Today’s story is inspired by a what3words code. I love using these – finding stories from random words.
The day before the King of the Fields was crowned the regent was chosen from the young men of the Dale.
Everyone gathered in the lowest field, crowding around the riverbank. Cans were past between people, and lighters were shared as cigarettes were lit, the glittering coals barely visible in the morning mist.
A large circle was formed in the meadow, the unmarried men stepping forward to wait for the choosing. They all knew each other of course, all went to school together and played computer games together, but on that morning no-one spoke.
A chair was dragged into the centre and, with the help of his assistants, the local priest climbed up. his back to the waiting boys.
“Today is the day of choosing. The day of selection. The day when we crown the royalty of the land for another year.”
Someone passed him the crown of flowers, the petals weighted with the preservative that kept them from rotting year upon year. Eyes closed, the priest threw the crown into the morning air, and the gathered crowds watched it arc to land amongst their clustered children.
None of the boys moved, not wanting to change their position in relation to the ancient flowers. Over the next fifteen minutes the priest and his assistants busied themselves measuring the distance from the various teenagers to the crown, until a decision was made.
Taking his hand, the priest led the boy forward and helped him up onto the chair, the assistants fastening the copes around the boy’s shoulders, the garment made from the cured skin of the last king of the fields. As the sun rose high above the Dale the gathered crowds began to sing.