Maybe I’ll get lucky and he’ll fall onto the tracks. I can see it now. His arm gets wedged beneath a sleeper. He squirms. The station bell rings. He screams. The train is coming. I watch him as it hits, smiling as his head pops into paste.

I light up a smoke. It’s good.

The city streets are cold and quiet. Once a bustling hub of potential, this place is now nothing more than a disappointing deviation on the road to somewhere better. Liquor stores, adult bookshops and pawnbrokers are all that remain between the husks of gutted storefronts. Sin it seems, is always the last to leave.

I arrive at my destination. In the centre of town it sits, that which I loathe above all else – Supermart. From its entrance one could be forgiven for thinking it was built this very morning. Stacked products fill the shelves to capacity while shiny buffed floors give the impression that they’ve never seen feet. A flawless scene set for the saps that arrive as soon the store opens to gather up their precious groceries.

Pushing apart the plastic doors at the rear of the store however, reveals something else entirely. Bent boxes of stock line the mould caked walls. Dusty floors lay cracked and stained while a thick gruel trickles from the ceiling, dripping into the untended puddles of muck below.

I hunch before the bathroom mirror. It hides nothing. A thin receding hairline sits above a pair of sunken eyes. The last traces of youth have withdrawn, transforming already unfortunate features into a stale, expressionless void. I trade my earring for a tie and wash my hands. It’s time.

Realising that you’re stuck in a full time job you despise is like being diagnosed with a terminal illness. It starts with denial. Or optimism, if that’s how you decide to spin it. It’s only temporary, you tell yourself. You’ll overcome it soon enough. It’s but a mere a stepping-stone in the greater journey of life. Unfortunately, this doesn’t last long. Soon enough you find yourself dealing with the crushing weight of regret. Oh all the things I should have done! The years I’ve wasted. It’s only after sinking deep enough into this futility that you discover the most disturbing stage of all – acceptance. It’s here that you actually allow yourself to see the truth. It’s over. You stop even considering the possibility of anything else. This is it. You’re finished. Slowly but surely you learn to cast your dreams aside and forget what real control ever felt like. God dammit, I hate Mondays.

I start up register five. The same delightful machine I’ve been assigned to since the day I started. The buttons barely work, the monitor always freezes and something beneath the cash drawer smells of moist meat. The other staff rotate registers each shift. Not me though. I’m special.

Derek arrives to herald the opening of the store. He is a hairy, stout man who looks approximately five months pregnant at all times, wielding all the grace and splendour of a pig wrapped in ill-fitting human skin. Not that it matters. He inherited the entirety of Supermart years ago. Regardless of what anyone here thinks of him, within these walls he is King.

Supermart opens and the customers start to roll in.  Before long I’m having senior citizens enchant me with the same stories from a week ago. I barely need to be conscious for this now. Groceries are scanned and money is taken without so much as a single thought.

Hours pass.

Something shifts amidst the mediocrity. An unfamiliar shape seeps in. A new girl. Her presence is pure, a crisp illumination of life amongst the tragic sterility of Supermart. Register four blooms before me as I watch a goddess learn to weigh bananas. The way she stands. Her pale, perfect skin. Silken smooth black hair swept behind ears peppered with studs of silver. Breasts pressed up against her shirt just enough to turn any mortal man into a slobbering savage. She stops a moment and looks at me.
Our eyes touch.
I’m short of breath. Those eyes. Two blue jewels of ice striking me down where I stand. The blood inside my veins surges into an uproar, unsure of whether to feed my heart or just pump it all straight into my cock.

An old lady waves a hand across my face. She gestures at a chicken breast and asks questions I don’t hear. The moment ebbs away.

Finally finished. My life is my own again for a few hours. I clock off with a sense of satisfaction that borders on sexual, snatch the cigarettes from my locker and head out back.

