Oyonale - 3D art and graphic experiments
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The citadel
The citadel

There's only one left, said the King to his last Knight. I'd like you to bring it back, you know, in time for the Queen's birthday.

The Knight was looking at the moth-eaten yellow fur that covered the throne, and at the matching head mounted on the top of it. The left glass eye was saying hello to its mate. A cross-eyed stuffed snarling lion doesn't look as serious as a straight-looking one. This had been a serious-minded lion, though. He had had good reasons to be serious, being the last lion of this kingdom. Then the Knight had come, killed him, and brought back the pelt to the King, in time for the Queen's birthday. Now, the Knight was one-handed, and the King had a new upholstery for his throne.

This is an order, said the King, who had sensed the Knight's unease. He was good at picking up brainwaves from his subjects. No that he had so many brainy subjects anymore. Picking up brainwaves was certainly easier now.

Come on, it's only a flower this time. No big deal. It's not going to bite you. The King tried hard to be cheerful. Big hearty fun, how much I miss that, he thought.

No my Lord, it's not going to bite me, repeated the Knight, trying to sound both respectful and fearless. But he didn't look like he really meant it.

What a wimp, thought the King.

Come over, said the King.

The Knight climbed ceremoniously the three steps that led to the throne.

It's the Queen, said the King in a conspiratorial whisper, as if there were other people in the Royal Room, as if anyone could have been interested in the royal affairs.

The Queen, I really need to give her a little something, he said. I really do. She doesn't... We don't... You know what I mean. The King put on a dejected look.

I see, said the Knight, who had stopped trying to score with the few remaining toothless, bosomless and fleshless spinsters of the kingdom. Now, he crossed the border every week-end for leisure and entertainment. He was that close to defect, actually. But if he deserted, he'd have to quit being a Knight, as his present title wasn't recognised outside the Kingdom. No way he'd be a stable-boy again.

And so, this flower, where is it?, asked the Knight.

Well, the King said, the Old Book says that first you have to wander for two months in the desert. Then you need to learn the language of vultures. Then you ask them and they'll give you directions. Ha, one may lose an eye in the process, the Book says. It's a very small flower, don't think you can rely on serendipity.

The Knight pondered a while about this. My Lord, he said finally, I mean no disrespect, you know me, but