High King Imalion Gildemar, lord of Brucia and protector of its client kingdoms, kneels alone at the foot of his mothers’ graves. On his right is the tomb of his birth mother, Reymala Gildemar. On his left is the tomb of the mother who raised him, Lillian Solayne. He lays petals of autumn begonias, tibouchinas, pansies, and clusters of lavender on each grave, one petal at a time.
To Reymala, the mother I never knew,
She bore me into a world she’d lost
While her lord husband
Was cold and dead.
To Lillian, the mother who was ever true,
Nurtured, cared for and loved me,
Never forsook her adopted son
Up until death.
Both of you made my life my own,
Reymala’s secrets loaned me life,
Lillian died to save me
I owe you both my all.
Imalion makes a slim hole in each gravetop with one finger and plants a single seed in each.
A flower for each of my mothers dear:
An amaranth for royal Reymala;
Royal blood and ornate leaves to sway in gentle wind.
A iris for gentle Lillian,
No child for you but me, and you have my undying love.
Imalion buries the seeds and covers the holes. He kneels a while, humming an old lullaby.