Gunnar De Winter’s story “The Lonely King” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 29 November 2019.
As most of my stories, this one too began with a single image, a scene, quite often the flimsy remains of a dream. For “The Lonely King”, it was an old weathered king sitting on a throne in a half-ruined tower, in the middle of a desert and exposed to the elements.
With that image in my mind, I began exploring how that could be part of a story. I decided to focus implicitly on the fundamental (?) gap between rulers and those that are ruled. Even the most beneficent ruler can feel like a burden or tyrant due to the simple fact of ruling.
Here, then, was the tension that would drive the story. I upped the game, if you will, by making the king an immortal being that had no choice but to rule, a being that had come into existence only to rule. But rather than make him a villain, as might be an easier route, he genuinely wants to best for his subjects. That, however, would mean becoming superfluous. His ‘solution’ was to become invisible in a way, which is a bit of a hint that freedom is often illusory.
Hope you liked it.
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