The King Who Could Not Say ‘No’

King Fauntleroy of Cartof wanted to say no. If only that was an option. No king of Cartof had said no to the seers for generations. They had learned long ago who held the true power in the kingdom.

 

It all started with a boy named Denny. Denny was born a peasant and grew up to be a stable boy. In those days, Cartof was ruled by King Rufus, better known as Ruthless Rufus. The king was a cruel, petty man who was quick to punish any failing he found. The people whispered and murmured that they needed a better king, but no one was brave enough to openly oppose their monarch. There was no relief in sight… except to those with second sight.

 

The seers prophesied that a hero would rise from humble beginnings to overthrow Rufus. Eventually, they determined that the hero was Denny. Denny readily accepted the words of the seers. Who was he to doubt prophecy?

 

Denny traveled throughout the kingdom, gaining followers. The people flocked to him. No one questioned his position as chosen hero. Who were they to doubt prophecy?

 

With his gathered masses, Denny camped outside Rufus’s fortress. Rufus himself came out to greet Denny. He had heard the prophecy as well and who was he to doubt it? Rufus surrendered with one condition: he would serve King Denny as an advisor.

 

And thus ended the most anticlimactic story ever told.

 

Since those days, kings of Cartof had learned to give deference to the seers. Denny had disagreed with them early on and soon there was a prophecy decreeing that he should abdicate. He, like Rufus, became an advisor to the next king. The same had happened to any later king that had dared tell the seers no.

 

Fauntleroy was stuck. If he said no, he would lose his crown and become lackey to whomever the seers chose next. If he said yes, he would be committing his people to a war he didn’t think they could win. There might not be a kingdom left for him to be king of.

 

Fauntleroy wanted to say no but he couldn’t, not with the seers. They would have to be eliminated first. But how do you eliminate someone who knows you’re coming?

One Reply to “The King Who Could Not Say ‘No’”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.