Adrian handed the bearded stall vendor seventeen dollars and was given his lunch in return. With the ridiculous amount of sunlight in Resurrected Hills, Adrian was more than grateful for the small plastic packet of water included in his meal. He took a seat at an empty wooden table and opened up the toaster-sized cardboard box. Before Adrian could even take a sip from his water packet however, a shout louder than the rest became the center of attention. “Lord Simon, Ruler of Resurrected Hills is approaching! Make way, peasants!”
The towering bodybuilder who announced this began shoving people left and right, clearing a path for the king’s chariot. Moments later, a majestic, white steel chariot entered the crowded streets, pulled by two of the most beautiful white horses ever bred. “Damn,” Adrian muttered to the vendor, “This Lord Simon is a pretty big deal, huh?”
“The biggest”, the hairy, overweight vendor replied.
The metallic chariot eventually came to a complete stop in the middle of the street. The door opened and Lord Simon stepped out, accompanied by two incredibly scary guards. Correction: a child stepped out of the chariot, accompanied by two incredibly scary guards. “Uh, is that Lord Simon’s son?” Adrian whispered as he slurped up a piece of pork from his steamy bowl of noodles.
“No, no,” the vendor replied, “That is Lord Simon!”
“Just looks like some dumb kid, to me,” Adrian snickered, “He’s even got braces.”
The “dumb kid” (better known as the Almighty Lord Simon of Resurrected Hills) stood in the center of the market square beside the fountain. “Good afternoon, my loyal subjects,” his prepubescent voice squeaked, “Welcome to another glorious day in Resurrected Hills, made possible only by my impeccable performance as king!”
“Listen, outsider,” the vendor snapped, “You’d better shut your mouth if you want to live. If Lord Simon had heard that, he’d – “
“HEARD WHAT?!”the brown haired boy screeched from the market square.
The king and his two bodyguards approached the outdoor noodle shop, ready to toss some unlucky outsider into the dungeon. From a safe distance away, everyone else circled around the noodle shop, whispering amongst themselves; predicting sure death for the big-mouthed wanderer.
“My deepest apologies, Lord Simon,” the stall vendor pleaded as he knelt down before the king, “He’s new here. He doesn’t knowanything. Please spare him, and most importantly, spare me!Don’t be angry, don’t be angry…”
Tears formed in the corner of his eyes, causing Adrian to feel a pang of guilt. “Hey, Lord Simon, I’m sorry. First day, I’m unfamiliar with Resurrected Hills, it’d be cool if you gave us a break, you know?”
“Sorry, outsider,” the little golden-crowned brat sneered, “But I’m not cool with that. In fact, I’m feeling kind of angry.”
Everyone within earshot suddenly trembled. The reverberation was noticeable enough to feel like a mini-earthquake of fear. Adrian had traveled all over Europe. There were a few tough spots, but none of them could stop him. A child pretending to be a king? This was going to be easy. “Listen, you little brat: I don’t know why the hell someone decided to give absolute power to a kid, but I’m not playing along. I don’t know why they’re all so afraid of you, but I’m not. I’m also not going to take this anymore. So if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be leaving, ‘your majesty’.”
“Or, you know, toss me into the dungeon. That’s cool too!” Adrian shouted through the heavy door as the guards walked up the staircase to the right, leaving him alone with the rats and an unconscious prisoner.
The cell was cramped and poorly ventilated. Without windows, it felt like he was breathing recycled sweat and blood. “You opened your big mouth too, eh?” a broken voice chuckled.
Adrian turned around to see his cellmate, staring at him from across the cell… so about three feet away. “This isn’t one of those, ‘I was just like you once, and I’ve been in this cell for forty years’, kind of things is it?” Adrian winced.
“Oh no,” the poorly-groomed prisoner responded, “I’ve been in here for sixty years.”
“Fantastic”, Adrian groaned.
“So, have you figured out why the people worship him yet?” the cellmate asked.
Adrian shook his head in confusion. “Wait for the moonrise”, his cellmate instructed.
