It is late.
The time is somewhere between the witching hour and when the devil stalks the land yet the pull of slumber has yet to be felt. The darkness envelopes me with only the silver burnish of moonlight to pick out the objects around me and ensure they retain some familiarity.
It is cold but I do not object, content to sit with the window open and allow the night air to infiltrate my domain. The cold touch of the darkness soothes me and a calm has settled upon my person. I am sat, alone, yet I have no concerns, for the day has proved fruitful, as always, in my quest for fuel. Although not sated I am neither in desperate need nor bloated from my repeated extractions.
There is room for more, there is always room for more but I do not feel that driving need to acquire more. Instead the stillness and the calm engulf me as I sit here and look out from my elevated situation, through the wide open window and across the garden and the fields beyond.
My still alert eyes detect no movement of beast nor breeze. The trees still as if in silent salute. The birds that so often fly past are nested for the night and in the distance the intermittent hoot of an owl is a reminder that although I am sat alone there is still something out there. It is at times like this, when the freneticism has subsided, the hurly burly of the day’s cut and thrust has given way to this rare and unusual state that I remember.
My gaze remains steady as I look out across those undulating fields, fields so similar to the ones that we used to run through didn’t we? Where are you? Where are you now?
Why are you not sat beside me, king and queen like we used to when we planned our lives all that times ago? You must forgive me. I have not thought of you as often or as deeply as I ought to have done but I have been about other things.
I know you understand. I know you recognise that the demands made upon me would be beyond others and that I must attend to those demands. I know that you realise that to dwell too often would leave me weakened and that must not happen but moments such as these, when I find myself feeling freed of my burden then I am able to reach out to you, wherever you may be.
Although I do not often permit it, you remain etched into my memory and I know with the certainty that the world will not stop spinning, that you will always reside in my memory. Yet, I must confess, that is not enough. Should a moment or an instance bring to the surface an element of our past I am bound to push it away, cast it deep into the recesses of my mind and place it behind bolted door and fearsome gate.
There is not hope for me to do anything else, for to indulge in recollection at such times would distract me too greatly from my endeavours. I know I ought not to do it but I must do so. For such moments I am moved to seek your forgiveness from your benevolent self in the full knowledge that I am told that I deserve none.
It is now when I sit on this chair and besides yours, ‘our thrones’ as we once called them, that I am able to allow your memory to consume me. I reach out with my hand and expect that somehow I will feel your cool hand slide into mine just one more time yet there is nothing.
Just that absence that has remained constant no matter how hard I labour to fill it. We would sit side by side wouldn’t we and look out across those fields through which we ran to our secret places, those sanctuaries and idylls dotted throughout our kingdom?
We issued our declarations as one, formulated our ordinances of governance for the betterment of our subjects and did so with great gladness. Do I miss doing so together or have I just been conditioned to believe that I miss it?
Where are you? Why will you only show yourself as memory ? Why will you not come back to me ? You could do so, even if as a shade to haunt me as I sit amidst this encompassing darkness. Do you remain distant from me to punish m, joining the legions of the traitorous? Have they turned you against me? Perhaps you do and I am told that such punishment is only right for one such as I.
I know myself for what I am and I seek to purge that which grips me each and every day through the frenzied application to my endeavours in the hope that they will allow me to be granted absolution and you will return. I swear, I swear by all that I am, I would accept these labours at a tenfold if only to see you once again, hear your voice and look upon you as you take my hand as you always did. We joined as one and we were better for it were we not? Come back to me? Return. Sit beside me once again and let us find that which we once had and should always have.
I sit in the darkness as I say these thoughts aloud, my low and steady voice seeming distant and disembodied. I pause and wait expecting you to answer but there is no response.
Come back to me because for all that I have done and for all that I am about to do, without you I will sit forever wrong upon the throne.
And I must be right.