Children of Dawn - Chapter 2 - To Worry and be Silent
Little more than a day had passed since the old farmer witnessed the strength and compassion of his King first hand. He knew that tonight would be his moment of recognition, as he prayed his life’s work would not fail him.
Wrath however, had much more pressing matters circling within his mind. Despite his unmistakable presence and immense reputation, there were still those who had the false courage to oppose him. Extremists and terrorists lurked in the shadows, threatening the peace which he had built. Though Wrath had laws in place to guide and shape the men and woman of his world, he had few capable of enforcing them.
The previous seven years had been a struggle to prevent these rebels from disrupting the New Year celebrations, held within the capital. Their disobedience did not worry the God, but their methods deeply disturbed him. Year after year they became ever more cunning, bolder and blind with loyalty to their, as yet, unknown cause.
As twilight began to creep, the tingling sensation of a coming threat crawled under Wrath’s skin. He did not believe in establishing a public service, a law enforcing agency to keep the citizens in check. He instead put his hopes in the hearts of men who saw it as their duty to uphold the morals passed to them by their King. Though he knew they were few in numbers, it was enough to breathe encouragement into him. Despite this, he quietly hoped that no one else would become involved with the security of his people. After the horrors he had witnessed in his secret life, he could not bear to place others in harm’s way. It is because of this that he knew he must take the success and security of the event upon himself, and act before others felt that it was their responsibility.
This fact had never bothered him, his confidence in his abilities even outweighed his hope for true peace. But tonight was different, as the cool whisp of night air breathed around his neck, he felt exposed, almost helpless to a point, as though he had missed something. He stood upon a peak, looking down to the warm glow of his inner kingdom as they eagerly prepared for the coming celebration.
His sharp eyes could detect the children dashing excitedly through the streets, mostly sheltered by the crisp slate structures of the capital. They tugged and pulled at their parents to hurry to the centre for a better view. Word of Glen’s Sky Fires had spread quickly, causing visitors from far and wide to pour into the city, even from the early hours of the morning. He would have to be especially vigilant to ensure the safety of the growing crowd.
“My King?” peeped a gentle voice as it climbed to the brow of the mountain.
The stocky King rocked his head back a little, to see more of the clear, fading sky. “Do you think they will be safe this year? Do you think the Sky Fires will make them happy the whole year long?” his tone was ruined with an underlying hint of doubt and concern.
“Oh Wrath. Honestly, you worry too much. Why wouldn’t they be safe? Why wouldn’t they be happy?” a whispering breeze carried the voice closer, blowing her scent on their air as Gabriella circled to the God’s side. She inched closer to him, swaying to his front. “These people are watched over by the most caring and selfless of the Originals. Maybe you shouldn’t doubt their love for you as much as you do.”
Wrath’s eyes shifted down to see his innocent assistant, wrapped in an elegant red, knee length gown, ready for the evening’s event.
She scooped a lock of brunette hair behind her ear, her King's gentle stare making her blush. She clutched her short cane closer to her waist. It was customary of her to carry such an item to social events, as a sign of her ranking.
His stare followed followed from her eyes and down the length of the pole. It was then that he noticed she was standing on a slim, metal disk. It floated inches above the grassy surface beneath. It was a common piece of equipment within the inner city, though the technological advancements had struggled to reach further corners of the land. A combination of great minds and divine power made this, and many more constructs within the city, possible.
“I don’t doubt you, Gabriella, or any of my people who see that they live honest lives. It’s just that…” he paused for a moment, trying to find the words to describe his discomfort as his dark hair danced softly in the wind.
“Just what, my King?” Gabriella encouraged, looking up into his wondrous blazing eyes.
Before he continued, he dropped his head to meet her gaze. “…when you have something, something which is so precious to you that it makes every struggle worthwhile, it’s natural to fear that one day it may no longer be there. I hope you never have to feel that kind of attachment.”
“Actually my Lord, I think I know exactly what you mean…” her voice was sincere as her eyes sparkled, thick, black lashes bordering her dark eyes.
Wrath smiled as he let out a quiet chuckle through his nose. “Gabriella I must thank you. I know working so close to me is not the easiest of tasks, especially given my…temper, when I have been dealing with the other Originals.”
“They annoy you, it’s fine, I get it.” She smiled, drifting away on her disk slightly, noticing that any chance of a romantic encounter had passed. Inside, she was aching, but she had to seem happy for her King, she owed him that much. “I’d get pretty fed up too having to sit around a table with a load of old men and discuss all the fun things in life.”
“Hey now, don’t forget about the Seventh.” Wrath reminded, pointing a finger.
“Ah yes, the Goddess of the realms. Well, I suppose creation needs a woman’s touch, I mean, you’d be lost without me.” She winked as the compact engine of her disk began to hum. “Speaking of which…what is your greatest creation? What are you most proud of?” her question served the sole purpose of introducing another chance of romance.
Though, to her horror, Wrath did not smile at her with a handsome, loving stare, he was instead frozen. His body was rigid and tense in the presence of her question. His eyes widened as his brow dipped. It was as though he was being torn apart from within.
“I…I’m sorry, I should remember my pla-”
“Gabriella…” Wrath interrupted. “…I do have one thing which I am most proud of.” His head bowed. “But I am afraid it is my own secret to keep.”
“Oh…no it’s alright, it’s hardly like I can twist your arm into telling me now is it.”
Although Gabriella could see clearly that her question had pained the God before her, she tried to let it slip by. If Wrath were to know her secret, that his actions had caused any upset to his assistant, then it would only darken his mood further.
Suddenly, the bellow of a horn flooded the air, bouncing around the valley before the pair. This sound meant only one thing, the celebrations had begun.
“Excuse me, your highness.” Gabriella bent her knees slightly in a respectful bow, tipping her head. It was both to exit with proper manners, and to hide her stinging, teary eyes. Quickly, she rocked on her platform, commanding it to float back down the hill.
“These Sky Fires of yours had best make me smile tonight, Mr Bekoma.” Wrath said to himself. “Because seeing that woman ache rips me apart.”