Max is already out there waiting for me, nose deep in another science magazine he’s likely pinched from the front checkouts. He’s worked as the lone Supermart security guard for years now. Intelligent, kind, and comfortably handsome, he’s the type of guy I’d envy if I cared for such things.

I light up and blow some smoke in his direction. He quit almost a year ago but I know he still secretly appreciates the fumes I send his way.
“So, did you see her?” He asks as he tucks the magazine under his arm.
“See who?”
“You know who.”
I shrug.
“The new girl. Lorna.”
Lorna. Nice name.
“Are you okay? You seem a little down.”
“I’m fine.”
“Is it that guy at the station again?”
“I say you just stand up to him.”
I cough.
“Hey, I thought you quit?”
“I did.”
Max chuckles. “I’m telling you, it’s all about the mindset.”
“This is my last pack.”
“You know how much of a chimney I used to be. Believe me, I get it.”
“Sure you do.”
“Tell me, why it is that you think you smoke?”
“I like it.”
“Of course you do. But why?”
“I guess it’s…reliable.”
“What’s reliable?”
“I don’t know. The feeling.”
“Right. The feeling. Even if your entire world is falling down around you, that choice to step aside and spark one up is still yours and yours alone. Nobody can take that away from you. That’s why they’re so good when you’re upset. You crave that feeling even more. That control, that sense of…what’s the word I’m looking for? ”
“Exactly. The problem though, is that power isn’t real. It doesn’t fix or change anything. Nice as it may feel, it isn’t a solution. It’s an escape.”
“Maybe that’s enough for some people.”
“Maybe it is. I guess that’s up to you.”
I stare down at the cigarette, half finished in my hand.

Derek’s rotund turd of a head pops out the back door. “Max, that old klepto lady’s back. She’s getting rowdy. I need you out here.”
“Duty calls,” says Max as he heads back inside.

A young woman arrives on the platform while I wait for my train. Judging by the dark circles under her eyes and the Supermart bag stacked with nappies I peg her as a single mother. She exudes a palpable sense of loneliness, occasionally glancing up at me in the hope I offer some kind of interaction. I have nothing for her. I pretend to be more interested in the cracked LCD screen struggling to display the train timetable. She needs a knight in shining armour, not a lost soul in a stale Supermart uniform. The station bell rings. Our ride arrives and we board separate carriages in silence.

As soon as I step off the train I see him. Even in the dark I recognize his swagger, the unmistakable sound of his hoots and howls echoing down the street. His gang lingers here on a daily basis, harassing any who pass through the station gates. Although he is by far the smallest of the lot, he rectifies this shortcoming with an almost impressive aptitude for evil.

He spots me far quicker than I’d like, eager for the chance of another misguided display of masculinity. My muscles tense as fear trickles in. I’m still clinging to the hope of walking away unscathed but deep down I already know that’s just not on the cards. This is what he lives for.
“Well, well, well. If it isn’t our favourite check out chick.”
The same joke every time. I lower my head and keep walking.
He steps out in front of me, pressing an open palm across my chest. “Stop.”
I stop.
“Got a smoke I could pinch? I’m all out.”
All I can do now is co-operate and hope it doesn’t end in violence.
I hand them over.
He takes one out and slides the rest into his front shirt pocket.
I don’t react. I know that’s what he wants.

“Got a lighter bro? Lost mine.”
I offer it up.
“You gonna light me or what?”
The tension sits firm and thick in the back of my throat.
His underlings snigger as they creep up behind him.
My hand trembles as I lift it and flick the flint. I barely breathe.
He takes a long, casual draw and blows the smoke right in my face.
I put the lighter back in my pocket.
He scowls. “What do you think you’re doing?”
I don’t know what he’s talking about.
“You trying to be smart?”
I don’t respond. I don’t dare even look at him.
“You think you can just pocket my lighter and walk away?”
We both know it’s mine but this is his game and he makes the rules.
Whatever I say, whatever I do, I lose.
I think about making a run for it. I consider begging. I even contemplate crying, breaking down in a desperate plea for pity. Instead, I try something new. Something crazy. I speak.

