Chapter 1 – Morzan's son.
"You call this clean? Foolish girl!" Meghan hold on to the curtains when the guard kicked her against the shins. She closed her eyes and tried to remember why all this was worth it. Determinedly she picked up the cloth again and started scrubbing the windows even harder. She always resented palaces, but this one, the one of Galbatorix was beyond resentful. It was dark, cold an bleak. You could sense the awful atmosphere, with the sound of screams of martyrs like music through the hallways. She knew what happened in the dungeons, it was one of the reasons she was here.
"Hurry will you! The king is in a bad mood today, little lady." As the guard left he threw one last look at her.
As she looked behind her, she saw the other servants scrubbing the golden plates. With a loud bang the doors were opened. Two men walked in, side to side. They were bigger than humans, it seemed colder in the room but that was only Meghan's imagination.
They were the Twins. They were followed by two guards of the king, and between them and the Twins a young stranger was followed by the king.
They all took place at the table, which was way to big. The servants went aside as fast as they could, scared they would stand in the way of the king. The young man let his eyes go through the room before he sat down. His eyes rested upon Meghan for a short time, she looked back angry. It seemed like there appeared a grin on his face, his black hair moved in front of his face while he shook his head.
"You can go now." Said Gablatorix bored and he made an arrogant motion with the hand towards the servants.
All the servants were hasting themselves to the kitchens. Rattling of the pans and the hissing of the meat on the fire made it so that the cook's orders were unintelligible.
"Hey Pavlos," Meghan walked to a boy at the stove. "Do you know who's the know guest of the king?"
"Meghan, good evening to you too." He said sarcastically, she smiled. Pavlos always seemed to hear and know everything about everyone.
"Which one do you mean?"
"A Young man. A little older than me..wait…your age I think. Black hair." She tried to remember what he looked like.
"That would be..Murtagh. I heard he was back. Bertha knows him from way back. Morzan's son he is."
Odd enough Meghan was shocked. Did Morzan have a son? She couldn't keep her mind off the idea. The son of the one she hated most. Well, one of the many people she hated, she must say..Meghan wasn't a very forgiving person. While she walked towards the cook for her orders, she tried to forget about the idea.
"Meghan." A rough voice sounded through the kitchen, before she knew it it was the cook standing right before her calling her name for the third time. She looked at him, with questioning eyes.
"Would you like to serve this to the king, along with Aiden and Kairi? And quick." The staff in this palace wasn't as unfriendly as she expected a year ago. They rolled into the job somehow, or wanted to be spared by the king, or even had a family to provide for. She took one of the golden plates. Sweet-smelling meat under a roof of gold. For a long time she didn't eat well. She had lost weight, she had always been a girl with a feminine figure. Now she was skinny, and with her length she looked more like a little girl than that she looked like a young women. She heard her shoes on the stone floor. Aiden pushed the doors open with his back and they walked into the great hall. The Twins were laughing about something, probably their one conversation.
Galbatorix looked at every single servant while they put down the plates with food. He stared right on through you, his piercing eyes stared right at the deepest of your soul. In the beginnen Meghan was scared to death that he would find out the real reason why she was here, but he only tried to commend respect. Galbatorix was a man with no feelings. Even hate he did not know. He was driven by something far more evil, unexplainable.
"You can go. Oh, and you there.." Meghan was startled when he pointed at her. "Yes..you. Ready one of the chambers on the first floor for our new guest."
decided to pick out the most worse chamber on the first floor.
It was small and at the corner of the palace so that the wind blew in
if the windows were open. If they were closed, the branches of the
trees made an awful annoying sound by tapping against it. It was the
room as far away as possible from the stairs, and the room were the
fireplace was hard to start a fire in. She felt guilty because she
judged the young man for his ancestry. But the deep hate she felt
changed that feeling.
She decided to put the scratchy blanket under the sheets in stead of on it. While she lighted some candles for light, the door opened. The young man came in, not saying a word, and took place on a chair by the window. She had left the window open, so that it would get extra cold in the room, but it didn't seem to matter. Meghan couldn't believe his impoliteness and arrogance. She looked at him, stunned, and fiercely shook one of the pillows. No response. He looked out of the window, with empty eyes. As if all hope had fade away, his blue eyes didn't look at anything, and yet glanced outside. Sighing he went through his black hair with a hand. Strange, she thought. She always though Morzan was blonde, with black eyes.
"Your chamber is ready, milord." She said cool, she bowed quickly as she was instructed. He looked her way with the same empty eyes, as if he was looking right through her. Than, his glance met hers.
"Thank you." He said quietly, with a face as if he just thought of something and he looked out of the window again.
When she had some free time that evening, she had withdrawn herself into the servantchambers.
"Aiden, do you have some parchment for me?"
"Of course, ink?"
"Yes please." When she had collected everything she needed, she went back to her corner. She had put up old curtains, so she could be 'alone' if she wanted to. She started to write;
My dearest father,
Today it had exactly been a year since I left you so I could work at the palace of Galbatorix. It's different than I thought here, but I already wrote that. I miss you, so much. I know what I'm doing, and I know it's importance. The reason I'm writing is because a stranger has arrived. Well not really a stranger, it's Murtagh, Morzan's son. Why he's here, I do not know. I'll write as soon as possible.
She waited untill everyone was asleep, then she sneaked through the hallways of the palace to go outside. In the endless gardens someone was waiting for her. Every Friday she send a letter which got picked up by one of her friends. Whoever was close this time.
"Jurre, how are you?" she said while hugging the boy. He came from one of the villages nearby, the king thought he was a trader. He often brought wine and sold it at the palace.
"I'm good. We're worried about you. The Rider has left to follow his education at the Elves." He was frightened when two storey's higher light begin to burn.
"I must go, or otherwise I'll only put you in danger."
"Jurre, wait." She hugged him once more "Tell everyone I miss them." He nodded, took the letter and run away.
She ran back to the palace, through the hallways, upstairs, when she heard footsteps. Startled she looked around. The winding stairs didn't give her a place to hide. Making as less sound as possible she tried going downstairs again. It worked, the footsteps stayed behind her. In the hallways she looked for a hiding place, a corner, a chest, anything. Relieved she ran for a door but before she knew it someone threw her against the wall. The distance between her face and that of the stranger was zero. It was dark, but in the dark she could still see the face of the young man she saw earlier that day.
"Who are you?" he hissed in her face, she felt his breath on her cheak. Scared to death she gasped for air and tried to control herself.
"In what respect?" she said perky.
"I saw you outside, what are doing out here in the hallways so late?" he nodded his head, as if he wanted to claim the information. She dared lying to him.
"It's a friend..from a near village. You see, it's my birthday and he came to visit me, just for a little while..I'm sorry sir." She didn't mean a thing of it.
"Well, that friend of yours is now dead." He tried to say it insensitively but somewhere there was a hint of emotion.
"What?!" she screamed. "You killed him?" tears stung in her eyes.
"I thought he was a thief and that he would kill you and then enter the palace."
"Yes, and that's really not your problem or is it?" she pushed his hands off her shoulders.
"You're in service of the king, and so am I."
"Drop dead." She said while giving him one final push. He pulled her shoulder and threw her back at the wall, angry. She felt her back bruise. He looked furiously into her eyes. After that his eyes softened.
"I'm sorry. Go back to your chambers, I shall not tell the king about your little adventure..but I'm keeping an eye on you." Meghan refused to answer him and ran upstairs.