The gold throne
The dream had felt so real. In his dream, a beautiful woman had approached him carrying a tray of food and wine, hips swaying — enticing. He reached for it eagerly; he knew he would end up in bed with her. He took a bite of the food and a quaffed the wine and instantly felt like his skin was on fire — like he was melting. He bolted upright in bed, awakened by his screams of pain, his whole body still feeling engulfed in a raging conflagration.
He scanned the room, relieved to see the gold-framed mirrors, the red and gold trimmed curtains covering his four-post bed and the windows that surveyed the endless lights of the city. In front of him, still, the bookcase filled with gold covered books, books he never read. Behind one gold book was a safe and locked inside that safe, was a golden delicious apple.
It had only been a dream.
As he became more awake, the pain began to fade, remaining only as a puzzling remnant in the back of his mind. He climbed out of bed and opened the window curtains to let in the sun. It was another beautiful spring day, but he knew that. He had control of everything, even the weather.
Elohtihs turned to one of his gold mirrors, removed his sweat-soaked pajamas and did his morning ritual of admiring his perfect body. His beautiful face, accented with light blue eyes and blond hair, his skin, a glowingly healthy golden brown. It was perfection at its best! He flexed his huuuuge muscles and smiled.
He was, without a doubt, the best looking man in all the land.
Elohtihs was born handsome and each year became even more so. He lifted weights daily, every year coming in first at the annual weight lifting championship. That was many, many years ago, before the day he lifted the house off the witch.
Normally he would never help anyone in distress, but those legs beneath the house, blown on top due to a tornado, surely belonged to a good-looking woman who would reward him greatly with her body.
He ran over, stooped and with a mighty heave of his well-cultivated muscles, lifted the house, freeing the woman. Gasping, he almost dropped the house back on her as soon as he saw her ugly, green face, festooned with warts.
Painfully, the old woman struggled to her feet, brushed dirt and pieces of broken wood off of her clothes and reached into her ragged pocket to produce a golden delicious apple. At first, one could have mistaken it for just an ordinary apple, but a closer look revealed the radiance of magic. “For your kindness,” she said, “here is a magic, golden delicious apple. Every time you take a bite of this apple”, she continued, “you will be granted a wish, but you may only have four bites.”
The witch gave Elohtihs a sharp, discerning look, nodding to herself mysteriously. “Hmph,” she said, without explanation, then turned and hobbled away, leaving Elohtihs with a warning. “If you ever accept food and water from an ugly one-legged woman, who happens to also be your daughter, it will be your demise.”
Elohtihs’s handsome face twisted into a sneer at her words. Impossible! He hated kids and never wanted any. If he had a daughter, she absolutely would not be ugly. He was too good looking for that to ever happen and he certainly would never have sex with an ugly woman. Ick! Just the thought of it made him nauseous.
He stared for a moment at the apple which emitted an almost indiscernible glow and sank his teeth into the firm, sweet, juicy flesh for his first bite. He wished he would live forever in his incredibly handsome body.
His second wish was to control the weather. By controlling the weather, he could control the people. He could create floods from heavy rains, extreme hot and cold temperatures, endless droughts that sucked the life out of the land. If his subjects didn’t do what he said, they would die by what would look like the hand of nature.
His third wish came to him when he was sitting on the toilet, trying to devise a plan to make himself the richest man in the world. He flushed the toilet and it clogged again, flowing over onto his shoes. “SHIT!”
That is when he came up with his brilliant idea. He wished for a gold toilet, that when flushed, would turn his shit to gold. No one would ever accuse him of being a f***ing moron.
He had one more wish he could make, but for now he would wait. He stored the apple in a locked safe in his chambers and told no one, well except the one or two times it slipped out in conversation with a few “close friends” and once, maybe twice with women that he had slept with. His wishes were all so smart and clever, he just couldn’t keep from bragging about it now and then. Those he told would never dare betray his secret; who would believe them anyway?
Outside of the castle gates, people were struggling. Elohtihs owned all the businesses in the area. His hired workers were paid little more than slave wages and he required them to work 14-hour days. If they got sick, they did not get paid. If they needed to go to the doctors, it was their own financial burden to bear, not his. If a woman got pregnant and needed some time off to care for the child, Elohtihs told her she should have had some self control and not have been such an immoral slut. He wasn’t about to pay for anyone’s whiny child.
On one of his weekly trips into town to “check out his businesses” (i.e. pick up a woman to take back to his bedroom), he was walking along the sidewalk, distracted as he eyed a potential conquest, when he tripped on a basket of flowers and landed hard on the sidewalk. As he turned to cuss out the owner of the basket, he saw a hideously ugly, one legged peasant girl. He was about to cuss her out, but when he looked into her eyes, he was assaulted by waves of terror. Something in those eyes he recognized, something that caused him to tremble uncontrollably. He backed away quickly while spewing out at her his entire lifetime’s accrual of insults and cuss words.
Elohtihs was so badly shaken, he summoned his driver and demanded to be taken back to the castle immediately, without having chosen his next potential female victim.