“It’s my lighter. I bought it.”
He laughs. There’s excitement in his eyes. “Did you hear that? It’s his! He bought it!” He begins to bob and weave around me, licking his lips like he’s getting ready to eat.

A punch snaps out, striking deep into my eye.
I stagger a moment before lurching to the ground.
He yells something.
Pawing about in limp strokes, I search for composure amidst the urge to vomit. Yanked by the hair up onto my feet, I’m tossed between them like I’m nothing. Arms are pinned behind my back. I don’t resist.
He walks towards me while winding up another punch.
I wince.
A fierce blow to the jaw throws gunk on the road beside me.
He follows with a jab to the nose, popping it all back in a succinct snap.
Watch lights swim inside the skull. Give a dull glance. Shit. He’s already –
Blast of bone against the eye, same eye, the same damn eye.
Agony opens its embrace.
Jeers and jaws.
Wants the speak. “Just…just…”
“What’s this? The checkout bitch has something to say! Go on then! Spit it out!”
“Just…kill me.”
“I could you know. I really could. But then what would I do tomorrow?”
Cold blood and ungodly chills. The lights fall.

Drops of water on the face. Rain. It’s raining. Soft patter yields to a heavy flow. Can’t even die in the gutter in peace. A struggle to find feet, injections of ache with the rise. Look around. They’re gone. Make it home. Just make it home.

Open the door and slap the light switch. The globe emits a soft fizz then pops. Stare silently at the dead glass in the dark. Ragged breathing and falling rain.

Close my eyes and let the head spin. Can’t feel the face. Grab the pack of smokes saved for rainy days and walk over to the window. Slide one from the pack and watch the storm as it swallows the city. Breathe. Bring me your cancers, your heart disease and your yellow teeth. This one is worth it.

I stare at the lighter in my hand. Tonight should have been different. I try lighting the cigarette. Nothing. I try again. Nothing. Fuck off. One more time. Come on. Nothing. Not a spark, not a sound. Too wet. It’s ruined.

I can’t do this. I just, can’t take this anymore. I clench it in my fist, cursing the stupid scrap that’s abandoned me when I need it most. My teeth grit so tight they threaten to splinter in my mouth. There, alone in the darkness, is a moment.

I break.

With a scream I flog the lighter against the wall. It hits with a spark and falls to the floor. Frantically I fumble forward, not noticing the chair until it knocks my legs from under me. I wail, the horrific cry of a tortured creature reminding the universe it still exists.

Curled fingers quiver with rage. I grab the chair by its leg and hurl it towards the ceiling, growling as it bounces back down. Kick one of its legs clean off, sending it spinning away into the black. Hold it by the base and wrench a new leg from its socket. Brutally beat it with its own appendage until form finally gives way. My eyes dart around the room. The TV. Yes.

I lift it high and heave it down in an explosion of plastic and glass. Faint slivers of satisfaction swirl within the fury.

The head spins. I fall face first into bed.


Underwater. Outside softens into echoes and slips away. The warmth surrounds me. Holds me. I rise, my arms extending along the sides of the smooth stone bath. Liquid beads and falls from my skin. I accept this.

Amidst the steam my eye catches the crown. A pristine purple stone sits proudly at its crest. It reminds me of him. A beacon of both peace and truth, the late great King will never be forgotten. This world is indeed a darker place without his light to guide me.

I stand tall. The long mirror at the baths end hides nothing. A thick mane of hair hangs long, framing a pair of brightly burning eyes. This entire body bears the vigour of youth, muscles carved across it with an affluence only the divines would dare bestow.

