Shoka and the Princess

The Old man’s wife reached out to brush away the single tear that made its way past the gates of Naima’s eyes.

She nodded and took her arm and led her to their home. As they walked on, they caught up with Shoka and in looking at the Princess now in close step with the man and woman, Shoka could only nod for he too knew what it felt to have everything taken away from you.

If there was one thing he held onto was the fact that the Princess would never stop fighting. He could not tell whether it was the best gift from her Father or the best spirit she inherited from her Mother. He only knew that for as long as she fought, the world would keep hitting her and what a sad life for royalty! The four walked on, each step articulating the silence that filled their thoughts. When they got to the Elder’s home, Naima and Shoka were led to a hut right behind the animal shed. It was dimly lit and Shoka could not purge the stench of goat urine from his nostrils as he accepted the seat he’d been offered. Naima was closely watching him. He leaned back in the seat, closed his eyes and attempted to sleep away the stench that would be his companion for the night.

As the old man retreated, he opened one eye, glanced at Naima and she was still looking at him, “you do not know how to hide your discomfort Shoka, for a man who was declared mad, you are worse than royalty.”

“Ei, I never thought in my life that I would accompany a Princess in the dark into a dark hut where the goats pissed in our mouths as we slept.”

Naima threw her head back the laughter exploding from her attracting the attention of the Elder’s wife who came rushing with two blankets. “Are you alright my child?” she asked, looking from Naima to Shoka. After a while, Shoka stood up and asked if he could watch the stars, leaving Naima in the company of her concerned host.

He shook his head watched his palms and gently placed his hand on the left side of his chest. He was alive. He was still whole and there had been a moment where he forgot his place, she was a Princess while he was an outcast, doing a favor for a friend.

Clouds Under Full Moon

His eyes traveled the sky, glancing from one twinkling star to another before settling on the full moon. His parents had worshipped her. The sound of his mother’s singing to the moon, asking her to watch over her husband and his friends while they were out on the lake, filled his ears.

The kind of ringing he drowned with wine. It was the good memories he drowned…for they assailed him more than the bad ones.

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