‘Arrgh! Lazy dullards,’ muttered Mrs. Week. ‘Bickering, eating, sleeping, the whole lot of ‘em. Born we’re peasants and die such,’ she complained. ‘Such hopes I have for ‘em,’ she rued, shaking her head, ‘The King ‘ll rule and we’ll till.’ She turned to her husband and said, ‘Listen here mister…’
The seven lads – aged eighteen to eleven – stared aghast at the door that had shut, moments ago, on their face. They couldn’t believe that their parents had kicked them out and told them to go to the forest to gather wood and berries for the winter.
‘‘Tis year, ya’ll do it. We are too ole’ for it,’ had said their mother. ‘And don’t ya come back empty handed.’
‘‘Tis so unfair, I tell ya,’ grumbled Second, as he set his basket down at dusk. His whole body ached. The others nodded in agreement, united for the first time in the face of travesty. Despite working hard, from dawn to dusk, neither was a single basket full nor was there a decent stack of firewood.
‘Not many pickings here. ‘Morrow, we go deeper into the forest,’ said First.
This was followed by more grumbles. But finally, everyone calmed down, ate the food their mother had packed and slept for the night. It wasn’t difficult, for they had never been this tired in their entire life.
Next day, they moved deeper into the forest, where the pickings were better. The fast filling baskets and piles of firewood gave them a sense of pride. It also made them appreciate everything their parents did.
Four moons passed.
On the fifth moon, as they were settling in, they heard voices. Surprised and scared, they cautiously proceeded to investigate. What they saw horrified them. At the edge of the forest – where started the kingdom of King Julian, their arch enemy – was a large gathering of his army.
They realized, that their King needed to be warned. It was a unanimous decision. Sixth and Seventh would go post-haste to the Palace. Afterall they were superb runners, seeing as they had to flee their mother’s beatings for stealing bits of precious food to feed the dogs and ducks.
Once they had informed the guards, the whole Palace whipped into frenzied activity. Soldiers dressed in their blue and red uniforms. The horses were saddled. Bows and arrows, lances and shields were hefted. The trumpet was blown.
The lads were shown to a grand room in the guest wing, with assurances that their brothers too would be escorted here, once they arrived.
Before leaving for war the King sent for the brothers.
‘What be your names lads?’ He demanded.
‘Monday, son of John Week.’
The King smiled. His search for names was finally over.
‘This shall come to pass, when we win this war,’ He declared, ‘In the new kingdom of Calendar, you’ll be known as the ‘Days of the Week’,’ He chuckled, ‘You’ll be the seven days.’
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This is an entry for Five00-9, #Vintage. Find all the entries here: https://writers.artoonsinn.com/category/five00/five00-9/
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