My servant arrives to dress me. The plump imbecile once ruled one of the many lands I have conquered, yet now serves my every whim. Stepping from the bath, he drapes Father’s purple robe across my shoulders. It is almost as if the kind old King is embracing me himself, as he once did so many years ago. Collecting the crown, I place it atop my head. A strength surges within, my very soul expanding to fill its golden grasp. The castle bell tolls. It is time.

Four maidens stand before me, each with an ardent desire to serve as my Queen. I cast my gaze across them. Three fade, while the fourth falls into focus unlike anything these eyes have ever seen. Pure of presence, she is a crisp illumination of life within these old castle walls. The way she stands. Her pale, perfect skin. She lifts her head to look upon me.
Our eyes touch.
I am taken. Those eyes. Two smooth blue jewels of ice strike me down like no sword ever could. I step down from the throne and offer her my hand.
She takes it.

Deep within the royal chambers we stand. She wields an enticing confidence, sliding the gown from her figure with no more than a sensual brush. As the purple robe leaves my body she falls to her knees before me. My form falters as she takes me in her mouth, pulses of pleasure swaying my typically stern physique. Her very touch bears a mystic scent. I must have her.

I take her in my arms until her face meets my own. We kiss. Lighting strikes an open ocean. Flames ignite deep within the darkest forests.

I am forever changed.

I lower her down gently, her body sinking into the soft silks of the bed. As my humbled hands caress, her body arches with all the radiance of a siren waking in the sun. Parting her legs she draws me in, whispering sacred secrets of the soul.

We connect, riding together as if returning from battle with victory in our wake. The heavens themselves could fall upon these castle walls and none that matter would notice. We move as if we have loved a lifetime. We are one.


Six AM. The alarm clock rings. Loud, heavy on the head. Slap across the bedside table till it stops. Don’t feel like moving yet.

Can’t get comfortable. Stomach won’t sit right. Dry throat, itchy fingers. Stupid sheets all tangled in my legs. Fuck it, I’m up.

I find my lighter where I left it. Sitting a smoke between my lips I offer up a silent plea to the elements. Light. For the sake of all that I am, light this sucker up. A thin flame sputters from the flint. It’s enough. I almost draw the entire thing down in a single breath. It’s heaven.

This place is a mess. Don’t really feel like dealing with the fact that my chair and television are both now nothing more than ambiguous chunks scattered across the floor. I’m still wearing the Supermart uniform from yesterday. I give it a cautious sniff. Close enough. Popping open the window I stare out at the city, far too content with my cigarette to even consider cleaning up.

The curtain ruffles in the breeze, lapping gently at my arm. The purple. It’s familiar somehow, a faint reminder of something more. I take it in my hands, the cigarette falling from my fingers. I remember. I was King.

The dream is all I think about on my way to work. Its details remain elusive, lingering just beyond my grasp. All that I can place is a sentiment, a feeling. A longing for something lost.

The crackled blare of the train platform speakers shakes me from my thoughts. I look around the station, surprised to be here so soon. Thankfully my attackers are nowhere to be found. I can still hear it, the sound of punch after punch cracking against weak, frightened meat. The station bell rings. I scurry onto the train as soon as it arrives.

I’d kill for a smoke. The ache behind my eye swells with even the smallest bounce of the carriage. I’m alone save for a teenage couple sitting in front of me. I find myself watching them. There’s something the way she draws him in, whispering all her sensual secrets. The train could derail and crash and they’d barely even notice. They move as if they have loved a lifetime. They are one.

My stop. I light a cigarette, garnering the attention of the lovers for the first time since I stepped on board.
As the train doors open, the boy whines something at me about smoking.
I don’t care. I’m already gone.

Forgot that Max was starting early on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. Even from across the car park I can tell by the look on his face he’s getting ready to make a fuss.
“Jesus. What happened?”
“I’m fine.” I push past him and walk inside, well aware that I’ve only delayed the inevitable. Max has never been one for letting things slide.

