Once, twice upon a time!
By Jing Villamil
THIS is not a fairy tale. This is a true story cloaked in naughty faerie.
History tells us not all rulers end their reign with their anointed heir taking over rightfully, respectfully. Some rulers are unceremoniously deposed by others driven by ambition or powered by greed. The old king in this story was ripped off of his throne, his kingdom, his dignity. The way it was done was outrageous. It was tragic; it was sad. Only those with unscrupulous brilliant minds backed with so much brilliant gold not necessarily unscrupulously gained, can get away with such a brilliant plot scrupulously so – to oust a people’s king and to keep him and his loyal followers indefinitely ousted.
Stripped of everything he stood for years, the old king, nevertheless, opened the castle doors on his birthday to bid his people a proper farewell. It was truly a heart-wrenching event. The tables were thoughtfully well-stocked; but it was not the food that brought the people from all walks of life trekking in till the grounds groaned. They came to clasp the old king’s hand, to pat his frail shoulders, to wish him more strength. He was a good king; there was no re-writing history.
Then, wonder of all wonders, the new king wandered in! He was not uninvited; royal protocol and innate goodness dictated he be. But he was totally unexpected. Maybe he sashayed in to show he had nothing to do with the fall of the old king. Maybe he wanted to gauge for himself how far he can get away with anything, everything. For sure, it was not to wish the old king a healthier, younger self or to encourage a deposed’s return to power! Maybe this was one of those creatures who exalt with the sight, sound and scent of a jittery twittering flock staring at him aghast! This might just be so! To the flock who now wished they had trekked out to somewhere else earlier (after the clasp, the pat, and the strengthener) and not still be here at this so very awkward moment – the new king was definitely very strange bird!
For the next few days, months, this new king would be strutting around the kingdom (now magnificently his), with arms akimbo or hugging himself, his shadow minion strutting not too far behind his ritzy friends off with the job of the old king’s workers, make them plead in shame for 3-months-renewable of their contracted lives that they may crossover to our privileged side, let the children eat cookies not rice, let that bridge drown in their tears, etc… etc.
And so, it came to pass, in the midst of this truly overwhelming darkness, the old king’s top tough knight took the trusty rusty bow and arrows, the shield and sword – all too heavy, all too cold. The knight staggered with the weight, then steadied. The knight climbed on the horse. The remaining few advisers pleaded to the knight: do not go forth – the dragons are out, the beasts & beasties roar loud, they are not kind, they will shred you to pieces, swallow what is warm & good & best in you! The knight shushed their fears with: “There is no other knight left.” After which said, the last knight rushed past fast towards the fight. You must know, the knight won that fight. But not yet the war. Soon, the knight shall ascend to the throne, now just a plain chair hewed by a people’s might.
A beastie though had taken hold of the chair’s wooden legs. And that beastie has not stopped shaking it loose since.
Pray, this knight shall not be the last good knight.
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