Tale #91: The King’s Wives

The king kept his wives on an island from which none could escape. And every year he sent more wives to the island as new lands were conquered and became part of his kingdom.

One day, he decided to sail out alone to the island to spend some time with his women. But when he arrived, there were no wives to be seen.

“Where are you, my dears?” he called out into the silence, but there was no reply. And when he tried to leave he found the winds had fallen still and it was impossible for him to sail away on the becalmed seas.

He spent the night in his favourite chambers, but found it hard to sleep in the huge and empty bed. He woke twice to the sound of voices, but when he called out they fell silent, and there was no reply. The third time he woke there was nothing but silence, and when he tried to call out he found he could not.

The wives woke in the morning and were surprised to find the king’s boat moored at the shore. But of the king there was no sign, and though they called his name across the island they received no reply.

They sailed away without him, and where that island is now, none can say.



1. Written in July 2016


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