Staring at my reflection in the Supermart bathroom I can see why he was worried. My eye looks like squashed sausage that’s been sitting in the sun. I work with what little I can find to clean it up but I think it’s time I faced facts. This is just going to be one of those days when people try and talk to me.

I’m still struggling to get register five going by the time the store opens. Glancing up at the sound of customers, I notice Lorna a few posts down. It’s strange. My good eye widens, once fleeting thoughts falling into place. Flames within a forest, a storm across the sea. How could I forget? It was you, you who changed me so. My love. My Queen.
“What are you doing? Your register isn’t even on yet!”

I glare as he lumbers past and makes his way over to help Lorna get started. Once she’s up and running he turns his attention back to me.
“What happened to your face?” He calls out across the store.
A few curious customers look to me for a response.
I ignore him and go about my work.

Derek toils away for most of the morning on his latest passion project – an absurdly tall tower of cereal boxes. Occasionally he leers in my direction, his oily features gleaming under the store’s fluorescent lights. It’s only once his tower is complete that he actually approaches me to deliver his lecture.
“What’s wrong with your face?” He asks. “You look like a dropped pizza.”
“I fell.”
“You fell? That’s retarded.”
I stare at the single pen atop my register.
“That Lorna’s nice isn’t she?”
“Hadn’t noticed.”
“I don’t normally do staff but in this case I might have to make an exception.”
She wouldn’t touch you.
“Just look at those tits.”
I don’t respond.
“Come on. It’s pretty obvious you’ve been scoping her out.”
“No it’s not. I mean I -”
“Relax. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competition.” He makes a gun gesture with his fingers and shoots it at his crotch, nodding as he slowly backs away. God knows what it’s supposed to mean.

It’s a long day, drawn out all the more by the abysmal quality of human moving through my register. An old woman with a small wart on the tip of her tongue explains to me in great detail how she doesn’t like anything. A well-dressed businessman erupts into a tirade of verbal abuse when I accidentally short-change him a few cents. The only thing getting me through it all is Lorna. I can barely take my eyes off her.

As I count up the cash drawer at the end of my shift, I hear laughter. A sweet, soft sound that stirs my very soul. Looking over to Lorna I’m shocked to discover that Max is the source of her amusement. It makes sense. He’s a good guy. This is probably how it starts. The great Supermart romance. They’ll fall in love and leave this place forever. It’s probably for the best.

I clock off and grab the smokes from my locker.
On my way out Lorna and I cross paths. Alone together for the first time I attempt to introduce myself. Unfortunately, all I manage to muster is a faint squeak that I’m not entirely sure she even hears.

I’m already on my second cigarette by the time Max arrives out back.
We stand a moment in silence.
“You already know what happened.”
He smiles.
“Stop looking at me like that.”
“I’m proud of you.”
“What? Why?”
“You did it.”
“Did what?”
“You stood up for yourself.”
“What are you…” The smoke catches in my throat. I’d forgotten.
“You know it’s in there now. It’ll change you.”

“Is that still the same pack from yesterday?” He asks.
No. “Yeah.”
“How many left now?”
I look inside. “One.”
“Wow, last one hey? Make it count.”
“Have you talked to Lorna yet?”
“She’s nice, huh?”
“Hadn’t noticed.”
Max laughs. “So, what else is new then?”
“Come on. I’ve already finished my magazine for the week. You’re all I’ve got.”
“Well, I did…nah, it’s nothing.”
“Come on! Spill.”
“I had this dream last night.”
“Oh yeah? What about?”
I lower my head.
Max smirks. “Oh, that kind of dream hey?”
“No. It was more than that.”
“What do you mean?”
I look up. “I was King.”
“King of what?”
“Everything. I was a better, stronger version of myself.” I was perfect.
“Sounds nice.”
“It was.”
“I read something about dreams not too long ago actually. A whole lot of scientists were trying to work out why we have them, the process behind it all.”
“Did they figure anything out?”
“Nothing solid. A few interesting theories though.”
“Like what?”
“Most of them were based around the idea of it just being the subconscious working through your day.”
“So why am I dreaming that I’m King then? Where does that come from?”
“You know now that you mention it, they did say something about dreams involving royalty.
“Turns out it’s quite common for people suffering from repressed sexual urges.”
“What kind of urges?”
“Are you sure you want to know?”
“Just tell me, Max.”
“Well, according to this study…bestiality.”
“You’re a dick.”
He sniggers.
“I shouldn’t have told you.”

