Yes, it's true: I've neglected this blog dreadfully, shamefully. I mean that; both dread and shame were involved. I've been busy, but I've also been stuck, with bits in both the handwritten and typed versions of this scene that I had trouble getting through. These things almost never fix themselves, though. It's not enough to reread what I have so far, close the notebook and walk away; or to open the Word document and leave it untouched for days at a time. I have to actually work on the darn thing. So, as a step in that direction, I'm going to finally get a new entry in here. Maybe I'll get stuck in this version, too--but maybe not!
The Mâvarin Revolutions
Fragments from a Work in Progress
by Karen Funk Blocher
© 2007 by KFB
Final Instructions, Part Two
(Fayubi has gone to visit the dying King, who wonders whether it's too late for anyone to ask anything of him.)
“Not while you still live, Your Majesty.” The opportunity to talk to King Jor actually extended a little beyond death, but Fayubi was not eager to exercise that option.
Jor’s eyebrows shot up. “You mean to kill a dying man?”
Fayubi smiled. “No, Your Majesty. I mean to ask a dying sovereign for last instructions.”
“Instructions about what? Who in Thâle’s name are you?”
“I have several names, Your Majesty. The one you may have heard is Fabi the Innkeeper. Or possibly Fabi the Drunk.”
Jor peered at him curiously. “Are you drunk? You don’t sound drunk.”
“Nor am I, Your Majesty. I no longer do that.”
“Good for you. The name is familiar, though…oh! Oh! I remember! You’re the one who made that strange rhyming prediction about me being kidnapped.”
Fayubi was startled. “You know about that?”
“Lore told me about it long ago. She and Jere created a spell that saved me from it happening. Or so they said.”
Here was confirmation of Fayubi’s suspicions, but the means remained unclear. “What kind of spell was it?”
Still lying nearly flat in his bed, the King managed a shrug by twitching his right shoulder. “Oh, I wouldn’t know about that. Have I upset you?”
“A little, Your Majesty. Whatever they did affected my whole life since then – and yours.”
“For the better, I hope.”
“I hope you don’t mind if I disagree with you. That’s the one luxury I have now, disagreeing. You may think that getting kidnapped would have been an interesting experience for me, but to be honest I see no possible advantage to it. How can being dragged away by the creatures in the prophecy possibly be better than being right here in my Palace, with the woman I love, who loves me in return?”
Fayubi hesitated in his reply, which prompted an amused smile from the dying king. “You don’t think Lormarte loves me, do you?” he asked.
“I don’t know, Your Majesty.”
“Well I do. Even now, when she has withdrawn her mindpush spells to help keep me alive a little longer, I cannot doubt that my queen really does love me.”
“Forgive me, Your Majesty, but how do you know you are free from such influences?”
“I know because I see now all my faults that were once hidden from me. I know because all those private opinions I hardly knew I had, now run freely through my mind. I know because Dimider said three days ago that eighteen years of magic have drained me of vitality to the point of death, and yet for the moment I still live. Do you believe me?”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“Good man. Now, what did you want to ask me that you can’t divine for yourself?”
Fayubi winced. “In this world I can no longer divine anything, Your Majesty. So I ask questions. Chief among them is this: who would you choose to succeed you on the throne of Mâvarin?”
“Ah! You must be with the Mâ-na-Mâ. But what makes you think my opinion on the subject matters? Nobody’s going to listen to it.”
Fayubi sighed. King Jor might indeed be right about being free from his queen’s mindpush spells, but imposing his own will on the situation seemed to be beyond his capability. Still, Fayubi had to try to get Jor’s approval for whatever needed to happen next.
“I’ll listen, Your Majesty,” he said. “Perhaps, with my help,” others will listen, too.”
Yeah, that broke the log jam.