The Protector’s Lament

The cold desert night air threatened to send chills down Tholden’s spine as he lay against the sand, staring up at the stars.  Ten years ago this day he left home for greater adventures.  He remembered that day like it was yesterday…



 


 


“You’re going to WHAT?”  The bellow echoed against the walls inside the villa, making several servants pause in their duties to observe the sudden commotion.


 


“I said, father, that I am going to leave.  We have talked about this before!  My decision is made.”  Under his father’s watchful glare, Tholden continued to stuff what belongings he could fit into a canvas pack, content to end the argument there.  His father was not finished giving his view of things, however.


 


“And I have warned you what would happen if you abandoned your home!” Tholden’s father spat back venomously.  “You are my only son and the only heir I can leave the estate to when I am gone.  I cannot, and will not leave my estate to one of your sisters!  If you abandon the estate, you abandon the family!  I will find a new wife and sire another heir if I have to, but if you step out that door, none of this will ever be yours.”  He crossed his arms over his chest triumphantly, anticipitating a victory over the argument.


 


The victory was not to come.  Tholden pushed the last of his belongings into the pack and slung it over his shoulder.  “Goodbye, father.  I hope I never see you again.  Mother would be ashamed if she was still alive.”  Before his father could snap out of his daze at this response, Tholden was out the door and on the road to what he hoped was a better life.



 


 


A deep sigh escaped Tholden.  His idealism nearly got him killed, and it was only running into the cursed Roses three years ago that he is still alive.  That curse haunted them no longer, and soon they would all be on a road to better things, he hoped.  As his thoughts began wandering to his other adventures, he finally began to drift off to sleep.

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