Late. Late, yet again. I stumbled into the room hoping the blood seeping from my wounds would present itself as a good enough excuse. Torcher looked up at me from where she was sat on the floor, cross-legged with a gaggle of goslings around her. Her eyes glanced over me before returning to the parchment in front of her. Taking this as acceptance into the room, I gingerly approached the armchair opposite with its left side warmed by the fire next to it. The goslings clamoured as they smelt my blood but silenced quickly after a whistle from Torcher. Too weary to hold myself up anymore I collapsed into the chair waking up dust gathered from months of unuse – Torcher was a practical woman who preferred the safety of the floor to the comforts of a seat. It was for this reason among others that she led, there was no danger from her of the throne being stolen which suited Maxwell and Simone perfectly.
She was staring so intently it seemed to me she did not noticed the goslings padding over the parchment or myself who had begun to shake , overcome with exhaustion no doubt, or at least that is what Roger would write on my medical card. There would be truth in that but not by half, the poison in my blood was beginning to take effect. However, it was my punishment for lateness to sit, wait and suffer in silence it seemed so I tried to do so with as much dignity as I could muster. Unhooking my hipflask I shakily took a sip and felt Torcher’s eyes on me. I paused.
I felt myself slump forwards, the hipflask slipped out of my hands making a clink as it bounced off the marble fireplace to spill its contents upon the rug where Torcher was sat. As lithe as a feline Torcher sprang towards me catching me before I too hit the floor. She carefully lay me in the midst of the now raucous goslings.
“Too late my son, too late indeed” she murmured as my vision faded.