Tale #120: While The Peasants Tended Their Trees

Once upon a time a king and queen lived in their castle, and tended to their selves, while in their gardens the peasants slept in tents, and tended to their trees.

In the spring an ill wind blew, and the castle closed its gate, and while those within the castle waited quietly until it had passed, those outside were left to fend for themselves.

Autumn came, and the fruit fell from those forgotten trees. In the coming weeks it rotted in the sun, until the whole land choked beneath the stench of putrefaction. But by then there were none to smell it, and all was silent, except for the rustling of the wind in the leaves.

Or so the story goes.

__________

Notes:

1. Written in March 2020

__________

Support An Accumulation Of Things

If you like the things you've read here please consider subscribing to my patreon. Subscribers get not just early access to content and also the occasional gift, but also my eternal gratitude. Which I'm not sure is very useful, but is certainly very real. Thank you.

The Castle At The End Of Time
















__________

Notes:

1. Written in June and July, 2007
2. The castle at the end of time is sort of based on the castle in Walking On Glass by Iain Banks
3. Or at least on how I misimagined it

__________

Support An Accumulation Of Things

If you like the things you've read here please consider subscribing to my patreon. Subscribers get not just early access to content and also the occasional gift, but also my eternal gratitude. Which I'm not sure is very useful, but is certainly very real. Thank you.

Tale #9: The Saddest King Of All

There was a king in the woods who was ever so sad. Every day he looked out of the window of his castle and sighed. “If only these trees did not block my view,” he thought. “Then I would be happy.” So he ordered his soldiers to cut down all the trees in the forest.

The next day he looked out of his window again, only now he could see another castle on the horizon. Again he sighed. “If only I had never seen that castle, I would still be king of all I surveyed,” he thought. “Then I would be happy.” So he ordered his treasurer to buy the castle from whomsoever it was that owned it.

The next day the king and all his court travelled there to the castle by the sea and set themselves up in their new home. In the morning he looked out of his new window and saw before him the sea. “I hate the sea,” he realised, sighing more deeply than ever before, for he knew the sea could not be controlled, and nor could it be moved away. “If only I was back in my old home, quietly away from the endless roar of the waves. Then I would be happy.”

So he went back to his old home, which was silent and empty. He sat down upon his throne, and began to weep. “If only there was someone here to talk to,” he said. “Then I would be happy.”

But there was no-one for him to talk to, for his family and the members of his court much preferred living by the seaside and would not return. And so he wept and wept, all alone, for the rest of his days.

As the years passed, the forest grew back up around the castle until the trees were thicker and darker and deeper than ever before (for there was no-one there to cut them back), and the many empty rooms of the castle were claimed by crows and foxes and other creatures of the forest (for there was no-one there to shoo them away), and in time the walls themselves began to crumble (for there was no-one to repair them) and eventually the king died, unhappy and unloved and unremembered, in the ruins of his home.

And all the while the city by the sea prospered.

__________

Notes:

1. Written June 6th, 2014
2. The title, premise and opening line of this story are inspired by (or parodies of) The Saddest Bear Of All

__________

Support An Accumulation Of Things

If you like the things you've read here please consider subscribing to my patreon. Subscribers get not just early access to content and also the occasional gift, but also my eternal gratitude. Which I'm not sure is very useful, but is certainly very real. Thank you.