TOUCHED BY GOD
The King filled the drafty hallways of his castle with gleaming suits of armor. They stood, erect, gauntlets crossed, aligned and gleaming beneath the flickering yellow light of wall-mounted sconces. Tapestries flapped along the walls, thick and woven red, the dewy stonework penetrated by the draft off the moors, flapping. The smell of dust and dirt in the air.
The King’s footsteps are like the soft closings of children's books as he walks up and down the hallways of his castle. He has no heir; he has a team of boys who help him into his armor, who watch their king ride off, arms crossed, armor gleaming white beneath the white sun.
He rides to nothing. There are no battles.
When he returns, the suit will be caked with cracked layers of dust, the suit will need to be cleaned, oiled, then returned to its rightful place, gauntlets crossed and gleaming.
Beneath his facemask the King bites his tongue, sees only the rays of the white sun.
The Rainbow Stories
William T. Vollmann