Fiction | May 17, 2022

Palace Rock 

by Mason Kiser 

On Mondays, we ruled the sea. Lightning lashed the whitecaps, and thunder shook the hull, and rain fell so slantwise that it ripped to shreds our sails. Despite it all, I stayed perched atop the  mast. I could not cave to frailty or fear and so doom us to the depths. 

On Tuesdays, we were pilots. Very fine ones. There was no craft we couldn’t commandeer or sky too turbulent to tread upon. My copilot and I learned the complexities of  fighter-plane cockpits and perfected the timing of the burners in our hot-air-balloon baskets. I watched as great Saharan dunes and Nepalese peaks passed just beneath our wings. 

On Wednesdays, he was made to attend church. 

On Thursdays, I was the queen of a high castle. I did not hide in my throne room or waltz in the marble ballroom. On Thursdays, we fought. On Thursdays, great hordes from far kingdoms laid siege to our home. They scaled ladders and flew in on trebuchets, set on razing our mighty stone walls to the ground. My king and I fought side by side under flame and fear of death. He was hasty to violence and forwent diplomacy, but I admired his courage in those days. 

One fateful Thursday, when a boulder launched from a trebuchet pinned me to a tower wall,  he pried the boulder away with one hand, all the while fighting off our enemies with the other. 

And the next Thursday, when he’d been struck down with countless arrows, I did the same for him. 

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