“Whoa, what was that?!” Adrian gasped, awakening abruptly in the dank, cramped cell.
“Simon’s asleep”, his cellmate James replied, “You really pissed him off earlier today, I guess.”
“Care to explain?” Adrian whispered, his mind lingering on the noises outside.
“Simon was once a peasant’s child, but he was born with supernatural powers. His dreams shape reality. Good dreams = good reality, bad dreams = bad reality. It’s simple really. And as you know, your dreams are determined by daily events. If you had a good day, you’re more likely to have good dreams. If you’re really stressed out or worried, your dreams will reflect as much.”
“So…” Adrian slowly pieced together.
“You really stressed the kid out,” James chuckled, “His father adored Simon when he was a baby. That man practically had the town grovelling at his feet. But when Simon got older, he began to have ideals of his own; ideals which did not include his father. You can pretty much guess what happened afterwards.”
“Haven’t you guys ever tried, you know, killing the demon in his sleep?” Adrian cruelly suggested.
There was a long pause. “I’ve never… no one’s ever considered child murder”, James muttered.
“Well,” Adrian triumphantly stated, “I am. A kid or not, he’s kind of evil. He’s got to go.”
“Would you like me to sneak you out? I know a secret passage”, James offered.
“Why yes, that’d be lovely, James”, Adrian replied.
The two prisoners stood at the secret exit, realizing that they might never see each other ever again. “Be strong, Adrian,” James encouraged, “Kill my son.”
“I totally saw that coming!” Adrian lied as he slid down the side of the steep hill, ready to face Lord Simon in his castle.
At the back door of the castle, Adrian’s break-in attempt turned out unsuccessful and he was captured by Adrian’s guards. “Come on, you guys,” Adrian desperately begged, “Do you want to be ordered around by this brat for the rest of your lives?!”
“We don’t conform because we have to”, a fiendish, sinister voice remarked.
“Who are you?!” Adrian shouted in reply, breaking free from the guards who held him tight.
“Simon’s mother,” the voice answered, “And like I said, this is a choice.”
“But, why – “
“Doom comes when Simon isn’t content with his life, but do you know what happens when he has good dreams? Money rains from the sky.”
“So you’re keeping him happy just so that you can use him for your own greedy purposes?” Adrian deduced, “Maybe I was wrong, he isn’t the evil one in this kingdom after all.”
“Say what you will,” the disembodied voice sneered, “But Resurrected Hills is one of the wealthiest kingdoms in the world, and it’s all thanks to our tolerance of my son.”
“And what will you do when he finds out and decides that he doesn’t like your get-rich-quick scheme?”
“Why, we’ll – “
A bloodcurdling scream rang out as the sound of tearing flesh echoed through the castle halls. Adrian shivered as a monstrous shadow appeared on the walls. The guards fled for their lives, but Adrian could not move an inch. He was paralyzed. “I think he heard you”, Adrian whispered, too nervous to even blink.
Suddenly, the shadow of the behemoth disappeared and the figure of young Simon approached the terrified Adrian. “Hello, outsider,” Simon greeted, “I’m terribly sorry you had to witness my mother’s untimely death. However, it simply had to be done. She was using me, like my father did. I don’t like being used.”
The boy’s eyes were shut, yet he seemed perfectly conscious otherwise. “Confused?” the superhuman child asked, “Don’t be. I’ve trained myself to lucid dream, as in ‘to be aware that I am dreaming’. Due to much practice, I am now the master of both my dreams and my nightmares. That’s right, murdering me in my sleep won’t work now. With a single thought, I can turn those gold coins my mother cherished so… into venomous snakes of preposterous size. I can bend the very fabric of time so that the future and the past meet for a split moment before they’re both collapsed into each other, ending existence itself.”
Adrian regained his senses for the sole purpose of delivering this awesome speech. “You’re not human, Simon. Why linger amongst them? With your powers, you could simply create your own universe, where things can be exactly the way you want them. Why play with ant hills when you can shape skyscrapers? Why burn ants when you can set the world ablaze?”
“Because, outsider, I win against the ants.”