As promised, here is the next part in my short story:
Rokam swung his leg over the side of his midnight colored steed. The horse shifted uncomfortably with the new burden he bore, but after a moment, adjusted his hooves to stand firmly against the ground. His firm neck reaching out high in the stanse of a great warhorse. The dark shimmer of his well-groomed coat sparkled slightly in the sunless shadows as the crowed watched with judgemental interest.
Their glares could be felt on Rokam as he sat upon his horses. The color of his steed volunteered the information that he would be traveling to the sunlit lands, giving the people a strong contempt for this traveler even before he had gone to the feared territories.
With no reason to hide his true nature, Rokam allowed the hood of his cloak to hang lazy behind his back. His deep brown eyes were now visible, containing the same mystery as the colorless sky. The brown hair that waved just above his shoulders fluttered about his face as the cold breeze caressed him.
He turned his horse around to face the people watching. The broken breath of a sigh parted from his lips while he studied the crowd before him. His eyes met with that of a girl, she must have been in her late twenties by now, no more than one or two years younger than he.
She had long, blond hair that reached to just above her shoulder blades. It was quite visible, even from a distance, that her hair was soft and gentle, not like that of pale people’s white hair, which tangled and felt as wires to the hands. Though what was most noticeable about the girl was her bright, blue eyes that shimmered like diamonds. They were light colored eyes, but not the white ones that Rokam’s father had. It was these color eyes that were once considered to belong only to those of royal blood. Long before the sunless days, those with these eyes were treasured and looked up to as elders with overflowing wisdom.
She looked up at Rokam when their eyes met. Her hands rested gently on a small bump on her stomach as small tears began to make their way down her cheeks.
Rokam nodded courteously to her and turned his horse around, not spending time to search the crowd for his father. He gave his horse a firm kick, causing the animal to lunge forward into a face-paced trot. The horse picked up pace as it ran onward, slowly making its way far from the kingdom gates.
The crowd hissed and screamed cruel insults at him as he vanished into the thick darkness. But the girl simply watched. Her eyes strained to see Rokam for as long as was possible, but soon the shadows swallowed him and she looked down, her small sobs going unheard by the raging crowd.
Rokam’s horse trotted over a stream softly. The hard hooves made splashes in the water that sprinkled the ground as they passed over it. Rokam looked up at the sky, studying the new shade it had become. It was still not the bright blue he had been told of, but it had began to turn a deep shade of purple.
To understand what Rokam saw as he traveled onward, you will have to had seen a sunrise. The colors shifted and the night seemed to slowly melt away as if the sun were coming out after a long nap. However, unlike an ordinary sunrise this one did not grow because the time of day changed, but rather, because Rokam continued traveling forward. Therefore, if he had paused his horse, the slowly rising color in the sky would have halted as well, since he no longer travelled closer to the lands containing sunlight.
Rokam though, did not care much to discover this, instead, as it grew more bright, he grew more anxious. Urging his horse onward with a few gentle kicks, he started off on a light canter, which soon turned into a fast gallop.
It took Rokam only a few moments before the sun was fully raised and shining brightly above him. He was forced to squint his eyes until they adjusted to the light, but he did not slow down. He rode faster as the warm light heated his back. Now he could see he was in a forest. Going onward, he hoped he would reach the end of this sea of trees soon.
Finally, his horse broke through the thick forest trees. It slowed to a halt, pausing so his rider could take in the clearing in woods.
The sky, now fully visible as it was not covered by the tree canopy, was a bright shade of blue, sprinkled with the rays of light the sun provided. Large, white clouds clumped together in small parts of the heavens, sometimes blocking the sun, but never for too long.
Rokam dismounted from his horse. He patted its neck as it stooped down and began to eat the green grass underneath its feet. He took the brown bag that was attached to the horse’s saddle and swung it on his shoulder.
“Stay here. I will be back.” he said, brushing his hand across the horse’s neck a final time before he turned to study where he stood.
