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Field of Glory -- FWG Flash Fiction for 3/13/2021

This week's prompt caught me in a melancholy mood, I guess. I've been reading Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson, so my head is filled with images of battles and regrets. Anyway, here's this week's prompt:

So, here's Field of Glory.

Field of Glory

The onion dome on the bell tower mimics the snow-covered peaks behind it, standing tall, proudly pointing to the heavens. That is the point of the ancient steeple, of course—to draw your eye and mind towards the Almighty. Or, in other words, to constantly remind us of our sins. I have plenty of sins to remember.

Thirty years. That is how long I have been away from this valley. I was here last to marry my princess, the spoils of my great victory on this plain. In this very church, surrounded, not by the green fields of today, but rather by the mud of battle and the blood of the fallen, still lying unclaimed upon the ground.

My bride, my rival’s daughter, the price of peace between our houses, stood stoically while the priest blessed me and cursed her. I cannot say we ever loved each other, but she did earn my grudging respect, fulfilling her duty as my queen until taken to her glory by the birth of our fourth child. Perhaps I did love her in some way, for I cried the night she exchanged her life of bondage for the life of our daughter, now long-since married to some foreign prince to cement yet another alliance. As I said, I have many sins to be reminded of.

Now I stand and stare at the place where it all began, my body withered and wrecked by the rot within. My kingdom passed to my eldest, my riches divided among the worthy, I kneel. I would pray if I knew the right words, even if I do not believe it would do any good. Instead, I whisper to my dagger, entreating it to be quick and sure before my blood mingles with that of those from years past.

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