In a Room, High in the Castle in the Air

Vale watched the procedings down at the drawbridge from his rooms high in the middle tower. He fingered his ruby-red ring nervously as he paced – back and forth, back and forth – in front of the window.

The room was small, cramped even. Books covered every available surface, some opened, some closed, some in languages that had not been spoken in thousands upon thousands of years. The room smelled like ancient, untouched knowledge. A fire burned at the fireplace and something unidentifiable gurgled in a small pot.

The smallest rooms in the castle for the wisest man in the kingdom. Vale scoffed.

But his rooms were the least of his worries as he watched Roland. Saw, even from a distance, the delicate silver key glinting at Roland’s neck as the Welcoming Party escorted him into the castle.

It was not supposed to happen this way. Not at all.

Vale thought of the north wall, moss-covered bricks crumbling slowly into the village below, and knew something had to be done. And fast.

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