TITLE: The Challenge
GENRE: Young Adult
“Liviya, wait!” Ruth called. “Will you take this?”
Ruth staggered under the weight of the tray balanced over her left shoulder. She tilted her head toward the closed door at her side.
“King Herrick is in his study and wants more food.”
“Take it,” Liviya encouraged. “Your fear only grows when you avoid him.”
“Please,” Ruth pleaded.
The sound of hurried footsteps echoed down the dark corridor. The captain of the guard walked past the maids and stood by the small oval window at the end of the hall. Silver beams of light shone from the black sky.
“Beautiful moon tonight,” Captain Minel said.
“It will be full tomorrow,” Liviya replied.
The soldier smiled sadly. “Take a moment to enjoy its beauty. It is unlikely I will see it. Excuse me,” he whispered, motioning toward the door.
Captain Minel disappeared into the dark room.
Liviya peered through the crack in the door and watched the man bow before the king.
“The army of Asad is approaching,” the captain announced. “They are traveling with supplies for our people.”
King Herrick continued eating. The weapons that were usually stacked on the table had been pushed aside. In their place were platters of food. Herrick reached forward and ripped the leg off of a peacock. He brought meat to his teeth and removed a large piece. As he chewed, he scraped his fork against his plate. The noise was piercing in the nearly empty room.
"King Josiah has finally decided to apologize," Herrick said with a full mouth.