Is There Hope?

In a time of kings and swords, Ronki finds that the simple life of a farmer is not what he dreamed it to be. The nightmare of life just continues to get worse and threatens to rip everything away from him. He can’t let it take his magical little princess from him, but really is there any hope?
This is for A Hidden Power competition.

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3. Tea party

                 Idra almost knocked over the flowers from that morning as she came bursting through the front door and into her daddy’s arms. As always she seemed to be a rumbling volcano of joy and happiness just ready to explode. Then in that cute little face she made when she wanted something she asked, “Daddy my teacher said that a magic man has come to town and that he is going to put on a show tonight. Can we go, please daddy, pleeeasssse?”

                How could he say no to that face? But he had to tell her that they could not go, they simply did not have the money for things that could not be eaten. It would crush her big heart, and his to see that smile fade, but they did not have the money ... Wait. A thought popped into his head. Money. Why did he care about money at a time like this? He was planning to kill someone. Everyone would know that it was him. There was no denying that out of everyone that wanted Kalps dead, only Ronki would actually do it. He could not escape the consequences of his actions. In the morning, before Kalps worthless corpse was found, he would take Idra to his brother’s house in the capital and then return to face his fate. He would tell his brother to take care of her and that when the news arrived of his death to tell Idra that her daddy died like mommy, of sickness. She could not know the truth that he was a cold blooded killer. This was his last evening with his doll and if she wanted to go to a magic show, they would go.

                The volcano erupted and joy and happiness gushed out of the little flower blossom when she heard that they could go to the magic show. He stood back and watched the little bubble bee of glee as she danced around the room. He absorbed every tiny, minute detail. Yes, this was the image that he would picture as he stood at the gallows waiting for the executioner to finally, mercifully send his soul to the other side to be with Her once more. Death could no longer evade him, he had found it.

                The rest of the evening was perfect. All worry and reservation evaporated and all that was left was Idra. Well, if it must be said, there was also the crown of flowers plucked from Mr. Galden’s garden.  The many surprised travelers as they saw a full grown man in full armor sit down for an imaginary tea party with a seven year old, a stuffed bear and a newly trapped frog. She, of course, was the princess, the bear was another princess, he was her loyal knight and the frog was prince charming. He was then forced to defend his princess from a hoard of imaginary bandits and as he fought and fought, some of the “tea” was spilled and a water fight followed. The victorious knight and the princess went out for a royal feast of peach and blueberry pie. To cap off the evening of playing pretend and ignoring the many looks and glares that he received, they went to the magic show. It was worth all the extra chips to sit on the front row and watch the expressions of awe and amazement on the girls' face as trick after trick reflected in her twinkling brown eyes. Idra was even called up to help with the last trick. It was a simple trick where the magic man pretended to pull a tin chip out of her ear and then make it disappear, but the awe and amazement on her face made it priceless. He then made it reappear and presented the chip to her. He then turned to the audience saying, “I now present you with power, not just of creation or destruction, but of change.” As he tucked her in bed, she mumbled, just before sleep overcame her, “Daddy I want to be like the magic man.”

                “You already are” he said to his sleeping angel “you have changed me and given me joy and hope where there was none, if that is not magic then I don’t know what is.”

                After making sure she was asleep, Ronki grabbed his knife and slipped out the front door. He started limping down the road, heading for Kalps house. The evening spent with Idra reinforced his resolve that Kalps could never be given the chance to accomplish his devilish plans. He would die tonight, a slow and painful death.

                The sound of a horse shocked Ronki out of his self absorbed thoughts. He turned his head towards the sound and saw a soldier that he knew, riding towards him.

                “Bramith what are you doing here? I thought the king made you General or something like that.” said the surprised Ronki.

                “He did, only because you refused. That is why I am here old friend. Certainty you can guess why I am here to seek your aid” replied Bramith.

                Ronki was clueless. He and Bramith had been best of friends in the war, but that was six years ago and why would Bramith need him? He was just a crippled farmer who could not fight and was about to become a murderer.

                “Don’t tell me that you haven’t noticed all the refugees that have been travailing through here.”

                Now that he thought about it, there were a lot of travelers that had a frightened expression about them as he enjoyed his tea. There were also a lot of people looking and whispering about him in the café.  He was just too absorbed in Idra to have noticed the panicked voices and see the hope in the faces as they recognized the one who had saved them last time. Refugees fleeing to the capital and the appearance of Bramith could only mean one thing; Kalps would live another day and death had once again escaped from Ronki’s grasp, for Throngog had returned. 

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