“You’re probably dreaming about being a King because that’s what you need to be dreaming about.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Think of it as a kind of filtration. It’s sorting you out. Maybe you need a lesson. Maybe you need a pick me up. Sometimes, you might even need a nightmare. What ever it takes to get your head back on track.”
“It’s why recurring dreams are so rare. We’re always dealing with different stuff.”
“Hadn’t really thought about it like that before.”
“Hell of a thing, the human brain. Makes you wonder if you could chart it all out, find what kind of stuff causes certain dreams for people. Maybe even control it.”
“Is that possible?”
“Who knows? Even the most similar of days have their differences. The best bet would probably be trying to replicate whatever made the most impact.”
“You mean like getting beaten up by a bunch of punk teenagers?”
He chuckles. “Exactly.”

A cold darkness rises as the sun slips away. The station is deserted, save for an odd odour and the occasional piece of trash. I open my pack and stare a while at the solitary smoke within. I guess this is it. My last cigarette.

I draw it out and put the empty pack back in my pocket. Tenderly I brush it along my upper lip, savouring the scent. I take it in my mouth, revelling in its first hints of flavour as I lift the lighter to meet it. With a satisfying flick flame bursts into being, the crisp tobacco igniting at its tip. I inhale, sweet smoke sliding across my tongue before descending deep into the depths.

The station bell rings. The train is here, a few minutes earlier than it should be. I panic. I’ve only just lit this thing up. I start to puff as quickly as I can, violently sucking it down until my throat collapses into a splutter. This was my last cigarette. It was meant to be perfect. The train doors open. Fuck. I toss it down onto the tracks and reluctantly climb aboard.

Leaving the station, I hear the all too familiar sound of thuggery from around the corner. They spot me leaving and begin to prowl in my direction.
“Well, well, well. What do we have here? My very own favourite checkout chick.”
Same joke again. Exceptional.
His stooges fall into formation behind him, sniggering as he struts up to meet me.
I barely listen as he spouts his drivel in my face.
I’m still a little uncertain about how I want this to play.
“You even listening bitch?” He shouts with a shove to my chest.
“No. I’m not.” Did I just say that?
He looks just as surprised as I am.
“Getting cocky are we?” He brings his face in close. I look straight down into his eyes, a remarkably unfaltering stare that lasts several seconds.
He lets out an odd laugh.
I know the sound all too well.
He’s nervous.

“Can you believe this shit?” He asks as if he’s expecting someone to answer.
With a grunt he lunges forward and snatches the front of my shirt.
I tense, waiting for the first blow.
Instead I’m pushed away, off the footpath and onto the road outside the station.
“Piss off check out bitch. You ain’t worth my time.” He’s turned his back to me before he’s even finished speaking.
“That’s it?” I ask.
The entire group turns towards me in disbelief.
“What’d I just say to you? Fuck off! Or d’ya wanna get smacked around again?”
Maybe I do.
He shakes his head and turns back around.
“Pussy.” I proclaim in a voice I barely recognize as my own. Can’t help but smile.
Then finally, he takes a swing.

