The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem: "Meaningless! Meaningless!" He threw the scroll into the fire. "What's the use of anything I do or say? Does any of it matter, really?" His advisor winced. How much wisdom was being lost to the flames? And vellum was not cheap.
"But your majesty, surely being the king..."
"Is meaningless. Tell me, would you be my advisor if it wasn't required of you? Would you care about me if I was a soldier or cook? Be honest."
The advisor didn't respond right away. It was hard when his king was in these moods. His question was personal and asked out of frustration. He got like this when he came back from his harem. The advisor could understand--being around that many women would be enough to send anyone over the edge. Perhaps it should remain unanswered.
"Are you going to answer? Do I have to make it a royal command?"
"Didn't you yourself say there's more hope for a fool than a man who speaks in haste?" Maybe that could buy him some time to think.
The king was silent. The advisor, unsure. Most days the king didn't want a yes man, but honest discussion. Most days, though, he wasn't angry and morose. He would have to trust that God had given him the right response.
Then the king laughed. "This is why I like you." he clasped the advisor's shoulder. "When I ask a stupid question you don't respond with a stupid answer."
The advisor let out an inward sigh of relief. It wasn't exactly how he meant it, but close.
The advisor knew the truth was yes he would care. He'd learned so much from his king, like in this situation, to be able to stop and think before giving an answer. It was his king's character, not his position, that earned him respect and made the advisor bold in in his statement. It was why the advisor didn't want to give him useless platitudes.
The advisor knew he'd be a fool not to follow him.
I was visiting other sites and saw many had posted about a new thing from WordPress. It's called 365 Days of Writing Prompts: a prompt to fire your imagination each and every day of the year.
January 5 was "Call me Ishmael: take the first sentence from your favorite book and make it the first sentence of your post."
My favorite book? Ecclesiastes, in the Bible. This is kind of a flash fiction based on it, a sort of day in the life. I love the whole Bible, too. The advisor is using Proverbs 29:20.
My second favorite book first line: A squat grey building of only thirty-four stories. Brave New World.
For 365 Days of Prompts go here: Writing Prompts
I don't know if I'll post all the prompts, but maybe some more...