Loss After Loss

I took a deep breath and tried to quiet my mind. It was no use. Stories of those that had preceded me, desperate men all, gave rise to visions of blood soaked fields and merciless spirits that hunted debtors in the night.

My need drove onward and I opened the cupboard with trembling hands. The first light of morning splashed across the sallow graininess of the wooden walls. In the center a tiny figured stirred, first lifting her head and then stretching out her arms overhead.

“Who dares disturb my slumber?” She murmured sleepily.

“Thomas, if it pleases you, Your Majesty.”

“Few things please me at this hour but somehow I doubt that if I called you ‘dog’ that you would bark for my amusement. Have you brought payment?”

I swallowed hard and once again asked God for forgiveness. “I have, Your Majesty.”

“And what is it that you desire? Love? Prosperity? Vengeance?”

“None of that. My daughter has taken ill-”

“I’m afraid that it’s too late.”

A cloud passed in front of the sun and I knew her words to be true.

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