Menygma and Kyron

He was sitting in the throne-room, trying not to give in to the feeling of approaching menace which stole upon him. The cry of sorrow shouted by a new-born reached his ear. Lyla, his chamber-maid, broke the silence in the impressive room with a shy cough. She kneeled before him and held a little wriggling heap in front of his face. A little boy with big blue eyes was staring in his face and started to scream out of protest against the shivering cold which reigned in the large place. As if awakened by this agonized cry, he also shivered of the piercing cold. Or was it because of the feeling of upcoming disaster which lay heavily on his soul? He took a close look at the little crying boy. His son, his own flesh and blood…his first-born. A shiver ran upon his spine again. Never again! This was the only son he would ever have; the only child he could have. With a short wave of his hand, he dismissed Lyla. He wanted to be alone with his troubled thoughts and mixed feelings. Why was he so scared? Because of what that old lady had said? Who said she was right, maybe she was just an allay of one of his enemies who tried to bring his kingdom to ruin. But still, what if her prophecy was right? He couldn’t take that risk! Sunken in his thoughts, he hadn’t heard the surgeon come in.
‘Lord Gorix, have you reached a decision?’
‘Yes, go on with the procedure, surgeon. Let’s get over with it once and for all.’
‘But Lord, you do know that it’s very risky. I’ve never done this before…’
‘Are you my surgeon or not?! How do you dare to question my judgement?!’
The surgeon bowed his head and walked back towards the door.
‘Surgeon, do your very best. I couldn’t stand the thought of losing my beloved queen. But it’s necessary. I can’t take the risk at getting an other child.’
With a little nod of agreement, the surgeon left the room and started with his difficult work. The imminent feeling welled up inside of Lord Gorix. Was the surgeon right, was it too risky? Indeed, he had never heard of taking away the little place inside a woman’s belly where children could grow. But was the surgery more risky than having another child that could ruin him and his kingdom which was in his family for decades? No, he had made the right decision! While he was trying to convince himself of his judgement, he heard a nervous stir in the room nearby. But he didn’t want to listen to it, he wanted to shut the entire world out for just a moment, to ease his simmering fear inside. The sudden, awkward sound of silence filled the entire castle and broke through his musing. The craving fear popped up again. The heavy oak door opened with a squeak and the surgeon entered with his head bowed. With a sorrow face he nodded his head. That sign said more than a hundred words. No, it couldn’t be: not his beloved Cyna!
It felt like his soul got torn up by all the demons that chased his life. A loud desperate scream of pain slipped from his lips followed by a deadly silence which resounded in the entire castle, because no sound is louder than the one of a broken heart. After hours, or was it just minutes, of staring blinded by grief, Lyla carefully tapped him on his shoulder. By her appearance, the image of the little wriggling boy popped up again.
‘The boy…’
‘I have taken your son to another woman to nurse him, my Lord. She had a baby herself recently and plenty of milk. But you still have to name him, my Lord.’
Mixed feelings raged through his body: happiness and proud, but also fear, grief and anger. This boy had taken away his lovely Cyna, who had stand by him through all of his trails. She was his rock that gave him solid ground to build on in goodness and bad. He didn’t want to let her go. It was to soon. Oh, Cyna, my dearest!
‘I’ll call him Cynax, after the mother who gave her life for him and the only woman that toke my heart away with her today to Tenebrys.’
Lyla putted on a doubtful face. It sounded as if Lord Gorix wanted to curse his son by giving him the name of his unfortunate wife who’s soul was taken so brutally tonight. Being cursed for being born, what a dreadful way to start your life, Lyla thought.
‘It wasn’t his fault, my Lord.’ Lyla whispered softly. ‘He didn’t ask to be born.’
As struck by lightning, the painful truth got through to him. If he  hadn’t… Torn by his grief and guilt, he started crying like a little child. Lyla took his head on her lap and caressed his hair until he fell asleep, exhausted by all the emotions.

