Why the hell did he have to live on the edge of a precipice? He was sick of it. Every day he had to wake up with the dark, rotten stench of death all around him. If only he could have the luxury of peace in his heart. He wanted to sleep soundly for once before his inevitable demise.
His Majesty was holding court today to receive gifts. There was a good chance that at least some of the gifts would be food, which of course meant that the food had to be tested. It was the food tester’s lot in life to die, but why did he have to face death again today?
And who would he be forced to die for anyway? His Majesty was so inconsistent. It was as if he wanted to be that way.
The image that he portrayed to the people was so different to the real man. He spoke of being a man of the people, the one they all loved. The word was that he was fair and just. His royal guard boasted that he was very approachable and had plenty of time for the common man. It was said in official manuscripts that his beloved people preferred him to all leaders that came before him.
He always spoke about the will of the people and freedom from oppression. He let the people gorge on the words that they hungered for. But who was the real man? It was very difficult to say. He never gave that away.
The food taster used to believe those things too. He was trapped by the deception. That was when he was one of the masses. He heard the speeches. He believed the words. H e was so taken in that he wanted to die for the King.
Then he was lied to. Once he was caught in the sticky web of the King’s employ, he found out it was all a deception and he was treated like crap. He finally saw the dark, filthy underbelly. After that, he could hardly stand to even look in the direction of the King, but that didn’t change a thing. Whether he liked it or not, he was going to be forced to die in the King’s place. The King would live because he would die.
The King’s deception was so obvious to him at times that he wondered why the people didn’t see it. The King continually played with people for sport. That fat bast*d. He would rile up those who were weaker. He would prod them until they could no longer control their emotions. Then he would use their inevitable outburst as proof that they were committing treason. He would solemnly order that they be killed. But the food taster had caught the look in the King’s dead, piercing stare at one of the executions and he was shocked. That look had betrayed His Majesty’s obvious delight.
Today they were in an enormous hall in the palace. A very long line of people filled the space between the arrangements of royal guard. People in the line were waiting to please His fat Majesty.
The food taster [tester?] faced death again that day… or so he thought. Instead, in his version of reality something amazing was about to happen… and also something truly unexpected.
John waited in line. He was excited. This was a good thing. He wasn’t going to hurt or kill anyone. He was going to offer something truly special.
[to be continued….]