I felt guilty, of course I did. Foolish, foolish voters! They should never have trusted me to run their kingdom: me, an author! From despot, to despot they’d lurched, and here I was, the saviour, a man of morals, crowned by words, atop a throne made of books by my own hand. And to my left my dark Queen, beautiful, exotic, from a land far away and illiterate: that I had made sure of, lest she question my abilities.
Promises had been made as an author, but with the hollow intent of politicians and kings before me. Without raising a sword I had won the hearts and minds of the feckless populace. What fiction could promise, I could not. Of course, I felt guilty.
Thanks to my predecessors, I could not fail to be a better king than they. I had carte blanche to do as I pleased. Frankly, it was an anti-climax. All that power, nowhere to use it. Until one day, it was announced my books were no longer in the top ten sales of the realm. Guilt disappeared. Right before fury and apoplectic rage arrived.
Summoning my noblemen, I ordered a pyre be lit in every city and village. Hastily a law was writ, that made possesion of books illegal, unless penned by me. Scorching fires; dragon breath from books. I watched gleefully from my castle, as processions of my citizens, threw book after book on the furnace, fuelling the wild orange flame. Basking in the view of the blaze, as words disintegrated, turned to ash, spewed forth into the sky, where books went to die, I smiled, knowing the people would have no choice but to buy my novels. I did feel guilty. But that dissipated, safe in the knowledge that my people would devour every single work of fiction I’d ever written. But such haste! Only then, did I remember the ninety percent illiteracy rate.