Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Wilderness of Whispers

Once upon a time, there was a kingdom in the wilderness ruled by a wild king.

The Wild King did not sit upon any throne, but hunched himself on his hind legs in the middle of his court. He wore no clothes and had the palest white skin, with eyes as black as coal. When he opened his mouth, rows of sharp teeth could be seen surrounding his pale pink tongue. His fingers were long knives that could cut flesh from the bone.

Each citizen constructed their own home from the wilderness around them. Each day, they would toil in the fields or cut wood to build up their homes. They taught their children to be thankful when they awoke, for waking meant that you were alive for another day.

After the day's work was done, when night descended and the canopy of stars was overhead, the citizens of the kingdom in the wilderness would carefully look around and silently say goodbye. Then, they would lay in their beds and close their eyes and pray for sleep.

And each night, the Wild King would go from home to home and whisper. He would whisper to husbands and wives and children. No one knew what he whispered. If he found someone who was still awake, he would slit their throat with one sharp, quick cut and feast upon their flesh. And in the morning, when the citizens would find the body, they would declare the dead to be one of the Awakened, shades cursed to stay awake forever, unable to tell anybody what they know.

And the Wild King would sit hunched in his court waiting for nightfall, waiting to whisper once again.

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