For a while now I’ve been writing a series of very short stories, as somewhat of an experiment. So, after a year and a half of planning and waffling, I think I’m finally ready to post up the bits and pieces of Tales from Mound Kingdom. (I’ve always wanted to write a fantasy,…) It’s not all done yet, and who knows when that will be, but I’m hoping that will all come with time.

 

Walther Mundt was king of Mound Kingdom. His son had a secret. Every day, Arnault Mundt would take a stroll over a corner of his father’s territory, observing what he knew would become his one day. His hands would pass over the rocks and heads of the people he met, “This will be mine, this will be mine,” he would mutter under his breath. Behind him walked Hunter, his companion and personal guard.

King Walther’s subjects were not all happy. On an otherwise normal spring day, thirty-four peasants wielding long spears and kitchen knives tracked mud into the king’s fine court. Their leader took the throne and Arnault fled. But he was not alone.

Hunter had been a guard in the royal court before becoming Arnault’s companion. He had pledged loyalty to King Walther when Arnault was six. He had been only twelve years old at the time. When the king charged him with protecting his only son, Hunter felt pride in being entrusted such an important task. Naturally, with Walther’s death, that loyalty was passed on to Arnault. So he thought nothing of it when Arnault made his request: to cut off the heads and hands of every one of the thirty-four men who had killed his father.

It was done.

The kingdom was returned to Arnault Mundt within a year of the rebellion. He took the throne with the grace of one born to be king. On his left lay thirty-four heads and thirty-four pairs of shriveled hands in a pile, on his right stood his faithful Hunter. Until the day he died, King Arnault ruled that kingdom which spanned towards the ends of the earth.

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