Oh, hello. Obviously if you’re here to talk to me, you’ve hit rock bottom. That’s a shame, but it’s not my problem. I destroyed myself. You’re about to if you leave, so don’t get out of your chair. Just because I’m in these handcuffs doesn’t mean I’m an idiot. If you’re anything like me, you’re going to want to listen to what I have to say.
I was born with a curse. A curse that kept me from deceiving anyone. I couldn’t lie, and I still can’t now. Like a noose around my throat, only tightening when I tried to lie. I couldn’t even make a half-truth or a white lie to protect someone. I was a prince, born to be rich, famous, and successful. But the kingdom I was meant to rule was built on a lie, and therefore I was an outcast. I wasn’t able to uphold the lie and that became my downfall. My mother and father kept me locked in my bedroom. I never saw my people, the people I was born to rule, because they were young and they didn’t want me to reveal anything to anyone, and I barely ever saw them, either. It drove me crazy to be alone all the time. I had no friends and no way out of my room. After a while, I broke out of my bedroom, shattering my window. But I was young… and stupid, and I jumped, half hoping the fall would kill me. It didn’t, clearly. It did shatter all the bones in my leg, though, and when a guard (who didn’t even know I existed, by the way) found my lying there and brought me to the apothecary. My parents were mortified that I tried to escape and tripled my security. I begged them to let me go. I begged them to let me go out and meet some people my age, and I told them that I didn’t even know anything about our kingdom setup. But they didn’t believe me. They threw me into my cage and everything became like it had been.
This time, I refused to go down without a fight.
They gave me books. Books on magic, and spells, and everyday tricks like how to pick a lock and how to wield a sword. I broke my bookcase apart into small pieces against the cobblestone wall and used them to practice throwing knives, and by the time I was sixteen, I was more skilled with weaponry than anyone in the kingdom, according to my guard, who watched me through the glass in my door.
One night, I escaped again, only cracking a small portion of the glass, and tied all my bedsheets and blankets together so I slid to the grass safely. Then I went to the blacksmith and bought a diamond sword after I explained to him who I was, which then I promptly killed him with. Don’t worry, he didn’t suffer. But he wasn’t my only victim that night.
I stole five metal daggers as well, and snuck back into the palace, this time smashing open the front gate. I ended the lives of two guards who tried to stop me and cleaned the daggers as I walked, ducking in and out of rooms throughout the castle in search of my parents.
Finally, I found them.
They were scared. They didn’t recognize me- the last time I had met them, I was a foolish, plump, ten year old boy. Then there I stood before them; tall, regal, and cold. I asked my father why he had done what he did to me and told him that it was all his fault that I did this.
The crunch of metal into his chest still rings in my ears.
My mother… she was different. She explained. She told me that my father built the kingdom up on a lie as his father had instructed, and he built it very fragile. I remember the tear tracks that glistened on her face in the moonlight as she begged for her life. She claimed she had always loved me.
I ended her faster than my father. She had only been an accomplice.
The next morning, I took control of the kingdom. I broke down the entire country and rebuilt it from the ashes. But many didn’t like my rule, and there was an uprising against me. And since my father’s death, all of our allies had abandoned us, I was overthrown and nearly beaten to death by the angry people.
But then… Aimee.
She was beautiful. She saved me from the peasants and we escaped to a distant part of the country. And I was happy. I put away my daggers and my sword and embraced her. I can still remember the sweet smell of her hair- like fresh picked flowers from the meadow. She had long caramel colored hair and hazel eyes that sparkled when she looked at me. I loved her more than life itself, and she loved me too. We lived in a little cottage outside a small village for five years, and then she got sick. She became rail-thin and her soft olive skin turned dull and whitened. When she died, she died in my arms. I wrapped her body in flowers and buried her in the meadow, where she had loved to sing with the birds.
Aimee. She brought me out of a dark place. And then the shadows returned, this time in the form of grief, not rage.
I broke our house apart. All of her paintings that she worked on, her recipe books, her clothes, everything, really- were thrown into a huge fire that ate up our house too. I became homeless and was forced to return to the kingdom to find peasant work. I worked cleaning a barn and I lived among the pigs as payment. The owners were poor and only fed me one loaf of stale bread in a week. I grew grimy and dirty and the only clothes I had in my possession were two loincloths and some old, worn sandals.
One day I quit my job and went into the regal part of the kingdom and I killed the new blacksmith with my bare hands in the back of his shop. I disposed of his body in the river and cleaned myself in his house and fixed myself up, then started my life as a lowly blacksmith, selling weaponry and other things to the people. Only one problem- after I ran out of supplies, I had to go out of business. I didn’t know how to make tools! But I did save some daggers and another sword, my favorite weapons, for my latest conquest.
The new king they had dragged in was called Sebastian. He was fair, as far as I knew, and when I entered the castle, he did his best to hide his fear. I can still remember our conversation-
“Matthias. I thought you ran off with the girl, Aimee.”
“I did. She’s passed.”
He bit his lip. I think he was deciding whether or not to ask if I killed her, but he changed his mind. “So, what’s brought you here?”
“The throne. I want my crown back.”
His fingers were white as he gripped the sword at his hip, his eyes wide. “I’m afraid not. I would be happy to give you a job, to let you stay here- but if I hand over the crown, there’ll be mutiny. Just like before. I’m sorry.”
“No you’re not. Just hand over my crown, Sebastian.”
I had begun to grow impatient with perfect, patient, just Sebastian. He did really seem sorry, though. And he was smart enough to wear a breastplate, which took the full force of my sword.
I yanked it out, and Sebastian smiled softly. “I learned from your father’s mistakes.”
And then, poof, the guards were upon me.
They locked me up again and set me here. All by myself on an old metal boat, with enough food and supplies to last me two weeks and a WARNING note stapled to my shirt. Some people found me as I arrived on a beach and started blabbing about how I must have escaped from what they called the “Bermuda Triangle”? I’m assuming you know what that is. And now, after reading all of the warning labels, they shipped me here. Los Angeles County Prison. And you’ve come here because you can’t lie either, yes? Or you’re very bad at it?
It isn’t good to lie, my friend. I learned that after the downfall of my father’s kingdom. But sometimes, twisting the truth just a little is necessary. Or you’ll find yourself in a mudslide to crap.