The Prince and the Crows
by M P Ericson
Copyright 2003 M P Ericson
First published 2003 in Dark Horizons magazine
Smashwords edition published 2011
Cover art copyright Detelina Petkova
Published by Byrnie Publishing
Smashwords Edition License Notes
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Once upon a time in a faraway land there lived a king. He was a wise and benevolent man who ruled justly, but his people loved him regardless.
The king had three sons, each a fine upstanding young man, and a daughter, fair as the blossom on the cherry trees of his orchard, and a wife, a proud and noble queen, whose glance alone was enough to quell his advisors and let him rule justly in his own way.
Many years the king had reigned, when sorrow came to darken his days. One morning his only daughter was missing from her bed. In her place lay a single black feather.
"What is the meaning of this?" the king asked his wife, trusting her to know. She usually found things out before he did.
The queen picked up the feather and gazed at it for a long time.
"It means," she said, "that my mother's prophecy has come true at last."