Fate by Prakul Chandra

Ines Vuckovic (c) 2016

As the first rays of the morning sun caress the eastern walls of his palace, he stirs in his bed. A throbbing headache makes its presence felt. A stern reminder of too much wine from last night. Last night, almost a full moon. Last night, gone and forgotten. Unlike his legacy. The legacy of a fearless and brilliant military man. An exceptional tactician. Respected. Adored. Feared. A legacy that will live on forever. Long after he is gone. Long after he is gone? He smirks at the thought. The smirk of a man who feels arrogantly invincible. Even against time.

This morning however, he feels weak. Overwhelmingly sluggish. He looks out of his window. The gentle breeze feels uncomfortably cold to his skin. His back is drenched in sweat, like the sheets adorning his bed. His eyes burning from the ague slowly announcing itself. He shivers. His shoulders ache, perhaps heralding a more severe and widespread pain. He must ignore his symptoms. It is important to get ready. Quickly. He plans to go to war in a week. There are strategies to be discussed, plans to be executed. Laurels to be won.

He bathes with warm water and climbs out of his tub. Spent from all the effort. He should probably stay in the palace today. Rest. Get his strength back. He quickly dismisses the idea. Another wave of lethargy sweeps through him. He fights through it. Determined, he slowly wrestles with his malady, gets ready and eventually steps out of his palace. The sun shines in its full glory. Its warmth feels good to his aching shoulders. Things will get better, he feels confident. After all this is a beautiful day, this Ides of March.

Prakul Chandra is a busy doctor by day and a tired one by night. Armed with his laptop and an artistic license he is willing to exploit, he is ready to push the boundaries of his mediocrity. His work was published in Yellow Chair Review.