Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

Crystal1501 t1_ixyg8tl wrote

I stand on the balcony, looking out over my kingdom. My time is coming; my son, fifteen years old now, destined to overthrow me, has been gaining the trust of the people. A rebellion is on the horizon, as everyone demands he takes the throne. Of course I'm not happy with this, but he hasn't once disobeyed me; if I tell him to put a servant in their place, he will use compassion and understanding to get them to do their jobs, but if I told him to punish them, he would, apologising for the way things are.

I curl up my fingers. The one thing I don't understand is... how? Ever since my son started making decisions for the kingdom and having a say in what happens to people, there's been LESS crime and disloyalty. This doesn't make sense...

I sigh. I close my eyes and think back to when I first took my son in. Sometimes, prophecies are fake or inaccurate, but I couldn't take my chances. My advisor has always had a gift, and he's rarely ever wrong. He told me that an abandoned baby would grow up and be my undoing. I could have just killed the kid... somehow, I knew it was him... but I know what would have happened. People would NOT have kept quiet. Instead, I raised the boy as my own, hoping I could somehow get him to follow my example...

But no. All these years later, he doesn't even TRY my methods, calling them 'cruel'. It doesn't matter; my grip is slipping, it's only a matter of time. I nod to myself, my decision made. I head to the throne room. What once was a place of fear and respect was slowly becoming a place where even my own guards don't see me as a leader. I walk up to the throne, but I don't sit down. I call for my son. "Shawn. Come here."

My son walks into the room. Usually, he bows to me. This time, he doesn't. I narrow my eyes; this is yet another sign that what I'm about to do is a necessity. "Shawn... why do you insist on being compassionate and kind to those beneath you? To those who are criminals or servants?"

"Because I hate seeing the fear in people's eyes, father" Shawn responds. "They hate you. I can't, but I don't respect you anymore. I'm not afraid to tell you anymore, father, but I don't think you are fit to rule this land. Punish me for it if you want; you'll regret it."

I take two steps forward. He doesn't flinch. "I know" I say. "If I did ANYTHING to you, the people would riot. Son... I never told you before, but the day you were born, my reign was destined to end. I still somehow hoped that if I raised you as my own, you'd follow my example. I was wrong. And now... here I stand, my position fragile. I don't have much choice... the throne is yours."

Shawn's eyes widen in surprise. I step to the side, gesturing him to take my place. He hesitates a moment, before walking over and taking his seat. I feel disgusted, but just a little bit proud. I kneel to my own son. "Your majesty."

He looks at me. "Seems like you at least know humility. So... what to do with you..."

I gulp. "Please... I know you well enough... you wouldn't hurt me... don't hurt me..."

Shawn chuckles. "Never thought I'd see you begging like this, Mason. Truth be told, I always thought death wasn't an unsuitable punishment for you... but you're right, I don't WANT to hurt you. Guards. Take him to the deepest part of the dungeon."

I shake with relief as I'm forced to my feet. I'm escorted to a dark, damp cell. The iron door shuts behind me, and I look at the guards. "Be thankful you were spared" one of them states. "Maybe one day, you can earn your freedom... after, King Shawn isn't like you." The guards leave, and I just sit on my cold, hard bed. One question goes through my head: where did I go wrong as a ruler?


Thank you for reading! More stories here!