An Unwanted Offer (The Wild Man Season 2, Episode 1)

Once upon a time, a king died in front of his court.

His reign was awash with light and wisdom. HIs absence cast a long shadow over the land, and his daughter inherited the throne, but took no husband to reign alongside her. She walked alongside a cold shadow, a spectre of sadness and failure. Mirabelle imagined it as a soft, fat, capering fool who drained her with his mewling demands for attention. An inconstant shadow dogging her every step.

Eilhu remained at her side where circumstance allowed. He had led the hunt through the lands, searching for the assassin who had cut the king down with a single arrow. Each day, he was the first to leave and the last to arrive back, gathering a fresh horse and heading out into the woods. Mirabelle saw how he looked at her, eyes hollow with guilt and determination as they ate or walked in the gardens together.

They walked in silence, hands brushing against one another but not touching. Eyes watched them both, and her grief was too raw, too vicious to bear affection. Mirabelle would look at him, feeling an overwhelming urge to have him hold her, to dash her fists against his chest and weep until she was empty of grief and anger.

Her station became the barrier his secrets had been.

‘We’ve sent word to every corner of the kingdom.’ she said.

Eilhu walked with her, a slight hitch in his step from the wound in his thigh as he gave a stiff nod.

‘We will find him.’ he said.

Mirabelle grimaced and wrung her hands as she stared at him.

‘We do not understand who it is, Eilhu. Roderick has denied it, but he has the motive to do it.’ she said.

Eilhu swallowed and took her hand in his. The rough press of his fingers brought tears to her eyes. He knew the truth of her, how touch spoke to her more than the most delicate poem or song and yet he had not imposed himself upon her. He had grown beneath the burdens he carried, taller and broader with the efforts of his search.

Mirabelle threw herself into his embrace, pressed her cheek to his throat and wept, her shoulders shaking with grief. Eilhu put his arms around her, and she breathed him in, the warm leather musk of his skin and the faint traces of flowers which clung to him.

It smelled like comfort. Eilhu chased the shadows from her thoughts by his presence.

‘I’ve neglected you.’ she said

He stroked her hair and pressed his lips to her forehead.

‘No, you have your duty. A wedding would not heal this wound, your highness.’ he said.

She raised her head, cheeks flushed with blood as her blue eyes shone with tears.

‘What would?’ she said.

Eilhu swallowed and gazed into her eyes.



He walked her back to her chamber, kissed her on the cheek as he watched her retreat behind her station. Eilhu knew he could force his affection, but it would break her to receive the full force of it.

Eilhu held himself apart for other reasons.

The garden smelled of summer. He stood and listened to the wind, able to give voice to his doubts and fears.

‘Wild Man, I call for your help.’

He whispered it at first.

‘Wild Man, I call for your help.’

A touch of impatience lent rigour to his words.

‘Wild Man, I call for your help.’

He shouted, his voice echoed against the garden walls and cut into him, mocking in its impotence.

Eilhu clenched his fists and stared at the night sky, challenging it for a sign.

Nothing moved and he strode from the garden, changing into his armour, the parts of the three suits he had worn, red, white and black altered and crafted to reflect his origins. A man made of parts unknown, put together by his own hand.

He saddled a horse, took a bow and a quarrel of arrows from the armoury, along with his sword and rode out through the castle gates. Night had stripped the lands of detail, but Eilhu was following an inward direction. Something in his heart tugged at him, and he worked the horse to a gallop, hoping to outrun his own thoughts.

Eilhu tied the horse to a tree and entered on foot. He walked until darkness enveloped him, but his steps were sure and he followed the trail of his own instincts.

He crouched and dug his fingers into the earth, damp and cold from the fall of night and brought them to his lips.

‘Where are you?’ he said.

Eilhu had called the Wild Man for aid on several occasions and he had come without pause.

He had not answered Eilhu and it led to some terrible thoughts which kept Eilhu out hunting and searching, despite a suspicion which had grown thick and powerful within his bones.

Eilhu had feared meeting Peter, expecting punishment for his actions and part of him knew if it came to it, he could call for aid and expect its arrival.

In the dark of the forest, away from everyone, Eilhu looked at the trees and fought a deep pang of loss and horror.

‘What have you done?’ he said.

He feared the answer, but it did not come.

The Wild Man was missing. His silence was devastating to Eilhu because it fed suspicions which coloured his interactions with Mirabelle. He felt he had no right to comfort her when he wondered if his actions had murdered her father.

He breathed in the cool air and looked back towards the castle, then set his gaze into the heart of the forest and continued searching.


In a dark, low place.

He laid in a corner of a room, his wrists bound with cold iron attached to a chain which hung from the ceiling.

‘There’s no key to steal here.’ the voice said.




Published by MBBlissett

Writer. Working on book-length projects and posting fiction and poetry here. You can find more about me here: Represented by SMART Talent Agency ( I am available for writing projects via my agent, Kelly and I look forward to hearing from you.

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