Today's post will be of a flash fiction story I wrote last year entitled, "The Crown of Eyes." If you'd like to hear me read it, you should look me up on YouTube where I have a channel called, "Colin Reads." I upload new videos Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. If you like what I do, please like, share, and subscribe! (I'd really appreciate it.) Here's a link: http://www.youtube.com/user/babaloo55555/videos
And here's my story. Hope you like it.
The Crown of Eyes—symbol of the Nordkings’ might. A heavy circlet made of gold, topped by seven silver rays. Beneath each ray lies a semiprecious stone in the likeness of a human eye, all except the one at the back of the head. There, an eye is simply cut into the metal of the crown with a bit of mirror as its pupil.
According to the stories, the Crown of Eyes is a potent artifact, one that gives its wielder unimaginable power. Many say that the Crown’s magic is what allowed the Nordkings to bring together the northern lands in the days of old, the crown allowing them to pierce the veils of space and time. In any rate, the crown passes down from father to son, in this case, from the hands of the late William the Wise to his son, Olaf.
Many in the kingdom feel it should have passed to his younger brother, Fredrick, as Fredrick served his time in the realm’s military with distinction. Olaf never bothered to show up for his duties. Fredrick was married with a young son. Olaf led a string of strumpets through the castle at all hours of the night. Fredrick was dashing, brave and confident, where Olaf was weak, pudgy and indecisive.
But the law is clear: The eldest son inherits the throne.
The first night of Olaf’s kingship, he drunk himself into a stupor, still wearing his crown. In his dreams, he met a man who claimed to be the crown’s maker. He told Olaf that the stories of the crown’s powers were true, and showed him how to use them. When Olaf awoke, he found himself able to see through walls, to move small things with his mind. But rather than use his powers to help the kingdom, he simply played cruel tricks on his servants and engaged his friends in further debaucheries.
Each night he dreamt of the crown-maker, and each night the man taught him how to use the gems set into the crown’s brim. One night, they reached the empty eye, the one with the mirrored pupil. The crown-maker advised Olaf against activating its power, saying that he wouldn’t be able to handle what it showed him. “Even your father,” droned the crown-maker, “struggled with its visions.”
“Piss tosh,” said Olaf, who resented yet another comparison of himself to his late father. “Am I not the king?” he said imperiously. “Are you not my subject? I order you to activate its power. I command it!”
The crown-maker said nothing, but bowed deeply. When Olaf awoke and wore the crown, he felt no different than he had the day before. He could not suddenly melt steel with his gaze or raise the dead with a thought. What then could be so dangerous about the empty eye’s power?
It wasn’t until he sat down with his generals that it started to become clear. On talking with the grizzled old greybeards, he suddenly realized how little they respected him, how much they wished they were dealing with his brother. Interrupting the meeting, he left, and sought comfort in the arms of his favorite mistress. But there he found no pleasure, for while they were together, she imagined that she held his brother, Fredrick, rather than him.
Olaf saw what every person he met really thought of him that day, and on looking in a mirror, he saw himself for what he really was. In despair, he threw himself from the castle’s tallest tower, having finally discovered what the empty eye allowed its wielder to see: The truth.