Once Upon A Lie - Episode 4
MBATA KINGDOM – SOME DAYS AFTER
A servant entered hurriedly with his head bent as he brought in a scroll and gave the eldest chief.
“To whom is this addressed?” the chief asked as he turned the scroll over and over in his hand.
“To the King” the servant said, with his head still bent. He continued “It was received by the servants at the border…”
“At the border?” the second chief asked as he interrupted the servant.
“Haba! Let him land, Nkotu” the eldest chief said . With a wave of his hand, he signaled to the servant.
“Yes, at the border.” The servant continued “One Quolan servant brought the scroll and said to deliver to the King. He is still there, waiting for a reply”
“I thought as much. No wonder the scroll had the special red cloth wrapped around it.” The eldest chief said as he dismissed the servant. He went out and a maid came in with a mug that she placed on the stool before the king.
“Shall I read?” the eldest chief asked the King.
“No,” the King replied as he stretched forth his hand towards the chief and said “I shall read”
Fuole and Ahleera came into the palace and parted ways. Immediately, one of the servants went before him.
“The King must have had him report my presence in the palace” he thought and walked on
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. He entered into the King’s quarters while Ahleera took the horse to the stable.
“Your Honour” he said, prostrating as he entered into the royal room.
“Stand and come forward” the King said. Fuole obeyed and moved forward.
He looked sideways as he walked. On his right, he saw a sobbing Paulita in his mother’s hands and on his left, he saw a sneering Nnuole picking out nothing on her dress.
“Oh my God! Did they fight again? Why tonight of all nights?” he thought as he walked on and stopped when he got just a few feet away from the King.
“Where did you go?” the King asked.
“I went hunting” he answered.
“Again? Why today of all days? The day you and Paulita have lunch together” the King said and all eyes focused on the prince.
“Well,” the prince said as he looked around for seconds without answer to the question and simply smiled “I forgot, I think” he finally said.
Fuole stared at the King with disbelieving eyes.
“Father, two days? Why? No lunch either?” he asked.
The King smiled wider, beckoned to the queen and said “Paulita and Nnuole, please go back to when you were younger, the house was more peaceful” To Fuole, he said “Son, grow up” as he walked out of the room.
Nnuole walked over to the grumbling Fuole and pulled his ears as she dragged him out of the room, leaving behind the fuming Paulita.
THE NEXT DAY – IN THE EVENING
A man walked in the forest with Marita following closely behind. The man suddenly stopped and pointed to a large tree few metre ahead. “It’s right here” he said.
“Ooh, I see” Marita said, absentmindedly.
“What are you thinking about?” the man said facing her “You seem off. Well, a bit”
“It’s nothing’ Marita replied, then sat down on the grass.
“Just that,” she continued “just that I will have to stay here alone till he comes, and who knows what his disposition will be? I mean, he may not-”
“He will” the man interrupted her rant.
“He is a caring person and can’t take his eyes off someone in need till he helps. You just have to do well” he said, roughening her hair.
“I told you not to do that again” she said, frowning and using her hands to smoothen the hair.
“It’s all part of the acting, isn’t it? It makes it even better” he said, grinning at her.
“What acting? I’m going to be cold for real anyway” she replied, still frowning.
“It’s all for good, right?” he asked, looking into her eyes.
She held his eyes for a bit and then nodded her head in affirmation. The man patted her on the head and walked back in the direction they came. She watched him for a long time as he left.
“Yes, Father” she silently said when he was out of view.
“Aaahh” Fuole grumbed, rolling on his bed with Ahleera beside him laughing loudly.
“It’s not funny, Ahl” he said, pouting like a little child.
“I never said it was” Ahleera replied, still laughing.
“Then why are you laughing?” Fuole asked, sporting an offended look.
“Hmm,” Ahleera answered “because it’s not?”
“But seriously, aren’t you bored? I am! I’ve been in this room since yesterday, and it’s just a bit over a day of me being grounded. I want to be out, to be free!” Fuole said, flopping himself on the bed with a look of defeat.
“Sorry ehnn. You miss the outside world?“ he asked and Fuole nodded in reply.
“He misses the forest. The prince---” Ahleera said in a sing-song before Fuole interrupted him.
“Wait!” Fuole said as he frantically searched all over the place.
“What are you looking for, my prince?” Ahleera asked.
“I think…” he paused and looked up with a scared expression.
“I think I lost it in the forest” he said.
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