Prince, as he was known (though it was more a joke amongst the King’s court), was beautiful, young, and a bit bohemian. He had long blond locks of silken hair that came to his waist, and he would often adopt hairstyles that were everything from classic to completely new and strange. He was almost androgynous, and he liked to startle and scandalize both the King and the courtiers with outfits that would be revealing or strange.
He often acted the part of a fool (of sorts), at least publically, to amuse the King. The king was an older man who enjoyed the pleasures of the young man being on his arm. Prince had been a prize, of sorts, won by granting a pardon to a condemned man, Prince’s older brother. In exchange he had become the Consort to the King.
Prince became, over the years, one part Councilor, one part Fool, and another part Lover to the King. In general, the monarch had become a better ruler, everyone agreed, since Prince had come into his life. He had shown more compassion, more mercy, and had decreed Death sentences far less than before. And he was far more generous to the folks.
The problem was, Prince didn’t love the King. Not really. And the King, though he was mostly able to ignore this fact, knew better. And this caused black moods with the Monarch at times, and the occasional rage would take him, almost like a fevered madness.
But Prince endured, as he knew if he broke faith, that the King would find his brother, and execute him.
Or so he felt.
So he endured, and played his part.
The King indulged Prince, quite often, with the finest things one could buy. Strange and exotic things that they could try together or just alone for Prince. He hired the finest tattoo artist in the Kingdom to give Prince what he wanted in body art, displayed in the amazing sleeve tattoos on his arms, and what was worked on his chest and throat. The young man had the finest hair dressers, and costume and clothing makers to create avant garde outfits for his own pleasure and amusement in private, and elaborate costumes for him to wear at Court.
And the King was generous, as well, in that he allowed Prince time and anonymous pleasures, with whom he wanted, as long as there was discretion. The King was no fool, when permitted such things, knowing that Prince had a libido that was far younger and active than his own.
And then one day, at court, the King was sat upon his throne, and watched as Prince performed one of his beautiful and exquisite dances.
Prince was almost nude, with alluring bits of clothing hiding his modestly below the waist, and his long blond hair sighed in the air as he twisted and tumbled through acrobatic routines that wowed and awed the spectators, and most importantly, the King.
At the end of the routine, Prince wound up in the Monarch’s lap, and slipped his hands around his neck, and the King, eyes full of wonder and amazement at this new production, leaned in to kiss the panting and perspiring Prince. Prince kissed his King in return, and the crown slid down the His Majesty’s forehead, and with a slight move, tumbled onto Prince’s head, angled a little to the side.
The crowd laughed, and the king grinned. Until he noticed a young man, standing with his hands on his hips, at the front of the courtiers. The King’s eyes narrowed and his smile faded. He looked over, assessing the man, and determined him to be in his late 20s or early 30s, and he arched a brow. “You.. “ he called out to the bristling man. “What is it that troubles you, my subject?”
“It is not for me to say, “ the man said, somehow mastering himself somewhat, and looking down in humility from the King’s address.
“But I insist that you say, or else I will become most unhappy with you. You dampen our festive mood with your belligerent stance. What is it that bothers you? “ The king’s tone was light, but everyone in the room could feel the energy – the veneer of civility that covered a well of danger and outrage that the King was currently cunning enough to control.
“I do not think it is proper that your fool wear your crown, Oh Great Majesty,” he said, in a controlled tone.
“It is most fortunate that you do not have a say so, in such matters, “ The King said, his arm possessively going around Prince’s waist, but then gently setting him down on the side of the throne. “Because this was in the spirit of festivities, and not done as an affront to mine eyes. Your attitude has dampened the mood, “ the King continued.
Prince spoke, quietly, but with a resonant voice, trying to rekindle a festive mood, hoping to divert the ill temper quickly stealing over the King. “Your majesty! Here is your Crown, restored once more to your noble brow!” He placed the steel and gold crown on his monarch’s head, and bowed as he moved back to his usual place.
The belligerent man was flushed and he didn’t think he had distracted the king enough. Prince felt the deadly moment approaching that the man did not realize was coming. He knew this man, who had been one of his dalliances in weeks past. The man had confessed his love for Prince, but felt spurned or betrayed, that Prince had stayed with the old Monarch. Prince had told the man, straight up, what the meaning of discretion was, and how he had to simply accept how things were.
