This episode of SLS is a little different than the previous ones. This time, I picked the lyrics myself instead of being prompted by one of my awesome readers. I’ll get back to the prompts next time, but I had a month’s worth of posts to write, so I changed it up a little bit with some lyrics from a Nothing More song.
“I have watched you fade in, you will watch me fade out. When the grip leaves my hand, I know you won’t let me down.” Nothing More – Fade In/Fade Out
“I’ve done it, Father,” he announced as he strolled into the throne room triumphantly. “I have led our army to victory against the Awntish.”
He knew that runners had already beaten him back to the castle with the news, but he enjoyed making a grand entrance because it embarrassed his dad. Despite being mid-day, however, his father’s throne was empty. Surprised, he looked around for someone to ask what was going on. His father’s steward entered the room, saw who had made the noise, ran up to him, and bowed. “Prince Wellton,” the steward began.
“Where is he?” Wellton interrupted.
“Your Highness, you may want to prepare yourself…”
“Where is he?” Wellton yelled.
“In his bedchamber.”
Wellton rushed out of the room and ran to his father’s bedchamber. When he got there, his father was in his bed, surrounded by healers. They scrambled to get out of his way as he approached. His heart broke when he was finally close enough to see his father’s condition. The king was rail thin, pale, and appeared to be incredibly weak. Wellton wrapped his hand around his father’s, but made sure to be careful. He was afraid that if he squeezed at all, he may break bones.
“Father,” he said with tears running down his cheeks. “What’s wrong with you?”
The king opened his eyes, saw his son by his bedside, and smiled, revealing wrinkles that Wellton hadn’t seen before. “I got old,” the king chuckled before having a coughing fit.
“I wasn’t gone that long.”
“I’ve been old for a long time now. You just never noticed it before. When you’re with someone every day, you don’t see how they change over time. It wasn’t until you were away from me that you saw it.”
Wellton shook his head in denial. “Why haven’t the healers cured you yet?”
“There is no cure, magical or otherwise, for time. It’s a foe none of us can defeat.”
More tears flowed. Wellton knew his father had given up and was just waiting on death to claim him. “What will I do without you?”
“You will do what you’ve always done,” the king responded in a voice continuously growing weaker. “You will protect our kingdom from invaders, just like you did against the Awntish. You will be a fair and just king, just as you were a fair and just prince. You will be a good husband to your wife and a good father to my granddaughter, and any other child you may have after I’m gone.”
“I don’t know if I can do all that without you here to guide me.”
With a squeeze of his hand, the king whispered, “I know you can.”
Wellton felt his father’s hand go limp. He looked into the king’s eyes, but there was no life left in them. His father, the king, was gone. He began sobbing uncontrollably. The healers hurried to get out of the room, leaving the prince to his grief. Once they were gone, Wellton brought his father’s hand up to his lips and kissed it. “I won’t let you down, Father. I promise.”