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A Venomous Betrayal

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GWENYVER smiled; her face radiant and glowing like a luminous sun in the sky amongst bright stars. She tipped her goblet of wine toward her fine lips to drink to the welfare of her new marriage. She swiftly shifted her glance to King Arthur; from the corner of her eye she could see his gleaming smile. She laughed to herself as Arthur reminded her of a small child filled with delight. His childish glee seemed to cool her nerves, about their abrupt marriage. Soothing her, her doubts and fears seemed to fly majestically out of her mind like a blue bird taking to the sky. For this was not a place for worries or for fears, this was a place of fun and laughter and carelessness; or so she thought.

AGRAVAIN could not bring himself to toast the happy couple. His hand seemed to stop in midair and slowly lowered the goblet back to his side. His eyes were fixed on Gwenyver, young and beautiful and fair. Fragile and sweet; powerful and strong. He had never noticed her true essence till this very moment when he wanted nothing more than her. Her eyes flashed and met his for a split second, the pain, too great for Agravain to take, causing his glance to fall to his shoes. He felt meek and powerless, a feeling so loathed and unwelcome. He touched his hand to his jacket, he could feel the small glass bottle in his pocket; it brought a sense of ease to him and reassurance. Soon everything will be the way it was meant.

Agravain shuffled through the crowd, past all the happy faces slapped with glee and carelessness. It made him almost sick to his stomach, it was either that or the grim thing he was about to do. But it was his duty, to his mother and to himself. His head twisted back for a split second to catch another glimpse of Gwenyver; he could not resist. Though it burned, her loving smile seemed to halt him in his tracks; staring at the face he wished he could hold. He saw her turn and lean toward Arthur; face ablaze with joy. Agravain forced himself to turn away before he could see her lips touch Arthur’s. Agravain heard a round of thunderous claps and shouts break out around him that seemed to swallow him in sorrow and self pity. He knew he could not slow for the food would be served soon and if he missed its departure from the kitchen his quest would be failed, and that would be a reality that he could not face.

The kitchen door was slightly ajar letting Agravain spill through quietly and unnoticed; something he was very good at. Frantic cooks and servants swooshed around him nervously trying to prepare the feast. Agravain had arrived just in time; most of the food had been cooked. Trays and trays of food lined the elongated table that divided the kitchen in two. Names had been printed on the side of the trays, at least two or three trays per every person. Agravain casually explored the table, pacing until he found the very name he had been looking for. Arthur. Clear and crisp in beautiful calligraphy. He touched the bottle in his jacket once more and smiled to himself. For this moment would change his life forever.
ARTHUR raised a hand silencing the large crowds seated at hundreds of tables. He was standing at the head of the longest and largest of them all; his new queen regally aside him.

“Thank thy all for being here this day to witness my marriage to my lovely queen.” Arthur’s voice rang out over the crowd with a smile. “I now invite thy all to feast with us in honor of this glorious day. Let the feast begin!”

He sat down slowly as trays and trays of food filled the courtyard being carried by all types of servants and young boys. They placed trays in front of each person, who dug in like animals on helpless prey. Arthur savored the smells that wafted into the courtyard. He watched as two servants, overthrown with excitement and nerves, rushed toward him and Gwenyver with the largest trays of them all. They set them down gently like breakable antique vases and scurried away. He leaned in for one last sweet kiss from Gwenyver before he began to burrow away at his food like the rest of the land.
His taste buds exploded with flavorful sensations he just couldn’t get enough of. Each bite was packed full of delicious ingredients and spices. He polished off his green beans and mash potatoes in just a few large pleasant bites, then turned to his soup. It had swirls of white admixed in a sea of orange, melted cheese, Arthur thought, my favorite. He spooned it into his mouth; he felt the warm pumpkin soup slide down his throat with ease. He smiled; this was by far the best meal in the whole of his existence. The soup was warm and delightful until suddenly Arthur felt a sharp pain in his throat. As if he had swallowed a sharp cracker of some sorts but this feeling had been no cracker. Arthur felt his throat close as he gasped for breath, failing to catch one he feel from his seat.
A shrill scream filled the courtyard; Gwenyver lay beside Arthur’s gasping seizing body. She began pounding on his back trying to get the air back into him. His head lay limp over Gwenyver’s shoulders, tears rushed down her face as she furiously beat against the back of Arthur’s twitching body; until his whole body lay limp; his eyes lifeless and empty. No one could speak. No one could cry. Not a noise could be made across the grief stricken courtyard. No noise; but one. The musical, shrill, painful cry of a small empty glass bottle hitting the cobblestone floor, as Agravain re-clenched his open fist, turning to go.





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