By Sandra Davies
He had seen their like before. Hungry men, men beleaguered by the harsh words of their swollen-bellied wives, the thin cries of their ailing children. Men beset by exhaustion, who had given every year of their strength and knew that it was never going to be enough.
He understood, his future once was as theirs had proved to be; his boyhood had after all been spent with them.
But he had escaped, had known what was needed and had done it, done it all and yea, he had thrived, while they had not.
He emerged from the doorway, took three paces to the top of the steps, and as the light from the cressets identified him he both heard and saw the winnowed murmur of recognition, of hope pass from the front to the rear of the crowd. Saw that they regarded him as their demagogue, one who would know what was due to them, would know where to lead them.
Silence fell. He raised his voice, and spoke a single word.
Copyright ©2012 Sandra Davies All rights reserved. Do not reproduce in any form, including electronic, without the author’s express permission.
This story was originally published on Sandra's site, lines of communication, on February 16, 2012.
If you like this story, check out Sandra's other story, published on this site: In days of olde. . . when knights were absent.
Sandra Davies is an artist printmaker and recently-emerged writer of fiction, who regards flat estuarine and sea-edged horizons as essential for well-being. Regularly published on MuDSpots, Thinking Ten and Six Sentences, less so Camel Saloon, Pygmy Giant, Pigeon Bike, and currently working on her fifth novel – a romantic detective tale. More writing at lines of communication and prints at Print Universe.