A fairytale for grown-ups. I wrote this fairytale last week as a piece of flash-fiction. It was inspired by International Women's Day. It explores how some human beings deal with one another - how the value of people is sometimes lost. (This is a piece of pure flash, so please forgive any weaknesses of craft.)
The King and His Vase.
There once was a king who desired to own the greatest objects in the world. One day he brought a beautiful, rare and ancient vase. The king was much pleased with his object and he liked to sit and look at it from a distance everyday.
But the King was an angry, careless King; he had no idea that the way he angrily moved around his palace, shouting and stamping his feet, caused his precious objects to wobble and tip. Over the years the vase suffered many cracks and chips but always managed to stick itself back together so that from a distance, it still looked like the beautiful thing it had once been.
Then one day the King, hearing of another King with objects more rare and beautiful than his own, ordered an audit so that the value of everything might be added up and boasted of. As the King’s servants went around with their list of market prices they were horrified to find that on closer inspection many of the King’s beautiful things had become damaged and they had to value them low – including one of the King’s most prize possessions – his beautiful vase.
When the King heard of this he stormed into the room and shouted at the vase, calling it ugly and worthless, as if the cracks, the chips and the knocks had all been the fault of the vase. He raged and he raged, shouting so loudly and banging his fists so hard on the table that the fragile pieces of the vase could no longer hold and the vase shattered into a thousand pieces.
The King raged further accusing the vase of being weak and fragile but the vase couldn't hear the angry voice of the King any more, and it certainly wasn't able to find the magical power to fit itself back together.
The King ordered the servant girl to sweep up the pieces and throw them into the bin ...
... and where once a rare and priceless object stood, there now stood nothing.