The Rule

by Tara Lazar

Prince Vincent preferred eating alone, and Astrid preferred escaping the gnash and froth of her husband, so the couple took their meals in separate rooms. What scant moments forced them together became dominated by minute details of the Coronation, blathered by sycophants whom Astrid fanned away like gnats. She loathed their dripping jowls, crusty fingernails, and odor of rotting vegetable peels. The meek dullards filled her husband’s ears with unattainable fantasies of his imminent rule, which could not occur should Vincent fail to finish the deceased King’s flesh. Served nightly, the king must be fully consumed, fat and bones burned in a celebratory bonfire, ashes mixed into anointing oil for the subsequent ruler. Astrid thirsted for the day she would devour Vincent.


Tara Lazar first published in Six Sentences a decade ago. She’s a literary chameleon, writing dark tales for adults but humor for kids. Her 10th picture book, BLOOP, from HarperCollins, features an alien who visits earth and believes the dogs are in charge. Follow her publishing escapades on Twitter.