The Midas Touch

|The Midas Touch| Chapter 13: King Midas, age 36

My desire for wealth continued to grow alongside my fear of my brother’s return. This became more intense when news arrived that my brother had established a small base of power near the border of the kingdom. My suspicions were confirmed–he wanted the throne. I fervently prayed to the gods to grant me the power and wealth that would secure my rule over the land. My grip on the national treasury tightened.

“Midas,” Rosalie warned, “Everything is not as bad as you think it is.”

But I’d ignored her warning. Instead, I assured her that everything would be alright soon, I would secure our place. As time went by, Rosalie stopped warning me. She simply gazed at me with sad eyes, as if awaiting a tragedy.

Then, there came a day when the gods actually spoke to me–up till then, their very existence was merely a myth. I had the privilege of hearing them, but I couldn’t see them.

“Is it your wish to have wealth?” the gods asked. I was sleeping then, on my working table. It was through my dream that they spoke to me. “You constantly pray for it.”

“It is,” I answered without thinking. “Please.”

“You would never give up until you’ve tried. Here, take this. Your hands will be capable of turning anything you touch into diamonds. If you wish to lose this ability, you need only drop this piece of gold into the longest, deepest river of your kingdom.”

I was given a piece of gold in the shape of a star. When I received it, the dream dissolved, and I woke. Next to my head on my table was that very star. When I picked it up, it remained gold. To test out the gods’ words, I touched the surface of the table. Sure enough, it turned into diamonds–the table was made of diamonds. My own clothing that I was wearing, was not affected. But everything else turned to diamonds at my touch.

With this new ability I was excited for days. At the time, Rosalie was away to visit her mother, so I didn’t have a chance to tell her. When she returned, as she stood at the front gates of the palace, I rushed out to greet her.

“My hands can magically turn anything into diamonds,” I told her, enthusiastically. “We will be fine now.”

However, she didn’t look amused at all. A rueful look flickered in her eyes as she let out a soft sigh–that sigh could have made the flowers sing for her, it could make anyone want to hug her. “We had always been fine, Midas.”

Anxious to convince her that it was a good thing, I stepped forward and took her hands.

Rosalie always had an ability to make me forget the world when I was with her.

Even gods and diamonds.

← Chapter 12: Queen Rosalie, age 34
Chapter 14: Sigrun, age 40 →
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