This scene takes place while Elswyk (the main character) is recovering from a stab wound she received when she put herself between an assassin with a knife and the king. The king is grateful (this is the second time she’s saved his life), and he’s planning on building a statue in her honor.
Elswyk doesn’t like the statue idea, nor does she appreciate any of the other rewards the king proposes. Exasperated, Elswyk makes a bad joke.
“You won’t be happy until you give me the moon,” I muttered.From this scene I took the title of the book. Elswyk’s Moon.
The room went still. King Zontyn stopped going through his papers. He looked at me. A smile spread across his face.
“You can’t give me the moon.”
“Of course I can,” the king said.
“How? It’s not the sort of item that I can possess in any real way. You can’t pluck it from the sky. The moon belongs to everybody,” I said.
“That would not be practical, but what I will do is proclaim that the moon is for you in honor of your heroism. From now on, the moon is ‘Elswyk’s Moon’, and everyone must refer to it as such,” the king said.
The giggles burst from me before I was even conscious of them. Elswyk’s Moon! The giggles turned to laughter, and in moments I found I could not stop. My eyes watered. I grabbed the wound in my side as it felt like it might tear. That movement made me lose my balance, and next thing I knew I was on the floor.
The jerking that accompanied the hiccups stopped my laughter. I took a deep breath. I rolled and pushed and pulled until I stood. Hands on hips, I stared down the king.
“Your majesty…hic…I never asked for a reward…hic…nor did I…hic…expect to get one when I saved your life…hic,” I explained.
“But you deserve…”
“It’s not enough,” the king insisted.
“Murder is a selfish act…hic. People who think that killing someone…hic…solves anything…hic…” Stupid hiccups! “I did not save your life…hic…expecting some reward…hic. I was there and I could help, so I did.”
Were they gone? Hic. Nope. Grrr.
“But you saved my life. I must find a proper way to say thank you,” King Zontyn said.
“You’re…hic…welcome,” I replied. “Please, don’t go trying to give me the moon.”
Now, I’ve had time to rethink and doubt whether this is a good idea or not.
I need outside eyes. Good title? Stupid idea? Believable exchange between my main character and a king? I’m leaning towards stupid idea at the moment, but I thought it was a good idea at the time.