101: Alone in his Bedroom

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Matron’s door closed behind him with a loud click.

In an instant, with the deep metallic sound reverberating in his mind, the many days of wandering the labyrinthine halls of the Moulde Estate yawned in front of his eyes. Matron’s visage beckoned to him with thick clock-hands, parading him like a circus amusement in front of relative after unfamiliar relative, who either ignored him or laughed at him with the loud whispering of black rain on the windows.

By the time he reached his room, Edmund was in a state of despair. He grabbed the lunch tray that was waiting for him, shoved it into his room, closed his door, and threw himself on his bed, lying face down and burying his head under a pillow.

He hated this place. The rooms were dark and empty, the people were cruel and talked over his head, and Matron never did anything but sit and frown.

Was this what it was like for all the other orphans who were adopted? Did they all feel like they had moved to some foreign country? Did their parents demand strange and unfair service? How did they manage to cope with the new people, the new places, and the new rules?

Edmund tried to eat, but the soup didn’t appeal to him, and his humours were inhibiting his appetite. Besides, the soup smelled faintly of almonds, and Edmund didn’t like almonds.

There was an order to things, Edmund knew. In the Legend of King Arthur, the heir to the throne was as good as King. Heirs were supposed to be treated with deference and respect. That was proper behavior. It felt right to Edmund.

Of course, children had to listen to their betters, and that was right and proper too…but surely being an Heir trumped that?

After what felt like ages, Edmund sat up and grabbed his notebook from the desk where he had left it. He tried to write some poetry to calm himself, or cool his head, but he couldn’t think of any words that sounded pleasant to his ears. He found himself thinking of words like ‘ravage,’ ‘hunt,’ ‘shattered,’ and other dark terms that belied his choleric attitude.

Trying to keep calm, he fell back on using the more structured forms of poetry by Sir Peeres Ekes. He selected a form designed specifically for emotive and dramatic poems, and after thinking for a few more minutes, he began to write.

A speck on a flea is a hard thing to see.
It quivers and jumps with its host.
A dot on an ant is quite insignificant,
And is safely ignore’ed by most.
The dust on the lice can be imprecise,
Since no one will care if its not.
So now you can see what it’s like to be me,
And for all I care you can go rot!

Edmund stared at the poem before crossing it out. Scolding himself for letting his humours block his writing, he redoubled his efforts, pointedly ignoring the churning sensation in his stomach.

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