King Killin shouted obscenities at his capturer. He struggled against the ropes that held him bound to a large table. His naked figure squirmed as the tight ropes cut into his flesh.

” You piss pot of shit! You bastard of a whore mother” King Killin shouted, spitting in his rage.

Many thoughts flashed through him as he looked at the calm face of Kristus. Kristus was sitting on a stool around a table with all kinds of sharp instruments.

” You can scream all you want, no one will hear you.” Kristus said coldly

” You filthy, shit pit! You cockless swine. How dare you! Do you know who I am?” King Killin spoke

” Your the great King Killin.” Kristus answered mockingly

King Killin was momentarily taken aback that the young man who often jeered him in the streets and sometimes shared with him his food, knew his true identity.

” Yes I have always known who you were Old Bardak.” Kristus answered.

” What do you want? Why am I chained like this?” King Killin raged.

” That’s the question I can’t seem to answer. What do I want?” Kristus said turning around from the table to face King Killin square on. Kristus tone of voice was calm but his eyes were fiery.

King Killin was tied to a rotating table. The table was now tilted in an upright position, hence a naked King Killin was almost in a standing position facing Kristus.

” You see I want you dead, dead… dead dead! But I also want you to suffer greatly. I want you to suffer forever. So I have been thinking about the solution to my dilemna, the answer to my indecision.” Kristus said getting up from his stool and walking closer to King Killin.

” You can’t kill me! I’m the King of all Kings. King of Cappadocia. You better release me!”

Smiling faintly, Kristus said

” King Killin, what you are is a murderer of kin, defiler of men and women, destroyer of families and waster of nations. You are full of evil and spite. May the day you were born be cursed forever.” Kristus said in sudden vehemence.

King Killin felt his blood run cold. He felt the first slaps of fear overtake his heart. He had seen eyes before with the same determined glint, eyes of men standing before him ready to kill him or be killed. Except this time, all the power was in this boy’s hands.

” Kristus who are you? You no longer talk roughly. Your speech is that of a noble.” King Killin said trying to figure out his capturer.

” I am Aristaeus Domatonov, son of Selena Domatonov the wife of Justus Domatonov. Both of whom you have made into the dead. My mother you killed after she spurned you filthy lusts and my father you turned into a walking dead after you murdered his wife and sent her head to him on a platter.” Kristus summarized.

” Now about your punishment for your crimes. I have decided that the best way to punish you is to take away that which you love. You love to dominate and be powerful over everyone. Now everyone shall dominate over you. You shall watch as your kingdom is ruled by another and you will be helpless to stop it.” Kristus said

” You can’t do anything to me, I am your King! You and your yellow belly father Justus will be executed if you lay a hand on me.” King Killin said angrily struggling against his ropes in rage.

” I shall decrease your body, whatever you have two of shall become one, whatever you have one of shall become none. This will take some days, don’t want you to die from bleeding now do we?” Kristus said smiling charmingly.

Kristus then turned a wheel at the side of the large table and changed King Killin’s upright position to like that of one laying on a bed.

” When I’m done with you, you will wish you were dead. Everyday you will wish I had just killed you.” Kristus whispered menacingly.

” What are you going to do to me? What are you going to do to me!” King Killin said in growing fear

Kristus turned away from the table and went to stoke some hot coals. He then went to his table of tools, and said

” I think I will leave your tongue for last, let’s begin with an arm. I shall make what once was two become only one. Then we will deal with your randy cock that covets other men’s wives. We shall make it no more, one cock shall become no cock.”

” Leave me! leave me. I am your king you traitor.” King Killin shouted in fear.

“Bardak the lame, Bardak the maim, the eunuch, the dumb, the blind, the beggar, the disfigured….this will be your new titles.” Kristus said.

Wasting no time he walked right over to King Killin with a sharp looking machete and chopped off his right arm. Instant pain engulfed a disbelieving King Killin as he turned to see his armless shoulder.

Kristus then went to the hot coals and pulled out a hot pole with a cup like tip. He walked back to King Killin’s bleeding stub, what was left of his arm and cauterized it with the hot pole. King Killin screamed terribly and passed out from the pain.

Reaching down, Kristus took up the chopped off hand and wrapped the top where it was cut, he then brought the body part over to a box and placed it inside.

