Despicable King (wwc #132 - despicable character)

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     King Hatedius was the most loathed creature whomever walked upright on two legs.  He ruled his kingdom with a vengeance and only cared for one person in the whole world -- himself.  As long as he was happy and everyone else was miserable, he was happy. His servants were expected to work twenty-three hours a day (with only one hour for sleep), seven days a week. Many died as a result of being overworked; the ones who survived all of those grueling hours of waiting on their king hand and foot prayed for the sweet release of death.  


     Hatedius' servants were expected to cook extravagant six-course meals for dinner while they themselves were only fed one slice of bread and half a glass of water each day. They were expected to clean every inch of the castle; a speck of dust found would mean no food or water for the week. Sometimes their dastardly ruler would pour a pile of dirt onto the floor just to make it so they couldn't eat. Well, actually he wouldn't pour the dirt himself; he had servants for this, of course. 


     One servant named Politus was even expected to bathe, clothe, and feed King Hatedius. Politus was more like a right hand man to the king, even though he was always wrong. He was never good enough, yet he worked harder than the rest.  His list of daily (and nightly) requirements could stretch down from the tallest tower of the castle all the way to the ground. He had to prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. He was expected to roll out the red carpet so the king could walk without having to have his feet touch the floor. He was put in charge of lashing misbehaved fellow servants, as well as, taking care of the king's dog Midas. Politus never complained for he was too kind to say anything bad about anyone. 


     On one cold morning in the middle of the sixth month of the year, King Hatedius requested Politus in his private chambers immediately. Once they were alone, the king came right out and said, "Politus, I'm dying." This was quite a shock! Completely unexpected. The king had never once seemed ill but for maybe a few cases of the sniffles every now and then.  Politus didn't know what to say, so he started laughing. He just kept laughing and laughing. "What? Why are you doing that? Stop it! Stop it right now!"


     "I'm sorry, sir. I can't help it. I just know that this will be great news for everyone." The king wasn't so amused, and he started to get red with anger. 


     "Politus! You're fired!" Politus stopped laughing. But only for a second, because the idea of being fired by a dead man was too great of a joke, so he kept on laughing. Two guards were sent in to drag him off to the prison cell, and still he laughed about it.  For the first time in his lifetime, a tear streamed down the king's cheek. And he knew what he needed to do. 


     Only two more months was all the time King Hatedius had left, and the time felt as if it was both dragging on and flying by so quickly.  He came down with a terrible fever, which only made his illness get worse and worse.  He couldn't sleep or eat; he remained in his bed, soaking in sweat, struggling to take each breath.  His dog Midas became ill himself.  Finally, on the sunniest day on the calendar, both the king and Midas passed away in their sleep. His servants were overjoyed, and a glorious celebration was in order. They all danced and drank wine and laughed together. Everyone was happy; they knew their next king couldn't possibly be worse than King Hatedius. 


      Politus was freed from his prison cell, since the king was now dead. A heavy weight had been lifted from his shoulders. He took a bottle of wine from the party and began to roam the halls of the castle. The place felt different. Felt empty.  But he kept smiling as he went from room to room. He entered the ex-king's private chambers and trashed everything in sight. He tore the sheets. He broke the mirrors. He even yanked the curtains from the windows. Everything in the room was a reminder of the man who only cared for himself and always put others down.  Destroying all of these things was a release, and he planned to burn it all to ashes. But then, he spotted an envelope with the words, "My Personal Affairs" scrolled across. 


     In the envelope, he found a letter that read as follows: 


Dear Whomever Finds This Letter,


     As you all know by now, I have passed on from this world onto the next.  It was a terrible illness that took my life and made me feel weak and miserable every last one of my days.  I am aware that such pain and agony for me must mean great joy for all of you.  And to all of you, I say this: I am sorry. I am sorry I mistreated everyone. I am sorry I made everyone work so hard for so little. And I am sorry I was not a better king. I know my apologies to all of you certainly does not make up for what I have done, but know that I plan to do better now.   


     So to each and every servant, I leave a fair share of gold and jewelry, enough to live on for the rest of your lives.  Also, to each and every servant, I leave plenty of food and water and wine, so that none of you ever go hungry again.  And finally, to my most faithful servant Politus, I leave my crown, my throne, and my heart. I beg of his forgiveness most of all. ..........................I will always love you, my son.


Cordially Yours, 


King Hatedius    


      

Created: Jun 17, 2017

Tags: story, shortstory, weeklywritingchallenge, wwc, despicable, despicablecharacter, king, hate, love, death, letter, fiction, fantasy, royalty, wwc132, runrunrun, rosellaweigand, hitrecord, drama, sad

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