to shine more than any other. So even the king dressed simple. It was obviously this servants first night..
-It is time now milord. Her ladyship already awaits you at the doors. 
He went towards the main gate. And there she stood. Like an angel. Dressed in a white long dress. He opened his mouth to tell her that she was supposed to dress simple. But he couldn't, she was too beautiful. He went and stood by her side, he gave her a quick kiss on her cheek. And they opened the door.
 
It was almost dark outside now. It would remain dark another 200 sleep periods, and it would be cold. But tonight was a special night. Torches burned at strategic positions throughout the garden. Making the garden appear magical. With spots of lights and the darkness creeping in from all direction. The commoners were entering the garden from the other side. Some 150 commoners were invited this time. It was truly soon time. He walked to a platform. He may be dressed like a commoner but still he was king and he was expected to hold a little speech, which his wife had prepared for him earlier.
 
"Citizens! Welcome to my garden. Again we gather here, unfortunately my garden is not big enough to hold every one from the city. I always intended to make it bigger, but the size it would need is, overwhelming. Tonight we will all watch the Nightbloom open. And we will all feast like there is no tomorrow! (the crowd was cheering now). Tonight I ask you to see me as an equal. But now let us all pray for the sun's return, as it is written in the Book of the Night"
 
He kneeled, this always amazed people, their powerful king kneeled for the gods. They all hurried to kneel too. Arkub began the chant. It only took 10 minutes to complete. When he arose again he saw that the nightbloom was about to open. And held his finger over his lips to indicate silence. The crowed fell silent and watched him. But as the guards turned out every second torch they began to look around. Not many knew what "nightbloom" was. There were wild stories, and the fact that they only grew here in the castle garden, and nowhere else (or actually one place else but it was closely guarded by the Unforgiven) only made the rumors extreme. Around them the flowers began to glow, first gently then brighter and brighter. And finally they opened up. A magnificent sight. Like a water lily on land, glowing white, as they opened small insects called 'harbringerflies'  came. Like a buzz in the air they came and landed on the petals of the flowers. So began the night. Everyone was taken by this natures wonder, but taken or not this was a moment of free food, so the feast began. And just like Arkub had suspected not a single pair of eyes missed his wife. She seemed to be an elf floating around the garden. It almost looked like she glowed herself. Arkub was so proud of her he could burst. He looked around he saw a couple of Unforgiven stand guard, and felt safe, so he went for food. No point in missing it, is it?


If you think I should finish this story, do let me know!  Contact me

 

This story was written in 2002, it is a rough draft the inspiration is one line from a NightWish song. Again it is an example of my early stories. It is not excellent, but it is not a really bad story either. It has no ending, one day I may come back and finish it.