Rune

Prologue

She was the first thing he noticed once he stepped into the room. She was lying there, sleeping perhaps. Whatever it was, he wasn't at all surprised at the condition she was in. Skin and bones were almost all she was. He could see her limbs twitching violently, and he also became aware of how pale she had become. Disease had obviously chosen to strike her first.

He walked to her side to examine her more closely. Pain was written across the small features of her face, and it looked as if she had aged nearly ten years. Her long, dark hair was sprawled out around her, no longer neatly pinned up as it usually was. A minute passed and he frowned, turning away from her and looking out the window by her bedside.

In the distance he could make out the city he would one day rule. He imagined the people that lived there. Right now they would just be waking up, doing all of their morning chores and preparing for the day ahead. All of them busy, and none of them aware that as they went about doing the same things they always did, their beloved queen was dying. He thought of how he would take her place when she was gone, and everyday he wondered if he would be up for it. Everyday he wondered if he could really rule on his own. When he turned away from the window to look at the woman again, he glared at her.

"Just go on and die. This kingdom has no need for you anymore." He said this under his breath, just so she couldn't hear him if she happened to be awake. If she was concious, he knew exactly what she would say to him. The picture of her frowning while she placed her hand on his, saying softly, "Is that really how you feel? Is that really what you want to say to me?", was clear in his mind. He could almost hear her gentle voice, always choosing her words carefully to make him feel guilty and regret what he had said. He quickly erased these thoughts from his mind and walked to the door to leave.

"Zandler… come here my son."

He stopped in his tracks and turned around. She still didn't appear to be awake, but after a moment, she opened her eyes. Looking back at him with almost all the life drained out of her amber eyes, she smiled. Reluctantly, he walked to the bed, just as she had asked. They were silent as they looked at each other. Even through his cold stare, she continued smiling.

"Zandler… it seems my time has come to join your father."

He didn't answer her, only kept staring.

She sighed, "My only regret will be leaving you. It's not fair to leave you in charge of, well, everything. You're much too young to rule."

He glared at her. "I'll do fine."

She ignored his remark, continuing on, "My, my... if I had been given the responsibility to rule at the age of fifteen? I don't know what I'd do. But you… there's something in you. I have a feeling that you'll do fine, that even if, no, when I do leave, it'll be okay in the end. I'm sure the people will like you. I trust you to make good decisions." She closed her eyes, letting out a long shaky breath that was interrupted by a violent cough. After another moment of silence, she slowly extended her hand towards her son. "Zandler, take my hand in yours, please." He looked down at her pale hand with disgust, as if it were some foreign object he had never seen.

"Zandler, please…"

He heard the desperation in her voice, and he picked it up hesitantly, feeling how cold it was. It was almost time for her to leave him.

"Zandler I…" she paused and then went on, "I know that you and I, we never were as close as I suppose we should have been, but… I have always cared. Not a day has gone by that I haven't thought of you and how much I really do care and I…" once again she paused, "before I forget there's something you must know," still holding onto his hand, she used all the energy she had left to barely get into a sitting position, "I wanted to wait until your next birthday to tell you, but it seems there's no time for that. In this castle there's a special book you must find. I'm not entirely sure where it is, but I know you'll find it somewhere around here if you really look. It's an old book… pages torn out and cover nearly falling off… but it's very important and I need you to look for it. You may not be able to understand it, as most of it's written in a different language, but I know you'll figure it out somehow. It's very important, though, and you must promise me you will find it."

She took a long in drawn breath and once again closed her eyes, a smile covering her face as she relaxed.

"Oh Zandler, I'm going to miss you. But I know you'll make it… I believe in you. I… I love…"

Her voice had faded off into a whisper, and then that was it. She was gone. He looked into her lifeless face. She was still smiling.

A moment passed, and he quickly dropped her hand and exited the room, not once turning back to look at his dead mother.

o.o.o

I hope you guys enjoyed that. My first story on this site. This was only the prologue, however. I hope to get the first chapter out soon enough. Review.

last edited on august 28, 2008: I put in some more detail and cleaned up some grammar issues. Other than that, everything's pretty much the same.