King of Prestige Land

  • 10 Jul - 16 Jul, 2021
  • Salaar Laghari
  • Fiction

Franklin, the selfish king died leaving behind no will at all. The five brothers arranged a meeting and mutually came to a conclusion that each one of them would rule the state for two years, one after another. The final king would be elected after the ten year mutual agreement would come to an end. They had also made it clear that if any brother be that the current king or future king would die unexpectedly, the entire agreement would nullify and a new one would be worked upon. The citizens of the state agreed to it but they did not want a king like Franklin again.”

Jacob’s Reign

Jacob was forty five years old when his reign eventually began. He appointed Austin and Thomas as his governors. Abraham was appointed as the military head and Frederick was what you can call, the minister of education.

This island was quite like a rural state. The modes of transportation were mostly horse carts but there were cars as well. And only wealthy and influential people could afford them. The best mode of transportation that was very affordable but not available on every spot easily was the train transport.

The fuel that was consumed mostly was petrol, and also natural gas. Electricity was there within the state, but it was available only for organisations. The modes of printing books were mostly typewriters. There was a proper schooling system that had ten standards. Then further eight years of education were subdivided into pre medical, pre engineering and commerce.

So far, the education ministers, health ministers and others were quite educated. But since Jacob became the king, he hired his own ministers and governors who were quite uneducated.

Let me tell you one thing about Jacob, he was a greedy pleasure lover who loved spending time away from his wife and kids. He had a wife and two daughters, but he spent most of his time by the sea. But there was one thing about him; he used to listen to the voice of his conscience. Whenever he went ahead or crossed the limits of pleasure, his conscience forced him to give up what he might regret in the future.

Austin and Thomas were in higher positions but they were also living a life of pleasure and no one dared to stop them. Among all the brothers, Thomas was the only one who wasn’t married. Even Frederick got married one month before his father’s death.

One evening at the castle,

I entered inside the meeting room where our meetings were mostly conducted. I got really surprised when I saw Austin and Thomas playing cards while I was expecting them to be working. As they saw me, both of them stood up in respect. I asked them,

“What are you two doing?”

“Uncle Hart, don’t worry,” Austin said immediately. “We’re just having a break; we’ve been working all morning.”

I turned and looked at Austin’s wife; she shook her head as if Austin was lying.

“Your father was not a responsible man,” I said to Austin, “but he worked hard to make this state what it wasn’t. Instead of playing all the time, you should work harder to make it even better.”

“Sure, Uncle Hart.”

I turned and left the room. Austin stood up angrily that moment and walked towards his wife. He slapped her in front of his eighteen year old son. Everyone in the room got terrified.

“Next time,” Austin spoke pointing his finger towards her, “next time you try to backstab me, I will bury you alive. You understand that?!”

Thomas then came ahead and held Austin saying,

“Let it go Austin, let it go!”

Austin’s son Brandon got quite upset and he tried to console his mother who was weeping silently.

I was standing outside and quite unethically, I was listening to everything. I thought to myself,

This guy will ruin the state for sure. He looked like a rebel to me since he was a child.


The first year of Jacob’s reign was a huge crash down of economy. A state that was already in the phase of recession declined down further. Jacob as we all know was a greedy person, so he raised the prices of stuff so that taxes could be increased.

He doubled the prices of all food items in the first month which was quite a shock. But then he tripled the prices in the second month. The citizens of the state were so upset but Jacob announced through Austin that it was a temporary thing.

The citizens had gathered outside the castle and they were simply requesting that this matter must be reconsidered. Ryan, a brave young adult was leading this crowd. Austin, however, came outside and declared,

“Citizens of Prestige Land, this is a temporary thing. We promise you that everything will be resolved within few months. The prices will go back to their original values very soon. You have to cooperate with us.”

Ryan believed in him and he waved to his crowd as if they must respect the king’s brother.

The crowd left peacefully, not knowing that Austin and Jacob were simply lying.

Apart from inflation, the unemployment also increased with the passage of time. More and more people were getting unemployed as organisations could not afford labours. This further led to poverty and homelessness.

One day, while I was walking in the streets, I saw a woman crying. I overheard her conversation with her colleagues,

“I just can’t believe they fired me. I have no husband but I have one son. I have no other resources of income.”

This woman’s cry made me really upset and I said to myself,

This is probably just the beginning. May God forbid, but I think there will be plenty of similar cases in the near future.


Several months later, one day, I was inside the meeting room of the castle. I was all alone and suddenly, the door opened. I looked up and saw Abraham making his way inside. He walked slowly towards me and I wrapped up what I was writing.

“Hello, Uncle Hart,” he greeted.

“I wasn’t expecting you. Anyways, have a seat.”