He now stood at the beginning- or rather, the end – of a long, dirt road. It led towards where the sun was high in the sky, surrounding the earth in its warm light. The road led to a small hut, visible to Rokam’s eyes even though it was far from where he was. The distance between him and the building was too much for him to be able to conclude if it was either empty or or not. Nevertheless, Rokam decided he would walk towards it and take a closer look.
When Rokam reached the hut, he was disappointed to find that it appeared to be rather old. The door was rotting and the stones where covered in various forms of moss. Though, the door appeared to have been locked. Rokam sighed and knocked on the wooden door, fully expecting no one to answer.
A few moments passed.
The old, metal doorknob wobbled as it was shoved open. An older woman with dark eyes and a cruel face stood in front of Rokam. She scowled at him. She wore a simple robe that reached to the ground, covering her body. Her hands were clenched into tight fists and she almost seemed to hiss when she spoke.
“What do you want?” she said.
Rokam bowed politely, “My lady, I am Rokam, son of Rinian from the Kingdom of Teshmar, and I have come to seek aid in a great crisis that has occurred in my land.” he gestured to the sky, “Our sun has vanished and, our sky, left without any light. It has been so for hundreds of years and I fear my people are growing ill in more ways than one.”
The woman looked Rokam up and down, her face contorted in obvious contempt, “What is it you expect me to do for you then, strange person?”
“I only ask that you point me towards anyone of the people in the sunlit lands that may be able to offer me their assistance. I would be greatly in debt to you if you did so.”
The woman opened her mouth to answer when a small child pushed past her legs and burst into the open. The little girl, who had bright red hair and kind, yet somehow frightened, eyes, proceeded to then cling to Rokam’s legs, sniffling on occasion as if she were holding back tears.
Rokam chuckled and bent down on one knee so he looked the little girl in her green eyes. He gently pushed away the strand of hand that covered her eyes, and smiled kindly.
“Hello, little one. What might your name be?” he asked kindly.
The girl looked at him with wide eyes. She shook her head once before throwing herself in his arms.
The woman scoffed and rolled her eyes, “She cannot hear you. And even if she could, her mother was crazy and so is she.”
Rokam frowned and stood up while carrying the child, allowing her to rest her head on his shoulder. “She does not seem to be so, merely frightened. Do you happen to know what may have frightened her?”
“I haven’t the faintest idea.” the woman brushed the topic away, “She is only three years of age; anything will frighten her. Now, if you would kindly give me back my granddaughter, I would be much more open to helping you.”
Rokam sighed and placed the young girl beside the woman, “Be good now and stay there.” he said before placing a kiss to her forehead and giving her a friendly smile. Then he stood up and faced the woman, “Who then, my lady, do you think could assist me in bringing the sun back to my people?”
The woman shoved the girl inside before answering to Rokam, “I can. Tell me more of when the sun left your people.”
“It came when our king was crowned hundreds of years ago. The old royal family had passed and were left with no descendent to the thrown and so a new one was appointed. The day of the coronation the sun turned black and the sky was left without a cloud nor a star. It has been so since.”
“And this king,” the woman asked, “he is still in the throne, or at least, his descendants?”
Rokam nodded, “Aye.”
The woman chuckled, “Your people must be blind to the ways the unseen realms work to not have concluded the most obvious cause of your unfortunate demise.”
“Indeed.” the woman said, “The first king carried a curse, of sorts, that was placed upon your land when he was chosen to rule it. Most likely, he took an oath with a power beyond anything either him or you have. Thus the sun will remain lost to your homeland until the last descendant of his falls from the throne.”
Rokam looked shocked, “Are you suggesting that I, Rokam of Teshmar – a mere peasant,- should dare to threaten my king’s life?”
“No…” The lady snickered, “I am suggesting you murder him. Why merely threaten a life you intend to take? Whatever your choice, it does not matter to me, I have answered your question. Now be gone with you.”
“But why- you- I need an explain- ma’am!” Rokam stuttered as the door to the hut was shut on his face. He sighed and looked down, kicking the dirt on the ground and grumbling to himself.