Theodore sat upright in his vast four poster bed one week later. He felt rested and sensed the soft material curling beneath his fingertips. The young man sighed deeply and prepared himself for another day of darkness. Theodore craved the company of others, his Mother and Father were so bound up in ruling their kingdom that they had little time spare for their son. Theodore’s muscular arms and legs were reduced to spindly twigs and his sunken cheeks gave him a gaunt appearance. The fever at long last left his body, along with his sight leaving Theodore stone-blind and helpless. Despite this, he still held natural beauty. His wavy chestnut hair and solitary smoky eyes were his crowning glories.
He laid in bed one particular night feeling emptier than ever. He rang the servants bell and eventually heard the pitter-patter of footsteps entering his long chamber. Theodore heard a familiar voice.
“What do you desire sire?”
Theodore sighed, appearing agitated. “I need my candles . Just because I’m blind doesn’t mean that I don’t need them!”
“Very good sire”
It was Howard one of his kindly servants. Howard was a gentle soul, with a good heart. He wouldn’t dare say boo to a goose. Theodore had proven to have a ferocious temper in the last few months. He had said things to the poor fellow that he deeply regretted. Theodore softened his tone.
“Sorry Howard, that was rude of me.”
He apologised. Howard said nothing.
“There, they are alight now. Anything else your majesty?”
Theodore paused and thought for a moment.
“No that will be all, thank you.”
Howard bowed and exited the confinement of the bedchamber.
Theodore loathed his miserable existence, he longed for a companion, someone to talk to and fill his long days. He decided to inquire about this. Theodore missed reading his collection of books in the castle library. He used to spend many an hour when he was sighted reading the books to his heart’s content. They belonged to his deceased grandfather. The old gentleman used to buy them by the yard, they were expensive 1st editions and had been entrusted to Theodore’s family. Theodore recalled many a happy hour sitting on the old gentleman’s lap as a young child being read the latest exciting tales. Unfortunately, he had sadly passed away 7 years previously. Theodore missed him greatly. Now the books stood in the darkness of the unused library as the days passed, slowly gathering dust .
Theodore lay on his side mulling in his deep thoughts, listening to the gentle spotting of rain against his sash window. It was ever so soothing and it was not long before he drifted into a deep slumber.
Theodore startled as Howard spoke in a soft tone. What time was it? Surely I have only just drifted off? He thought.
“You startled me Howard? Tell me what is the hour?”
“8.30 am sire”
“It feels earlier. In reply to your question breakfast would be wonderful.”
Theodore tried to recall the last time he ate. Sometimes he would go for days without an appetite. Now he felt the hunger pangs churning in the pit of his stomach.
“What would you desire?”
Theodore paused. “My sight to return?”
Howard gasped. There was an awkward pause among them.
“An omelette would be good, oh and tea.”
Howard nodded. “Very good your majesty”
He bowed and went to place the order at the huge palace kitchen.Theodore was unpopular among the staff. He was rude and demanding, he had little time for anyone but himself and now resented his parents more than ever.They seemed to have forgotten him somewhat.
The aroma of the freshly cooked omelette soon wafted through Theodore’s room. The maid placed a sliver tray in front of him and handed the prince his knife and fork.
“Your breakfast sire.” It was Harriet the maid, better known to everyone as ‘Rettie’ .
“Thank you Rettie” the Prince seemed so sincere.
She left Theodore in peace to eat his breakfast and wallow in self-pity.
To be continued…..