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The death of a king

by Llwyd L. Brenin 12 months ago in Short Story
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Llwyd L. Brenin

When he came to, he was lying on the ground somewhere in the middle of the desert. He was alone. Where was everyone else and what happened? The next thing he knew, pain shot through his leg as it felt like someone hit him with a hammer. When he looked down at his leg, he saw a two-tailed scorpion ready to strike again. He scooted away and out of range as fast as he could. The scorpion scurried off and disappeared between some rocks.

Robby stood up and looked around. All he could see in any direction was sand. The sun was to his right. He knew it was just past noon, so that was west. He headed in that direction. Where am I going? He thought. His head was getting really fuzzy. He wasn’t sure how long he had been walking. He didn't know where he was going. He was even having trouble remembering where he came from. I have to get out of this desert, he thought. The sun was hot overhead, and the sand burned his feet right through his shoes. He scanned the surrounding area as far as he could see. Nothing! He was lost. Luckily, he still had water, but it wasn't much. Maybe he could make it stretch another day. He looked towards the horizon, and now he could see the faintest hint of mountains. He knew they were too far. He would run out of water and dehydrate before he was halfway there.

Why does my leg hurt? He thought. He looked down at his leg. It was red and swollen, and two puncture wounds were seeping clear fluid. He started to panic. He got dizzy and his head started to pound. He tried to calm himself by taking deep breaths. It seemed to be working because the pain was receding. He knew that he needed to stay calm and keep moving. Why? What’s wrong with my leg? It’s getting stiff and it hurts. He looked at his red, swollen leg. He remembered what happened! He got stung by… Wait what happened? It was getting harder to walk. Why am I so dizzy? He tried to keep walking, but he was slowing down. His vision started to narrow. Why does my leg hurt? He felt like the ground suddenly fell away from his feet. He could see that he was still on solid ground, but he felt like he was falling. Then everything went dark, and he thought he heard someone speak but it sounded far away and barely audible.

"Robby, where are you?"

"What? Who was that?"

Everything was still dark. Robby couldn't see, hear, or feel anything. His mind seemed to still be conscious, but he could feel it slipping away as he was thinking. Is this what it feels like to die? He thought to himself. That was his last thought, as He faded into the darkness.

"Robby where are you?" Chiara said. "Can you hear me?"

Chiara woke back up. She was worried about Robby, and she was starting to think the worst. His energy was there, it was weak but there. Now it's just gone. Maybe something's just blocking it, she thought. That has to be it. She didn't want to even think about the alternative. He will be okay, and I will search until I find him, she thought. It had been two days since their escape from Osiris. She woke up two miles west of the city. The first thing that she noticed, was the sweet smell of flowers accompanied by the melody rustling of leaves. when she opened her eyes, she found herself lying under a large pear tree. But she didn't have time to relax. She had to find Robby.

Chiara was riding through the desert on Sierra. They were following Cavall as he was trying to pick up Robby's scent. Nothing else mattered to her. With Robby gone, it felt like part of her was missing. All she could think about was finding him. They headed south, further into the desert. The only thing they found so far was sand. That's all there was, as far as they could see. They started to drift to the southwest. After a few hours, the dunes seemed like they were getting smaller. Before they knew it, they came to what looked like a dried-up lakebed. The ground here was flat. There were no hills or dunes, just clusters of rocks here and there.

As they continued to move southwest, Chiara noticed that even this barren wasteland wasn't devoid of life. She saw all kinds of lizards, desert ants, she even saw a few scorpions with two tails. Suddenly, Cavall stopped. He smelled the air, then he turned his nose to the ground. He was moving faster now. He found a sent! He stopped near a cluster of rocks. Chiara couldn't believe her eyes. There on the ground was a locket. She picked it up and looked at it. Robby was wearing this, she thought. She slipped it over her head and tucked it under her shirt. Cavall walked in a circle smelling the ground. He suddenly stopped. Then he howled, and he started running toward the West. He found Robby's scent.

Robby was in a tunnel. Everything was dark, except for that light. It was just a tiny speck of light that seemed to be at the end of this tunnel. It looked like it was getting closer. No. He was getting closer to it. As he got closer, he noticed that the light wasn't getting bigger, just brighter. It felt like he was being stretched. The light was blinding now! He closed his eyes. As soon as he did, it felt like he was falling. He opened his eyes. The light was gone, and he still felt like he was falling! Suddenly, there was nothing.

Drip drip drip. What was that? Drip drip drip. There it is again! Drip drip drip... The, now, constant dripping sounded like it was in a well, or maybe it was a cave. He tried to open his eyes. His head felt like it was splitting open. Then nothing!

