Chapter Twenty-Two

By Douglas E. Gogerty

Prince William's head throbbed as he and the Princess made their way towards his father's castle. It was difficult for him to keep his head from wobbling around, and this made things worse. He believed that perhaps he should have been reclining in the back seat instead of sitting in the front. However, his pride was preventing that.

He managed not to get carsick, so he was grateful for that. The throbbing headache was bad enough, that it would have really hurt his pride. He tried to keep up his appearance, but the Princess knew he was not doing well. She stopped often which helped his well-being but not his pride.

The second night, the pair camped just inside of the Lakeland borders. There were no incidences crossing the frontier. The Prince was instantly recognized and got the respect he expected. This upset the Princess to no end, but that was the way things were. The Prince had no control over such things. Nevertheless, it was a much-needed boost for the Prince's ego.

Upon lying on the tent mattress, the spins returned. The Prince actually welcomed them. It sure beat the way he felt in the suncar. He just rode the spins into the night. He fell asleep quickly.

Once again, the black turned to blue as he awoke in the tent. To him, it seemed like a short night. However, he had once again slept well into midmorning. It almost felt that he closed his eyes and when he opened them, it was morning. It was quite a fitful sleep. So much so, that he thought he could just get up and walk out of the tent. He was once again wrong.

Princess Angelina, hearing him stir, brought him some food. He accepted it readily, but he was tired of being treated like an invalid. The Princess had made camp, drove, and fixed the meals. He did nothing but sit around. The least he could do was walk to the car unaided.

He insisted that the Princess leave him alone. His attempts to stand were difficult, but he was determined to make it on his own. The Princess could do nothing but stand by and watch. Thus, instead of watching him stumble along, she cleaned up things around the camp.

It was quite a struggle, but the Prince made it to the suncar. He ended up crawling more than walking, but he made it. Further, he needed no help. He was quite proud of himself for that accomplishment.

Daylight was again the mitigating factor in their travel. The suncar's batteries could only store so much power. Further, as the left the dry southern stretches of Calmondak, they were entering the farming areas of Lakeland. Hence, there were more clouds and even rain. Hence, the suncar was hampered by the less than ideal weather conditions.

Nonetheless, the Prince and Princess managed to get within a couple of hours drive of the castle of the Prince. The Prince attempted to help in the construction of the camp, but he was more of a burden than a help. Hence, the Princess insisted that he not help. He reluctantly obliged her.

While the Princess was setting up the camp, the Prince went for a walk. He had gained a great deal of strength. He took several steps before he had to rest. After a brief rest, he could take a few more steps. He had taken maybe 30 steps before he could go no further. He sat down in the grass, but sitting was not going to do the trick. Therefore, he had to lie down. His old friend spin joined him.

From his reclining position, the Prince glanced over to the Princess building the camp. With every action she took on the trip, the Prince gained more fondness for the Princess. He was already quite fond of her, but the way she cared for him on the trip endeared her to him even more.

Things would be a great deal simpler if she would just agree to marry him. There would be no need to convince the King that she was the target of The Prophecy. King Thorbjorn would give the pair of them the land without conditions. There would be no reason to make up anything.

Furthermore, they got along quite well. Obviously, thought the Prince, she cared enough about me to care for me on this trip.

He tried to get up and help set up the camp again, but had not regained enough strength. The Prince would wait until the evening meal was ready before getting up.

"Are you strong enough to come to eat?" asked the Princess after the camp was finished.

"I will be right there," replied the Prince.

The Prince gathered up all his strength to arise from his resting spot. He stood up, but could not straighten himself. In his stoop, he took several steps. Once again, he had to rest.

"I can bring food to you," insisted the Princess.

"I can make it," gasped the Prince.

"The doctor said you needed rest," insisted the Princess.

"I can make it," repeated the Prince holding his hand in the air.

The Prince took several more steps, and felt a little better with each step. Nonetheless, he still had to rest before continuing.

"It is no trouble for me to just bring the food there," assured the Princess.

"I can make it," the out-of-breath Prince repeated.

"It may be cold before you get here," joked the Princess with a shy smile.

"I can make it," responded the Prince with more confidence.

It seemed that with each step and exchange he gained strength and confidence. He almost stood up straight rather than the stooping position in which he walked, but he thought better of that.

"You are almost here," stated the Princess.

"I can make it," responded the Prince with pride in his voice.

"Aren't we the Little Engine that Could" the Princess said.

"I can make it," replied the Prince as he fell into a heap.

The Princess ran over to the pile that was the Prince. His head was throbbing and the world was spinning. He had tried as hard as he could, but he just could not make it any farther.

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This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on March 21, 2010 3:28 PM.

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