Tales From the Throne

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

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This is not as much as a true *fantasy* post, but it relates to a kingdom and its past; as told by its ruler of that point. If you suggest a better category, I'll place it there. [Rated PG for a few violent parts.]

Part of this writing group was optional "homework"- a writing exercise the moderator would issue.

We were told to jot down a list of what happened our previous day; then pull a strip of paper from a hat (literally) to write in that fashion.

I ended up with "explosive action" - and wonder if I did the prompt justice.

This wasn't strictly my life... Anyone who knows me fairly well might see a semi-autobiographical point of view, however. (If you'd like to know why, become a fan or contact me - INCENTIVE.)

When I spoke to him, there was more I couldn't say versus what we told each other. Part of me always knew he always had my back no matter what I did. But I didn't drag him back for that purpose.

It's difficult to be a man of action when you don't want the revolution televised Even more difficult when you are the one working to quash the revolution at hand.

Objectivity is not pure. It must skew one way or the the other. A war or coup is never is never agreeing to disagree. It is a form of bloodshed in which two people were right. I wish I could say this battle was the last. It is more important for me to know my people are willing to fight for me, rather to have them to take up arms. Does that make me a dictator? This was not the first time, but this is stemming more from seeds of hate than selfishness or pure discontent.

Before was more clear-cut. It was more destructive in nature; but property and vision more than spirit or soul. Did the fires of our siege char my objectivity? Did it destroy the the kindness or compassion of my leadership? Did it shape me into the word of what it is: a ruler.

The land wasn't always plagued. It wasn't more than a swamp which was bordered on one side by a large body of water. It had the advantage of hiding people who needed protecting. In its salad days, the people would have constant encounters with those who nay have been wrong but had authority on their side. Camping on the outskirts, then springing. Capturing a person was not an issue so much as capturing a body in any state. There was death I was powerless to stand up to: not more than words could can hold back a hurtling force of kinetic energy. I could say “please” or “why” but I would be cut down as mere collateral damage – interference of “official” business. Bear in mind this would have happened to these people whether a marsh, open field, or the most densely packed city. All I could do was watch: but I did wait.

Things got worse for the land. Not this swampy, sinkhole-laden geography but the climate; of a force emanating from somewhere else. I didn't know the reason. Then suddenly a shift occurred. Many of the men in this land chose to move on. Their old hierarchy fled with most of the others who sought refuge from the hunt and the others confused in the wake of events.

Not all were people in pursuit. Those stayed, as I. With no more leadership and empty houses, the other outlanders somehow instinctively knew. They came under cover of night at first, then used the mist from the ground to their benefit. By the edge of dawn, things broke wide open. Fire consumed the abandoned structures; sending streaks of orange rising to the sky against the night. Explosions erupted from some by random combustibles literally shook the kingdom. When morning did finally arrive, the damage the land suffered emotionally matched ourselves; by what our eyes told us.

As said... Dawn shed, and the land externally matched what had been felt by all of us who had stayed behind from the exile by the hunted. The facades were gone. All left for us were these sparse homes of which we few lived. The smoke breaching horizon and climbed into the sky, just as souls of the men who already left: reaching and dissipating into the next plane or realm; wherever it may be.

I waited and waited; standing idly by throughout. I took a stand while the houses still still smoldered and flickered with patches of orange, almost as a brain trying to use its electrical impulses to trigger recollection back to times of more grandeur. It was that moment I proverbially picked up the staff which was relinquished in haste, only to lay dormant, long ago. A bloodless coup as I assumed the role of the leader. I was the one who wanted what no other sought. It seemed worthless or even useless. It was not solace at the time; but from that point, there was nowhere to go but up.

I told the people not it would be superlative; not better nor larger than before. But it would be whatever we wanted it to become. Its future was now for us to shape. I rallied alongside them; all of us toling as one the rise amongst the gloom. Those who burned our land in that night thought done was done; leaving us alone and assuming we would heed to their message? Or they knew the prey were gone and decided by the predators to keep it that way. We, who felt caught in the middle before, now made the changes. We rebuilt what had perished: not the same, but it was truly ours: as the blood from those before were washed away by the sweat of our collective labors. It wasn't easy; wasn't immediate; but it happened. Change did occur. Almost so slowly, it seemed to most of us as nothing had happened at all. But it took outsiders for us to realize this.

Nomads and raiders came upon us, looking for ab easy target or possibly heard tales of a broken land. Those reports were far from accurate as they learned firsthand. Underestimation was a weapon in our arsenal as deadly as the greatest of fortification on our part. Even some who trickled back tried to reclaim what was assumed to be entitled...only to reach a sad conclusion of time moving forward; leaving them lost in the past. Some understood and accepted the change. The land rejoiced for those people, and those returning waywards strengthened us all.

Not all held this same frame of mind, however. They returned thinking we were one collective fowl: warming an egg loyally on hopes of the prodigal people's unknown return. Some of those moved on with regret or lament, where others tried to dig in with their heels: refusing to admit mistake or wrongdoing. Treating a mirror as a window when looking to place blame. Words thrown and blades even crossed in more dramatic moments. But they were ran off; a fate sealed by stubbornness or an unwillingness. We had heavy hearts in doing so, but that was a decision jointly made long ago.

Leadership is about the whole and greater good; not for placating the few. All told and done, each and every invader or marauder saw defeat. There were long spaces dedicated to peace and contentment, but perhaps the land seemed too good to pass up. Too bountiful, or a happy (despite gloomy physical atmosphere) populace makes assumptions by outsiders the land is a ripened fruit; awaiting to be plucked and consumed. Foolish thoughts, by foolish minds. It is an evil path of thought...but happens all the same. Even inside as well as out. Forgetting mistakes of others, a group from within. Conspirators who had unreasonable viewpoints, feeling a separate outlook than the whole. And here I stand; amidst another surge for power. Slow to grasp the chalice at first, but now I hold it in my hand relentlessly and restlessly.

As I see the clash before me, there is a duality to it. Seeing those coming to my aid and defending the values set forth makes me proud for what I helped build alongside them all. Yet at the same time saddened it came to such a head as this in order to know the people truly felt it is a land worthy of fighting for.

I sense this is the last day before a decision in this battle which has been waged. I may lose the very land I helped make so desired in the first place. I I cannot hold a grudge if this demise is true. It will be no fault but mine. I am above lamenting by proxy or placing blame on anyone besides myself.

This is the last hour in my uncertainty; but what I do know is I am proud of this land; no matter who sits in its highest chair. A feeling as this is something no person can force me to abdicate.


Submitted: August 26, 2010

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