All for Tulips

Cheryl Pappas

This flash was originally published in The Bitter Oleander (April 2017)

There once lived a King who sat in his velvet robes in his velvet chair and everyone who was near him told him how smartly he sat, how wisely he decided on what to eat for dinner, how kindly he smiled, and how everything he did was just perfect. His hands rested on the arms of his very large chair but all of his subjects imagined instead that his hands were summoning them forward, as if to gently persuade the waft of compliments his way. Please continue, his invisible hands would say, please continue.

At the
bottom of the river, beneath the castle where he lived, snakes were forming
from bacteria; first they would be clumps of dirt but then the dirt would begin
to wriggle and soon a large scaly head would emerge out of the…

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