Nirvana watched as Elohtihs backed away. She was use to people being shocked when they saw her, but Elohtihs’s look of utter disgust, tore pieces out of her heart. She did not expect this from him. Years of anger began to boil up inside her. She finally saw Elohtihs as others and her mother had always told her. Now she knew everything they told her to be true.
He was a monster!
Nirvana had once been a beautiful, blonde haired, blue-eyed girl, growing up in a loving home with her mother. Her mother had been the kindest, most gentle soul anyone had ever met. They did everything together…that is, until a fire burned down their home. Her mother didn’t survive and Nirvana was left severely disfigured, having to have one of her legs amputated due to an infection.
It had taken just a single spark to catch in the bushes near their home, bushes like tinder from the seven-month heat wave that had blasted the land sere and dry, causing the fire. Around the castle though, the land flourished, lush and green, always never lacking for sunshine and rain.
Years ago, before the fire, when she still had her good looks, Nirvana had befriended a girl named Sheena. They quickly became best friends and then lovers. They had to keep their relationshiop a secret however. If Elohtihs ever suspected they were “wicked,” they would be thrown in jail and left to rot.
Nirvana, never saw Sheena as other’s saw her, an ugly, green, wart-faced girl with an obscenely large pointy nose. Nirvana only saw a beautiful, smart, lovely woman. Even after the fire, the disfigurement and the loss of her mother,Nirvana continued to see the best in everyone. She still considered people to be basically good.
Sheena’s love for Nirvana had softened her heart. There was a time that witchcraft had only been used for good, but in recent years, witchery had turned, as most things do, into greed and selfishness. As a witch, Sheena had begun to get sucked into the greed of witchery, her heart rendered cold and she began to embrace the cruel use of magic. When Nirvana came into her life, it was if the world had been born anew and her magic listened, turning on its own, away from the darkness and into the warmth of the light once more.
“Elohtihs is a blight on our land, our people,” Sheena had been insisting. “We have to eliminate him for the sake of the people and for us”, she would say. But Nirvana protested. She never wished anyone harm, and always felt that if Elohtihs could just meet her, he would surely decide to change his ways. He was her father and she knew he must love her. All father’s love their children, don’t they?
After the incident on the streets today however, Nirvana finally knew Elohtihs would never love anyone but himself. She was finally ready.
Later that evening, as part of their plan, Sheena used the last bit of magic she still had, to change Nirvana into a gorgeous, irresistible, sexy woman. Nirvana could not believe the transition as her eyes remained fixed on the image of herself in the mirror. The woman looking back at her was stunning. There was no scarring on any of her skin, her blonde hair was flowing down her back and she had two perfectly working, very sexy legs.
Nirvana put on a pair of dark glasses to hide her eyes, (she was certain Elohtihs knew exactly who she was when he looked into them today), while Sheena called Uber to request a carriage to take Nirvana to the castle. As Nirvana hopped into the carriage, Sheena reminded her how important it was to get Elohtihs to eat the cheese and drink the water before the two hours were up, otherwise Nirvana would turn back into her deformed self and Elohtihs would likely call his guards to throw her in prison, or worse, kill her on the spot.
Due to a broken wheel on the carriage, it took her longer than expected to get to the castle. Knocking on the castle door, Nirvana felt a little anxious, worried that time was running out. A guard opened the door and when she told him she was there to see Elohtihs, he gladly led her into Elohtihs’s chambers. Elohtihs had been in a foul mood since going into town. He hoped this woman could cheer him up.
When Elohtihs walked in the bedroom, Nirvana was leaning seductively against one of the posts of the bed. Slowly she walked towards him, hips swaying, carrying the tray of cheese and bottle of “wine”, offering it to him. He took a bite of the cheese and drank from the proffered bottle, famished, but not for food.
“This is not wine you imbeci…”, but before he could finish his sentence he fell to the floor, withering in pain. His skin began melting off his body, turning into a puddle of water on the bedroom floor.
“This is what you get for murdering my mother,” she cried. “You recognize these eyes, don’t you father?”
Elohtihs let out a horrible scream…”NO! What have you done? I’m melting away.”
As the rest of his body melted into a puddle on the floor, soaking into the rug beneath where he had stood, Nirvana, smiled. She then turned towards the bookcase where the safe was hidden and pulled out the magic apple. Examining it, she observed that only three bites had been taken. She knew there was still one more wish remaining.
There were so many things she could use that wish for, health and wealth for all the people in the land, confidence and beauty for Sheena, peace on earth; but when she turned back and saw her reflection in the mirror, her scarred, burned, deformed body had returned.
“You did this to me!” she screamed at the puddle of water on the floor. “I never deserved this!”
She impulsively grabbed the apple and took a bite. She wished she could be beautiful forever. Immediately her skin became a golden tan color, her hair grew back to a silky blonde and she had two perfectly gorgeous, incredibly sexy legs.
She was, without a doubt, the most beautiful woman in all the land.
She glanced at the apple and it too was turning whole again. It was now a perfectly round shape, without a single bite on it. The apple stem popped out with words that said, “You have four wishes.”
Moving toward the window, she looked out at all the land and thought, ” I am the rightful heir to all of this. Everything I see is now mine.” She glanced back at her reflection in the mirror.
And then she smiled.