Sunday, February 10, 2008

Chapter 31

XXXI

In the inn where Al’bert was staying, not much stirred very loudly during the early morning hours. Whether that was because of the clientele particular to this inn, or because the innkeepers insisted upon it in order to maintain high marks, Al’bert didn’t know and neither did he care. On this particular morning he had been up since before dawn, gripped with the contents of the letter before him.

Dear Al’bert,

I received an interesting letter from your companion, the wizard, regarding your inability to find my brother and finish what I’ve asked of you. I didn’t think it was necessary to impress upon you the urgency of this matter, for I thought you knew that Sangwine is the only thing that stands between myself and contentment. I can not rest until he is dead, Al’bert, and I will do anything necessary to ensure it happens.

So, as a precautionary measure I am sure you’ll understand, I’ve taken your sister into my care until the matter is resolved.

Regards,

Fang, Overlord of Darkness

Schloeffelonian Empire

Al’bert had read the letter at least ten times, wishing miserably that it meant something other than what it did. The parchment was wrinkled recklessly from his anguish. At this point, Al’bert had to come to grips with the fact that he was no longer in control of any of the events surrounding him and Fang. Fang was no longer his friend, and unless Al’bert began performing adequately, his entire family was going to suffer badly.

The whole situation made him want to break something. On the one hand he had to wonder how it had come to this, and on the other hand he knew full well how everything had unfolded. Fang had never been stable, but he’d always been interesting; that’s what drew Al’bert to him. He was continually at something, as if he was filled with lightning struggling to get out, and on top of that, he’d been the heir to the throne. Even so, Fang had more or less inherited the throne, but on his own terms. It was always on Fang’s terms.

It was just unfortunate that Fang’s terms continued to become more and more unpleasant, and would eventually become horrifying.

Al’bert sighed, dropped the letter aside, and reached for his own tools of correspondence.

Dear Fang, O.D.:

Rest assured all is in hand. I’ve located Sangwine, and will move this morning. He is not doing well, you’ll be pleased to know, reduced to mingling with peasants and he appears to be flatly miserable. If I were one to question your orders, I would say that perhaps this is a better punishment for him than death. However, I am not one to question and will work to complete the task forthwith.

Al’bert, le Comte du Fromage

He dropped his quill aside and rose, folding the letter as he did so and preparing to embark. Knowing the others would scarcely be rising, he paced across the room once, then twice, then, unable to wait any longer, he went to knock on the door of Wiz.

The wizard looked more or less entirely put out at his door. Al’bert, for his part, had a difficult time containing his anger over Wiz’s betrayal, but he resolved not to let it be known. It’d be far easier to do this with help than alone.

I’ve found Prince Sangwine, he told the wizard. We’ll be intercepting him this morning.

The Wiz’s eyebrow raised, but other than that there was very little response.

That means we’re leaving in twenty minutes, said Al’bert shortly, and he turned for the stairs.

2 comments:

Rex Vallis said...

"Dear Fang, O.D."

What a sweet salutation...I can now see that I need a Title of Significance, so that all correspondence addressed to me can imply my status.

For example, "Dear Rex Vallis, R.M." (Regal Master), or "Esteemed Rex Vallis, M.S.C." (Most Esteemed Chancellor).

Seriously, Colby, this is by far the most entertaining novel I've read in a long time. I love to read the creations of somebody that is clearly very well read. Keep it up!

spastic-freak said...

i know i had the idea once that al'bert should be married off to a pretty baker's daughter or some such? if they grew grapes in the backyard they'd be completely self-sufficient.

is sangwine going to be waiting for them? i think not! the healer-girl already mentioned his brother. that should have gotten his hackles up - but he wouldn't want a scar. or is al'bert going to take his posse to the wrong place on purpose? hmmm...bactine and xylic should be showing up about now...