So Many Kings

September 8th, 2011  |  Published in Short Stories

Never Give Up

SO MANY KINGS by Bo Johnson

There are only two things I am sure about. One, it’s cold as blue blazes and two, I have to get back to the warrior princess soon because only she has the antidote for the poison the People of the White Light had given me. These things are clear. Nothing else is clear in the slightest way. My vision is fuzzy and blurred and I feel numb all over. I feel no pain. I don’t remember it hurting when I hit the ground just minutes ago. I fell flat on my face when the giant man charged me and knocked me down.

My name is Thor and I am old. Much older than I should be I suppose. I have been a faithful warrior to the king. Actually to several kings for I am old. They tell us that at a certain age we can be free of our warrior burdens and rest in peace. That we can go stand with an older woman and look at the sea or the mountains. What they didn’t tell us is that we would all, one at a time, be called to the place of the white light and tested to see if we should be kept alive and in service. If I could only see the warrior princess with her silver shield. She would pour life back into my stumbling body. My face is so cold. I think it has started to snow.

I’m back in the dark and damp canyon that smells of death. My knees are weak and shaking. I must sit down and rest. I know I’m getting close. It’s the smell.

I was able to escape the place of extreme white light this morning when some fresh near dead came in. Although I was nearly gone myself I felt my way out into the dark canyons. I was knocked down twice. I wandered to this familiar area of stench. Walking, seeing, staying awake. Everything is so hard to do. In my mind I can see a cartoon of a guy with an icicle hanging on his nose and that makes me smile. What a weird time to be smiling.

I can’t just sit here. I’ll go to sleep. I’ll put my heels and my back against this wall and stand up. My god, why is that so hard? Must be the poison. I must find the princess or I’m doomed. I’m so cold. I’m so old. So many kings. There, I am standing, back against the wall. The cold air hurts my lungs. Across the canyon from me is a flash of light and an opening comes in the canyon wall. She appears in a white and yellow cape. She has darkened eyes and red, red lips. The warrior princess rushes to me, grabs my frozen hands and pulls me into the opening. It’s warm.

“Mr. Thor, are you alright? Just look at my friend, his hands are shaking. How can they over medicate and experiment with these old vets. I don’t think that clinic should have a license. No telling how long he has been behind this coffee shop in the snow.”

The cook asked, “What do they give him?”
“I don’t think they know,” said the waitress.
They moved me into a soft, padded area and she re-appeared with the steaming cup on her silver shield.
“Drink this black coffee sweetheart, it helped you last week.”
I’m so tired. But if here on her padded throne is where I must die then so be it.
The war was nothing compared to the last of the peace.

Leave a Response