Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Meetings and Conferences--Part 16

The three Stylites regarded Prince Amfortas dispassionately.  "Sire, it is time you awake," stated one.

"I am not sleeping," said the man lying on the filthy mattress before them.  "I do not sleep anymore.  My mind will not stop." He coughed.  "It is the Nightfolk.  They are whispering in my ears.  All the time.  The wicked things.  Trying to break my concentration.  Ahh, but they do not know, they do not understand I cannot be broken.  I am the glorious... the glorious..."  He blinked.  "Where is Doctor Praetorious?"

"Elsewhere," said one of the Stylites. 

"I need another..." began Amfortas.

"No," said a Stylite.  "He himself stated he would not give you another dose for some time.  It is he who recommended we deal with you."

"The men are worried," stated another.  "Your lack of appearances are concerning them."

"The men are warriors in our holy cause," murmured Amfortas, turning over.  "They may trust in me from a distance.  My thoughts are with them."  He stirred weakly.  "Where is Doctor...?"

The Stylites glanced awkwardly amongst themselves.  "We just told you he is not here," said one.

"Then go get him," muttered Amfortas, burying himself in his blankets.  After a moment, he gave another turn.  "Flowers with human faces..." The Stylites remained around him.  "Which ones are you?"

"We are Moldwart, Graveworm, and Fingerbone," stated one.

"New ones then," said Amfortas.  "You people come and go so quickly these days.  Makes me wonder why...  The sky... the sky is blue.  And green.  And yellow."

The three Stylites stood there motionless for a while, and then filed out of the room.  "This is most awkward," said Graveworm.

"He seems to be getting steadily worse," said Moldwart.

"Should we send the mad girl in and have her... shave him?" said Fingerbone.  "He needs to be... presentable, and he won't let anyone besides her and the doctor near him these days."

Moldwart nodded.  "This seems like a reasonable approach."

Graveworm sighed.  "I have been here half a year, and he doesn't recognize me."

Fingerbonre regarded his fellow for a second.  "That is disturbingly self-centered, Graveworm."

"You are right," said the Stylite abashed.  "I am becoming flustered.  It is this mission.  I will abase myself before Grandmaster Radience when next we talk."

The trio nodded in unison and filed out the hall.

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