At night, when he cannot sleep, he thinks of a throne, of dominion over all the Earth. It is not an unduly ornate throne, stands on no huge platform, though light would ripple across it, making it seem either white or gold. A throne of purity. Upon it, the crests of the Confessor, of the King, and of the Lord, and at its feet, the twin lions couchant marking the danger of the throne.
He knows he has seen this throne, that the throne he thinks of is symbolic. Even if the crown that will one day sit upon his head is real, it is no crown of gold, no crown of human empire. And he knows that the throne is in some distant white tower, some place that is as incarceratory as it is regal. He was, if not born to this role, then selected for it by as much randomness. The current bearer, wearer of the crown, a woman barely two years older than him, has no bloodline shared with him, had no choice that he would succeed her, had met him but once, and told him that he was not ready, that he had to wait.
It was that sort of discussion that would trigger a civil war in times gone by.Britain, he knows, had had so many civil wars, all of them so easily concealed by calling one by the definite article. Ten, he thinks. He’s been reading about them, so he could write about one of them. Maybe it was no surprise that when he thinks of a throne, of the throne that would be his, he sees a British one.
He often has trouble sleeping. Even though marriage has eroded many of his difficulties, that he could happily and peacefully slip into slumber under the rhythmic sound of his wife’s breathing, when it came to thoughts of power and its use, he finds that oblivion eludes him.
Was it not the Queen of Heaven who stood above the throne, and the Queen of Earth who lay beside him? That disconnect between the physical and the spiritual. Was this merely reflection? To ponder an imaginary representation of the mystical… and get no closer to sleep.
The pattern of the compass, marked in bloody red, is the rod for his back, and is emblazoned upon the throne. This world loves blood, loves war, and this is a warrior’s throne. Could he at last be the Hammer of the Warmongers? Was it possible to stave off conflict, fight back against fighting? His wife turns over. Maybe he should sleep. The image will be there when he came back to it. The throne is not going away. Not until he has had his fill.