The King's Mate: Caesura

Proofed by Lisa. This is the second part of The King's Mate, if you didn't read the first part The Holly & the Ivy, I strongly recommend you do that first. I'll post the prologue at the end of the first part for those who have it on story alert. Look for the second installment!


A black car rolled slowly over the small, bumpy road littered with pot holes, which ended at the parking area at the edge of the woods. It looked almost alien in a place were usually only hikers parked their much more appropriate SUV's. Nobody in their right mind would normally drive a large Mercedes limousine, built for long, comfortable journeys on well paved highways to such a place.

The car finally stopped at the end of a small hiking path leading deeper into the forest. The driver stepped out, scanned his surroundings thoroughly then opened the back passenger door. Someone from the inside passed him a blue lidded jar, which he took very carefully together with a sculptured cane. Then a man emerged from the inside, ran a hand through his longish, white hair, before he took the blue jar back and started to walk towards the forest path, supporting himself heavily on the cane.

A third man, who had just gotten out of the front passenger seat, joined the driver and both followed behind in some distance.

The path was getting steeper but the old man still went by a steady pace. Nobody talked; only the constant crunching of gravel underneath their shoes and the occasional scraping of the cane could be heard.

Half an hour later they'd reached their destination; a small glade opening up to the breathtaking vista of a large river valley. They stopped briefly to take in the view before they made their way over to an old wooden bench, waiting near the rim of for tired hiker or a loving couple to enjoy the great outlook.

The older man set the blue jar carefully on the bench. Then he searched the back of the bench with his eyes, his eyes lit up when he found it. Engraved in the weathered wood was a heart, enclosing two letters entwined in each other. He followed the lines with his index finger, eventually lingering on one of the letters a little bit longer, while silent tears were running down his face.

Eventually a smile appeared on his face and he fumbled in the pocket of his coat until he held a bleached out little rainbow flag in his hand and let it flutter in the wind. Stepping up to the brink he said, "We need to determine the wind direction to send him on his final journey in style, right my friends? He would have loved this."

When he was satisfied he turned, took the jar and placed it on the palm of his out stretched hand. One of his companions took a professional camera out of the bag he'd carried over his shoulder and took several pictures. Then he nodded and slowly the jar started to levitate, then it floated in the direction of the open valley. With a flicker of his wrist it stopped several yard ahead, the lid was lifted and the jar dipped over to release the ash. "Good bye my darling. Thank you for everything." He stared at the hovering urn for several minutes, before he hurled it away with a resolute gesture. In the distance noise of shattering earthenware could be heard.

"Who said 'Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end'?

"Seneca. He also said 'If you wished to be loved, love.'"

"I'm impressed by your knowledge concerning classic Roman philosophers my friends."