I recently took up the challenge of writing 500 words every day, using writing prompts as a way to get the creative juices flowing. While most of what I've written so far has been too personal to post, I thought I'd post today's effort. Please be kind!
PROMPT: Happily Ever After
And they all lived happily ever after.
That was the idea, anyway, thought King Thasareus, downing his third glass of whisky for the night and waited for one of his servants to whisk it away to the kitchen. This wasn’t the way it had been supposed to go.
Back in the day, he had been simple Thass, youngest son of a poor farmer, with dreams of knights and swords. While his six older siblings had learnt how to work the farm, he had been out in the words swinging sticks at imaginary monsters, pretending to climb towers and rescue princesses. Dreaming of having servants to wait on him, and all the food and drink he could wish for.
Then the dragon really came, and it didn’t seem so fun anymore.
Thass had been sixteen years old when the dragon burnt down the village, carried off the princess, and demanded tribute. The old king had promised that whoever slew the beast would be the heir to the throne, and… well, you know the rest.
But it turns out that getting what you want is not the same as wanting what you get.
Princess Katara had been grateful, for sure, and he couldn’t deny there had been a certain animal magnetism between them at first, but that had quickly turned into disdain, which morphed over a few years into disgust. She had grown up in a royal palace with the best tutors that money could afford. She spoke seven different languages, and could compose love poetry in them all. After ten years of living in the palace, Thasareus was still struggling with his letters. The chasm was just too large to be bridged.
Two years after the rescue, the old king passed away. He’d never been the same after the dragon’s attack - it was nerves, really, and he slowly wasted away. Somewhat reluctantly, the other nobles had crowned Thass king in his place, renamed his King Thasareus I. They saw his incompetency, his ill-suited nature, but they couldn’t go against the clear commands of the beloved king, not when all the common folk were cheering on ‘their man’. Besides, the noblemen of the court new better, Thasareus had realised after a couple of months, they knew that they had time on their side.
The memory of the small-folk was short, and their gratitude fleeting. All the other nobles had to do was bide their time and soon enough the mood would turn against the new-crowned king, once it was clear that he was in way over his head.
Now, Thasareus was king in name only, a figure head for the Royal Council to make the decisions, and sign them in his name. He had stopped going to their meetings a year ago.
Soon, they would tire of being the puppet masters and seek the public glory that came with the crown - only their fear of each other was holding them back. One day, Thasareus would wake up to see a paid assassin looming over him with a knife in his hand, wondering which of his ‘advisors’ was behind it. Perhaps it would be Queen Katara herself.
“More drink!” Thasareus called down the hall.
No one answered. The servants had vanished. One by one the hallway torches went out.
Maybe this was it, Thass wondered absently. He put his head on the cold, marble table, and closed his eyes.