The King’s Dream

The soothsayer lead the Bishop up to the tower on the East side of the castle, the only tower that remained in the old castle after 500 hundred years of withstanding time and battles. The soothsayer quickly ushered the Bishop in, closing the door as quietly as he could behind him. He lit a few candles on the sconces that were aligned along the wall were it was bare from the many tapestries that hung heavily on the walls. The soothsayer would excuse the excess of these odd tapestries as to keep the draft out. One couldn’t argue as the room was cozy once he lit the fireplace. As the the room grew steadily warm, it became even more friendly.

“I believe the King is suffering from terrible nightmares he himself cannot understand,” the soothsayer broke the Bishop’s trance.

“Oh, yes, yes,” the Bishop agreed. “What kind of dreams would you say?”

“Dreams about the future,” the soothsayer said, “though, I do not think he understand what he sees. His father had them as his grandfather.”

“Is that so?” The Bishop had not met the King’s father as the late King had been killed in battle along with three of his sons, that was before he became the King’s advisor. “What should we do?”

“For now,” the soothsayer said, “nothing. We wait.”

The Bishop pressed his forefinger against his lips. “May I inquire the dream his father had?”

“It was one dream,” the soothsayer began, “He refuse to tell me about the dream because it frightened him terribly. He had me fix him concoctions to keep him awake. It never worked, no matter how long he stayed awake that dream haunted him like an old familiar ghost. Do you recall how the late King died?”

“Yes, yes,” the Bishop said, “he died in battle along with his three sons.”

“That was the dream that tormented him,” the soothsayer said. “As that day grew closer the dream became even more troubled for the King. He tried to dissuade his sons from entering that battle that was necessary, but when he heard they had disobeyed him, he went after them. By the time he came to save them, it was too late. Before he could turn back an arrow from out of nowhere pierced his chest followed by four more arrows. He refused to be taken away and leave his sons, whom he could see lying dead on the ground from where he sat bleeding. One of his guards said that was by his sides heard the King say that this was his dream.”

“What a terrible affair,” the Bishop lowered his head in grief.

The soothsayer could only shake his head in pity. The late King had refused to listen to him, believing he could outsmart his dream. His father, the Old King, had been the same, refusing to believe the dream was anything but a dream.

“I only heard stories of the late King,” the Bishop said. “From what I was told the late King was highly reactionary, opposing any reforms that limited his autocratic rule.”

“His father, the Old King, took more of a reactionary stance, stricter than his son,” the soothsayer added. “Alas, it’s what probably got him killed.”

“And how was the Old King killed?” The Bishop was never sure what the truth was. There were so many stories about his death, some he speculated were just myths.

“He caught a chill,” the soothsayer said matter of fact. “He refused treatment and died four days later.”

“Did he have any dreams?” The Bishop was curious.

“He had more than the late King,” the soothsayer, “but he wasn’t superstitious, didn’t believe in fortunes from the great unknown. Even as he lay dying in bed he refuse to believe his dreams to be true prophesies.”

“Wasn’t the Old King who took you in?”

“It was,” the soothsayer, rested both his hands on top of his staff. How could he forget that?

‘If he didn’t believe in prophesies, why did he listen to yours?’ wondered the Bishop.

The soothsayer was used to the query and doubts of people’s thoughts he managed to read when he wasn’t blocking their voices out of his head. He sighed to himself. ‘He somehow trusted me’, the soothsayer thought to himself, ‘I was his most trusted advisor, but in the end, even I could not convince him any other way.

The King’s Dream

“The King had another bad dream,” whispered the soothsayer to the Bishop.

“Oh dear, not again, should we worry?” The plump, stout Bishop asked worrisome. “This is the third night in a row.”

“No, I wouldn’t worry just yet,” said the soothsayer in his calm and serious manner.

“Do you know what the dream was about?”

“He won’t say,” the soothsayer said, “but I am certain he will tell us soon.”

The soothsayer and the Bishop had been waiting outside the King’s bedroom in the dark and drafty corridor. The door to the King’s room remained closed, no one came out and no one had yet to come in. They waited for the King to summoned them, and they whispered some more about what troubled the King, for not even the soothsayer could say what the dreams were about. A few hours went by, and night still covered the land. Most everybody in the palace were asleep, except the soothsayer and the Bishop who were awaken by one of the King’s personal guards, Joshua. He had been ordered by the soothsayer to keep watch on the King while he slept.

The Bishop was about to whisper something to the soothsayer, when the door to the King’s room opened magnificently and Joshua, the stern, and dignified guard allowed them in the King’s chambers.

“Don’t worry about that now,” the soothsayer waved at the Bishop to follow him.

The door was shut behind them, Joshua had now stepped outside since he was not privy to the King’s conversations, especially about matters concerning the King’s dreams.

The room was cozy, lit by the light of the fire, that created shadows in all the walls. The room was well furnished, decorated in bright red’s and gold’s, a large four poster bed dominated most of the large room, the currents were drawn open and it’s owner was absent from it. The Bishop and the soothsayer gazed around searching for the King, finding him standing next to a window, sadly looking out.

“What is it that trouble’s you my Lord?” the soothsayer, was a tall lean man, with the years etched on his face and his long white hair and beard as white as snow. He carried a large staff that he used as a cane, though it held no special powers as many would assume. “Was it the same dream again?”

The King was quiet for awhile and the Bishop and the soothsayer waited. When the King finally spoke, his voice sounded tired, yet it hadn’t lost it’s strength that commanded people to listen. “It was indeed, the same dream.”

“Was there anything different about it?” the soothsayer asked.

“Nothing changed,” The King said.

“If maybe, your majesty, you can describe this dream for us?” The Bishop sounded nervous. You never asked the King for anything, at least that’s what the Bishop thought.

“I rather not,” the King defied the Bishop. “I would rather forget it if I could.”

“Then, I can’t help you,” the soothsayer said.

“How could you have helped?” The King turns to face the soothsayer.

“Dreams have many meanings,” said the very much composed soothsayer.  “I can help you unravel them. If you let me.”

“What if I choose not to decipher them?” The King was rather annoyed. He hadn’t slept well, and when he did choose to close his eyes the dream would appear to him over and over again, lest he forget.

“Maybe if you spoke about them,” the Bishop was shaking in his shoes, “the dreams will trouble you not.”

“I wish they didn’t trouble me at all,” the King sighed. “I think for now, I rather keep the dreams where they are. Perhaps, they will go away.”

“Very well,” the soothsayer didn’t disagree, “if that is what you wish. We will let you to rest tonight, goodnight, your majesty.”

“Yes, yes, maybe rest is what you need,” the Bishop was taking his cue from the soothsayer, “goodnight, your majesty.”

“Goodnight,” the King bid to them.

Once outside the King’s chamber’s, the soothsayer spoke to the Bishop, “let us give the King some time and not speak a word to anybody about this. He will eventually come around.”

The Bishop agreed and they both left, leaving Joshua to guard the King all night. A distant away, the soothsayer beckoned the Bishop to follow him. They walked through dark, quiet corridors, that lead many ways, some corridors had doors to either side of them, others just lead through complete darkness, with nothing to guide both men into which direction to take. The soothsayer knew these corridors so well, he knew where each lead and which rooms belonged to whom. He was very wise, indeed, and very observant, everybody feared the soothsayer, not because they believed he was ruthless, but because he might have a vision of them, about an eminent death in the family or their own. But not all that the soothsayer predicated was about hopelessness and doom or dread. He could see a promising future, prosperity and good fortune at times, but, lately those were becoming few and far apart.

“Times changes,” the soothsayer would say, “things change for the worse or for the better. It is not mine to say.”