Twenty – 07

[This post is from Bryant Tapping’s point of view.]

Tory stood there for a few seconds, just blinking at David.  Lin sighed and waved a hand slightly.

“Sit back down, Tory.  Let him tell it the whole way through.”  He looked back at David and smiled a slight smile.  “The story—it was a prophecy more than a story, wasn’t it?”

David nodded slowly.  “It was, yeah.  It was one that I heard a couple of different versions of over the years, usually told as a story.  Once my gift finally cropped up it all started to make more sense.”  He rubbed at the spot on his forehead between his eyes.  “I’m sure you’ve both heard variants on the theme.  The once and future king, the king destined to return in a time of need, the king betrayed—it depends on what version you’re listening to or reading.  I know that we had a few books back home that had versions of the same legends but my dad told me that they weren’t exactly accurate retellings of the tale—that if people back then had told the actual story, a lot of folks wouldn’t have believed it.”

“I could see that,” Tory said slowly.  “I know my dad didn’t believe the true story until later on even though he believed most of what my mom told him.  That still doesn’t explain, though.”

“I know,” David said.  “How much do you actually know about…about that?”

“The stories about the once and future king?  King Arthur, the Round Table, all of that?”  Tory glanced sidelong to Lin.  “A whole hell of a lot between the two of us.  This used to be a school before the end of everything.  There was a decent collection in the university library and our parents rescued most of the books from said library when everything came crashing down, catalogued it, preserved it.  I can show you later if you want.”

David smiled faintly.  “That’d be cool, once they let me out of bed again.”

“I’ll see what I can do.”  Tory leaned forward, elbows on his knees.  “So the legends and stories were inspired by someone real—that much I know and believe.  But a prophecy about his return?”

“Why would you think that’s so far-fetched?” Lin murmured, closing his eyes.  “You know that he was real, Tory.  You know who you’re descended from.  Why is it so hard to believe?”

Tory made an unhappy sound and focused on David again.  “So this prophecy you’re talking about is about the legend of his return in a time of need—of a king reborn?”

“Something like that.  It’s not…” he paused, then started again.  “It’s more complicated than that.”

Tory heaved a sigh.  “It always is, isn’t it?  Always is.”

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