Wednesday, 5 October 2011

34) Time King

    Once upon a time a king sat alone on his throne. He was tired and hungry, but dared not get anything to eat because if he did he knew he’d have to go to the kitchen and interact with the help there. He’d gotten so used to being alone that he couldn’t really stand other people. As much as he had been the leader of the ingenue in the court, happily watching courtiers and dukes stab each other in the back, he’d grown appreciative and jealously guarded his time alone to his thoughts.
    So he sat, frustrated and watched the court mid party. Jesters stared up at their juggling batons stuck in the air. Revelers were frozen mid laugh with half eat food clearly visible in their open mouths. Wine was a solid and smooth crystalline sculpture being poured into glasses or splashed around.
    The silence was the first thing he noticed and appreciated when he’d activated the magic wand he’d gotten for his birthday from his court magician. That was years ago, or just now, he wasn’t sure.
    He’d flicked the wand on and delighted at how the whole world froze around him. The first thing he’d done was rearrange his revelers’ food and drink and turned people around. When he’d turned time back on after that there was a great uproar. He had laughed for minutes, longer than any jester or social gaffe had tickled him before.
    For the second time he sat frozen in time for days or perhaps weeks, the sun never changed position so he couldn’t tell how long it had been. For the time that seemed to pass he got hungry much slower, but still his stomach growled eventually. And then he’d go off to the kitchen for a second and grab some food. He’d long ago drunken all the wine at the tables and he’d gone quite sober, that was for sure. He no longer felt a part of his court, their ruddy laughing faces and drunken smiles were beyond him. He felt trapped by his station, his castle, and the things he owned he felt truly owned him. He couldn’t be his own man and he couldn’t go back to mindless partying. He was a King, he realized, not just a figure head of state, but the world truly revolved around him. He realized how much he’d been manipulated by his court to be numb to the world around him. Everything he knew was well filtered through their moral handicaps and prejudices. He realized he had never been a man of the world.
    He put down his crown, took off his grand party cape, took off his ornate buckled shoes, and walked out of the court. They wouldn’t miss him when he decided to turn time back on, whenever that was.

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