Somewhere in the wee hours of last night, I woke up to a mental postcard sent from my now long-buried writing mind. Fred handed me a story stub, which I can yet recall this morning. As I am unlikely to ever write this, I offer to you the first 3%-5% of a new Jay Lake story. Feel free to make it your own, or ignore it as you see fit.
Meanwhile, it was kind of nice to hear from Fred.
“In the Dungeons of the Kings”
This is the First of the Laws: that the king shall always be a foreigner. For if the king were anointed from one of the great houses of this City, then all others would be in an ineluctable competition for ascendancy, and so the pleasing balance of forces which maintains our City would be disrupted.
This is the Second of the Laws: that the king shall be a young man, never married. For if the king were of years and experience, he might seek to govern the City of his own theories of rulership, rather than heeding the wise counsel that has sustained the City down all the ages of its existence.
This is the Third of the Laws: that the king shall be made a sacrifice at need should the displeasure of the gods be called down upon the City. In this, being a foreigner, no great house of this City should be called upon unduly to surrender its heir and treasure, but rather the burdens shared more widely as is just.
Meanwhile, the Dungeons of the Kings were filled young, foreign men. Most of whom were quite confused about the quality of the provisions served to them daily.