The years passed by and as they say ‘time heals all wounds’, but also left un-erasable scares on Gorix’ soul. But life went on and Time didn’t stand still by his grief and loss. It had been four years ago since… He still couldn’t think of his beloved queen without tears welling up in his eyes. Suddenly a beautiful, fragile singing reached his ear and drew him towards the open window. A faint smile fled over his face: Lyla. God hasn’t left me completely, he thought, because he has send his angel to watch over me. Through the past four years she had been standing there by his side in silence in his shadow. She understood him without saying a word and he knew he could trust her with his life. Cyna had also been very fond of her. They rather seemed heart’s friends instead of queen and servant. Lyla was the kind of woman he could fall in love with. He probably wouldn’t feel the same profound love as he had felt for Cyna. But since that day, she was the reason why he still got out of bed in the morning, the motor that kept him running. Oh, what was he thinking! She was just a servant! But she had always been very discreet, maybe she wouldn’t mind that she couldn’t be his wife officially. And the craving of filling the huge emptiness inside his soul became to strong. He knew that Lyla couldn’t fill that empty spot entirely, but at least it would ease his pain.
Lyla felt a piercing look in her back and turned around. She saw Gorix and sent him a sweet smile. A feeling of compassion welled up inside. It had been a long time since Cyna had passed away, but his grieve was still fresh. If only there was something she could do… A lot of maids swarmed a round him like flies on honey since the decease of the queen, hoping to take her place on the king’s side. It was pathetic the way they threw themselves before his feet. But she knew that they didn’t stand a chance, because they didn’t understand him and his grieve. She on the other hand did. Cyna had always been her best friend and her confidant, so she also suffered a great loss. But because of her work and caring for Gorix and Cynax, she had moved on with her life. She knew he appreciated what she did for him and that it probably was Cyna’s wish that she took care of him. And as time passed by, she started to enjoy her task. She loved it when they sat together in silence with a cup of thee late at night, sharing the feeling of mutual understanding without saying a word. The thought made her smiling spontaneously and a warm feeling rushed through her body. Was it…? Could it be love?
Oh, you silly girl! Lyla thought. He’s a king and I’m nothing but a humble servant. I’d never be good enough for him! So stop with this nonsense and start working!
With determination and as an attempt to chase away her castle in the sky, she continued her tasks with devotion. That way, time flew by and before she knew it, the radiant sun had made place for the pale light of Luna. Like every night she went to Gorix’ chamber to bring him his thee with camomile so he’d have a better night’s rest. But when she entered his room, Gorix was poring wine inside a glass.
‘I’m bringing your thee, my Lord.’ Lyla said with a little bow.
‘I’ll skip thee for tonight Lyla. I’m sorry, I should have told you.’
‘That’s alright, my Lord. If there is nothing I can do for you…’
‘There is something you can do, Lyla.’ Gorix interrupted. ‘Please, drink a glass of wine with me.’
‘Thank you, my Lord.’
‘And please, call me Gorix, now we’re alone. ‘My Lord’ always reminds me of my duties and I’d like to relax tonight. Have a seat.’
And he offered her a glass. The wine glanced ruby-red and a delicate, fruity smell reached her nose. She took carefully nip of the wine.
‘I hope you know how special you are to me, Lyla. Since Cyna passed away, you’ve been taken good care of me. Thank you for that.’
‘It’s just my duty, my L…, I mean Gorix.’
‘No, that isn’t true. What you’ve done is beyond your duties. You’ve become my stand-by and support, my counsellor and above all, my best friend. You’ve succeeded in taking away the emptiness in my heart. Cyna would be very grateful to you. Now I understand why she was so fond of you.’
Lyla blushed. ‘I don’t know what to say, Gorix.’
‘Then don’t speak.’
He took her in his arms and kissed her passionately. An excited thrill rushed through her vanes. What was she doing? Could she give in to this feeling? Her heart was pounding of excitement and when she looked up, two bright eyes were looking at her with tenderness and the innocence of a young child. He panted softly of desire. Yes, this was right, she knew it! Gently he took her in his arms, lifted her up and carried her towards the bed. And all she wanted that moment was drowning in the deep, warm ocean of his love.

