Requiem for a Friend
Cawdell turned over and Emma’s comforting arms hugged his chest. “There now.. that should put a smile on your face, my love.” Emma said. And Cawdell did of course feel better, but still had lingering guilt crowding his thoughts. “If I had not had that drink, or gone with Serene, my friend might still be alive.” he thought darkly. Emma playfully punched his chest as she got up to leave. “I ‘ave work to do, and I can’t go in like this. I’ll see you tonite?” “Maybe, I have to …. leave town early tomorrow morning” he replied. “Really?, why now?” she asked, concern showing… she knew full well of Cawdell’s .. “daliances”, but still loved him. More so now that she could tell he needed friends. She had heard of the episode with the poison. She knew it to be true…she knew Cawdell would never knowingly not follow his friend, the King, to battle. She had heard endless tales of their adventures and he had even introduced her to the king.
“I’m on .. official business, and let’s leave it at that”, Cawdell said. It was hard to not blurt out what he was doing, “I always did have a big mouth”, he thought. And the wine’s effects from the night before were rapidly disapating. Emma looked down at Cawdell and knew he was hiding something from her, but thought it best not push for more. She went to hug him again and sighed, " Eh, well, I know you ‘ave your reasons, I best be off." and with that she dropped the sheet and made her way to privy. Cawdell watched her walk out and close the door. He got out of bed and said softly, "Gods she is beautiful, and smart too. I don’t deserve her,"
“NO You don’t you sot!”_ came a voice across the room. There, sitting like he owned the world, was the ghost of his best friend, King Buronar. “GODS! How long have you been here?”, yelled Cawdell. Realizing he was naked, grabbed the cover from the bed. Buronar laughed, “_I’ve been here long enough to know you are not your normal self, you rascal”_. Cawdell grinned sheepishly, “Well, if I had known I had an audience, I might have done better”, and both of them howled with laughter.
Cawdell suddenly stopped laughing and became quite serious. He slipped on some clothes and said, “I am sorry, my lord, that I was not there when you needed me most” and his eyes dropped down. Buronar was quiet for a moment, and replied, “I know”, and I also know “why” you were not at my side". “Though at the time, I was most vexed”. Cawdell glanced up, “You know what happened to me?” “You know what that wench did to me?” “Then tell me where she is so I can clear my honor, and ….Cawdell stopped. **”Kill her?" *Buronar said with sad eyes… You know you could never kill a woman" “I know you very well, Cawdell Owain” “You will defend yourself if need be, but you could never cause serious harm to any female”.* _ Cawdell wanted to deny everything his friend said, but couldn’t. “Well, I will bring her to justice then, find who sent her. *”And you may still do that, my friend. But first, I need your help. You must find my son."*