How Long


King Deorsa walked through the forest, feeling the wind tug at his snow-white cloak. The leaves were bright, green and yellow amongst the dark bark of the striplings and birdsong danced in the fresh spring air, yet his hand never moved from the ivory hilt of his sword.

“Merdraud!” he called. “Seer of futures!”

She was there, clad in a swirl of green, bright eyes darting like hummingbirds. “What would you ask of me, King Deorsa, Lord of Men?”

“How long will my reign last?”

From a low-hanging branch, Merdraud plucked a leaf. Between her fingers it turned golden, curling like a dead insect. Down to the forest floor it drifted.

“Until the last leaf falls.”

And as the Autumn came, born on chill winds and darkening shadows, the harvests turned bitter. Peace turned to bickering and bickering turned to war. Steel flashed and fires burned.

Deorsa rode through the forest, bare branches hanging over his hooded head. A crisp, curling carpet of leaves crunched under his horse’s hooves. Behind him, bows twanged like thunderbolts, arrows streaking past him in the night.

And a single leaf, green and bright, drifted down from the treetops. Deorsa looked up.

Merdraud smiled back.

Word Count: 200

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction!

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