The old king rattled his bones. That was what the younger knights at the table called it, when they thought he couldn’t hear them, when they thought his famously keen senses could be overcome by the riot of laughter and ribald conversation. Despite the fire in the great hall, he shivered again, and Norda smoothed the blanket over his knees, beneath the table. The knees were the worst for painful pops and cracks, but the shoulders were bad as well. Around the keep, they joked about the noise. “Windy tonight. The old king’ll be rattling again; just you listen.” As if he were some grotesque wind ornament rather than a shaky old man. They said it with the warmth of love, but he was cold nonetheless


About the story: About love, and the folly of men.