Chapter 1

Prince of Madness

A/N: This is an entry into Alexis' Story Competition on Chapter 4. Details may be found here:



As I sat on my spiral-adorned throne, I really had began to wonder... why am I, Horatio, the Prince of Madness? Sure, it may be one of the highest echelons of prince-hood but why couldn't I be the Prince of Light, Books, Electricity... Fish? Ha! I don't know. Such questions are answered by my steward! His name's Samson. Bright young chap, although he could do with a sense of humor. "Samson, why can't I be the Prince of Fish?" I asked him. He let out a weary sigh, something I've come to tolerate, and bowed before me, as he should.
"My lord, that occupation belongs to Arania, member of the fourth order of the Hierarchy. Unless my lord would like to request-"
"No, no, 'tis fine up here in the first order! I just wanted a question answered! Because the people out there can't answer it for me."

Samson proceeded to look outside the castle's windows. "Oh you silly steward you, I'm talkin' about them!" He turned his distasteful gaze back towards my beautiful face. Now what word was it, it begins with the letter R... Ah well. "Hey hey, look on the bright side! I'm a Prince, he's a Prince, we're all Princes here! Ahahaha!" I let out a hearty laugh, the heartiest one since... well ten minutes ago. Then when you look at him, he's just standing there, basking in my brilliance! "Except you Samson. You're just a steward." For a while, there was silence. I think I hurt his feelings, oh deary me.

"But stewards are important you know. They're second only to Princes!" I reassured him. I lied, stewards aren't anything. "Speaking of importance, I need you to do a very important thing, something no other man, or woman, could do for me." I was half-expecting his eyes to light up, explode like a firework even! But no, its the same dull expression he wears everyday. To him, that face must be an article of clothing. Where'd he get it, second-hand shop? Ha! "I need you..." I, dramatically, paused, "To cook me dinner! Everything you need is in the kitchen. Go on, get!" He slumped off through the doorway east of the court and left me alone.

Normally, the court is full of immortals like myself, but we're not in session. I don't like being alone. The solitude makes me go mad, insane even! Oh wait, I'm already mad. 90% of my brainpower is used to reach this level of madness. They say that humans, the local wildlife, can only use up to 10% of their brain. Anymore and they go mad. That's impossible though... without divine intervention. Specifically, my divine intervention. Now and then, I enjoy spending time on Earth; the affairs of the court and its courtiers can be oh so boring at times. Oh, I won't mind if the dinner gets cold. Samson won't miss me either. Disappointing really, if he left me, I'd be begging at his knees to stay, I'd erect monuments in his honor! And then I'd turn his fingers into worms. But this story isn't about him, it's about Horatio, the Prince of Madness! That's me if your feeble human mind forgot.

With a snap of my fingers, I teleported myself to my bedchambers. Even I need my sleep. One day, I went six hours. The next, I had three minutes and I woke up fresh as a flower! I jumped onto my neatly made bed and leaped off it, landing right next to my cabinet. I opened it up to meet a sea of blue, red, yellow and black. A simple pair of black trousers, as the humans call it, with half-red, half-blue robes and an intricate yellow pattern decorated on it. I also grabbed my trusty walking stick, perfect for bashing robbers and swatting flies. Now should I put on the fake beard and monocle? Nah, no need; the darkness will compliment my silver eyes nicely. Without further ado, it was time for the fun to begin... and it all starts with a snap.


I re-materialised in a back alley. Dark and damp, its a good thing I've eaten so many carrots! Straight in front of me was a brick house. I noticed one of them had gone loose. Now, as a good person, I would do the owners a favour and shove it right back in. But I'm not a good person now, am I? I swiftly struck my stick against the concrete and shattered a large section of the building. From the inside, I could hear screaming. Humans are funny like that. The wall didn't look like it would hold; I gave it a little poke and down went London Bridge! Surprisingly, for him, I came face to face with a man holding a shotgun. He was old, fat and bald. Was he bold enough though?

"Ah! Pardon me, was all this yours?" I jested.
"Who the heck are you?" He asked me.
"How rude! Avoiding the question now, are we? I believe I asked you first, so you spill your beans and I'll spill mine." I could see traces of irritation in his face.
"Yes, it was. Your turn, lunatic."
"I prefer the term madman myself, but that works as well. I am Horatio! Divinity! God, Ruler, Royalty! I am the Prince of Madness!" I gave a slight bow. "At your service."
"If you're at my service, then fix this mess!" He demanded.
"Ooh, I don't offer those kinds of services. My domain is entropy, not creation." I picked up one of the fallen bricks and started levitating it.
"Wh- what is that? How-"
"I'm a Prince. I have power. Over you. Not that I'd expect a human like you to know."

Suddenly, he fired. I suppose this is the part where I start recoiling in pain. Wrong! Human weapons don't affect Princes. My unearthly body absorbed the impact of the pellets, fading into oblivion. No explanation for it, just gone, poof. "Oh dear. I'm afraid you've made a very poor decision." I placed my hand on the barrel of his useless little weapon and uttered an incantation under my breath. Without warning, to him, it transformed into a snake, which escaped his grasp and slithered on over to my feet.
"What are you?!" He demanded.
"Why that's a snake. Haven't you ever seen one before?" I mocked. The simplicity of humans makes them so easy to manipulate. As old beer gut stood before me, mouth agape drooling with booze, I brushed rubble off my robes and casually made for the door. "You two have fun. I really must be on my way to more, important concerns. Try not to get... consumed by the madness. Hahaha!"

I placed my hand on the doorknob and made another incantation. I opened the door to meet a purple and green portal, spiraling with power. Right this way to court, ladies and gentlemen! Please turn down the lights and stay dead quiet, hahaha... with no more delays, I stepped in.


Ah, this was the smell I know and love. Nightshade and Ricin soup! Oh, delicious! Only the most refined gentlemen can afford this! "The benefits of prince-hood far outweigh that of its disdvantages, eh Samson?" I asked.
"I would not presume to know, my lord." He replied, grey and unemotional as ever. That's the steward I know and love.
"Well, I'd say today has been full of laughs and excitement. I'm sure they'd agree as well."
"As my lord, I am bound to agree with all your decisions. Only God knows what you speak of though." A wise man he is, for he is correct. But I'm the Prince of Madness. In my realm, I am God.

And as the... Reader, you would know this too.


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