Drip drip drip. There was that dripping sound again! This time it was accompanied by a smell. It was a wet smell, with a hint of something sweet. Maybe flowers? It reminded him of a flower garden after the rain. Except, there was a kind of musty smell. He opened his eyes. It didn’t hurt as much this time, but he felt like he was spinning. It made him dizzy, and that made him feel sick. He tried to look around, but he couldn’t see anything. He tried to turn his head. It was too much. It felt more like he was trying to tear his own head off, rather than just turn it. Then he passed out again!

Robby opened his eyes again. He could see this time, but he was pretty sure that he wasn’t in the same place. It wasn’t dark, and he didn’t hear that constant dripping sound. He lifted his head. It was still hurting, but nothing like before. He was in a tent. He managed to sit up, but it wasn’t an easy task. He was about to try to stand when he noticed that he was completely naked. The only thing that was covering him was the blanket that was now sitting across his lap. He looked around for his clothes. Not seeing any, he pulled the blanket up around his waist. Holding on to the blanket, he tried to stand. He wasn’t strong enough yet, so he just sat there for a minute. Robby heard a bell attached to the front of the tent ring. Then someone walked in. He appeared to be an older man. He looked to be five’ ten” or five’ eleven.” He had an average build, dark tanned skin, and greying hair. He was dressed in white from head to toe.

“I see you’re up, and so soon,” he said. “That's good. My name is Malik. I’m a doctor. I have to be honest with you, I didn’t think you would make it.”

“My name is…uhhh...Ro... bert Robert, I think,” Robby said.

“Give it time, young one, it’ll all come back,” Malik said. “Don’t try to force it. You’ll only get frustrated.”

“I... I thought I was dead,” Robby said.

“Technically, you were,” Malik said, "there was just one little spark keeping you from crossing over. You are a very strong young man, both physically and mentally. Not too many people can survive the sting of the split tail desert scorpion. But what I find most astounding is the fact that you walked over a mile and a half after being stung!”

“How is that surprising?” Robby asked. “I am Sir Robert Walter Knight, Crown Prince of Promiseum, And heir to the throne.”

“Because, whether they survived or not, no one has ever walked more than two or three yards after a single sting,” Malik said. “You are the first to even survive a double sting. And without treatment!”

“I thought you said that you were a doctor.” Robby said, “Didn’t you treat me?”

“It was too late for treatment by the time you were found,” Malik said. “If you were to survive, all we could do was let the poison run its course. We took you to the hidden spring cavern because it’s a place of healing. There is, however, a prophecy that says a man who survives a double sting of a split tail scorpion, will rule all in the land, including the scorpions themselves. My people live under the sign of the scorpion. As the leader of the Grannus, I pledge my loyalty and that of my people to you, Sir Robert.”

“Please, call me Robby,” Robby said. “Are you aware of what’s been happening out there?”

“We are,” Malik said, "and we are at your disposal. Normally we are peaceful nomads, but these soldiers are getting out of hand. They disrupt our trade with the city. And now that they have sent more soldiers to Osiris, the trade has stopped. They also send units deep into the desert, who attack our convoys.”

“That seems really fast,” Robby said. “How long was I out?

“Almost two weeks,” Malik said. “Here is your bag. Your clothes are inside. You should get dressed now.”

Robby retrieved his clothes from the bag and got dressed. It took a while because it was still hard for him to move. His joints felt stiff, and his body was still kind of weak. He looked at his leg. There was no more swelling, and the puncture wounds were healed. Robby noticed, however, that there were two dark orange marks where the wounds were. He also noticed that if you looked at them at just the right angle, each one looked like a Yin-Yang formed with scorpion tails. He touched his leg. It was still tender like he had just got a tattoo.

Two weeks, he thought, I hope everyone is okay. He didn’t know what happened. How did we get separated? Now that he thought about it, he missed having Chiara with him. He always felt like something was missing from his life, but when she was near all he felt was happiness. Now he didn’t know where she was or if she was okay. He knew that she was strong and smart and could handle herself. But look what happened to him. Now, he realized just how fragile life could be. He knew that naturally, He could live forever, so in that sense, he had plenty of time. But he wasn’t indestructible. He was at war, and if they weren't careful anyone could die. He made up his mind! Chiara was the most important part of his life. Before he did anything, he would find her and let her know how he felt!

Short Story

About the author

Llwyd L. Brenin

The stories that you see labeled chapter one - chapter sixteen are chapters from my completed book, The story of Promiseum - Dream Walker. So if you decide to escape to my fantasy world, start with chapter one and read them in order.

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