Time flew by and finally it seemed that the sun was shining every day and chased away the dark clouds that had been hanging over them for the past years. But Faith has a cruel sense of humour. And after a few months the soft vault that announced a early pregnancy appeared. When Gorix saw Lyla’s condition, he turned as pale as death.
‘What have you done!’ he jelled.
‘It’s what we’ve both done, Gorix.’
‘How long do you know this?!’
‘About four months. Why are you so upset?’
‘For heaven’s sake! Why haven’t you told me sooner! This child has to be removed!’
‘What are you talking about? I’m not giving up my baby!’
‘You have to! I demand it!’
‘You can demand all you want but the child exists!’
‘Not for long! Maybe the surgeon can remove it…’ Gorix said precarious.
‘You want to lose me too?’ Lyla replied.
Touché! Gorix didn’t know what to say on that remark and turned away with a painful grin on his face. She was right, he had already lost Cyna and he could nearly stand the thought of losing her too.
‘Why can’t we have a child, Gorix? For me, it’s like a dream come true: having a baby from the man I love. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone that its yours. Cynax won’t have to share the kingdom with this child.’
‘It’s not that, Lyla. I’m not ashamed of you or the child you carry, but this child could ruin me.’
‘I don’t understand… How…?’
‘When a king’s child gets born, the entire nobility brings gifts for the new-born. When I was born, one of them brought an old lady along who was gifted with the second sight. She foresaw that our clan would disappear after me and she said that my second born would destroy me. That’s way I can’t have this child with you. I can’t take that risk!’
‘But maybe she meant a second child with Cyna.’
‘We don’t know that for sure, Lyla. Imagine if it’s not…’
‘And you belief her?’
‘She has never failed before.’
‘I still won’t get rid of this baby.’ Lyla said stubbornly.
‘Don’t worry, I won’t take the chance of losing you. We’ll figure something out. There must be a solution.’
But the clock kept on ticking and the foetus grow bigger and stronger every day. And Lyla approached her labour-time.
The only thing I can do, Gorix thought, is to kill the child when it gets born. Then it won’t be a full citizen yet, so no one will ever find out.
But when Lyla felt she had to give birth, she ran off and hide away. For ten days she remained trackless. Gorix waited anxiously for her return. But on a bright day she arrived early in the morning. He was waiting for her in the throne-room.
‘There you are! Where have you been? I was worried sick of you!’
‘I’m sorry, Gorix, but I did what I had to do. May I introduce you to your daughter, Menygma.’ and she showed him the little girl that was lying peacefully in her arms. Two black eyes were starring at him with an intelligent and observing look.
‘Isn’t she lovely?’ Lyla sighed with the tenderness of a young mother.
‘She’s a threat to my throne! I’m sorry, Lyla, but she can’t stay alive.’
‘You can’t kill her! She is ten days old! That means she’s a full citizen and killing her would be murder according to the law! So if something happens to her, don’t think I’ll shut my mouth!’ Lyla fumed and fret like a lioness that protects her whelp.
Damned, Gorix thought, she has seen through my only escape. I shouldn’t have underestimate her!
‘And if she’s not welcome her, than don’t worry, I’ll be leaving with her. That way she’ll never be able to hurt you or your precious throne.’
Gorix turned away his face and tried to swallow down his tears. No, he couldn’t handle it to lose the woman he loved once again!
‘Please, Gorix, look at her. She’s a little girl, not a strong boy that could dethrone you or Cynax.’
He looked again at the baby which smiled with sweet innocence.
Maybe she’s right, he thought, it’s just a little girl. I can’t take the risk losing Lyla and this child means the world to her. I could hide her from other people and lock her up in the Eastern wing that isn’t used, that way she won’t be able to hurt anyone.
‘You’re right, Lyla. But you have to understand that I want to minimize the risk, so for the kingdom’s safety, her staying will be in the Eastern wing.’
‘But no one ever comes there… Why…?’ Lyla protested.
‘The reason is that there she won’t be able to do any harm. But you may visit her every time you want. If we solve it like this, we’ll both have it our ways: you can keep your daughter and I won’t have to fear the destruction of the kingdom.’
Lyla sighed. She knew he wouldn’t give in anymore and this way she could keep her beloved Menygma and give her a good life. At least she hoped.
‘Oké, Gorix, we’ll do it your way.’
They both went to the back of the castle and mounted the winding stairs on which no man had walked on for ages. Each step brought them closer to the tower-chamber that would be Menygma’s little world. They finally reached the end of the winding stairs and when the door opened a fuggy smell came to meet them. But although the room hadn’t been used for decades, it was clean and not dusty at all. It had four little windows in every direction of the wind, which gave a surreal view on the landed estates which lay near the castle. Menygma looked around with open and curious eyes as far as her little head could turn. Gorix stared Lyla in the face and gave her a short decisive nod. With tears in her eyes, Lyla gave Menygma carefully a hug and a kiss.
‘Mama will be back soon, my precious. I love you.’
Then she laid her daughter on the bed, putted some pillows on the side so she wouldn’t fall out and tucked her in. She closed the door and when she turned the key, she burst into tears.
Since that day, Menygma never left the tower-chamber and for years her mother was her only companion. But Lyla wanted a good education for her daughter and in the same time Menygma would have a nice pastime. After a lot of arguing Gorix finally gave his permission to let Yukaro, an old, wise Chinese man, to teach Menyma everyday. Very soon, the old man got fond of her and was every time amazed by her intelligence and quick comprehensive. It looked like she could appeal on the memories of ancient spirits who shared their knowledge and she adapted that information easily to the present situation.
‘Yukaro, why are there people walking outside? Or should I say: why am I condemned to this chamber?’
‘It’s not my duty to fill you in on that, Menygma. All I can say is that it is the wish of the king.’
‘Well, I wish that I could get out of here. I would like to meet those people.’ But instantly she blushed. ‘Not that I’m not happy with you and mother.’
‘I know what you mean, Menygma.’ Yukaro smiled. ‘But unfortunately, I think that Lord Gorix wants to end our meetings.’
‘Why?! Oh no, Yukaro, please say you’ll keep on coming! I beg you!’
‘Don’t worry, I’ll tell him that you’re a mentally deficient child and that it’s very hard to educate you, but that I consider that as a challenge. That way I hope he’ll give his permission to stay.’
So said, so done. By deceiving Gorix like this, Yukaro continued teaching his brilliant student.
Years went by, even in the little tower-chamber where Time seemed to stand still. But the snowflakes which were falling softly from the blue-grey sky, reminded her that winter and the Ice Queen had arrived again. Her thoughtful silence got broken by the footsteps that were approaching. And the soft squeak when the lock turned was the sound of freedom. 

To be continued…

See Menygma's Dragons here!

Menygma is a candidate for Lantessama Isle