The Mourning Prince
Kelson and Camber entered the study, they noticed Ming in the middle of
Kelson's desk taking a bath in preparation for her nap. Walking up to
the desk, Kelson leaned over and scratched Ming behind the ear and she
began to purr loudly.
"She doesn't like me does she?" Camber said, coming up behind Kelson.
"It's not that, she just doesn't know you yet. Eventually she will warm up to you. I think I might have something in my desk that might do the trick."
Placing his cup on the desk, Kelson began to search for something in the desk. It took him several minutes. Finally, he pulled out a small canister of kitty treats. Kelson opened the container slightly and then handed it to Camber.
"Hold it an angle and she'll open it," Kelson said to Camber.
Upon seeing the kitty treats, Ming stopped her grooming and sat up. Her ears perked up in anticipation of her treats. Kelson motioned for Camber to hold the container in front of her. Ming stared at Camber with her big blue eyes, waiting for him to open the container the rest of the way. Noticing that he wasn't about to do so, she cocked her ears back in irritation. Leaning forward she gripped the partially opened container with her teeth and pulled up. The lid came off, and with her right front paw, she reached in and scooped a treat into her mouth and began to devour it.
"That's probably enough for now. I don't want her eat too many of those."
Camber withdrew the treats and Ming instantly looked up at him, obviously wanting more.
"Sorry Ming, can't give you anymore," Camber said scratching underneath her chin. She purred loudly.
"Well it seems you've made a friend, Uncle. Why don't we have a seat by the fire," Kelson said, as he picked up his cup.
The two men proceeded to the two chairs by the fire, with Ming bringing up the rear. When they were finally seated, Kelson noticed the briefcase his uncle held.
"Well Uncle, I take it this isn't a social visit?" Kelson said taking a sip from his coffee.
"I hate to say this, but it is not," Camber said slightly embarrassed.
"I sort of figured as much," Kelson said with a smile.
"For one thing, it is the dead of winter, I haven't talked to any member of my family in over ten years, and suddenly I get a call from you saying that you needed to see me. Unless there is some kind of family emergency, I don't think this is a social visit."
Camber took a sip from his coffee but did not look up. Deciding to break the brief silence, Kelson leaned forward.
"What's in the briefcase, Uncle?"
"Just letters from your parents, and your brothers and sisters," Camber answered shyly.
"No, why?" Camber asked curiously.
"Oh nothing," Kelson said with a smile.
At this point, Ming jumped onto the arm of Kelson's chair and made herself comfortable by lying down on her stomach and sticking her front paws underneath her.
"Were you expecting another letter?" Camber asked staring back at the cat that had been staring at him.
"He's hiding something," Camber thought, "but what?"
"Could I have a look at them?"
"Sure," Camber said, as he retrieved the letters from the briefcase. He rose from his chair and handed them to Kelson. In doing so, he noticed that the cat was still staring at him.
"I can't read it. It's too dark right here," Kelson said before opened the first envelope.
He got up from the chair and proceeded to the desk, with Camber and Ming following behind. "That's better," Kelson said as he sat at his desk in front of the lamp.
But before he could start reading the first letter, Ming jumped up onto the desk and positioned herself right in front of Kelson. "You always have to be right in the middle of things, don't you?" Kelson chuckled.
Looking up at his Uncle, his smile dissolved as he saw the look of concern on his face.
"Is something wrong, Uncle?"
"You tell me? You appear to be hiding something from me."
"Such as." Kelson said, continuing to look up at his Uncle.
"Well, for one thing, when I arrived you showed little or no emotion when I mentioned the tough times you've had lately. Harold told me that they were pretty bad."
"They were bad for a time," Kelson said absently looking at the Haldane lion embossed on the envelopes, "but I took certain measures so that I could deal with what happened in my own way and on my own time. When it happened, I had other issues to deal with."
"What did you do? And what do mean "other issues" you had to deal with?" Camber asked, clearly irritated by the coldness of his nephew concerning his family's death.
"Well, you're probably not going to like this, but I kind of locked the memories and emotions of my family's death away, until I can deal with them properly."
"How long ago?" Camber asked, totally furious now.
"Six months," Kelson said, as he looked up into his uncle's face.
"Six months? Have you lost your mind? Do you have any idea what kind of damage you could do to yourself? Why not take care of it now?"
"I have some idea what could happen. And I thought it was a necessary risk at the time. Besides, I can't get at them."
"Why not?" Camber asked incredulously.
Kelson looked up at his uncle shyly and then began to open the first envelope that was from his father and brother's.
"What do mean, you 'can't'?!"
Kelson turned and looked up at his uncle at his outburst. It was at this point, Camber noticed how tired Kelson looked.
"I can't" Kelson sighed, "because, at the time I sheltered those memories slash emotions, I was fighting for my life. And when I did this, I stored them away and put them in with something which I didn't know was there."
"Can't you access it?"
"No. And I don't have the key, or I don't know the Keyword," Kelson replied, maintaining eye contact with his uncle.
Kelson started to return his attention to the letters as a curious look crossed his face.
"You don't suppose anyone in the family knows about this 'block'?" Kelson asked looking up at his uncle again.
Camber's forehead furrowed as he looked back at his nephew.
"I wouldn't know. Our family hasn't really said a dozen words to me in the past few years. Except when they found out I was coming to the states, they asked me to find you and give you those letters. I only saw them for about five minutes and didn't really get a chance to talk to them."
As if on cue, Ming decided to knock one of the letters into Kelson's lap with her tail. Once that had been accomplished she went back to taking her bath.
"I think she is trying to tell us something," Camber said with a slight smile, "Perhaps, there is something in the letters that will help.
Kelson proceeded to open the actual letter. The letter was handwritten on a thick piece of white paper, which was apparently glued to another piece of paper.
Camber looked over Kelson's shoulder as the two men read the letter, which had the royal Haldane lion, embossed on the top.
The letter read: