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In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. His name was Cyclops.

Indeed, King Cyclops was the one who saw all - he informed his people of the weather, he gave his people knowledge by reading books to them, he told his armies where to go and what to do to defeat the invaders. He could do everything. He had ultimate knowledge. He was omnipotent.

He did not let his people know that he had an eye.

King Cyclops was really an exile from Bifocal Land, where he used to pass the time by robbing the houses of the rich and powerful. It was unfortunate for him though that his one eye - an oddity in Bifocal Land - made it difficult for him to discern what was far and what was close, and it was because of this that resulted in his arrest during one of his robberies. At his trial, the citizens of Bifocal Land discovered that he had robbed nearly a quarter of all the houses in the country, and so they exiled him to the desert, where he wandered and wandered until he chanced upon Unieye Land, the land of the blind. When he realized that everyone there really was blind, well, he couldn't help but rub his hands together and show off his immense "psychic" and "mystical" abilities.

It would not be an overstatement to say that he bewitched the people of Unieye Land.

The people worshipped him, bowed down to him (although they often bowed in the wrong direction since they couldn't see), and brought him great gifts of appreciation.

King Cyclops accepted it all, and gave the people what they wanted. However, he was also secretly planning revenge against Bifocal Land.

"I see...that those of Bifocal Land are moving against us," King Cyclops muttered in a trance-like voice. He had his eye closed, but he knew that his blind Councillors were sitting attentively around him. "They plan to surprise us with an attack... They plan to take over Unieye Land..." He heard his Councillors gasp.

"Oh my Eye! What should we do!" one of the Councillors exclaimed. King Cyclops simply remembered this one as Councillor B. He saw no reason to learn their names.

"But they wouldn't do that," another Councillor pondered aloud. Councillor Z. King Cyclops particularly hated him. He always thought that Councillor Z was much too aware of his surroundings for a blind man. "We signed a peace treaty with them a decade ago," Councillor Z continued.

King Cyclops did not know about this. He thought of something quickly. Still pretending to be deep in his all-knowing trance, he muttered, "The only way... The only way to save Unieye Land...is to...march against Bifocal Land while they still don't suspect anything."

All the Councillors began talking at once. King Cyclops pretended to faint, something he did after every psychic consultation, and then pretended to groggily return to consciousness. As he tried to make his blinking seem extra innocent (although sometimes he didn't know why he even bothered doing this, given that no one could see his amazing acting skills anyways), he saw his Councillors crowd around him.

"Your Majesty uttered that Bifocal Land is currently marching against us!" exclaimed Councillor R.

"Bifocal Land is marching against us?" King Cyclops asked in a surprised tone. "What should we do?"

"Well, your Majesty," Councillor Z said as he bowed to him in the right direction, "the vision suggested that we march against them."

"It's settled then," King Cyclops said. "The visions are always correct."

"But," Councillor Z said as the others began to pack up and hurry off, "does your Majesty not think that this is a bit rash? After all, Bifocal Land has no rivalry with us. Should we not check whether that vision is--"

"Are you contradicting my sight?"

"No, your Majesty. I am merely suggesting that we should be careful with something as major as attacking a nation thrice our size."

"You are contradicting my sight. Councillor, please exit my room right now."

"Yes, your Majesty. But I do hope that your Majesty will consid--"

"If you stay one more moment, I may be disposed to dismiss you."

"As you wish, your Majesty." Councillor Z bowed out.

King Cyclops began to stage his revenge.

***

Two months later, King Cyclops and his Councillors were holed up in the meeting room again. The rest of the palace around them was burning down in flames.

"I thought your visions were always correct, your Majesty!" Councillor B exclaimed as he clinged to King Cyclops' leg.

King Cyclops shook him off. "They /were/ correct. It was you - all of you - who made all this happen! If any single one of you were more adept at planning, more adept at leading troops--"

"But that is why we have you, your Majesty!" Councillor R said. "We are blind! We do not know which direction to lead the troops! But your Majesty should have! And yet, your Majesty's visions walked us right into a trap."

"How dare you insult me like that!" King Cyclops yelled. A support beam from the far corner of the room cracked. It fell to the ground with a large thump. "You ungrateful leech! I should just dismiss you now!"

"If you would like, you may dismiss me." Councillor Z stood up. "I'd much rather leave now then burn to death with the lot of you."

"How dare you utter those words," one of the other Councillors whispered in shock.

"Well, I'd much rather not spend my last hours being bossed around by an imposter."

"You!" King Cyclops yelled, clambering up. "What are you suggesting?! You are dismissed!"

"I'm simply saying," Councillor Z replied calmly as he leaned against one of the remaining intact columns, "that you can actually see, and that you have no psychic powers whatsoever."

No one spoke. The fire crackled loudly. It seemed to be getting closer.

"That is a lie!" Councillor J said, jumping to his feet and nearly tripping over Councillor T's head. "If his Majesty was not psychic, how could he have known that my daughter would get better? How would he know when it would rain? How did he find out that Bifocal Land was scheming against us?"

Councillor Z sighed. "He knew that your daughter would get better because he could see what medicine was being used, and he found out whether that medicine was effective for your daughter's illness. He knew when it would rain because he could see the clouds. And he found out that Bifocal Land was scheming against us because, well, he made it up."

"Lies!" King Cyclops shouted angrily. He jumped up and grabbed Councillor Z by the collar. "How dare you! How dare you!"

"How -- how did you find out about all of this?" Councillor A asked hesitantly.

Councillor Z, who was still in King Cyclops' clutches, choked out, "Because I -- I am psychic."

"Gahhhh!" King Cyclops screamed. He lifted Councillor Z up and slammed him into the nearest wall. As Councillor Z collided with the wall with a loud thud, there was a loud cracking sound. King Cyclops looked up just in time to see a ceiling support beam falling from right above him.

***

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man used to be king. Then the blind found out that sight wasn't so great after all, so they decided that carefully stumbling their way into the future would be much more practical.

The end.
Written May 30, 2009. Quickly edited before uploading to dA.

This was written for one of my journal entries for Writer's Craft. We had to choose a cliche and do something with it. The cliche I chose, in case you didn't catch it, was In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. This was what I wrote at first:

they lied.
they said, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away."

i ate apples everyday, and where did it get me?
right into the hospital.


Mm, obviously, that was too short for my journal entry (hey, it was part of my final mark, so it had to be better), so after a while, I wrote this story. In one night. xD I think I did it past midnight too, bleary-eyed and tired after working on Calculus homework. (That is how I always work, so don't worry about me.)

Cliche meaning: How someone with a skill that no one else has is treated especially well.
Story concept: How the above can completely backfire.


Oh yeah, if you've read this far into the artist's comments, the ghost of King Cyclops may have already reached your residence and may be planning your death as punishment for reading about his crimes.

Disclaimer: If you happen to get hurt after reading this, I am in no way responsible for it. It's just a coincidence. I did NOT place a curse on you, okay? Jeez.
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