A Glass Of Water
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A glass of water. A glass of water, sitting quietly on a table. That was what his life had been reduced to. Divine punishment, uttered by gods beyond his understanding. He closed his eyes, or what was left of them, and remembered that fatal day.

His empire was colossal, unfathomable, gigantic. He liked those words. But not every empire was built without its enemies. Oh, how many times he had battled his nemesis. The blue star army, a formidable foe, with their gray armor and fire-breathing arms. But not strong enough.

He used to win. Until that day, that fateful day, when they won. And they had no mercy, as he never had. They plundered his entire empire, reduced it to ashes, and left the king there, stranded in the ocean. They abandoned him, but they did not know. Even if he tried, his small size left him defenseless against the victor.

He then roamed the sea, still believing himself to be of immense size, encountering different species he had never seen before. Unknown fish, familiar ones, all ignoring his verbiage. But he did not understand that those words he liked so much no longer characterized him.

But he did not see just fish. He was finally able to meet again with an old acquaintance, a colossal snake, which moved elegantly in the ocean. Despite the difference in size, she seemed to recognize him. But she was fast, and he was small. He tried to catch up, still believing he had his speed, but was left behind, forced to search the ground for food.

He was forced to swim on his own, again, lost in such a vast body of water. The tide carried him to an archipelago, where he encountered an old friend; the archipelago itself. It had always been bigger than him, by far. He envied its size, of course, as he always had. But he couldn't say anything to it, as it was still in its lethargy. He even tried to wake it up, grabbing it by one of its remaining tongs, but to no avail.

Then, suddenly, propelled by the gentle waves, he arrived at a beautiful and vast empire, standing on the coral reefs of the west. Despite its prosperity and greatness, it spilled the blood of its own, blending it with the tide, infiltrating the few whiskers that adorned his scrawny face.

He knew very little, for since the last time the life that had unfolded, it did not differ from his daily life. But it was no match for his empire, he used to say, however large and beautiful it might be, because his was perfect. In his, there were no civil wars or betrayals.

And so he continued, even finding some bodies in that swimming water. But he could not recognize them, since he was an animal, not a human.

It was shortly after that he met his fatal fate, divinely set by gods he was trying to give shape to. He was sucked in without warning, his body rumbling inside the thin pipe of that atrocious machine. He was twisted and turned, tossed and crooked. All the torment was over after a few hours, when he ended up dwelling in a small tank filled with water.

He prayed, shouted and cried out, looking for redemption from the ascended spirits. It seemed that he was somwhat heard, as the stormy whirlpool calmed down in that narrow tank, hidden behind his ignorance at not knowing how the mechanism he was in worked. He had finally accepted that he needed other words to describe himself. Tiny, vulnerable. He found no better description.

He took advantage of this new found calm to meditate, patiently waiting for his prayers to be heard, offering peace and harmony instead of gold and power, as he would have done.

And it seemed that his patience had been rewarded. The water began to churn, dragging the little monarch along with it. It was a matter of seconds before he found his new prison within a glass of water. Perhaps his gods were being merciful. Perhaps it was a worse form of torture. He tried to ponder, since there was nothing he could do.

And there it was, in a glass of water. A glass of water, sitting quietly on a table. It made no sense that someone would have put it aside after filling it, but what would he know? He was just making the most of every second he had left, as it could be his last.

And the last one arrived. The sun was eclipsed by a huge figure; a hand, clutching the glass tightly. It leaned, out of habit. The creature watched expectantly, shocked, unable to comprehend that this would be its last breath. And he closed his eyes, expecting the worst.

A second passed. Another one. Several seconds passed. And a bang against cold metal, sending the water and the king back into the pipes. His prison had failed, finally freeing him from such slavery. On his lips would forever be his hero, eternal savior of his existence. As he was expelled through the pipes back into the ocean, he swore eternal loyalty to the unconditional kindness that had been bestowed upon him, no longer pursuing that ambition of greatness and pride.

Once again, he found himself wandering the sea. But this time, his life had another purpose than that of a vast and magnificent empire.

"Hey, calm down, it's just a glass." The mother was comforting her son, her gaze on the pieces of glass scattered in the kitchen sink, her hand running through the child's hair. "We're going to buy another one."

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