As he wiped his hands on his cloak; a large rat scurried past. The rodent’s sudden appearance gave the King a fright and he lashed out with his foot. The rat squeaked in protest as it narrowly escaped a kicking from the Royal boot. The creature scooted down the dark passage and disappeared. “Clear off!” King Murkier snarled his face twisted in a grimace of disgust.
With his lips pressed tightly together, Murkier strode towards a large wooden door and lifted the heavy metal latch. He pushed the door open and stepped into a dimly lit room. The cavernous space resembled a cave; numerous stone pillars supported the low roof. The only light source was a few torches attached to the wall and a small fire in the far corner.
King Murkier closed the door, frowned and put a hand up to his mouth. On the far side of the room he spotted a small grey haired man leaning over a small table. He was so engrossed in what he was doing; he was unaware of the Kings presence.
“What have you called me down here for?” King Murkier bellowed. Pulling a corner of his cloak over his nose to minimize the stench, he strode across the room.
Taken by surprise the small man started. “My Liege, forgive me! I had no idea you were here.” He fell to his knees and crawled towards the King.
“Get up man. What is so important you wished to see me at this hour?” He grimaced and pulled his cloak tighter over his nose and mouth. “This place stinks. Hurry up; what is it you want to tell me? And for your sake it better be good.”
The small man scrambled to his feet, his strange grey eyes clouded with anxiety as he gestured towards the table and urged the King to follow him. “Please, come see my Liege. What I have to show you is of paramount importance and most disturbing!”
King Murkier grunted with impatience as he followed him to the table and watched him stare intently into a large round mirror.
“An hour ago I studied my mirror and saw a vision. Normally, as you know my Liege the visions I see are clear, but this time it was shrouded in a mist.” He ran a shaky hand across his mouth and glanced at the King.
The King straightened and frowned at him. “So why am I here?” He growled. “You just said you had something of importance to show me. So show me!”