For a while all seemed quiet in the kingdom. But unknown to most in the realm, the king and queen were hard at work cultivating the seeds of hatred for the rebels. "Everyone shall hate them!" they declared to each other as they plotted and schemed to bring down the rebels who opposed them.

The king and queen were doing well with their treasury funds and wanted to expand. Fliers went out through the kingdom for hard working peasants that could follow a script. The peasants would be assigned a part to play and must be willing to memorize it for future use. Once the peasants were selected and given instructions on what to say, the king and queen sat back and watched as the money began rolling in, and they didn't have to lift more than a finger.

Word began to spread that the rebels were ignoring everything the king and queen did to humiliate them into submission and this enraged them both. Wondering how to rectify this they began searching for something, anything that would bring the rebels within reach.

"I know. We'll host a tour of part of our kingdom and invite them to join us. And of course we'll let them go for free just to prove how benevelant we are," the king chuckled.

The announcement was sent out by way of special messenger to the rebels, telling of the offer for the free tour. The rebels were invited, accepted and attended the tour just as the king and queen had hoped. But what the king and queen had not planned on was having friends of the rebels on the tour as well.

"What does the name of this place mean?" questioned the first friend to the peasant tour guide.

"I don't know" he whispered in return. "That information wasn't in my script. If you want to know that you'll have to go ask the king and queen!"

The plan hadn't turned out quite as well as the king and queen had hoped. There were too many witnesses for them to try to capture the rebels after the tour. And they were kept so busy talking to the loyal subjects that had attended to notice when the rebels left. For months afterward everything seemed quiet. The king and queen went back to counting the money in their treasury. The rebels were still a sore subject for them, but it seemed they had faded into the forest.

The queen was hailed as the "Diva" of the kingdom by some and was asked to speak to a gathering of local merchants that wanted to hear her success stories and how she got rich. After accepting the offer the queen began to ponder what she would say. Should she tell of the magical corner stone that had been used to start their dream castle? Should she tell of the rebels that now threatened the money flow into the treasury? "Yes, that's it!" she snickered. "If we tell everyone how awful the rebels are it will show everyone how right we are to be king and queen."

The day of the speech arrived and the queen looked out over the gathering. She felt a little nervous because she didn't know many of these merchants. So instead of bringing out her notes that she had prepared she began talking from memory. "Those rebels are nothing more than a bunch of fakes and liars!" proclaimed the queen to the crowd. "We caught them red handed so don't believe a word they say!"

A curious onlooker stepped forward and asked loudly, "I thought you came here to tell us how to get rich?! Shouldn't that be what you're talking about here and not how bad someone else is? This surely doesn't make you look very wise."

"We ARE wise!" stuttered the queen in rage. "How else do you think we became king and queen? We know all there is to know about everything!"

"Well if you know everything, then you know that you have set up laws that say 'enter no castle without permission'. Yet you broke that law yourself to get your corner stone," came a shout from the middle of the room. "And when anyone questions you on that fact you just shrug it off and say, 'That was a mistake. We've learned from our mistake and won't ever do that again!'. My question is, why is it that you feel that only you can learn from your mistakes, but no others are offered that option?"

"Why is it that you feel you're always right and everyone that doesn't follow you is always wrong?" yelled an unseen visitor from the back.

"Once wrong, always wrong? Yeah, right!" snickered someone near the front

The voice of dissent was growing loud and the queen quickly changed the subject instead of answering any of the questions. After returning to their dream castle the worried queen related the whole day to the king who sat patiently listening to what had transpired. Summoning all their loyal servants the king and queen begged for ideas on how to quiet the uprising and replace the treasury funds that were being slowly depleted.

"Maybe host another travelling party?" offered one servant.

"Or maybe another grand ball!" chimed in another.

"Why not open a royal store?" quipped the royal advisor. "Then hire a story teller to sit by the fireplace and tell stories. For a fee of course. That will refocus the attention and help refill the treasury too."

"Now that is a wonderful idea!" yelled the queen as she jumped up from her chair to pace the room. "I like that!"

One worried servant looked at the king and queen and asked, "But what about the rebels? What do we do about them?"

"Not to worry. We'll raise the reward for capturing the rebels. And we'll set our most loyal subjects on their trail to hound them into submission," giggled the king with mirth. "We'll make them wish they'd never started their nonsense in our kingdom. This is OUR kingdom and we won't tolerate any outsiders."

"That's right. They will either disband or we'll make them sorry for every little thing they've ever done," the queen sneered. "We'll go to the far reaches of the realm and spread the word. We'll make them sorry they messed with us. So what if the new villagers don't know who they are or what they've done. We'll educate them and make them understand that we are the rightful king and queen for this realm."

A timid servant in the back of the room sat listening intently to the words of the king and queen. "But if the king and queen do that, aren't they breaking their own law, (Be nice to everyone you meet)?" the servant thought.

When the timid servant quietly whispered the question to the queen's most trusted advisor, the king just happened to be standing nearby and overheard it. "We will send out our faithful followers to spread the word. Then we won't be breaking the law now will we?"

"Isn't that still breaking the law sire?" the quiet voice came back. "Even if it is your faithful followers?"

"Not if it is done at our bidding." the king answered testily. "If we say to go out and do something then obviously it won't be breaking any laws. After all, we create the laws don't we?"

With that the servants each left the castle with instructions to travel to the farthest reaches of the kingdom and tell everyone they met about the terrible rebels who threatened the king and queen. The king himself took great pleasure in yelling to the world. "The rebels will forever be a black mark on our history and any who side with the rebels will be banished from the realm."

"Just don't let anyone say anything bad about us!!" lamented the queen. "That would be breaking the law!"

As time went on, the king and queen were exceedingly proud of their loyal subjects for the work they were doing. What they chose not to see was the discouraged villagers who were tired of all the mud being slung. They ignored the villagers that left the realm, never to return because of the terrible deeds being carried out in the name of the royal couple. "There will be more new villagers to replace any that leave," the king assured the queen as they drifted off to sleep with visions of money dancing through their heads. "Let them leave, who needs them anyway!" the king mumbled as sleep overtook him.

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three

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Copyright 1998-2005 by George & Cathy Brady, Hamilton Paranormal