A is for Aldred
Godwin peeked out from behind the tapestry. The great hall was full of activity. People sat, eating and drinking noisily as they conversed equally loudly. Entertainers pranced about as the serving women dodged in and out between swirling arms and musical instruments.
Adam bumped him from behind. Godwin waved him back. Adam shoved a little harder and Godwin waved again. Giggles carried up from the passage hidden by the hanging tapestry. But Godwin had not yet caught sight of his father. Adam tugged on Godwin’s cote, and Godwin ducked back down into the passage.
“What?” Godwin hissed.
“Barth farted,” Adam giggled.
Godwin flung his arms up. “This. This is what I needed to know?”
“No,” whispered Simon from the darkness. “But I’ll suffocate if I breathe this stink much longer.”
Godwin rolled his eyes and sneaked back to peer around the edge of the tapestry again. The hall had grown silent. His father was visible now, chatting with some chancellor from some city Godwin didn’t even care about. Hervey, Godwin’s half brother, was there, smiling, nodding eagerly. Fawning.
Hervey hoped to be selected as heir to the crown despite being only the second oldest, and was doing everything he could to get into their father’s good graces. Godwin snorted. He had no place in the royal line, and was glad for it.
What he really wanted to do was come up with a subtle way to ruin this little party. But how would he do it?
Adam shoved him again.
All eyes were on his father and this chancellor. That was the chance they had to sneak out of the passages. Squatting low, Godwin led his friends to hide behind some columns along the side of the room.
“Well, Aldred,” said Godwin’s father, “I do believe we can work something out.”
Aldred grinned. “Of course, your Majesty,” he said with a deep bow. “We would do anything to serve our good King Bertram.”
Hervey’s head bobbed stupidly as Aldred backed away, and the noise began to rise again in the hall.
“Was it just me,” said Barth, “Or was that just creepy?”
“You saw that too?” said Godwin.
“I’ve heard nothing good about that Aldred,” said Adam.
“So we should spy,” said Simon. “Come on! I know how to get close to his chambers!”
Godwin shrugged. It sounded interesting, at least.