” Come, come now, O great King I’m sure your much stronger than this. I’m not done yet.” Kristus said checking the arm to see that blood loss had stopped.

Going for some water, Kristus splashed King Killin’s face to wake him. King Killin woke up moaning, pain hitting him all over. He screamed more obscenities at Kristus.

” I still have your cock to collect. Then we will be done for today.” Kristus said.

Walking back over to the table of tools he picked up a very large scissor like instrument. Not hesitating for a second he turned and approached a now squirming and pleading King Killin.

” No, no, no! No, no…no,no,no!” King Killin screamed

” It’s not like you have any use of it anyway, you childless vulture!”Kristus said while settling the large scissors around King Killin’s manhood.

” No, no please no.” King Killin begged.

” Did you have mercy on my mother when she said no. Did you have mercy on all the innocent people you killed. Did you have mercy on your own brother and his family? Mercy is for the merciful.” With those last words Kristus closed the scissors sharply.

King Killin screamed out, gutteral grunts and showers of sweat overtook him. Throwing his head around side to side, he screamed, his spit splashing from his mouth,

” You shit sucker! You born of a whore! Kill me, Kill me, Kill me now. Kill meee! “

Kristus ignored him, not answering but turning once again to the hot coals. This time he took out another pole, but this one had a flat square tip. Walking back to King Killin, Kristus pressed the hot instrument over King Killin’s groin and cauterized it.

Kristus watched as the captured man passed out again in pain. He derived no satisfaction from the actual process of maiming King Killin, no he wasn’t a torturer by nature. However the thought of King Killin living as a disfigured beggar on the streets for the rest of his life with no one knowing who he is or recognizing him, while he had to watch others take his throne, that thought was sweetness to Kristus’ soul.

Kristus took up the body part and placed it into a box. He cleaned up the passed out King Killin and applied some medicine to his wounds.

” I won’t let you die on me. No… your fate is to be a living dead. Not a dead dead.” Kristus said.

Over the next few days, Kristus chopped off King Killin’s left foot, blinded his right eye, took off an ear and cut out his tongue. When he had collected all the body parts into his box. He strung the the box of body parts to a donkey and sent it along with the King’s signet ring to the High Priest of Cappadocia. In the box their contained a written message that said

” Here lies the remains of your King. The rest of him has been destroyed and scattered away.”

Within a few days of recieving the body parts and the King’s signet ring, the High Priest was facing rising internal strife amongst the nobles. King Killin had no heir. Many started angling for the throne. The citizens shut themselves up in fear.

” This situation cannot continue. We must choose another King, or else Cappadocia will be lost.” Halkali, another priest exclaimed.

The high priest and his council were in a secret meeting as they feared for their lives. If the nobles ever heard they were choosing a King secretly, they would be assassinated.

” My fellow brothers of the council. I received a dream last night. In the dream I found the solution on how to choose the next King.” The high priest said.

” How? What? Well what is it?” Halkali asked impatiently.

” We give every man presently in Cappadocia a number. Then we will draw from a box, a random number. Whoever has the number corresponding to the drawn number will be the next King. We will do this in front of the people all the way! It’s the only way to protect ourselves from the nobles. All men will have an equal chance. We will set up the box in the open square, everytime a new number is added to the box it shall be announced. The box will be watched night and day. The custodians of the box are to have no relations, no friendships, no possible chance of collusion or tampering with the box. Everything must be done in the open. Only then will the people accept the new King.” The High Priest explained.

” It sounds like a great plan,even the nobles can’t go against the masses of people. But we should lock the gates of our city, lest the news go out to foreigners and they send men among us to be counted.” Halkali warned.

” Yes let’s issue the order to have the gates locked. No one who isn’t already inside will be allowed in.” The high priest agreed.

” This draw of numbers, will be called the Sacred Pick. Spread the news.” The High Priest concluded.

Katya and Zolokhan:

When the High Priest and his council issued the order to have the people numbered and the gates locked to foreigners, Katya and Zolokhan had just arrived and passed through the gates. Right before they had reached, Cappadocia, Zolokhan had gotten the idea for Katya to dress like a man. She had questioned him as to why, but he had only replied,

” Your an exotic looking woman, let’s not attract too much attention to you for a while.”

