Short Story: The King’s Garden

Once, a king had a wish.

He wanted a tropical garden in his desert kingdom. And what the king wanted, the whole kingdom moved to realise.

Enough water to supply the whole kingdom was channelled to the garden, and plants from all over were brought in to populate the king’s new garden.

The garden didn’t succeed overnight. It took a few false starts, but each time, the gardeners found a better balance between the practicality of their local plants with the visuals of the thirsty tropical plants. Day by day, the king’s garden grew, a vibrant green in the midst of the monotonous brown. It was the kingdom’s pride and joy.

Then someone set it on fire.

The arsonist did it in protest. How could the king waste so much precious resources for something so non-essentially trivial?

The arsonist had a point, but surely the king was allowed some privileges after working hard to keep their kingdom alive in this barren land. And even if them common folk would never step foot in the king’s garden, just seeing the garden from a distance was an uplifting sight.

In the end, the garden was cleared, and they lost their green jewel. The people turned their eyes back to the endlessly brown ground.

Wait, was that something green?

The king’s garden had been the king’s personal wish, but it was also just a small part of his bigger dream, which was to reclaim their desert land and greenify their kingdom. With the knowledge and experience gained from their trials in the king’s garden, the gardeners set out to all corners of the kingdom. Little by little, the green jewel returned in bits and pieces all across the land.

But the king’s garden never returned.

~End~

Genre: general

Short Story: The King and The Girl

Genre: general, fantasy

 

The king first met the girl in his own private garden. The palace staff held their breath, for he was a cruel king who was quick to repress any disobedience, and trespassing his private garden was definitely an act of disobedience.

Unsurprisingly, the king had the girl thrown into the dungeon, never mind that she was unconscious and young enough that they could easily count her age with the fingers on their hands. They tended to her as they did the other prisoners and stepped back when the king visited the dungeon, as was his routine.

The girl had no memory, not of how she ended up in the garden, not of herself. No matter what the king threatened, she could not give any answers. For the king, whose paranoia demanded that he knew everything, it was unacceptable, and he visited again and again, hoping to pry out her secret.

At some point, the visits became less hostile and more peaceful. The cruel king and the amnesiac girl spoke for minutes to hours at a time. Interrogation turned to exploration to conversation.

The palace staff kept watching and waiting for the day the girl made a wrong move and attracted the king’s infamous cruelty, but the day never came. Instead, it was the king, their stubborn, set in his ways, don’t-tell-me-what-to-do king, who changed. He became more willing to listen, more open to alternate opinions, more merciful in his actions.

Over the years, the king continued to change, but the girl remained the same.

Exactly the same.

Before, they wondered about her safety. Now, they wondered about her.

The girl, as young as the day they mysteriously found her in the king’s private garden, merely smiled at their questioning glances and skipped with childish glee through the palace.

~End~

Short Story: Until the King Returns

Genre: general

 

In his conceit, the usurper thought he had completely crushed all opposition and his position unshakable.

But dissent shimmered under the bowed backs and carefully blank faces. The people of the land slowly gathered their strength as they waited for the hidden prince to one day take his rightful place.

“Until the king returns,” they whispered to each other, to encourage and to comfort.

They would continue their work and keep the country strong.

Until the king returned.

~End~

Short Story: The Neighbouring King

Genre: fairy tale (is that a genre?)

 

Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there was a kingdom who lived happily under the rule of the royal family.

There was one person, however, who was not happy, and that person was the king of the neighbouring kingdom.

“Even my people love that king more. It’s not fair.”

In his jealousy, he called a witch, who stole the king away when he was alone burning the midnight oil.

By morning, the other kingdom found their king missing.

By morning, the neighbouring king had a new dog chained to his throne.

But even as a dog, the other king was loved. The kitchen staff kept him well fed, the cleaning staff swept away his long fur with a scratch behind his ear, and random people would give him treats and essentials as while curling against his side as they spilled their worries and dreams to him.

“Why do people still love you more than me?” the neighbouring king asked.

But the other king was a dog and said nothing.

Eventually, someone put two and two together. The spell was lifted and the other king was restored, while the neighbouring king was confined to his chamber by his own people.

Two weeks later, the other king visited him.

“You think your people do not love you. Open your eyes and watch how they are fighting for you. If your people do not love you, it is because you looked away from them to covet other kingdoms first!”

The next week, the neighbouring king was restored to his throne. For the first time, he saw his people without comparing them against anyone else.

From then on, he focused on his kingdom and governed his people, and in the process became a king loved by his people.

And they lived happily ever after.

The end.

~End~

Short Story: King Father

Genre: fantasy

 

The day Liam turned 25 was the day of his crowning ceremony, his father’s abdication ceremony, and his grandfather’s retirement party. Between the three of them, it was easy to see who had looked forward to the day the most.

“You’ll be fine. We will only be away for two weeks and your grandfather will be around if you want any advice,” his father said happily three days later as the palace staff transported the luggage of everyone in Liam’s immediate family but Liam.

For the rest of the world, the king had the position of absolute power that was held for as long as possible before being passed down in death.

In Kemch, however, the country was ruled by the king, advised by the king father while grooming the king heir. Officially, the king was the head of the country. Unofficially, the king father retained a lot of his power and authority without any of the work involved in ruling a country.

His peers were envious of his rise to the thrown, but really, the one they should be envious of was his father. Liam was looking forward to becoming a king father, and he had only just become king!

His father laughed.

“If you want to be a king father you need an heir first.”

“I’m working on it.”

“Good man.” His father clapped him on the shoulder. “I’ll bring something nice for her when I come back. Have fun!”

“Have fun!” his twin younger sisters echoed with identical gleeful hops.

“Safe travels,” Liam said and tried not to be too jealous.

One day, Liam would be king father too, and it would be him who gleefully abandoned the king for a family holiday.

He was looking forward to it already.

~End~

 

You can also check out the related Royal Family History.