A dying king tells his son of a room housing a priceless object.
|Prompt: a secret room Word Count:1,662
Ciless leaned over his father King Areth in tears. “Father don’t leave me!”
King Areth lay in his canopy bed with pale skin and bloodshot eyes, coughing. “It is the will of God. All men must die.”
“But not like this. Why must you depart in such agony and pain?”
“It is the way of things sometimes,” said King Areth. “Before I go there is an old legend about this castle you must know.”
Ciless buried his head in his dying father’s chest. Then he looked up. “What is it father?” Prince Ciless said, sobbing.
“It has been handed down from king to king. It is a secret you must tell no one,” said King Areth with a gurgling cough. “Somewhere in this castle, there is a special, secret room that houses a priceless object.”
Ciless wiped his tears. “Why has this room not been found?”
The king coughed again and gulped in a breath of air. “It has simply evaded the searches of our kings for centuries.”
“How will I find it where so many have failed?”
“Four years ago I discovered a book in the royal library that mentions a chest with a map and a key inside that leads to the room. I have searched the treasure vault looking for this chest but to no avail,” said the king. He coughed as blood came from his mouth. “Now I must depart to go to dwell forever with the King of Heaven. Someday we will be together again.” The king closed his eyes and inhaled deeply and held it for a few moments. The he exhaled and was still.
Ciless wept sorely. There was a knock on the chamber door. “Enter,” Ciless said.
A male servant came in wearing a deep blue tunic and cotton breaches. “My Lord. What of your father?”
“He is gone.”
“I am sorry my Lord.”
That very day, the whole kingdom mourned deeply. Tears were on the faces of even young teenagers. King Areth’s body lay on a bed frame with his arms crossed with a cross held in his hands. The king’s bed frame was borne on a wagon pulled by white horses. It was led through two rows of people. After a elegy, the body was put in a coffin then lowered into the ground.
Three days later was Ciless’ crowning coronation. The people cheered but most of their cheering was slightly lulled.
Ciless knelt before the bishop.
“All hail King Ciless!” yelled the cleric as the new king rose with the crown on his head.
The coronation festivities lasted for the rest of the day. When a pale moon showed in the cloudy, blue clouds, the people began to return to their homes and settle in for the night. Ciless entered the throne room for the first time. He sulked to the golden throne and sat.
Where could this secret room be? And more importantly, what does it hold? He thought. Oh, heavenly Father - show me where this mysterious room is. he prayed.
That very moment, a thought passed through his mind. Perhaps it is not in the treasury at all. Surely, after four years of searching my father would have found it. Ciless propped his elbow on the right armchair and rested his chin against his fist. “Where could this chest be?” he spoke himself.
The next day King Ciless decided to personally and secretively scour the royal library for the chest. Book after book, scroll after scroll he looked for the legendary chest. He searched every day for a year. It’s not here. he concluded in his mind.
Frustrated and growing impatient, he went to bed one night with tension in his stomach and a great headache. “Father, I wish you were here to help me in this daunting task.”
That night he had a dream of his father. “Hello son.”
“Father is it you?”
“I’ve searched everywhere for the chest with no results. Can you tell me where it is?” asked Ciless.
“I now know where it is. But I cannot tell you. I can give you a clue though. It lay where the final culmination of all life ends.”
“I do not understand.”
“Think about it. I know you will succeed,” said Areth. “I believe in you.”
Then Ciless awoke. “The final culmination of all life ends. What could that mean?”
King Ciless grew to miss his father desperately. The king went to his father’s grave where Ciless hoped his father could listen.
“I would give everything to be with you – even whatever lay in that cursed secret room. What did you mean?” He looked all around at the graves and mausoleums in thought. “…the culmination of all life… what does that mean?”
Suddenly he snapped his fingers and clapped his hands together. “Death! That is the answer. It lay with the dead. It is here in the graveyard –but where? I cannot go digging up graves,” he said to himself.
Then he saw a sparkle like the glisten of a diamond at the base of a grave about twelve feet away from him. “What is that peculiar glow?” Ciless said as he walked towards it. When he got closer the sparkle vanished as another sparkle appeared at the door to a mausoleum. It was the resting place of Dorian, the archbishop and first cleric in the kingdom founded four centuries ago. The mausoleum was whitewashed with time. He opened the stone door and entered. Inside was the archbishop’s stone coffin. Ciless ran his palm over the stone covering. It was all smooth except for a long this groove obscured by dust. He wiped it off and he saw a picture of a chest with a hand engraved on the coffin top.
“What could the hand mean?” he said to himself. “Perhaps I am to press it.”
This Ciless did and a square plate sunk into the surface. Then a small door opened on the opposite wall and there it was.
“The chest! I have found it!” Ciless said as his heart throbbed and a broad smile appeared in his face. He breathed heavily when he came to it and opened the small wooden box to reveal a key and a rolled up scroll. When Ciless unrolled it, a line was drawn with an “X” in in a place in the dungeon.
He sprinted out towards the dungeon located at the bottom of a staircase that began at the main hall. The scent of sweat and sewage hang heavily in the air. The jailer stood up from his wooden seat and bowed. “My lord, what do you wish this night?”
“My business is my own. Tell none about this,” Ciless answered.
The jailer nodded.
The king followed the line. He passed in and out of rows of cells full of stone cold glares from burly prisoners. After an hour his limbs were aching and he was hungry. At last he came to it.
“This is where the line ends. But it is just a wall. Where is the key hole?”
Ciless put his back against the wall and slid down to sit. He hung his head. Then he looked aimlessly around the dungeon. The king saw a peculiar passage that led to dead end. It was about twenty feet from him. Ciless investigated. When he reached the dead end he ran his hands all across the wall in from of him.
“I feel –a small hole. Could it be?” Ciless said. He withdrew the key and inserted it the turned it. The king heard a loud click and the sound of grinding metal came from where he had walked from. A door had opened up. The king clasped his hand together and rubbed them as a chill went down his spine.
“This is it the secret room undiscovered by generations of kings! And I have found it!”
Ciless entered through a corridor that led to a raised podium with a small gold cup.
Just as he neared it, a bright light appeared over the cup. The light came from a man in a golden robe with stork’s wings.
Ciless froze with a gaping mouth and wide eyes. He gasped and fell to the ground.
“Do not fear me. It is I who has led you to this place with the two sparkling lights,” said the glorious being.
“You are an angel.”
“I am. My name is Therin.”
Ciless spoke looking at the ground, afraid to gaze on the angel. “Forgive but, why are you here?”
“I have come to tell you what this gold cup is and of its power.”
Ciless trembled silently. He stuttered as he tried to speak.
“This cup is none other than the cup of Christ from His last supper.”
“What power does the cup hold great angel?” Ciless said, still shivering.
“It gives eternal life, knowledge, riches and great power. It is yours to take.”
Ciless looked up, got on his knees and stood. He went to reach for the cup but hesitated.” Ciless lowered his hands. “This thing is not fit for a man to have. Such an object would be coveted by all who hear of it. Keep it.”
Therin smiled. “Because you have chosen this, you will be lavishly blessed and honored in heaven – the true riches that none can take or destroy.”
“When will this happen?-and what will become of the cup?”
“I will take it from the Earth forever. To answer your former question – you need only step out of here.”
Ciless stepped out. Suddenly a whirlwind appeared in front of him.
“Go, your new life awaits,” said the angel.
Ciless passed into the whirlwind and was taken up to heaven where none of the things he received could be fathomed.
With the King’s disappearance, his younger brother Cronus took the throne. But no other ruler, past or future, was as honorable and righteous as King Ciless.