Ego, Porridge, and a Dwarf
Falling to her knees, Acirema wiped the blood from the corner of her mouth. Many times she had been beaten, and many times she had gotten back up. Servitude seemed her only reality. Desperation settled in, but beneath each heartbeat nestled the sound of hope. King Dlanod laughed. She expected this.
"My porridge was too cold. How can you expect me to eat it cold?”
Mustering the strength to stand, the young dwarf looked her king in the eyes as she moved to the bowl. In his anger, he had tipped it over. Hurriedly wiping up the mess, she dabbed the blood from her latest slap as she collected the utensils that had fallen around his routine seating arrangement.
“Perhaps your porridge might taste better if you hadn't banned all the elves from our kingdom, sire? They cooked. We dwarves are miners and smiths, not short order chefs. Don't you remember the feasts you once had?”
The orange ogre turned and slapped Acirema to the ground again. The wooden bowl flung across the room, skidding along the way. Shaking it off, the dwarf moved one knee at a time until she slowly collected the bowl and spoon she dropped from his attack.
“You are not my advisor,” he sneered. “I do what must be done for this kingdom in order to provide peace, security and freedom. The elves, gnomes, and fairies got in my way. You're lucky. I loathe your race. But you do as you're told so I keep them around. Look at this nation now. The orcs, ogres, and goblins shall proposer under my intelligence! Everyone else can get in line or be destroyed.”
Moving to the nearby window, the dwarf servant peered outside. The second sun was rising. Though she could barely make out the faces of those below her, she sensed something in each person making their way about life ... hope. A glimmer resonated through each step taken. And though many of them were headed to work on the great stone wall King Dlanod enforced as a tribute, the unity his reign cemented among the many tribes reassured her all was not lost.
Whips cracked. Chains clanked. But the music they produced formed a new beat in her heart; a rhythm in her soul. She called it freedom. Thinking of her former king, Amabo, she knew a leader could be wise and kind. In this moment she thought of her people.
Looking back at her beastly ruler on her way to the kitchen, Acirema smiled. Things were changing. Perhaps she wouldn't be beaten down forever. Perhaps, if those people felt the same as she did, together they could make a difference. She rounded the corner and entered the chef’s quarter humming the tune of days to come. For now, she had to make the porridge ...