Apparently the man had a learning disability.
“Your Majesty,” The man said, with venom in his voice, “Your fool is but a charlatan, a trickster that weaves a spell around your heart, and will bring you to ruin, if you do not cast him away.“
The Monarch held up his hand, and stood, and fixed the man with a look of condescension and derision.
“He has been at my side for many years, now, and has never betrayed me. However, you, my good man, are making a serious charge. Shall I kill my Prince, on your word alone? You have proof that he is unfaithful to me?”
Prince’s eyes went wide and he held up his hands, silently telling the man to keep his mouth shut and to beg forgiveness.
He did not. The man persisted, and the King flew into a rage. He went to one of his guards, and yanked the sword from his guard’s scabbard, and ran at the man in blind fury. The man’s eyes grew wide and he tried to back away, but two guards seized him by the shoulders and arms, and held him in place, as the King ran the sword through his stomach, and twisted the blade.
The king’s face was red with rage, and he was breathing hard. As the man screamed in agony at his impalement, he slowly slumped between the two guards, and the king stood over him, with hatred in his eyes, and then looked over at the beautiful Prince.
And suddenly, the king gasped, and his eyes closed in pain, and the sword slipped form his grip, as he gripped at his left arm. A sharp pain in his chest and arm gripped him, and a moment later, his heart skipped and seized. The king fell to the floor, fear in his eyes as his heart gave out.
Prince raced to his side and the guards abandoned the victim, his body sliding to the floor, bleeding on the marble tiles. The moved to help their King.
Prince cradled the King’s head in his lap, as the Royal physician came with his bag of drugs and tricks. The king reached up, and touched Prince’s face, and smiled, a soft, kind smile. “I die, my beautiful Prince. I .. go now, to be with the ancestors. I loved you. And I name you.. my heir. You will be King – I so decree it.. and you guards.. and my Physician.. you bear witness. Prince is now the King.. Long Live The King. “
And with that, despite the drugs and potions of the Physician, the King died.
Prince was horrified. He was horrified by the death of the Monarch, the man that had held him captive all these years. And now, too, he was also horrified that he was now King.
He slowly stood, and looked around at all the courtiers, as the guards formed a ring around him.
The Grand Vizier, who had witnessed it all from the side, walked over to the body of the dead king, took the crown, and then stood behind the young, quietly weeping Prince. He slowly placed the crown on his head, and spoke, “The King’s Man has now been granted the throne. By royal decree, I hereby name him the King of the Land. Let all that hear my words, spread the news across the land. And beware anyone that would challenge his claim, for it was the old King’s dying wish. ALL HAIL THE KING!“
And the room exploded with the repeated phrase, “ALL HAIL THE KING!”
Prince looked around, dumbfounded, the circle of guards glancing around and looking for any threats. All of them looked on him with affection, and loyalty. They had heard the final wishes of the old King. And now their new King would be something totally new and different.
The Grand Vizier nudged Prince, and whispered in his ear, “I know this is a lot to process, Your Majesty, but you really should say or do something. Tell everyone you accept this charge, and that you need to retire, to grieve the old king. “
Prince looked at the gaudily dressed Vizier, and took in a deep breath, then nodded, and moves towards the throne, the ring of guards parting to let him pass. Upon the throne, he sat, and settled in, the crown heavy on his brow.
“I accept this charge, and promise you, my people, to be a good and faithful King. And now, I dismiss you all – save the guards the you, Vizier. We must put the old king to rest in State, so that we may grieve him properly and bury him. And also, please take this man’s body to his family, and help them with his burial. “ He said, of the man the old King had killed.
And with that, he clapped his hands, and watched as his orders were obeyed. He slumped back on the throne, once everyone was gone, save the Vizier, and the Royal Physician.
“What now, Sire?” The Vizier asked, bowing. The Physician bowed as well.
“Now, I’m going to take a long bath, and figure out.. what the hell I just got myself into. “ He said in a soft voice.
Story By: Dehrynn Shepherd
Hair- ~Tableau Vivant~ Mystic (Store)
Eyeshadow- Clemmm – Insomniac (Store)
.Reckless. – Zane (TMD)