“Trouble” / A Memorable Fancy #166

That day I knew Trouble. Our castle wall breached, tower surrounded, we sallied out in one last desperate chance, arms a-quiver, bow-strings taut. Across the feasting moat we charged. “Run them through for God and King!” came the captain’s quaking shout, his last.

We poured out upon the plain, bellowing for our very lives. Arrows flew; most clattered to the stones, their desires unmet. But one – too late. I fell pretending death among the dead, and waited long beside our castle now in flames, our king hanging from his heels upon the wall, his fluids staining stones. Our soldiers ran away and left the dead unburied. The enemy trundled off to their next place of war.

Finally, all was still. I rose quietly, hand on knife-hilt, surveying the dead for weapons I could use. I reached for a sword still clutched by one who died, and my own hand –

My hand passed through hands cold and clutched, my arm through shield and sword, and that is when I knew –

Grant me peace if you can see me, Trouble. O Trouble, let me know you no more.


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