Erik lay staring at the moonless sky. Brief pauses of stars reflected his tear-stained cheeks. As the darkness of night began to fade, Erik’s emptiness bled more frigidly. His rest was cold, and, again, the waking sun refused to offer its warmth.
Hazes of sunlight groped through the window and crawled onto a painting of Erik as a child standing with his parents. His mother’s loving voice welcomed the sun-touch and warmed from the past, “One day, Erik, my prince, all that is before you will be yours to rule.”
“... it’s just an empty field...” Erik whispered in confusion and disappointment.
Erik’s father laid his hand on the young prince’s shoulder and smiled reverently, “That, my son, is so you can fill it with whatever you desire.”
Pensively, Erik stood looking out over his would-be kingdom. Châteaux of elegance sprouted and filled the emptiness of the field. Poised peoples warmed the streets with their kindly glows. Then vapidly, like a def fog, a feral-grinned man seeped from the distant fade. Erik’s eyes shot fear, and his would-be kingdom returned to the void.
Uncertainty wove itself freely into Erik’s thoughts. He felt a heavy shawl of responsibility wrapping around his heart in an almost asphyxiating grip.
The Queen, perceiving Erik’s uncertainty, knelt by her son, kissed his forehead, and comforted as only she could, “You’re still a very young Prince. You will grow and learn, and one day you’ll be ready to be the great King you are destined to become. Until then, worry about growing and learning...”
Echoing from what seemed a thousand years ago came the voice of a young girl squealing, “Erik! I found a frog!”
With a godly sparkle in her eye, the Queen continued, “... and having fun.”
Erik hugged his mother and hurriedly rushed off teasing, “I dare you to kiss it!”
“Ew...” Kathryn called back, “what if it turned into a prince?” Her giggles faded with the thriving sunlight – as did young Erik’s defensive, “Hey! What’s wrong with being a prince!?”
Erik’s now manly visage held a drought-ed smile of memories long before drank. His tears, mostly dry now, contrasted his smile. He had grown. He had learned. He had played. He was now ready to face the test to become King, despite the feelings of foreshadowed uncertainty that drew his sorrow.
One last tear crawled onto Erik’s face as Kathryn, now a very much beautiful young woman, knocked humbly upon Erik’s door. The door opened and sunlight beamed off of Kathryn’s brilliant, jade-green eyes. Her unmistakable smile was soon the only thing one could discern in a room of weighty thoughts.
“Are you ready?” asked Kathryn. Her voice held a subtle implication that Erik had forgotten something.
Erik quickly wiped any traces of tears from his face and returned Kathryn’s smile, oblivious to her hinting, “I guess I’m as ready as ever.” Already dressed in his ceremonial garb, he slid off his bed, adjusted the main-gauche hanging at his side, and began walking down the hall, Kathryn by his side. Although no words were spoken as they mused toward the Council Room, a deep cloud of solemn adoration perfumed each of their steps.
Soon, they stood before the great ornamental doors of the Council Room. With a trembling hand, Erik traced one of the intricate wooden carvings marking the entryway. Afore pushing the doors open, he paused and coyly whispered to Kathryn, “Don’t kiss any frogs while I’m away.” Kathryn blushed, her smile returning tenfold.