Not-So-Humble Beginnings

King William has been murdered. Now he must warn the people in the castle of the murderer on the loose but the only person who can see him is a boy working in the castle.

I am William Blake II, son of William Blake I and heir apparent to the Coranian throne.

I am also dead. But before we get to that I must tell you a bit about my life.

This tale begins in the kingdom of Coran in the royal palace, a fortified stronghold atop a fairly small hill, the only hill for miles. Coran was a flat land, and when I was younger I used to think that my great-great grandfather, King Darren, liked the idea of literally being able to look down upon the peasantry.

It was in that castle many years later that I was born. Apparently there was a great feast in my honor for I was the crown prince but of course I didn't remember it. I stayed in that castle almost all my life, only ever going to the occasional ball or visiting a relative. I had no real need to leave. Everything I needed was provided for me. I was served food off silver platters and wore the finest robes. They would dress me themselves if I hadn't restricted them from doing so. I preferred to do things like that by myself.

I also liked to climb trees as a youth. My friend Sarah and I scaled the great oaks in the garden and plucked apples while lounging in the fruit trees that grew in the orchard. Everyone thought that I was a queer child. I played with the servants' children and would wander the grounds looking for frogs and worms. My parents worried about me sometimes. Well, my mother worried about me sometimes. My father, King William I, generally kept out of family matters unless they pertained to my education and teaching me how to be a good king. I do not think he would know much on the subject though.

However one day when I was eight years old, my friend Jerold and I were out in the garden chasing each other. When we finally came to realize how tired we had become we walked off to get some water from his mother, one of the palace cooks. As we walked into the servants' quarters  she took one look at us and walked out of the room. Lucy, another cook laughed. "You silly boys!" she chuckled, "Always running around and getting dirty. I don't know where you get the energy from." Jerold's mother came back with two wooden mugs filled with lukewarm water. We downed it greedily. After some hurried thank yous we rushed out the door completely revived. We began to wonder what to do next. It was I who made the foolish suggestion.

"Jerold," I exclaimed, "Let's climb the trees."

Jerold crossed his arms. "We've climbed those oak trees lots!"

"Not those." I said, shaking my head, "Those." I pointed to the taller thinner trees behind them. Jerold frowned. "Those branches aren't very thick. You could fall."

I laughed. "You're just scared. Baby, baby!"


"Baby, baby!"

"Listen, Will..."


"Stop!" Jerold shouted, red in the face. "If you're so brave then do it yourself."

A taunt. A dare. A few words said to test my theory.


I walked over to one of the trees. I didn't really know what they were, but we usually stayed away from them, not because they were dangerous but because they were not useful. They provided no fruit, they weren't very pretty, and they weren't very good for climbing. I had wondered for a long time the reason why my father had bought them and had finally decided that he had simply gotten them to show off his wealth, to show that he could get them and that no one else could.

I reached for one the lower branches. It was difficult to get into the tree, but when I had finally pulled myself up climbing it wasn't that hard. As I got closer and closer to the top, I could hear Jerold's voice calling out from below. "Don't go any higher, William." I grinned. He only called me by my full first name when he was concerned. I was reaching for the next branch when I heard a loud crack. The bough gave out from beneath me and soon I was free falling, crashing through branches. As I fell to the ground the last thing I heard was Jerold's horrified scream.

The End

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