King Canute

“Over there,” he said, pointing to a dry patch at the water’s edge. It was one of the few remaining places where the sand seemed flat and solid enough to bear his throne.

A stiff wind off the sea ruffled the waves, clawing at their white crests, sending flecks of spray skywards. Gulls swooped low over the grey-green water, their cawing echoing over the crash of the waves.

He pulled his fur-lined cape tight around his neck and firmly grasped his scepter as his throne lurched upwards and sideways. Clumsy idiots. Couldn’t even get things right on such an auspicious occasion.

A motley crowd trailed behind the throne, their backs bowed against the wind, capes and hats pulled tight around their ears, their heads leaned close together, whispering. He’d show them! How dare they think he wouldn’t succeed. Was he not king and chosen by the gods? (…)

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