Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for mature content.
I was sixteen when they called
By order of the king
Who’d heard of my talents
And wanted them to be his.
I had a knack for cooking
Pastries, pies, cookies
Anything baked in the oven
And slathered with butter.
People came from all around
To taste my concoctions,
And I was all too happy to see their smiles
Biting into my banana cream pie.
So, hoping to make even more smiles
I packed my bags and got on the road
Waving goodbye to my mother and sister
The first time I’d ever left them.
They took me to the castle
The home of a million hopefuls
Under the watchful eye of the king.
Simon, they called him, and bowed.
I knew I could make him smile.
So I spent each day in the kitchen
Humming a tune as I mixed the ingredients
Outdoing myself with each creation.
I learned how to sleep
In the heat of the oven
And to wake up when I smelled
The pie crust was baked just right.
I learned how to find what he liked
How, exactly, to please him.
And I did. Immensely.
I was a success, and he was proud.
There were others, too
Living for his smiles
Bowing at his feet
Here one day, gone the next.
One of those was the court jester
A cheeky blue-eyed boy
Who liked to make fun of those who bowed
As if he wasn’t one himself.
Simon loved his high-flung antics
And everyone else thought him a nuisance
Wished he wouldn’t interrupt
Whenever they said something serious.
But I knew his humor
Was much needed in this somber hall
His bright-eyed smile
Amongst rows of worried lips.
Whenever I was dejected
Because Simons hated a pie or a cake
He’d fling it at my face and remind me
Not to take life too seriously.
He’d steal bits of food
When people weren’t looking
And feed them to me
When I’d been too busy to eat.
He’d imitate Simon’s frown
Make it look comical and silly
Until I’d forget all about the big man in the chair
Who could send me home at any moment.
We all lived under his shadow
Our ears turned to his frequency
Waiting for the ball to drop
And send us rolling away.
But in the darkness, there were places
His shadow couldn’t reach. Places we created
Tangled behind his beautiful tapestries
Making a mockery of his picture of perfection.
Off, he said, off, off, take it all off
And I couldn’t rip it off fast enough
That was our rebellion
In a world that forced us to submit.
In a world without decisions
Drowning in each other’s skin
In the dark, but illuminated by love
We chose to submit to each other.