The following is a tiny snippet from a very, very long fantasy story that Michael Henkhaus has been working on for a very, very long time. More to come!
Gerth’s room was very large. It had a big bed by the wall, with a warm red blanket that covered the entire mattress. Gerth was always finding new ways of sleeping in it. Above his bed hung a large framed script. It read: “Fight the evil you wish not to become, and protect your loved ones from the troubles they wish not to obtain. Fear not, for fear is too great and evil a power for any man to ever possess.” Gerth lived by this sentence, and often quoted it to his friends.
He had a large fireplace on the other wall, that he never really used because Haelin was usually very warm. Hanging over his desk he had his degrees that he had earned from graduating from Basic Training School, as well as The Institute of Fine Fighting, and the most important, the certificate that pronounced him as Head Royal Guard.
He had a shelf lined with large trophies won by fighting in different Haelin Tournaments. There was a painting hanging over his bed that depicted an elegant grey wolf howling at the moon. A large trunk rested by his desk that had his sword and other weapons that he had acquired over his twenty three years.
He woke on one fine, slightly cool, spring morning. He stood higher than most people, but wasn’t too tall. Gerth was extremely handsome, or so he was told. His body was sculpted out of marble by the Creator himself, and his hair was dark as night, cut short so you could see his ears and the back of his neck, and his eyes. His eyes were a mysterious grey color. Gerth was the adopted son of Queen Loraine Tereon. She found him and took him in when he was still a baby.
“Gerth. My son, are you awake? I am going for a walk through the streets of Haelin. As the Head of my Royal Guard you must accompany me,” Gerth heard Loraine say over the mighty pounding on the door. “But I am asking you as your mother to join me.”
“The pay for Head of the Royal Guard isn’t even that much, definitely not enough to wake this early,” Gerth mumbled to himself, “Yes mother I’m coming. Allow me to dress.” He stretched out, and then tossed his blanket off. Gerth dressed himself in his silver tunic with his black hide pants. He found his scabbard belt, tightened it around his waist then rummaged for his sword (almost slicing his leg in the process) and left out the door.
Loraine was waiting for him just outside his room. She embraced him in a tight hug. “Gerth! You live.” She looked up and down his body. “You don’t need your sword, why bear it?” Loraine asked.
“I just grabbed it. I don’t know why,” Gerth answered.
“Well, go put it back,” Loraine ordered.
“No, I already took it. Let’s just go,” Gerth said.
“Who taught you how to dress yourself so well?” Loraine asked fixing her son’s collar.
“You did mother,” Gerth smiled at her.
“Walk with me Gerth.” Loraine took her son by the arm and they began walking in the direction of the Royal Gardens. “Oh right, I remember. Well I taught you very well, and you look wonderful. Might I add. I remember when you were just a baby, and I would bathe you. The maidens always told me that they would gladly care for you for me, but I wanted to do it all on my own, because you are my boy, and nobody else’s.” Loraine looked at her son.
“I remember when you took your first steps. It was down in the Great Hall. You climbed up on the table and then stood up and[d] walked back over to me. Oh it was so great, I remember I was crying.” She laughed. “But then you tripped on a plate and fell on your face!” She sighed. “Yes Gerth, when you were still young you and I would do everything together.”
“When I was still young? I’m twenty three, and I still have to walk you around. My eyes may be bad, but I don’t think anything has changed,” Gerth teased her.
“Hush, hush!” Loraine hit him in the arm. She turned left down another hallway.
“Ow,” Gerth said full of sarcasm. “Wait, mom,” Gerth pulled Loraine back to the hallway, “The gardens are that way.” Gerth pointed straight.
“You were still a princess when you adopted me, though, so you did not have to rule while raising a child, and you did not have to pay for me either.” They entered into the gardens. The garden had every plant in Darnor. Beautiful flowers circled the trunks of tall breathtaking trees, that grew delicious fruits, and in the middle of the garden was a elegant water fountain. Water came out of a stone lady’s hands and then was poured into four different little basins that were all lit with a green light.
“That’s, not the point. The point is Gerth, that you are my son, and I have loved you ever since I saw you.”
“It feels very good to wake up to such compassion,” Gerth smiled lovingly at his mother. He leaned down and plucked a red flower. “For you.” Gerth held the flower out to his mother.
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