“At first I didn’t feel like death was a sad thing. As I pushed the blade into my heart, I started laughing.”
It was cold. Cold, dark and gloomy. The day was a sad one, and no one felt that anything was right. It was as if everything was darker. No one had light in them. No one felt anything. The only thing anyone knew was the darkness. Happiness was scarce and the hope was drained. Nothing was good in the world anymore.
Nothing is better than knowing your subjects are safe. The attacks were getting worse now, and I wanted to make sure that there were peaceful nooks for the butlers and maids to hide when the cannons came into the harbor. The people who manned the cannons were obviously from the Kingdom of Delar. They were power-hungry, and always dressed in black. When I traveled there to sign a treaty, (that was obviously not working) I saw how stressed they all were. Everyone in my kingdom knows that stress brings unhappiness, and unhappiness brings suicide. No one wants to commit suicide, unless they are unhappy in life. Sometimes death is not always a bad thing, though. Sometimes death has to be there, for our own good.
My carpenters were making small rooms with big locks, preparing for the next shooting. It was every day now. Every day, the people in black came to kill me, with their big cannons. They didn’t want to kill anyone but me. Fortunately, the people wouldn’t let it happen. Thank god for the people. They stormed the boats everyday with their torches, chanting “God save the king!” And I was the one who was supposed to be protecting them. Sometimes I feel like I am not good enough for them. It’s like they are my ruler. Would the Kingdom be more successful without me? Would there be less deaths? Would the Kingdoms stop fighting against me if I were dead? Would people stop fighting for me, and live happily for once? Without me, three hundred-and-fifty-two people would have been alive right now.
That night in bed, I could not sleep. What I thought this afternoon was still in my brain. It was like a virus in my head, growing stronger and quieting other sense. I knew that eventually, it would take over my body.
At first I didn’t feel like death was a sad thing. As I pushed the blade into my heart, I started laughing. I was going insane. I was dying and I couldn’t stop it. For the sake of my subjects, for my people, I decided to approve of death, to bring it upon myself, so they would not mourn too much.
The pain was not as bad as I thought it would be. It was sort of like a feeling. When you know you are going to die, when you are dying, then you do not feel scared anymore, you don’t dread it, you just let it happen. I felt that it was easier for me to kill myself, rather than my insanity kill me. I felt that it was easier to know when death happened, rather than wait for it.
Then it happened.
I was at the wrong place at the wrong time. It was the first day of April when everyone noticed the king was missing. The guards said that they were looking everywhere for him. Where was he? I didn’t know the king, but I wouldn’t think he would run away, or be crazy enough to hide himself from the world.
Everyone said the king was an amazing man, but I felt he was a spoiled brat who didn’t do anything for himself. Once, when I was trying to compel a rich lady to give me some pie, the king came out of the castle. Everyone bowed on the ground, everyone except me. I had been dragged too many times to the docks to fight for the king. What has he done to help me? To him, I am just some thief who is doing the wrong thing. No. I am not just a thief. I am a boy who wants a life, a real life. Not just a life of sleeping on the cracked rooftops of the broken buildings of the city. I want to live in a building, not on top of it. I don’t want to grow up homeless. The king couldn’t see that though, he could only see a young crook whose only intention is to steal other people’s food, other people’s belongings.
The guards glared at me. They obviously thought I was trouble. I was the only one standing besides the king. At that moment, our eyes met. A meaning of understanding gleamed in his pupil, just as he turned away. That was the very first time the king saw me.
Now he was gone, just like that. The guards were kind of stupid, though. They looked for his body everywhere but the castle. So, so stupid. For once, I felt bad for the king. He spent so much time training his troops, yet they were so dumb.
The next move I made was the action I regretted most. It was such a bad idea to go into the castle. I hated the king. Why did I even care if he was missing? Why did I want to find him? I was just brainwashed by the guards’ stupid moves. I quietly crept through the corridors, hopeful that no guard would spot me. I assumed that the king’s room would be at the top floor of the tower, so I started up the stairs.
The massive door creaked as I pushed it open, but no one noticed. I tiptoed around the room, searching all of the closets and under the tables. I came into another large room, that was obviously his bedroom. The quarters were huge. There were four rooms, just for the king with the all of the fanciest furniture. The bed was in fact a King sized bed, and it had regal red and gold sheets. And there, slumped on the bench at the foot of the bed, was the king, with a knife in his chest. I couldn’t believe it. I walked over to the king, and tried to pull the knife out, thinking it was fake. It wasn’t. I screamed. And then fainted.
I woke up to the smell of death. The smell of rotting dust and carcasses. The smell of bad meat. My cell was not big, but I shared it with a large man. He had short dreadlocks, and a small mustache. His dirty pants went below his ankles, but he wore no shirt. I thought that he must have been very cold, for I had a long-sleeved shirt on, and I was still freezing. If he was cold, he didn’t show it. He was screaming through the bars of our cell. At first, I didn’t understand what he was saying. Then, as I shuffled a bit closer, and became more awake, I realized why I was here.
