The first scene for Plot Bunny #2.
“You will not ask me again. The answer is no and must always be no.”
The young man to whom the stern words were addressed threw back his head rebelliously, “And why must it always be no? Other princes are allowed this. It is not such a great thing to ask.”
“Other princes are not you,” the King’s voice cut through the tense air like a sword. “Need I remind you Palemuni is not Zabriq? It is not Ercelori and it is far from Ialu. In Palemuni, such behavior from its Crown Prince would be unfathomable.”
“Then when is our so great country to become modernized? You speak of modernizing, of a new era, but I do not see much progress.”
“Because you are lazy, irresponsible and will not learn your duties, to say nothing of performing the duties. Progress does not happen overnight, especially in a country as deeply rooted in tradition as is ours. My son, to see progress, you must make small changes and then wait. You must know how the people live to see how their lives are improved by even the smallest changes,” his voice softened with love for his people.
The Crown Prince huffed impatiently, “Cannot you speed up this progress?”
“Not while you run wild and neglect your duties,” the King’s voice was back to sharp. “Every moment I worry about you is one less moment spent in ruling and introducing progress.”
“Duties,” the Crown Prince scoffed. “Antiquated traditions and rituals kept up for show. What duties, real duties am I given?”
“Traditions and rituals that are comfort and stability to a world steeped in tradition,” his father’s voice was deeper now, a sure sign that he was furious. “You will be given no real responsibilities until you have proven your worth.”
“Proven that I am worthy to become a King such as you?” he mocked.
“If you can say those words, you do not understand our positions, yours and mine. You dishonor your position, your king, your land, your family and your father. Leave the room at once. You are confined to your chambers until you learn some respect and honor.”
The King nodded to the nearby guards. Two stepped up, one on each side of the prince, who wheeled and stalked darkly from the room. Before the doors, he paused and delivered one final salvo, “When I am King, this country will be modernized quickly enough.” Face set in a glare, he stormed out.
The King blinked back the moisture that rose to his eyes. Will the boy ever understand?
In the hallway outside the private audience room, two young men had heard the Crown Prince’s raised voice. They looked at each other and sadly shook their heads. When the doors opened, they slid into the shadow of a pillar, from which they somberly watched the passage of the Crown Prince and the guards.
When they were out of sight, the younger of the two slumped gloomily against the pillar, “Nothing has changed then.” There was desperation in his voice.
The second and elder of the two put a brotherly arm around his shoulder, “Do not despair. It is far from hopeless yet.”
Miss Melody Muffin