Once a Prince
By Krisa

Note: My answer to the ABC challenge on the Sinbad/Bryn mailing list.


At one time he had been Prince Rongar of Bollnah. But now, robbed of his tongue and his title, he was an exile. Cloaked to hide his face from the world, he traveled on foot, biding his time until he could return and remove Ali Rashid from his homeland.

Deftly, he navigated his way through the crowd in Baghdad's marketplace. Everything was so different from the last time he'd visited. From a commoner's point of view, the entire world, not just the marketplace, looked like it belonged to a different world. Granted, it had been a couple of years since he'd last been in this city, but he knew that not all of the differences were due to growth and change of the city. How his outlook had changed since he'd been cast out of Bollnah! It was enough to boggle the mind.

Just as he started to think about how he'd changed, someone collided with him. Knocked to the ground, it took a moment for him to realized what exactly had happened. 'Look what happens when you lose yourself in thought like that,' he thought to himself, cursing his inattentiveness.

Mistakenly, he first thought that someone had bumped into him on purpose, deliberately meaning to harm him. Not too long ago, that might have been the case; as a prince, he'd had to be concerned about assassins, or Bollnah's enemies, or even commoners with extreme bitterness toward the upper classes.

Of course, now that he was a commoner himself...

Picking himself up, he looked around to make sure there was no one who wanted to hurt him, but saw no one who paid him any mind. Quickly, he separated himself from the throng.

Returning to his old life and regaining his old identity were all he really wanted at the moment. Sadly, that was not to be, and all the wishing in the world would not make that so. Time would only tell whether the change in his life was for the better or for the worse. Understandably, he felt that his new life would never be as great as his old one, but in the future, he might be proven wrong - who could tell at this point?

Veering to the right and making his way onto the streets, he left the marketplace behind him. 'Who would have thought that I'd end up here like this?' he wondered. X-marks through his good deeds as a prince would probably appear in written histories of his homeland, probably already did - he would be known in the future not as a fair nobleman, but as a rebellious one, arrogant enough to try to oust Ali Rashid.

'You must stay strong,' he reminded himself as he wandered, 'you have to live to rid Bollnah of Ali Rashid.' Zorah must, by now, realize her mistake, and Rongar was still the true prince... even though he now seemed anything but.


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