Monday, February 11, 2008

A Simple History

By me
Translated from the Spanish by me

In a country very far from here, there lives an unhappy prince. His kingdom is poor and dirty. The peasants are disgruntled and talk of a revolution. This prince doesn't know what he needs to do. His father, dying slowly and painfully in his bed, can do nothing to help. It is a time without hope. While the prince worries by himself, the peasants prepare their torches.
It wasn't always like this. In better days, there was a brilliant and warm sun. The plains were green, the crops abundant, and all the people in the kingdom worked with a smile in their hearts. Many ships sailed in and out of the ports, bringing with them exotic spices, fine silks, and strong slaves.
Life was good.
In these old days, the prince wasn't a coward; he wasn't scared of the world outside. He was handsome, rode his horse with style, fought valiantly in battle, and made love with many women. His father, the King, governed with justice and fairness, and the peasants adored him.
The end began on the same day the prince met the woman of his dreams. She, a princess of an old kingdom and an old alliance, was visiting the exotic countries before her upcoming wedding. The love between them was instant and unstoppable, and like a terrible fire, it destroyed the friendship between the kingdoms.
The resulting battle inflicted destruction equally upon both nations. Cruel soldiers invaded the princess's kingdom while her father fought on the plains of his enemy. The list of tragedies is almost endless. The prince's favorite horse died with a lance through his heart. The beautiful princess's father disappeared without a trace. Some say his brother killed him, before he was decapitated in the mob. The gardens of the palace, known throughout all the land for their tranquility and beauty, were the site of the worst prisoner camp. Innumerable women were raped, resulting in an immense flood of orphans into the city streets.
After three years of war, the princess had a child. He was fragile, small, and blue; he died in the night without a sound or a name. The next day the princess begged the prince to stop the senseless massacre. Enraged by her lack of respect, he hit her. Not knowing his own strength, he caused a hemorrhage in her brain. He cried out in horror when he realized what he had done, but it wasn't enough. Two days later, the princess died and her dream came true. Without his love, without the backbone of his body, the prince lost his strength.
Eventually the official war ended. Unfortunately, no one was there to control the kingdom. Soldiers still fought over loot, villages were pillaged and torched. The economy was entirely destroyed.
Ten more years, and the prince still lives with fear in his castle. The peasants shout for his head.
Careful, my little one, for this is the terrible power of love.

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