Back in March this year, the lovely ladies of Bloody Cake News hosted a short story competition. In celebration of Mark Lawrence’s new novel, Prince of Fools (out now), the task was to create a 300 word short including the word ‘prince’ and ‘fools’.
I, of course, forgot to ever post the actual story to the Noodle!! A major brain-fart on my part, which I intend to correct.
For those so inclined, please enjoy A Fool’s Lot, set in the same world as my manuscripts.
Dale crouched at the foot of the throne, hands clenched around the polished timber of his merry-staff. He prayed the bells would not jingle. He might escape notice if he remained still. Despite the bright fabrics of his costume, the beads and feathers woven through his wavy hair, he was usually the last to attract attention. He liked it that way.
From the time the emperor was a prince, when full of drink or a lust for blood too powerful to be quenched by the deaths of a few slaves, the Congress sent in a fool. If Emperor Tamyr started to inflict his mood on the nobility, Dale and his brethren were the sacrificial clowns ordered into the melee to settle things down. They were a distraction, a comedy to calm the emperor when he reached a rage.
By his own tragic luck this fine morning, Dale was instructed by Mage Abnal to keep Tamyr in good spirits as he stormed toward the Worhein. He suspected the Congress planned to deliver ill news to their emperor, but didn’t dare ask what. It was best for fools not to bother with the matters of kings and emperors.
Hot blood hit Dale’s face. He glanced up as Tamyr brought down another strike on the already mangled skull of an unfortunate, disagreeable mage. In the manic emperor’s fist, a heavy white stone shone bright, dripping red. Dale shuddered and gagged on a mouthful of bile, tearing his eyes from the grisly mess on the Worhein’s marble floor.
He saw her and froze. Princess Neyra lurked in the shadows of the silent chamber, her arms crossed, black eyes locked on the splattered face of her father’s fool. Why was she here? Tamyr delivered another furious blow, a wet crunch echoing loudly, and Neyra smiled.</em