A short story.
Once upon a time... that’s how the old stories always begin.
Once upon a time there was a different prince of different kingdom, and he was not beloved. He was too soft for a harsh land, and so a test of strength was set for him. We took him to the hollow temple beyond the city, chained him to the rock and left him there.
But when the trial was done and we returned, he was gone, his shackles ripped from the stone.
There were rumours about that place: old magic and lost things, and the man with the yellow eyes. We thought we would never see our prince again.
We were wrong.
The old stories always end with happy ever after. But this isn’t one of the old stories. This is a story of princes and monsters.
Alexis Hall was born in the early 1980s and still thinks the 21st century is the future. To this day, he feels cheated that he lived through a fin de siècle but inexplicably failed to drink a single glass of absinthe, dance with a single courtesan, or stay in a single garret. He did the Oxbridge thing sometime in the 2000s and failed to learn anything of substance. He has had many jobs, including ice cream maker, fortune teller, lab technician, and professional gambler. He was fired from most of them.
He can neither cook nor sing, but he can handle a 17th century smallsword, punts from the proper end, and knows how to hotwire a car.
He lives in southeast England, with no cats and no children, and fully intends to keep it that way.