“I didn’t kill the king!” the man shouted. “I owe every single moment of my life to the king! I would never do anything to hurt him!”
I couldn’t believe my ears. I found his dead body, I did them a favor. Did they seriously think I killed him? I didn’t kill the king.
The next day were the trials. I was thrown into a big truck with three other men, who were bigger and obviously stronger than me. A large mob followed the truck to our destination, and I was pelted with carrots and potatoes.
I was thrown onto a tall stage, still being bombarded with vegetables. I couldn’t understand why they thought I killed the king.
A jury was set up on both sides of me, and judge was in front. He called the session into order. “I would like to start by asking you some questions,” he said. “First of all, did you kill the king?”
“No. I am innocent,” I said, trying to keep my voice under control.
“Well, what is your alibi for the date of April first?”
What would I tell them? The truth would be too obvious. “I was, uh, visiting someone,” I said, hoping that they wouldn’t see that I was lying.
“Then why, sir, was your body found next to the king when he was found dead. And why were your fingerprints all over the knife that was in the king’s body? You, sir, are not innocent.”
I couldn’t believe it. I really couldn’t believe it. I felt like a million bricks had fallen on my shoulders. I didn’t do anything, but I was going to die. I would die, because I was blamed for something I didn’t do. I didn’t kill the king.
They gave me two days before the stabbing. Two days. Two days of depression. Two days before death. Death is a harsh thing. It happens when the world wants you gone. It happens when you don’t like the world. It happens when it is time to happen. And then it was time.
I had never felt so depressed. All of my dreams of having a good life going to waste. Now I was going to have no life at all. They put me in chains and paraded me through the streets like a circus lion. I felt bruises being made from the food that was being thrown at me. Bruises that I would soon not feel.
As I looked around I realized why I always felt so out of place in this town. I was not a cruel person. I did not use violence to get my way. I didn’t want to hurt anyone. Then I realized, sometimes violence is necessary. If you are threatened, then you should be able to defend yourself.
I started to develop a strategy in my head. A strategy that could get me out of this awful situation. A strategy that had to involve a few lies.
I confidently stepped up to the stage, next to my assassin with a blade in her hand. I took a deep breath and spoke what were supposed to be my final words.
“People of the Kingdom, I would like to start by saying that today I am proud to die for our king. Our brave king was sick, and he died. Yes, I found him with a knife in his back, but I did not kill him,” I said, stepping up closer to the front of the stage.
“I did not kill him. He did!” I shouted, pointing at some random man in the crowd. “I saw him stab the king on April first, and I tried to stop him.” I struggled to figure out the next part. I thought I would tell a lie based on the truth.
“I tried to pull the knife away from him, and that is why my fingerprints were on the blade. Then he punched me and knocked me out.” It took a second for the people to comprehend what they just heard.
As they tackled the innocent man, I bolted off the stage and sprinted to the city. Unfortunately, the guards were too smart. They ran after me. I stopped and put my hands up.
“What do you want?” I asked them.
“Come with us,” one of them said.
“You still owe things to the king. Also, we need to justify that you didn’t kill him.”
I mumbled a swear word and then followed them back to the stage. Suddenly, I realized what I had just done. I just put an innocent man in my place, and now he might die. I was a monster. How could I have done such a thing? Even in a moment of panic, it is not okay to shove someone to death, innocent or not.
April 6 was the day they checked the security cameras. It was the day when I was put in jail for a day, for lying about what happened. It was the day when the innocent man slapped me five times. It was the day when they figured out who killed the king.
It all started when I was taken into the castle for a meeting with the king’s butler. The butler was the king’s best friend, and he was mourning for the loss of his comrade. No one knew why they were friends, but they were. I didn’t see how anyone could be friends with such a man, but he was. He just asked me standard questions, such as, “Did you see anything out of the ordinary where you found the king?” and “What sort of position was the king in when you found him?’” I felt bad for this man. His best friend had just died, and he was so depressed, and he had no one to blame.
Later, I went back to the sight of the crime: the king’s bedroom. The place was trashed. Books were thrown on the floor and couches were upside down. It was truly a mess. Nothing was how the king left it. Nothing, except the security cameras.
It was sort of funny how the guards were so stupid. Of course, they didn’t look in the security cameras, yet they wanted to find out who killed the king. They should have known to check the security cameras, before anything. How else were they going to find out who killed the king? Did they really care about him?
I don’t exactly remember how I got the guards to agree to check the security cameras. I probably just told the truth: they were stupid and didn’t check the security cameras before arresting people. They were about to kill me, but they hadn’t checked to confirm that I killed the king.
As we walked into the security room, I saw how unorganized this kingdom really was. I saw random computers sitting on coffee tables, the guards that were supposed to be protecting these files sleeping on the couch that was randomly in the middle of the room. I saw people’s files strewn across the floor, papers everywhere. Now I saw why the guards didn’t check the security cameras. They were too lazy to find them.
