NaNoWriMo Day 21 Part 1
posted at: 11/22/2014

Captain Herman took up the oars and Charlie's thug sat in the rear of the vessel. Matilda and Charles sat facing each other in the front of the boat. Matilda tried to reason with her son. "Charles, why are you doing this? What's happened to you?"

"What has happened to me, Mother," he spat that last word out with disdain, "is that I have gained the throne and I need to take steps to protect myself."

The old woman was startled. "What? What do you mean you've gained the throne?"

"Isn't it obvious? With Francis out of the way, I am the king."

"But George..."

The mention of his brother's name caused the prince to furrow his brow and clench his fists. "I have the crown. I have the scepter. I have the castle. I have the King's Seal. Does George have any of that? No. I have the authority. I am the king."

"You didn't inhert th..."

The prince momentarily forgot that he was in a boat. He stood up and towered over the small, bent form of his aged mother, yelling. "Did father inherit the throne? Did you? No! You took it!" This tirade was made less impressive by the dangerous rocking of the boat that caused it to be cut short when the prince was forced to sit down to avoid tipping the vessel. Captain Herman, who had been trying to keep an eye on both the prince and his thug--which was made much more difficult by the fact that he was sitting in the middle of them--raised one oar as if pondering whether or not he should strike the rampaging royal with it. The Captain appeared to decide against such measures and dipped the oar back into the river.

On the other boat, Amaranth whispered to the Weisgarbers "I thought the Frangeners have been royal, well, forever."

Cindy whispered back. "No, dear. It's a common mistake. It was the Frengerbers who ruled before. They were awful. Everyone was so happy when old Elizer Frengerber died, but the kingdom was left to no one in particular so there was a lot of fighting before the Frangeners finally took over. Long story. Ask Amy about it sometime."

In her own boat, Matilda was saying "It wasn't really like that. You know it wasn't."

The prince ignored this comment. "And I have to protect myself from all these pretenders to the throne. George would claim to be king. Ha! He'll see what happens to traitors."

"But the law, Charles. Even kings have to obey the law and the law says you're not..."

"No one cares about your laws. No one reads them. I can do whatever I want."

Captain Herman spoke through his rowing. "I read 'em. I know 'em. It's my job."

Prince Charlie turned and pointed an angry finger at the Captain. "Learn not to speak to your betters. You can be replaced."

The Captain may have grumbled, "Not easily," but the prince had already turned back tou his mother and didn't hear.

Matilda had a sudden and shocking realization as the boat touched lightly against the dungeon docks. "You're insane."

Her son looked at her with disgust and said, "No, I am the king" as he stepped out of the boat.