The king rose early. His queen lay still-bound in silk, sleeping soundly atop the toil of faceless millions. Beautiful and delicate, great panes of glass stood as emissary to the cool spring morning; turning away the crisp, earth-laiden air while permitting a tepid flood of pale light to illuminate the intricate fineries of a life possessed.
Amassed over a lifetime of ardently honed discrimination, the king’s estate stood as testament to his worth and individuality. Conditioned since infancy to diligently select or reject from life’s abundant diversity, his sharp eyes scrutinized all they surveyed. Moved to possess beauty, they disregarded any shades of life whose tones did not gratify.
The king’s beautiful world was balanced atop the panicle of a human mountain whose base were the innumerable souls required to elevate Man to such dizzying heights. Well practiced as he was, he discarded such odious musings. He had not chosen this, thus he was absolved.
The king bathed in rose-scented water, dressed in beautifully tailored cloth and slipped soft feet into polished leather. He emerged from his castle, beholding the realm over which he was master. On either side, from castles of their own, the neighboring kings emerged.
The hollow taste of contempt quickly coated in the dull sheen of habitual friendliness, each king honored the next with a quick nod. A clipped wave. Each boarded their own luxurious vessel and eased it onto the paved vine that connected their kingdoms with millions of identical others.
From deep, unexamined places spun the adage “All men are free. All men are equal.” Within each sovereign were these words seared. Working endlessly in the building and keep of their kingdoms, they asked not by whom.
The King rose as he willed. His Queen, ever-wakeful, hummed with delicate precision the melody of ten billion feet marching in unison. Shrouded as he was by her intricate beauty, The King’s unseen face bore the sly smirk of a magician. While Great Kings of Old bound their subjects in irons, he alone saw the delicate gold chains that everywhere bound her.
On a far away hill, an apple tree rose from the fertile humus of perpetual sacrifice. Its roots wound deep into ancient soil, millions of leaves twisting in the sun before perishing on the heap below.
How sweet the fruit.
How glorious the seeds.