The king was the wisest ruler in the history of the nation. Kind, fair, open-hearted, direct. His castle gates stood open every day. People from near and far brought their disputes to him, and left as friends.
The king had many admirers, yet he never married. At dusk, he ate a simple supper, and retired alone to his chamber, bolting the heavy door behind him. Those who listened at the door only ever heard him praying – for wisdom, for love, for peace.
In sleep, she came to him, as every night. Not in a dream, but in the deepest of sleeps, when he gently slipped into the gap between thoughts. She was always there, waiting for him, with the patience of someone who has forever.
The hands on the clock stilled. The thick castle walls were no barrier to them. They would stroll, and sit, and whisper and laugh. And he’d ask her about matters of state, but she only ever smiled, and kissed his forehead. The questions dissolved.
Every day, when morning came, he awoke and she was gone, but her kiss lingered, still warm on his forehead. With this love, he rose, dressed and went out into the world.