NaNoWriMo Day 24 Part 1
posted at: 11/24/2014

Three stories above the prison, the prince was pensively pacing his bedchamber. His valet stood unobtrusively in a corner, but otherwise, the prince was alone. He had moved his apartments to the King's Chambers, but none of the trappings of his new position could help him. The rich clothes, the canopied bed, the gilt armchairs, and the plush carpet all failed to comfort the prince. He was tired of being king. Which was disappointing considering that it had been all he had wanted since he was a child. He had been the youngest son--fourth in line for the throne. When his father had taken his brothers to sit with him at the judgement seat or join in the councils with his advisors, Charles had been left to study under his tutor. It had been so incredibly unlikely that he would ever become king that his parents hadn't even bothered teaching him what was required of one. Poor planning on their part.

Now, his head ached with the thought of one more meeting, one more complaint, one more peasant trying to ruin all that he had worked for. His steward was worried, which wasn't an entirely unheard of event, but this time seemed different. The man had taken to hiding in his bedchamber and locking the door. More than once, Charles had had to have a servant pound on the door and announce that the king had arrived before the steward would unlock the door and open it a crack to peer out. He kept babbling about peasants from the village threatening him. "Coward." He mumbled.

Then there was the Captain of the Guard, who deserved to be hanged. "How was I supposed to know that his brat was one of those in the prison?" Charles muttered to himself. At least three quarters of the soldiers garrisoned in the castle had abandoned their posts the night before. They had said that they wouldn't fight for the king until 'Little Devon' was released from prison. Charles, because he hadn't been sure which of the two young boys in the cell had been Little Devon, decided to release all of the others. He wasn't sure if the woman in the cell wasn't the Captain's wife either. "Little Devon," Charles spat. Why couldn't people just let him accomplish his plans in peace?

His thoughts turned to his mother--who had been the most troublesome of all of his annoyances. "She never understood." He said, starting a new circuit of his rooms. If they had placed him higher in the order, perhaps made him the first heir, he never would have had to get rid of Francis and he wouldn't have to get rid of George now. Everything would have been perfect. But now, she wouldn't even help him with his plans. In fact, it seemed that the reason the villagers wanted to rebel, the reason the guards were so defiant, the reason the servants were so standoffish, was all because of her. He didn't understand why. She was truculent and old. She was more trouble than she was worth. Then, he had a thought that cheered him. "I'll kill her now." He said. Maybe, if she was gone, things would settle down. His valet put on his royal mantle--the one lined with silk--and the crown. The prince headed to the dungeon. His valet ran off in a different direction.