A Hunt So Wild and Cruel by Rebecca F. Kenney EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
- Status: Available for Free Download
- Author:Rebecca F. Kenney
- Language: English
- Genre: Folklore
- Format: PDF / EPUB
- Size: 2 MB
- Price: Free
My parents are dead, to begin with. Of that, I am absolutely certain.
And the dead cannot return to demand submission, dole out punishment, or
beg forgiveness. They can only lie sightless in moldering soil, while beetles
creep between their lips and worms slither into their ears.
Sometimes it causes me pain to picture my mother and father this way.
But not for the reasons most people would think.
My parents are dead, no doubt of it… and they left me with a broken
kingdom and the rulership of a people I despise. It was their final, cruel
trick—like the monstrous joke of bringing me into this fucking world.
At twenty-three, I am their sole heir, monarch of Revallen. Lucky me.
Another supplicant approaches down the long crimson carpet that
leads to my throne. He pauses to give his name to my clerk, Kratchet, who’s
standing behind a tall desk, taking notes. Kratchet glances at me and blows
on his fingertips to warm them before writing down the supplicant’s name. I
roll my eyes and look away. Kratchet is always hinting that I keep it too
cold in here. But it’s moronic to waste either coal or logs heating this
enormous throne room. When I imagine the sheer cost of keeping the drafty
space even moderately warm, I want to vomit.
The supplicant advances, twisting his hands together. He’s a scrawny
man in a stocking cap, with a bristly chin. The coat he’s wearing looks more
like an old, threadbare robe.
Reaching over to the small table beside my throne, I pick up a segment
of blood orange and insert both my sharp thumbnails into its center, prying
it in half. I love the way the thin skin tears, the way the dark, pulpy cells
split apart from each other. Blood oranges and pomegranates are among the
few delicacies I allow myself to enjoy.
The peasant lurches to one bony knee and bends his head slightly by
way of obeisance, until all I can see of his face is his long nose, pointed
chin, and bristly gray eyebrows.
“Your Majesty, Almighty Qu—”
“Skip the honorifics. I’ve heard plenty of them today. What do you
want?” I pop half a segment of blood orange into my mouth.
“I am Eben, mayor of the border village of Lirac, located near the
mountain pass to Ithaya. I have traveled days to reach you, to tell you of our
plight. The Ithayans continually harass us, taking food from our gardens,
breaking our fences, stealing our sheep, and befouling our wells. We have a
town watch, but it is not enough to deal with the sheer numbers of raiders
coming over the border.
Two weeks ago, our blacksmith’s shop was raided
and a cache of new weapons was stolen. Six men have been killed trying to
stop these invaders. I beg you, my Queen, to send soldiers to intervene.”
“Are there no soldiers in the stockade that guards the pass?”
“Yes, but they will not help us. They say they must remain at their
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