Another InMon post, this week without lumping in 3 Word Wednesday! Huzzah! I really liked the prompts again this week, but I just had no idea where this story was going, and then it just kind of finished…sorry it’s a bit strange.
It was blinding, the reflection of lights dancing across his vision. He was on his knees, dazzled by the ever-changing colours of his gilded cage, like a sleepwalker awoken into this strange fantasy. “Hello? Is anyone there?” His voice came out strangled and breaking, forced past his parched throat. His question echoed across what seemed to be a cavernous ballroom, fully equipped with a spiralling staircase. Like a Versailles in miniature, a hall of mirrors repeating his every shaking movement a thousand times over. He struggled up onto one foot, overly aware of the muted scraping sounds he made against the polished oak floor. His heartbeat deafeningly loud, he stood as though stunned, intruding in this temple to silence.
He turned to the windows, a formal European garden hugging close to the high sandstone walls. The light bounced off the rigidly arrow-straight Roman pathways, their flagstones still bright after the tread of a million tourist’s footsteps. His eyes skirted away from that brilliant vision, seeking the verdant oasis of woodlands skirting the garden’s edge. The words “temporary insanity” flicked through the back of his mind as he glanced over his shoulder. A million clones stared back into his face, unable to answer the questions that ricocheted around his head. A figurine had been placed on the stairs.
“Who’s there? Where are you, you bastard?” He spun around, shouting only at those damned mimics aping his every move, mocking him with their infuriating silent dance. A courtier chose his moment well, sidling through the open doorway.
“Can I help you sire?” The courtier held out his hands as if to ward off the madness unfolding before him.
“What year is it, knave?” He slurred the words, growing drunk from the rapid rush of his encroaching memories. “Bring me some wine boy, and then send in Her Royal Highness, the Queen, I shall see her here, in the Ballroom.”
Pierre pulled out his radio, calling for security. The palace had been closed to visitors for the last two hours. He had heard of these kinds of disorders, the madness that infected tourists at these sites. “Don’t worry, sire, I will find someone who can help you.” Security dragged the new king away, his demands for regal treatment falling on deaf ears. He would get the treatment he needed, but not here in the palace. There was a Louis XIV ward at the psychiatric hospital in the village.