FICTION FRIDAY: Thimbleful – Sword of Damocles

I’ve had the song of the same name from Rocky Horror stuck in my head ever since I saw the prompt. Now just to write something that isn’t a boy toy in gold lamé hot pants.

Again, this prompt is pulled from the ever-talented Lyn Thorne-Alder’s Thimbleful Thursday posts, which are truly designed to save unimaginative wrecks like me. 🙂 The original challenge is 500 words. I somehow doubt I’ll stay within that.

The two men sat in an outside chamber, both still, their hands folded and heads down, pretending they couldn’t hear the cries of pain from the next room over. At least, that was how Tarenthal was handling the situation. He wouldn’t speak for the Caller.

Ta’lthe, how did I allow myself to be dragged into this? That was a simple enough answer: because Lady Celita had asked it of him, and he could not tell her no. Even when he knew that it was quite possible that his life would balance on what happened in that room…if the peace of the entire kingdom was going to be put into jeopardy if one thing went wrong…

She had asked him. And he could not have said no.

“Tarenthal.” The Caller’s voice was soft, even, giving away nothing. The guard closed his eyes. He knew the Caller couldn’t have been in favor of this.

“Yes, your Honor.”

“If…” Carinth’s voice faltered, and Tarenthal chanced a glance over. The Caller was staring at the ground. “Regardless of what the child…inherits.” There was a pause, long enough to make Tarenthal worry, before the Caller looked up and caught his gaze. “I will ensure the child’s safety, as best that I can. And the child will be raised as the rightful heir to the kingdoms.”

It took Tarenthal a moment to find his voice. “Thank you, your Honor.”

“This was…as you might guess, not my first choice in the matter. But…” He cleared his throat. “As I am unable…she would only accept you. And try though you might to hide it, I see the way you look at her.”

Tarenthal’s face flushed and his eyes dropped immediately to the ground. “Your Honor, I assure you, I would never–”

“It isn’t a judgement, Tarenthal.” When the guard finally managed to look back up, there was a small smile on the Caller’s lips. “She loves you as well, just as she may love me. It…that is one of the few reasons I agreed to her demand.” There was a long silence before the Caller spoke again. “You will be allowed full parental rights as well, in addition to the queen and I. Not only are you one of my most trusted guards, you are also the child’s true father…and a good friend to us both.”

Tarenthal’s eyes snapped back up to Carinth. Friend…? To Celita, perhaps, but to the Caller himself…? “I…am honored, your Honor. And I thank you.”

“Don’t thank me quite yet. We still have yet to see if concern is needed.”

And even with that terror hanging over his head, Tarenthal could not help the smile inching onto his face.

Now all he needed to do…was wait.


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