Anyway, while the guards were escorting me I fell asleep on the couch, I was the one who went through all of the computers and found the security footage from March 1st to April 1st. As I scanned it for anything odd, I noticed something peculiar. The king had been spending a lot of time staring at the white wall. I wondered what he was thinking about. Did he know that he was about to be killed? Did he know that he was going to die?
Then I reached the date of March 4, at 11:35 p.m. It really was one of the saddest things I had ever seen. He was sitting there, with a knife to his heart. And he was laughing. The crazy man was laughing.
The king was dead. He killed himself.
After I showed the guard my discovery, they were instantly stripped of their military gear. They place their hats and jackets on the ground, and they wept. Even I shed a single tear. But I did not cry because the king was dead. I cried because the king was insane. I cried because he killed himself too early. Although the shootings had stopped, this kingdom was still a mess. It was still unorganized. The king died too early.
April 9 was the day when we released the footage. April 9 was the day when all was lost. April 9 was the day when the happiness was stolen from the people. All was lost. The king was dead, and he killed himself.
But of course, the people were stupid enough to think it was their fault. It wasn’t. The king was going insane. He was not good enough for our kingdom anyway. He stayed in his castle, and didn’t talk. The schools in the kingdom were even older than him, and the living conditions were horrible. This kingdom could be amazing. We just needed a good king.
I started to think of people that we could elect as king. I started a list of possible nominees. I started with people who knew the king well. Maybe his butler? I put him down on the list. Other than that, I didn’t think anyone really knew him. Then I started to try and think of people who were completely loyal to the king. Well, every single person in the kingdom except me, I guess. Who else would be fit to be king? I though about the king’s family. Did he have any family? I made a note in my head to ask the butler about that.
As I walked to the butler’s quarters, I thought about the life of a king. They must always be tired. They have so much work piled on them, and they probably have no time to sleep. Being a king would be hard, but if the person were capable of doing all the work, then they should be able to do it. I think I would be willing to be king, but it would be really hard.
I knocked on the butlers door, and a man, who looked like he was on the king’s council opened it. He was wearing a white, silk robe, and had a magistrate hat on. He was very short, but he had a serious expression on his face.
“He’s here!” he called back over his shoulder. I was a little confused. This was not the normal way to greet someone.
“Uh, who is?” I asked stupidly. The councilor rolled his eyes, and let me into the small room. The walls were painted a light pink, and there were picture frames hanging on them. There was a small bed in the corner, it had white sheets and a large book at the foot. Standing next to the bed were the councillors, and of course the butler.
“Sir, I have taken it upon myself to tell you this news. The council has given you a choice.” He sighed. “The first choice, you can go to jail, and spend twenty year there for theft and lying to higher ranked people. Or, the second choice. You can become our king. You obviously know this kingdom better than anyone else. You are smart, and talented. You can trick people better than anyone else, and you know how the people feel.”
At that point, I was speechless. “Yes.’’ I whispered. “Yes, yes, yes. I will absolutely become king!” I couldn’t believe it. Surprise and excitement rushed through my veins.
Everyone smiled. I just hoped that the people would like me. What if I was a bad king? I would just have to try my best.
May 2nd was the day of the coronation. The whole kingdom was practically there. It was quite a festivity. There was more food than I could ever imagine. The plates of roasted meat and vegetable. And the drinks. Oh my god, they were amazing. I had never tried soda before, but it was like a sweet explosion in my mouth. It was so much better than water. The games were amazing. They were all on large shiny touch screen tablets and were really fun. I tried a few myself. The coronation was more of a party than a ceremony. At the very beginning of the party, I was crowned and had to recite a pledge, but that was all of the ceremonial things. Then we had fun. I was still very young for a king, so I could play all of the games with ease. I had never eaten so much in my life, but now I had unlimited food, drink, and fun. And work. But the work was easy if you knew how to do it. Signing reasonable treaties, and making the right changes at the right times. I had a feeling that I was going to like being king.
“And why, sir should I sign your treaty?” I asked King Jorge of the Kingdom of Delar. “Our country is so much stronger than yours, we could easily win against you in a war, and you broke the last treaty the king signed with you. You wanted to kill him. We don’t need to trade with you, nor do we need anything you have. The Kingdom is doing just fine, without your help.”
“I still don’t like how you call your region The Kingdom. It isn’t the only kingdom in the world,” he mumbled.
“Well, it’s the most important. Now sir, I don’t think this treaty is going to work. We aren’t getting anything out of this. The Kingdom is amazing, without your help,” I said sternly. Sometimes I was a little mean to other kings, but it was all for the sake of the people.
“John, will you please escort this man. I feel that he is not fit to be aligned with our country.” With that I turned back to my other work. We were building five new schools for the children of the Kingdom, fit with laptops, books, and other supplies. I felt that this was one of the more important projects of the kingdom, besides rebuilding all of the living building, of course.
I think I am king so I can make this kingdom a better place, nothing else. I do not feel the need to kill myself, like the other king decided to. For the people, I will make this kingdom amazing. For the people, I will be a good king.