He stood outside Traitor’s Gate, waiting, watching, thinking ‘traitor’ wasn’t necessary the best name for the place. Upsetting-the-King Gate might be the better title. Either way meant death.
The stink from the river rose up around him, a smell he’d known every day of his life, but had never grown accustomed to smelling. The river, the heat and the stink of unwashed bodies defined his world.
The sound of the boat coming down the river came to him, sharp and clear. Wood on wood. Water on wood. Oar by oar by oar.
The Prince sat quiet in the center of the boat, hooded, head bowed, resigned to his fate. Once he was dead, nothing would stand in the way of the Pretender. And that would be the end of Britain as they now knew it.
The Gate creaked upwards. The Prince’s body shivered. The Gate closed.
He stood for another moment then turned away. Just because Britain would be different didn’t mean it would be bad.
The bulldozer sat abandoned. He’d meant to arrive earlier, watch the end of shift, but want and reality often diverged. Not that it made any difference at this point.
Climbing into the cab, he thought about his family. He’d never known his father; had always thought that was why he’d grown up as he did. He’d needed something in which to believe.
Man had made a mess of his world. Everything green had been destroyed, leaving nothing but man-made concrete and steel in its place. Why didn’t they understand? They were killing the world, killing themselves. But then man wasn’t the smartest of species.
Now or never.
Unscrewing the gas can, he poured the liquid over the cab, soaking the seat, splashing the controls and floor.
Mankind just didn’t understand.
It was time to make them understand.
Sitting, he pulled out his matches and struck a spark.