King Midas – like King Sisyphus – was condemned to exist till eternity. Burdened with the curse, he constantly suffered from the loss of every person he knew – his partners, friends, children, subjects and slaves. Inevitably, a time came when he fell in love with just himself, the only constant in his condemned eternal existence. In order to see his image all the time, he ordered his slaves to post his images everywhere in his vast kingdom and on everything, including certificates and testimonials, gifts and food packages given away to be poor in charity.
‘Picture, picture on the wall, who is the greatest of them all?’ he would ask his own grand, gold-framed images, which proudly adorned every wall in his fortified castle, as well as those millions of life-size images posted in every street and at every corner of his kingdom.
‘You are my lord, you are the greatest of them all’, he would imagine hearing back every time from his images.
Over time, the self-indulgent king, constantly obsessed with his carefully crafted looks, power and public appearance, lost his Midas Touch, a gift that turned anything into gold but only as long as he remained benevolent. The delusional, corrupted version of King Midas had now fallen to a level where anyone he patted or hugged would soon become a loser. He befriended many kings who bit the dust soon after he hugged them. King Donald, King Jair and King Boris all lost their kingdoms quickly. King Ben faced a debilitating revolt from his own people for a long time, and King Joe and King Tony followed soon after being routed by their people.
Gradually, his subjects and slaves shirked away from him; they knew the effect of his cursed touch. At the end, forsaken by one and all, he hugged himself in the cold of one dark night, when he could bear it no more.
[This story is a work of imagination of the Author. Any resemblance to any person, dead or alive, is purely coincidental.]
Bill K Koul [23 November 2023, Perth, Western Australia]
Copyright © Bill K Koul