He sat opposite to me

and said,

“Uncle Hart, I am really upset. And I also know that you are upset too.”

“It is true. This was not what the citizens expected.”

“My father should have left a will behind, don’t you think?”

“I don’t know how that would have made a difference. But he should have taught your brothers honesty and discipline. I’m sorry, but I have to say this.”

“No please, I know that you are right. I agree with you.”

“You know kid, there’s one thing you can do. You should roam around in the city. You will see how upset the people are.”

“As a matter of fact, I do. I do take weekly visits. And to be honest, I am not able to sleep comfortably.”

“Exactly…” I agreed. “We are the people with power, and this is happening under us.”

We both got silent for a long moment.


Few days later, Abraham was walking in the streets as usual. He was under a disguise but he was observing the life of people. He came across an interesting scene and stood still to observe what was happening.

An aged man was walking from shop to shop and was asking the shopkeepers to help him. It appeared as if nobody could. So, Abraham went to one of the shopkeepers and asked,

“Can you tell me what that old man was asking for?”

“He is a father of three kids and he has recently gotten unemployed. He is asking us to help him but we ourselves are losing customers. We have nothing to help him. We can’t even support ourselves, how can we support others.”

Abraham turned and looked at that man and saw that he was sitting on his knees and he was crying badly.

Two days later, Abraham and I were seated on a horse cart and we were headed towards some place. We both saw that there was a crowd of people gathered around a tree inside the park.

“Let’s go and see,” I suggested.


As we both rushed inside and made our way through the crowd, we saw that a man was hanging by the neck through branch of the tree. Abraham recognised him and uttered immediately,

“Oh, my God!”

After a moment, he whispered in my ear,

“This is the same man I told you about yesterday.”


“Yes. I promised him that I would help him, but he said he didn’t trust anyone.”


“He said plenty of people had already promised him but no one kept his promise.”

“This is a tragedy Abraham. People are losing hope. We really have to do something about it.”

“There are things in the constitution that I have to respect, as they are an important part of the law. Or else, I would have pushed Jacob from the seat of the king by force.”

That night, inside the castle, Abraham was walking towards Jacob’s room. He reached there and opened the door without even knocking. He saw that Jacob was lying relaxed on his bed and was eating fruits. Abraham called him out,


“What is it Abraham? Come inside and shut the door.”

Abraham saw that Jacob’s wife was also there, and so he said,

“I cannot come inside, but I want you to know that people are really upset in our state. They are dying because of us. We need to take care of them.”

Jacob sat up and asked,

“Anything else you want to say?”

“No… But you need to give people what they are expecting. And that is justice.”

Abraham turned and shut the door.

I was standing outside and I said to him,

“It’s a good thing that you raised a voice. Some good shall come out of it.”


During the second year, the economic conditions got worse. Inflation rose even higher and trade almost ended. The rise in unemployment led to a rise in poverty. Therefore, the suicide rate also increased. Jacob was not concerned about anyone; he was simply living in denial. Austin and Thomas were involved in their own leisure.

We were sure that matters had gotten even worse than they were at Franklin’s time. Franklin enjoyed his life but he never mishandled the economic conditions of the state.

Abraham who was concerned about everything, one day met Jacob alone in his room while holding

some notes,

“Yes Abraham, you wanted to talk to me?” Jacob asked.

“Yes Jacob. I am really concerned about the economic conditions but I have sorted out a solution for everything.”


“I have made this list; here are some items through which we can increase our export.”

“What else?”

“Okay, I’ll come back to it later. About the inflation, we can still survive if we reinstate the original prices of the fruits and vegetables and other eatables.”

“Who cares? We don’t have to pay for anything.”

“Jacob please, try to understand, this is not about us. We have to think about the poor citizens of Prestige Land.”

“Don’t worry Abraham, everything is under control. No one is demanding anything from us. There are no protests, there are no public meetings. Then, why are you creating a trouble for yourself? Just relax!”

“Oh, my God!” Abraham stood up holding his head in shock, “I can’t believe you are saying that. Do you have absolutely no concern for the people of the state? You are the king, you have a responsibility and you are simply not willing to face it because no one is bothering you.”

Jacob was speechless for a moment. He wanted to get out of this conversation as quickly as he could.

Abraham walked in the room and taunted him a bit more but Jacob did not pay attention to any of his words.

During the last few months, Jacob who had finally realised that he was being unfair to his people, then finally reinstated the prices of all items to their original values and after seeing some delightfulness among the people, his conscience got a bit lighter..

Abraham and I were happy about this but unfortunately, it was almost the last month when we had some hope from Jacob. The time had come where Jacob had to step down and Austin had to take over the throne.

A period that was beyond worst was about to then begin.

to be continued...