All Hail The King

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A king lives on an island. He is dedicated to finding his lost prince.

Submitted: February 09, 2017

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Submitted: February 09, 2017

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The island is lonely in the middle of a roaring sea. The man walks on the rocky beach, a battered walking stick in one hand, and a crudely woven cape flowing behind him. A large wooden crown, set with shells and shiny rocks, sits on his long brown hair. He has a scruffy beard and weathered hands. He walks with a regal air about him, as if he is unaware that he is alone among the silent rocks and crashing ocean. He mutters to himself thoughts and ideas only he can decipher as the morning sun warms the beach. He has no name, not one that he can remember. He is the King.

Five times someone has tried to rescue him from the island. Each time he screams and fights them. He begs them not to take him away from his vast, imaginary kingdom, accusing them of taking away the rightful prince. Each time he is left alone, secure in his crippled mind.

He finishes his walk on the beach and treks back to a little hut that’s falling apart. He walks through the empty doorway, leans his stick against the wall, and grabs a handful of berries from a large rock that serves as a table. His clothes are haphazardly stitched from animal pelts, but he is, for the most part, clean.  He sits on a rotting log pulled up to the rock table and looks down at a Polaroid. A handsome young man smiles up at the battered face, and he smiles back.

“They took you, my prince,” the King mutters. Seeing the sun outside the window, he knows it’s time.  He stands, grabs his staff, and walks out to the nearby cliff over a barren land. Straightening to his full height, he begins.

“My people!”

Silence.

“Our empire is great, but we have suffered a great loss! We must double our efforts to retrieve our lost prince from our enemies!”

The wind answers him with a soft breeze. Clearly satisfied with his invisible subjects, the King retires to his hut. He sits for hours, until the sunlight dies, looking at the picture of his prince, awaiting his return. He walks the same path as he did in the morning, surveying his kingdom, before turning for the night to his shack, giving the photo one last mournful look. His kingdom anticipates the prince’s return while just outside the hut, six feet down, the body of the same young man rests, buried by his father before he became ensnared inside his ruined mind. The King doesn’t know his prince is dead.

But the father knows. 


© Copyright 2019 A. L. Sivils. All rights reserved.

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