The punch cracks with a shrill white.
I fall, a slow descent broken only by the cement against my spine. Four hands flutter before me. The pain comes, though the fear has already begun to fade.
“Who’s the pussy now huh?” He yells while stepping back.
Vision blurs around an occasional dash of clarity. I can’t believe it.
He’s actually walking away again.
I sit up and rub the head. Slippery. Press my palms against the ground and stand.
Nobody seems to notice.
“S’that all there is then?” I ask aloud.
They’re stunned.
Rocked with a sudden wave of nausea. Could be concussed.
Two staunch shapes pin my arms behind me, twisting them back until my shoulders start to burn.
Yelling in my face.
Can’t hear the words. Faint amongst the fiends.
Smack in the cheek sends the skull jittering sideways.
Sweet saliva. Maybe vomit.
Another hit clicks the jaw.
Tasting blood and don’t like the flavour.
Another in the eye. Another. Another.
Got it. Got what I came for.
Hands on the neck.
No. I don’t want it, I already…is that oh no, is that what I –
A knee.
Thunderclap. Expensive pleasure. Darkness.

Tattered breath as I taste the road. Inhale a stone and can’t spit it out. An hour or so passes. What kind of wretch seeks this? Ugly question. Standing brings a hurt that touches all. Vigour pressed with every step, grief held hard and close all the way home.

Open the door and stumble inside. Try the light switch that won’t work. Stupid. Stagger to the bathroom. Want to see it. Need to know.

A grim sight. Scuffed up skin and empty eyes. Brush a hand against the face, if only to feel something soft against the flesh. Stings with the slightest touch. Stop.

Lean against the window, its purple curtain stained with shadow. Hear the breath struggle with its once simple task. Sink into a gentle rock, a soaking warmth each time skin meets glass. Delirium nurses with heavy hands as the knocks ascend in sensual force. A sickly moan as the head rolls back, smears of sweat and blood abound.

Take me.

Heave the head, glass fracturing with a sickening crunch. Swallow the scream and spit a blunt growl. Blood behind the eyes, acid in the soul. Take the jaw in hand and try to tear it off.

Stand only to fall back down, skull strikes the window into shatters. Slump against the frame as fever finds its place. Fury fumes and drowns the pain. Squealing, squirming hands coil into fists and begin punching at the ground. Bloodied knuckles and cheap chipped linoleum until red cement begins to surface. Violent sobs take all that’s left.

The chill pours in and over me. The curtain finds my grasp. Tear its skin until it falls. Curl beneath until there’s nothing left to see.


I rise. A tender afternoon light falls across my chambers. The purple robe lies long across the bed while my golden crown sits perched atop the table beside it. I don these adornments with poise worthy of the royal blood.

Here stands a King amongst men. An illustrious and inspiring force that will re-forge these lands into no less than heaven on earth. May the songs of my rule be forever sung, so that all who follow remember the King who defined the crown.

I gaze across the groves from the arched window of my chamber. Rich and thick beds of budding violets, the ancient union of earth and seed now tamed in my honour. I catch a hint of crimson. A single red rose peaks amongst the purple.

I hear laughter from below. A sweet, soft sound that stirs my very soul. Looking down at my love I am stunned to discover that my Captain of the Guard is the source of her delight. It makes little sense. This man is the finest of all my knights, a respected resident of this keep. I fear this may mark the birth of treachery, an adulterous affair within the castle walls. Such a display does not bode well for either of them.

My love returns with the first hint of dusk, a ripe bouquet of violets in hand. The groves have left her tainted. Faint allusions of filth mark her typically flawless skin. I request she bathes with her King, so that we may wash the sins of the day away together.

She waits for me amidst the steam. Her pert breasts sit just beneath the surface, the smooth skin of her shoulders radiating with the water’s warmth. I cast off my robe, eliciting a gasp from her excited lips. Lowering myself into the bath, I beckon.

She glides toward me, ripples of divine heat rolling outward from her faultless form. My lust takes shape and boldly pierces the pool before her. She takes me within her grasp, spirited and sensual young hands inducing a pleasure worthy of fables. Overcome, I lift her up and onto my Kingly might. We feed the water our fire, her moans of pleasure echoing out along the castle walls.

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