Portraits of the Past

(Prompt: Why grieve for relatives when they can be preserved in Forever Glass?)


James walked slowly down the main hall, his ancestors’ judgment weighing down upon him. The looks on each face seemed to grow more annoyed as he passed.

The worst part of ruling the kingdom was having to be subjected to the judgment of every ruler that came before.

When he finally reached the throne room, having finished his daily walk of shame, he thought it was over, but the last case of forever glass shook and James turned back to look at it.

“You fool,” the last ruler of Thedosin and his predecessor said.

“I spent my lifetime building trade routes and forging agreements, and you are going to ruin it all, solely out of pride? You are no son of mine!”

Here it was again. His father wasn’t satisfied controlling James’ life while he lived. He had to control him from the grave as well.

“Damn you old man, and damn that forever glass too. You had your time, your life. Now, let those of us that live lead ours.”

At this the rest of the forever rulers of Thedosia started yelling at James. They hated to be reminded of their condition. They were so loud, he couldn’t understand what any of them were saying and he didn’t care anyways. He walked into the throne room and slammed the door behind him.

He walked to the empty throne, and he knelt down before it. He wouldn’t end up like them, forever entombed and watching the world pass by unable to touch it.

It wouldn’t be long now. He could feel the cool stickiness on his knees as he lay his head down to rest for just a little while.


Whose mad idea was the forever glass? Haunting was at one point a scary campfire story. Now, we do it to ourselves willingly. I’ll not be so entombed. There isn’t much time though. The priest will know, and he won’t wait. The pen knife is all it will take, and there won’t be enough left to entomb when they find my body.

The body was still warm, but he was too late. For the first time in our five hundred years, a king would not be preserved.

Tiberious grimaced at the blood soaked ground around him. Why? Lord Toruk had given them the means to maintain the wisdom of their elders forever. Yet, James had chosen to take all he had to offer to the under world instead.

“Minister” Tiberious said, “There shall be no King James in the histories. James was a heretic thus no rightful king.”

“Yes, Your Eminence,” the Prime Minister replied.

Now Tiberious just had to figure out how to ensure this never happened again.

“Minister, I will consult the learned. Prepare to anoint a new king.”

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