The King’s Garden


THE KING was a mess. He was alive and his wife was dead and he couldn’t help but feel not the least bit bad about it. 

“I must be a terrible person,” thought the King, as he sat amongst the garden sipping tea. The King had just sunk his teeth into a new book, “Get Them Before They Get You,” written by the notorious writer and murderer, Samir Black. Samir wrote the book during his time spent in prison. It took him one year to finish and he wished it took him longer because he was serving out a life sentence.

“I wish I knew about different subjects,” Samir would complain to fellow inmates.

The King wanted desperately to know about Samir’s ideology of ‘attacking first.’ It was the only thing that gave him comfort in this time of loss. The books three main principles fell out easy:

1. Hit first, and with no mercy.

2. Love no one.

3. If you fall in love, go to rule number one.

Flipping through the Chapter Seven “Why Listen When You Can Talk,” the King slowly looked up—a burning in his neck and cheek made the world rise up and fall—he closed the book. 

“Someone has moved the garden.” 

The King had a sharp head, with lean eyes a hungry face. Tall, strong and young for his age—he exercised daily and always watched what he ate. He was well read, well informed, dressed immaculately and had the perfect disposition to hide the constant fear that everyone in his kingdom was trying to take something from him. 

“Reinhardt,” shouted the King.

“Your highness,” said Reinhardt.

“Someone has moved the garden.”

“Yes, sire. I’ll move it back.”

Reinhardt turned around, and realized he answered too quickly. He looked at the garden. It looked normal to him. He turned back around to face the King and smiled. The King eyed him with scrutiny. The closest thing to Reinhardt were the lilies. He made a grand gesture of snatching one up—suspending it in the air, his arm outstretched, and carefully put it into his satchel. 

“There, sire.”

“Are you the head gardener?”

“I’m second gardener, sir.”

“Who’s the head gardener?”

“Tom, sir.”

“Where is Tom?”

“Tending the hyacinths, sir.”

The King glanced over his right shoulder and saw four acres across the trout stream where the hyacinth’s were blossoming in abundance. The words of Samir Black flashed, “If you ask a question and the person answers. Chances are he, or she is lying.” The King turned back with a suspicious lilt to his even mouth.

“Are you lying to me?”


“Are you deaf?”

“No, sir.”

“Then you’ve hear what I’ve said.”

“Yes, sir.”


“I am not deaf.”

“The other question.”

“I am not lying to you.”


The King sat back down very satisfied. Someone had still moved his garden but now this Reinhardt knew that he knew, and that made it more dangerous. The King didn’t know who that made it more dangerous for, but it hoped it wasn’t for him.

“Surely you can’t expect me to believe you moved my garden back, by taking one lily and putting it into your satchel.”

“No, sir.”


“Tom moved the table, when we cut the shrubs yesterday morning. I forgot to move it back.” 

The King stood and Reinhardt repositioned the table to it’s rightful spot, and adjusted the chairs to an orderly position. The King sat. 

“Ah. I knew it. Did I know it?”

Reinhardt nodded.

“Say ‘yes,’ if it’s ‘yes.”

“Yes, sire.”

“Big day today. I’m sure you heard. Someone was caught planning to kidnap my daughter.”

“I heard, sire.” 

“Not a good idea,” said the King scraping some muck off the corner of his teacup. “Lost one lady not two months ago. Will not allow any more loss in the Kingdom.”

“Get him for me, sir.”

“Why what have you got against him?”

“Nothing. I just thought you’d want me to agree—”

“Well he is a boy. This isn’t a hard earned criminal we’re talking.”

“No, sire.”

“I don’t feel very good putting a boy to death.”

‘It is terrible, sire.”

“I’d suppose you’d let him go, then? Running amuck. Offing people in towns all over the country.”

“No, sire— I was thinking there might be a middle ground.”

“You just want to rule the kingdom don’t you. Huh? Just move the garden let out the prisoners. Chaos. That is all.”

“Thank you, sir.”

The King lay back in his chair and looked upon the fields. Scanning every shrub, nook, hibiscus and rose petal that seemed out of place, hoping to find something missing before it actually was. “Strike first,” thought the King. The King crossed his arms and hoped his breakfast would arrive soon. He also hoped his breakfast would not be poisoned.

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