An Introduction to King Gregory

A man was walking through a field. It was sunset, and the tall weeds were waving in the breeze, except where the man had trampled them. He was rather squat, and was making a lot of wheezy noises as he walked, his big rucksack weighing heavily on his back and sweat dripping into his eyes.

The field seemed to whisper around him as he walked, and his movements became increasingly twitchy as the darkness increased. He jumped at small sounds that ended up being crows landing in the field, and he gave an audible gasp when a fox ran past him.

When night had truly fallen, he still had another couple miles of field yet to cross. He seemed, however, to decide against walking in the dark, and settled, with much grunting and swearing, in a space that had been cleared by previous campers in the field.

Another hour later, and the man had succeeded, if rather pitifully, in preparing some form of edible dinner. He sat by the small fire he had managed to coax into being and ate the heated broth he had made with some old bread. He looked deeply unsatisfied and disgruntled, as if not quite used to living like this.

He was, in fact, very used to living this way, as he had been on the run for over two cycles of the moon. The only real reason he was so displeased on this night of all nights was because he had gotten some news, a few hours before entering the field. He had passed a small village, one of those places where everyone was related and Auntie Shay was somehow everyone’s aunt, and while purchasing some well needed supplies at their tiny inn, he had learned that a rider had come four days previously to the town to announce that a new king had risen: King Gregory was killed and his brother, Malcolm, had sorrowfully needed to assume the throne.

Gregory, sitting in a field with some moldy bread and lukewarm broth, was still seething at this unjustified and most disgusting lie.

Miracle Baking

The sky was iron grey all day long, and the wind was sandy and much too warm for a January afternoon. The air was strangely silent as well, as if all the voices in the world were stifled, waiting for something to happen, something to erupt. If this were hurricane or tornado country, or even commonly quaky, I’d say that it was as if everyone was waiting for one of those natural disasters to occur.

And yet, it seemed that the air began to thaw, the sky literally brightened and became blue for a few moments before the sun set and it turned a brilliant pink and red. The reason seemed to be an oven, in an apartment, on the fourth floor of a building. In that oven sat a trey of chocolate chip cookies, baking slowly, spreading warmth and a smell so mouth watering that you could stand a mile away and salivate.

Never underestimate the power of a cookie to make everything seem better – even the weather.