Writing Prompt: The food turned to ash in his mouth.

Morning all. we have made it to the middle of the week and for the first time all week, I think I see a little sun. It doesn’t look as though it is entirely sure about staying, but it is there. I am feeling surprisingly awake and ready to go. I think it has more to do with sleeping well rather than the sun, but I’m not going to poke at it too much and just enjoy it. So shall we start off with our morning prompt? Good. Let’s begin.

Oh my. I got quite a scare half way through writing this. My computer locked down and I thought I was going to have to start over. And/or call someone to fix the computer. But the glyph subsided. I’m hoping the computer was just having a slow morning and this isn’t the start of an issue. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, October 13th: The food turned to ash in his mouth.

The food turned to ash in his mouth.  What was once a delicious bite now merely became something he had to mechanically chew just so that he could break it up enough to swallow and clear his mouth.  Across the room Frederick watched as Peter smiled. 

His smile looked warm, open, inviting.  Then he spotted Frederick and the edge quirked up turning it into a sneer.  The sneer was gone in a flash but Frederick knew he saw it.  Peter’s eyes remained hard and brittle as he brightened his smile again for the woman he was talking to.

Peter was here. 

Frederick swallowed the tasteless morsel and reached for his wine glass.  A drink sounded like a good idea.  The best idea.  Twenty drinks sounded even better.

Peter was here.

Frederick took a small sip of the wine, just enough to rinse out his mouth before setting the glass back down.  If Peter was here then he was planning something.  Frederick would need all his wits about him.  Knowing he couldn’t merely sit and stare at Peter from across the room as it would invite too many questions, many of them too dangerous to answer, Frederick turned away. 

He favored the woman seated next to him with a smile as he set his glass down.  “The roast is quite delicious, don’t you think?” he asked.  In his mind he searched his memories for the woman’s name.  He remembered being introduced but wasn’t paying attention.  She was one of the court beauties the King liked to have sprinkled about his court.  The king chose them for their beauty, not their political connections of wit and generally they tittered like little birds.

Like the birds in the gardens he tended to think of them as part of the background.  They could do nothing for his cause and while he appreciated a good looking woman, any conversation he attempted with the ladies of court gave him a headache.  Still he needed to keep himself occupied for the remainder of the meal.

As expected she smiled prettily at his comment.  “Yes, I find it most delicious.”

Her voice was as melodious as her appearance was beautiful.  A glance down at her plate showed that she merely moved the food around her plate rather than eating it.  He also saw that her cup was filled with sweet water rather than wine.  It was the only thing that she seemed to touch.  None of the beauties ate at court.  He knew food was brought to them in their quarters.  The food here was just for show.  He grasped for another topic of conversation.

“The fine weather seems to be lasting.  I took advantage of it for a stroll in the east gardens.  Are you familiar with them?”

“I am,” she replied.  Frederick nearly wilted with relief as conversation slipped into pleasantly neutral garden topics.  While he still didn’t know her name, by the end of the meal he knew she enjoyed strolls through the garden on pleasant days and often embroidered while perched on one of the benches.  She liked the white roses and lavender and was not a fan of the sage.  He learned that the benches on the western edge of the garden got the best sun and that the ones on the north were over shadowed too much by the trees for comfort unless the day was extremely hot, then they became the most prized seats in the garden.

The conversation was halting, as though she were not accustomed to voicing more than the occasional pleasantry.

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