A king living atop a hill, in a city in the clouds. Living a peasant’s life but a daughter of the king. A king who walked among his subjects in peasant garb. This is the fairy tale I was taught as a child. I didn’t believe in Santa or the tooth fairy. I knew magic wasn’t real. No, I was taught a much more detrimental story. A story that haunts me to this day. A belief rooted so deeply within me that it takes everything I have to uproot it completely.
She had even heard that the king once lived as a peasant for many years, spreading peace and love, yet enduring heinous torture from his subjects. She was told by others that the king visited them and spoke to them when they were in the dreamlike state they reached when paying him homage. But she never heard from him. He ignored her.
But there was another side to this seemingly benevolent king. His laws were strict and irrational. Every subject was given a time period, ranging from a few years to many. In this time period, the subject was required to follow every ridiculous rule to the letter. At the end of his or her random time period (for no one knew how long their time would be), the subject would be judged by the king. If they passed his judgment (i.e. had followed all his common sense and preposterous laws), they would live forever with the king in his city in the clouds. If they had broken even the slightest law without repentance, they would be doomed to his dungeon, to live forever with his many dragons, feeling the fire from their breath forever.
One day, this so called princess decided that she could no longer follow such a king. Even though he claimed to have given her and everyone around her every thing they had, he could not be a truly righteous king, given all the terrible things he did. She decided that even if her fate was the dungeon, she would live the life that she felt bubbling up from the bottom of her toes and giving her true joy, filling her with real love, and sprinkling peace over her. Eventually, after many years, she gradually realized that this king was nothing but a fairy tale. The love, joy and peace that his followers claimed was hollow and fake. This daughter of the king would be a princess on her own or not at all.