Okay, so here’s a little thing for my fellow Flinterforges. It’s a first draft so read with kind eyes.
The new King’s ire was to be feared. He had already sent both his brothers into exile and several of his predecessor’s courtiers to the headsman before word of a new King had even found its way to the outer realms. His Majesty saw treachery in every shadow, deceit upon every face. He wore his paranoia like a shroud and lashed out at anyone who displeased him, so convinced of their duplicity that all feared to be in his presence.
So when the royal jeweler presented the Glass Crown to the new King, his nerves betrayed him and the ornament of station fell from his shaking hands and shattered at the feet of the King. Seeing this as an affront to his rise to power, the King had the jeweler cut into pieces, one for every piece of shattered glass. He then commanded the jeweler’s apprentice to repair the ancient artifact.
“Your Highness, the Glass Crown is beyond repair. I will make you a new crown—“
“No! The Glass Crown has adorned the brow of every rightful King for the last thousand years. Now that I am the rightful King, it will adorn mine as well. Fail me and I will have your head. A fortnight hence, you will present me with a crown. Either mine…or yours.”
Such a task was impossible. But to deny the King would mean a cruel and bloody end. So the apprentice set about the task with a diligence and purpose that would have made his mentor proud, yet he still did not possess the skill to repair the Glass Crown. There were to many pieces, too many facets, and he had few too many hands to make whole what had been sundered. Not even his dearly departed mentor could have done such a thing.
Two weeks passed. The jeweler’s apprentice was not going to be able to present the Glass Crown to the King on the following day. And when the King was presented with the apprentice’s failure, he would have his head.
Knowing it was his last night on earth, the jeweler’s apprentice sought solace in the arms of a whore. But instead of indulging in one final night of lust, he only rested his head in the whore’s lap and wept. When the whore inquired as to his sorrow, the apprentice explained the impossibility of his task and how, on the morrow, the King would have his head for his failure.
“I haven’t enough hands for the task,” he cried.
The whore caressed his brow with a gentle finger and whispered in his ear, “There is magic that can help you. Here, let me show you.”
That night, the apprentice experienced ecstasies he never knew were possible.
He stumbled weak-kneed in the twilight of early dawn, the whore’s enchantments fresh in his ear. His body begged for sleep, but paid it no mind. He went straight away to his workshop, reciting the whore’s incantations with the same lustful exuberance that set his world afire. The myriad shards of The Glass Crown floated in the delicate caress of Many Hands and the jeweler’s apprentice made whole what had once been sundered.
He presented the King with The Glass Crown, now flawless once again. For a moment, the King seemed disappointed that he had no cause to execute the apprentice, but the beauty of the crown pushed all thoughts of murder from his mind. But murder was still cause for the day for when the King placed the crown upon his head, the invisible hands that mended the ornament of station took to the King and undid him with such vicious and violent means that, save for the jeweler’s apprentice and a sympathetic whore, all in the kingdom believed that The Glass Crown had found the usurper unworthy.