When I was fifteen, the king died in his sleep. I felt little sadness. I rarely every saw him, and when I did I took no particular delight in his company. However, his death was a significant time in my life because it meant that I was to be installed as the next king. My coronation was one a Saturday and it was held outside. As the crown was placed on my head a cheer rose up and I vowed to rule the people well. I was just above the age to rule by myself, unlike my brother, Lawrence, who would have had to have a supervisor to essentially rule until he came of age. I think I did fairly well. I held a great feast every winter for the poor. I judged cases as fairly as I could, though I waved away cases about people being witches, partly because I didn't believe in the supernatural and partly because it made my work easier. I waged no wars because we didn't have any threats or need to expand. Everyone seemed happy enough. And so I ruled for two years, completely unaware of the fact that I wasn't going to rule for very long.
One night in the sweltering heat of June I was standing on the balcony overlooking the garden waiting, waiting, waiting...
I turned around. "Sarah, I need to talk to you."
"About what?" she said, narrowing here eyes suspiciously.
I took her hands. "Well, I have been waiting a long while to tell you this but..."
"Don't say it!" Sarah cried. "We're friends William! You can't really mean it!"
"I've never been so serious in my life! Sarah, don't you feel the same way?"
"No." The words pierced my heart. "No I don't feel the same way."
I stood there dumbstruck. Had she really sad no? Was I to give up this fantasy of mine, this golden dream? But I was the king and my proud heart refused to let I happen.
"Fine then. Then I shall have to arrange for our marriage. Tomorrow I shall announce the news to to the rest of the kingdom."
Sarah was surprised at first but as what I said sank in, her face contorted in anger. "You can't do that!"
"Of course I can. I am the king."
"You a selfish pig!" She pushed me and I fell to the ground. I watched as she raced away. I could have called a guard and told him what she had done. No one was to lay a hand on the king and one could get executed for doing so. But I let her go. I stood up and walked inside toward the grand staircase.
"Your Highness, shall I escort you to your room?"
I turned to the guard. "No, I shall go alone." I needed some time by myself. I walked up the stairs and began to walk slowly toward my chambers, thinking about what had just happened. Had I been wrong to handle the matter that way? Perhaps I should call the whole thing off. Perhaps I should apologi...
I turned. "Yes, what is i..."
It all happened in less than a second. I saw the flash of the dagger as it glinted in the moonlight, watched as it came sailing toward me. There was an explosion of pain in my chest.
The man pulled it out. I looked down and saw a dark stain spreading across my shirt.
My vision swam. Time seemed to have slowed down. I toppled over backward. The figure knelt over me and placed something in my hands. My vision began to fade as I slowly descended into darkness.