The Secret Heir.

Written in response to: Write a story about a character who’s secretly nobility.... view prompt

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Desi Teens & Young Adult Fiction

This should do, Ameer thought to himself as he rubbed a hesitant hand over his clothes. The prince had been looking forward to this day, ever since he was seven, ever since that first day he had stared out at the city that lay beneath his castle, a city that was always bustling with life, the sound of people chattering and laughing away always drifted up towards the prince’s window, the smell of various spices making his stomach rumble and his mouth water, the smoky scent of paprika, the aromatic scent of ginger and the inviting, sweet smell of cumin a homely, distant memory. A city full of beautiful pieces of architecture- minarets and domes that reached the skies and heavens that broke over the horizon. The kingdom truly was an endless maze of wonder and beauty. However, his father, the king, had never let him wander beyond the castle gates and walls for the fear of something bad happening to his one and only son. His one and only heir. Ameer didn’t even want to begin to think about the horrors that might lay beyond the safety of the castle, he wanted to explore his kingdom with only positive, lovely thoughts about his people. He wouldn’t let his coward-ness get in the way of this opportunity, he wouldn’t forgive himself for it until his dying day. Plus, Ameer thought with a realisation, my own people won’t recognise that their future king is walking among them. After a moment of staying still and listening to the castle’s sounds, the prince threw on his cloak and covered his shining black hair before jumping out of his window with a cat’s nimble grace and entering his city…

*

His people. He was surrounded by his people, people whose skins were varying shades of brown and tan. The colours of their eyes ranged from captivating ebony to reddish chestnut and even the rare green and hazel. A blend of all types of people in one place. It was something that made the prince choke back on his tears. Despite living here all his life, the prince was always awe-struck at the unique-ness of his people and how they all wove together. It was his people that truly gave its famous name: ‘the city of the sun’. Not only because of the sun that never stopped blessing their kingdom but also because of how lively his people were, how they seemed to blossom further and further in their knowledge, beauty and culture as the days went by, ‘like flowers conversing with the sun’ a prince from another kingdom had once said when describing his people. He couldn’t agree more, couldn’t be more proud- Ameer was broken out of his reverie by the sound of youthful giggles. Indeed, a circle of children had surrounded him, the sound of their joyful laughs melting his heart. Ameer extended a hand full of golden coins towards the children and their eyes sparkled with pure glee. He smiled warmly at them before saying in a hushed, warm tone, “go buy yourselves something sweet,” he gestured towards a stall that was selling some sweet mithais and jalebis, “I hear they’re exceptionally sweet today,” he said with a wink before walking away, leaving the children squealing in delight.


As the prince further explored the city, he slowly began to enter the slums. Indeed, with every beauty came the imperfection. He felt his heart physically crack at the awful sight that lay before him. The space was overcrowded with people of all different ages, from babies to children to adults, families of nine and ten were crammed into houses- they weren’t even houses, Ameer realised with horror. It seemed as though these poor people had collected any piece of scrap and material off the dirty streets and had built a space for sleeping, to keep them sheltered from the cruel, cold night air. And littering the grounds were dumps of garbage that emanated foul odour and had attracted flies and mosquitoes. The children playing near the wastes were completely oblivious to the fatal danger that sat so close to them, death forever a lingering shadow behind them. Ameer shut his eyes, hoping he could block out the desperate cries of helpless children and the sound of wracking coughs coming from the elders. With his remaining coins, the prince gave equal amounts of his money to the few families that sat before him. Still, it wasn’t enough and the thought continued to bite away at him, even after he had emerged from the darkness of the slums and into the quiet, calm side of the city.


Here the bustling of the city seemed to end. Here the whole entire city seemed to end, only the desert lay before him. The desert. It knocked a breath from him. It was an empty, fiery sea of golden sand, a sea where no ships would ever sail but where men would walk upon and discover every ounce of its hidden beauty that the lands had to offer. Smooth hills were the only things that the human eye could see for miles, not a bush or gleam of water to be seen in sight. The desert was truly a stunning masterpiece with its wild, untamed landscape. The prince closed his eyes for a second and let the desert winds kiss his skin, cleansing him of the dirt and grime that had seeped into his skin and bones. The air up here was far cleaner, even cleaner than that of the castle. It was late evening and the mighty sun began to set, because even mighty things such as the sun needed their rest, his mother had once said to him. The sun began to dip lower and lower into the sea of the sand, bathing the kingdom in its light and glory, until it was completely swallowed up by the land. Eventually the moon rose and took its place. Even the bustling city beneath him seemed to stop, as if halting to take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the moon.


Ameer didn’t know how long he had stood there, looking over his kingdom and appreciating this moment of peace he knew he’d never get again- “AMEEEER”, a voice bellowed from the palace, causing even the ground under the prince to shudder. A few questioning heads swirled towards the castle, confused. Ah, Ameer thought with a long sigh, that will be me and that must be father. “He sounds excited to hear about my day,” he muttered under his breath before making his way towards the palace, his cloak billowing with the wind… 

August 13, 2021 18:17

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