Saturday, August 30, 2008

Imperator Rex, the Second Tale

An acquaintance at school once commented that the life I had led seemed so under my control. Not everyone knew what they were good at, not everyone knew what they liked, not everyone knew what they were passionate about.

I wonder.


There was once a man who had conquered it all. A man who had everything within his grasp. Power, land, respect. The masses knew him as Imperator Rex.

Yet no man is without his incapabilities. And though it was debatable as to whether it could have been considered a weakness of Rex or not, there was something he found himself unable to do.

It was a book entrusted to him by his parents before he set off to conquer the lands. In that book, he was instructed to write down the trials and triumphs of his journey. And for his skill in conquering, he was terrible at recording.

He pondered for long nights as to what caused him to be unable to do this, of course. What could keep him from being able to do something as simple as writing? A lack of talent? No; he had been skilled at it before wartime. A lack of content? No; no conqueror had ever found himself lacking in stories to tell to the masses, and never will any find himself lacking in epics to recite if his parents were the audience. A lack of audience? Certainly not; history itself and the men of the future were to be the readers and analysts of his life!

He began to justify his incapability. A man who has so much to conquer could not possibly have time to focus and write when he has to care about the war tomorrow. And he was right. So he continued to conquer more and more.

Till one day he had nothing more to conquer, and as he surveyed the lands he realized that soon he would be on his way back to the capital to oversee and manage all the lands that he had taken control of. Slowly it began to dawn on him that it would soon become a necessity to complete writing at least something of value within the book.

Try and try again, he found that he was incapable of it. Why? He wondered. Why. And he found no answer. Rex asked his advisers, and they told him to drink a bit before he wrote, to relax and get into the mood. Yet as he drank he found his mind drifting further and further away from the pen, and found himself being less able to think, let alone write. He asked the scholars who followed to chronicle the war, and they told him to think about important moments during the war and write them down. Yet he found little to write about in such the rigid form of writing. Then he asked the warriors, who lamented that they too were incapable of such deeds, referring Imperator Rex instead to the scholars and advisers.

At nighttime, Rex found the son of one of his generals drawing on the sand, and was intrigued.

"Young one, what is that you draw on the sand?"
"I'm afraid, Your Excellency, that it is not something that even you can comprehend." Rex was amused, what with a child showing such innocent disrespect.
"And why would that be? I am king of the lands, young one. What could I not comprehend?"

The boy smiled at the king. "You cannot understand my mind, Your Excellency. For it is mine and mine alone." The king could not understand.
"What does your mind have to do with the drawings of the sand?" and the boy smiled again.
"The drawings are not of the sand, Your Excellency. They are of my world, and of my mind. Though I may be a child, Your Excellency, I can tell that you will not be able to understand my world. Simply because you are not like me." and Rex was even more intrigued. Perhaps the child could solve his mystery.

"And what is this that you are unlike the king of the lands in?" and the boy smiled at the sand.
"You are not a creator, my lord."

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