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The Day Darkness Dawned – Part 4

26 Mar

Last part of my bits of this short story. 🙂

—–

To Rokam and Evony’s great dismay, the sun did not return in the morning either. Nor the next day, or the one after that. The skies remained as dark as they had ever been. At times, Rokam wondered if the darkness had actually increased since he had done his deed, but Evony always reassured him that it was merely his heart that showed his eyes a darker world than before.

The kingdom went into an uproar the morning the king was discovered dead. “Slaughtered by an unknown assassin” as they put it in the fliers that were tacked to every door.

The only change that occurred was that of the pale people, “the followers of the king” they called themselves. They wandered the streets as if a great illness had betaken them. Their eyes were tired; bodies weak, and as they attempted to carry on their daily duties, they only managed to grow more increasingly sick. After about four days, the streets were abandoned, making the kingdom out to be a ghost town of sorts. The life of the cities died, along with their king.

Due to their great illness the focus of the kingdom was, surprisingly, not on catching the murderer of their leader, but rather, replacing him with someone of equal power and leadership abilities. Many pale people wished to fill this part, but all of them had fallen ill and thus were rejected as good royalty, the concern for them dying from the illness they had all contracted being too great.

It was not until a month had gone by in this solemn lifestyle, that something rather profound had occurred to Rokam. At first Evony was hesitant to agree with his idea, unsure if it would cause more harm than it would help him, but she was soon very well with it, after having seen her husband’s eagerness to attempt it.

Therefore, they went to the castle and had a meeting with those who were presently judging who would be a good replacement for their leader. They too were people with pale hair and eyes, and they coughed and sneezed the entire time they spoke with Rokam and Evony for an illness was on them as well.

“How do we know-” The older man speaking coughed before continuing, “How do we know that this man won’t harm us? He is obviously one of the travelers from another land.” A coughing fit overtook the older man before he could continue.

A younger, less experienced looking, person sat beside him on a long table where ten or so people also sat. He finished the man’s thoughts for him with a scratchy voice that sounded as if his throat had been cut by knives, “He is right. He could be a threat to the entire kingdom! He could be mad! Why would we put him on the throne?”

Rokam nodded his understanding to the two men, “I know your concerns, good sirs, but I assure you I am neither a threat to this kingdom nor am I mad. You speak the truth, I have gone to the sunlit lands and I am not light skinned like you and your people are, but that does not make me an enemy of you-”

“How can we be sure?” the same white-bearded man spat.

Rokam thought for a moment, “If I were made king, I would not simply use my power for such pleasantries as attending balls or other such things which I shan’t list here. I would go to war for the kingdom which I ruled over; die for the people in it; defend them, whether rich or poor. I would strive to be a king worthy of my title. I may not be of royal lineage nor may I be from a castle or a class of great wealth. I am merely a simple citizen that wishes to fill the hole that has been created by the king’s passing and, hopefully, right a few wrongs which I have committed.”

Silence hung in the room for a moment as everyone at the table pondered Rokam’s words.

Evony shifted uncomfortably beside Rokam. She glanced at him and saw that he stood perfectly still. His eyes were fixed ahead, at the man which he knew would make the ultimate announcement.

After what must have been an hour of waiting while the men that sat at the table whispered amongst themselves, the white-bearded man that had originally spoke turned to Rokam. His eyes were dark and he held a scowl on his face as he announced their conclusion.

“Rokam, son of Rinian, we have all decided that, while we resent that you are a traveler, your examples of noble acts you would perform if you were appointed this high position were-” he coughed again. After a minute or so of coughing continuosly, the man finally caught his breath long enough to speak again, “Your noble deeds were indeed pleasing to us. Since we have seen nearly all the males in the kingdom and deducted that none of them are fit for the job due to illness or otherwise impure hearts, we have no alternative but to appoint you king post haste. Your coronation and crowning will be in exactly two hours.”
Rokam bowed low, “Thank you, Sirs. I will do my best to uphold the standards set for me and even far exceed them in hopes to prove to you that none of you have made the wrong decision.”

Rokam and Evony were then escorted out of the castle as the preparations for Rokam’s crowing began and the news was announced to all of the kingdom.

–•–•–•–•–

The sky was still black as Rokam began walking up the steps that would lead to his throne. Evony watched in the crowd, holding her breath and praying that the sun would return.

Many people kept their eyes glued on Rokam. Some of them held faces of disgust for their new king and his obvious rebellion against their old leader. Some were so sick they barely realized what they were watching. And some others yet, watched in awe of Rokam’s crowning for they liked that there was something different about this man. Something which they could not describe.

As Rokam walked up the steps he heard the crowd gasp each time he placed his foot on a new step. At first, he wasn’t entirely sure why they were doing this, but soon the answer was obvious. The sky began to sparkle with streams of sunshine. White clouds appeared and light leaked into the kingdom of darkness.

When the sun came out, some were awed, but others cried out in pain as the brightness blinded their eyes. For they had become far too accustomed to the darkness they lived in. The shouts of joy because of the sun’s return were mixed with cries and sobs for the loss of blackness.

Evony merely watched silently. A bright smile was spread across her lips. Rokam would be a good king.

–•–•–•–•–

I wish I could tell you that after Rokam was crowned there was a hundred of years of peace and then his heir took over the throne and there were a hundred more years of peace, but sadly, that is not at all what happened.

It is true that Rokam was a good king and he ruled with the just hand of a judge, but the gentle hand of a father. All who lived in the kingdom loved their king, for no one was as kind as he. And that was how he ruled for eight years, in a kingdom of peace and love.

Evony had their child not five months after he was crowned king and they were both joyous to find that the baby was a girl. They named her Clara and she was the jewel and crown of both the king and queen.

Sadly though, as I mentioned, there were not thousands of years of peace nor even hundreds or even fifty, but only a mere eight years was Rokam king. For on the anniversary of his coronation, a war broke out in the kingdom. The castle was attacked in the darkest hour of the night, when all but a few guards slept.

The enemy army made their way to Rokam and Evony’s bed chambers, murdering Evony as Rokam was forced to look on. They then captured the shattered king, who put up no resilience after having gone through the pain of watching his first love breath her last, and also took Clara, his eight year old daughter.

While in the prisons of the enemy camp, Rokam learned of his daughter’s capture and begged to make a deal with the leader of the camp. He traded his life for her release.

But the enemy was a breaker of many oaths, and he did not hold true to his word. Clara stayed captured, even after her father’s death and she remains a slave to the enemy’s leader even today, but she is still a light. The remaining gift that Rokam and Evony left to the world of Kochav.

As for Teshmar and what happened to the kingdom after it was overrun. The sun went black again with the crowning of a new king and light was once again forgotten. Only this time, the sun would not return to the kingdom until the end of Kochav, when light would return to all the world.

King Rokam, Queen Evony, and Princess Clara, though, were not forgotten. They remain in stories that are told to the little ones before they drift into sleep. The tale of how a simple commoner became the greatest king in all the history of Teshmar.

——

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