So when they had passed the guards at the gate, each of them had recieved a number since numbers were to be given to men. They had been warned sternly to keep their number always.

Katya and Zolokhan wanted somewhere peaceful to rest. They went to the outskirts of the Cappadocian kingdom to find more secluded lodgings where they could refresh themselves. There were plenty of knowledgeable traders who they had spoken with. They had pointed out a good inn on the outskirts of to the foreign couple.

After the full announcement and intentions of the High priest were known to the Cappadocian people, buzzes of excitement swarmed the nation. Nothing else was on the tongues of the people but the choosing of the new King.

” Have you heard, all men have a chance at being the next King in the Sacred Pick!” a group of men chatted excitedly in the market street.”

” İ can’t believe it my self Yukang, a king chosen from amongst the people.” Delphi a trader replied.

” No one gets left behind because of birth or class.” Another answered.

” This has never been done before! İt’s unheard of.” Delphi replied

” İt’s divine, the high priest says he got the instructions from God in a dream.” Yukang said.

” Hah, God actually talks to him.” One man scoffed.

” God controls the hearts of all men, both the good, the evil and the indifferent.” Simeon said solemnly.

” Well we need to watch the numbers box carefully. No one should tamper with it.” an old man said.

” Don’t you worry about that, there are already vigil groups sleeping around the box night and day. Not even the nobles can use foul play.” Delphi assured the group.

” Who will it be I wonder? ….. Hey, what’s your number?” The old man asked.

” İt’s a secret, I’m not showing anyone my number.” Delphi replied.

” Has anyone heard when the actual day of the Sacred Pick will be?” Yukang interrupted

” No not yet, no word from the High council but that’s to be expected. They are still numbering the men.” Delphi informed them

” Well men, cheers to the new king. Let’s drink and be merry.” The old man concluded, already deep in his cups.

Back at their inn, Katya and Zolokhan had come to hear the news of the Sacred Pick from the inn keeper. The husband and wife duo of Syril and Rebecca ran the very spacious and tidy inn on the outskirts of town.

” Oh what a time you have come to Cappadocia!” Rebecca chatted.

” Yes, much change and upheaval since the death of King Killin.” Syril added while adding firewood to the rooms fireplace.

” What a mystery that is!” Rebecca continued bringing platters of food for her guests.

The married couple worked in smooth combination, both so use to each other. They were extra excited to have such exotic looking guests. They could tell they were no ordinary people and they had paid in advance for so many weeks.

” No one knows who killed the King. Not that anyone really mourns King Killin either.” Sybil gave them insight.

” Yes, it was very bloody though i heard, the King’s body parts…not all of them…just showed up on a donkey to the High Priest.” Rebecca filled in.

” Good riddance, I say.” Sybil interjected.

” Now they will choose a new king from amongst the people. Everyone’s been numbered, even my Sybil! You could be looking at the next King of Cappadocia.” Rebecca said enthusiastically, pulling her husband’s cheeks.

By this time the two had finally finished their works in the room and now stood side by side smiling proudly.

” Well, we will give you two your privacy. Call for anything you like, our daughters Polvolka and Faelyn will come. The bath is set up in that side room over their, and you can boil your water in the fire place. There is a drum of water in the bath area.” Rebecca summarized.

” Thank you Rebecca, Sybil. You have been so warm and welcoming.” Katya said graciously.

A smiling Rebecca preened at the compliment. Sybil turned to his happy wife and said

” Well come on love, let’s go.”

With that the older couple exited Katya and Zolokhan’s room. Turning to his wife, Zolokhan said,

” Well, what a time we have come indeed!” mimicking the inn keepers accent.

” Mhmm…it will be interesting to see this spectacle. Apparently the box we passed in the square is where the numbers are being stored.” Katya said.

” Mhmm well I for one just want to rest and eat.” Zolokhan said.

Smilng Katya said,

” Eat, I’m going to prepare our bath.”

Back at the High Priest.

After a week had passed, the High Priest called for a report.

” Has everyone been numbered Halkali?”

” Yes, every man has been given a number. In total we have over eighty thousand men, Ages thirteen and above.” Halkali reported.

” Good. Then it’s time to set the date of the draw. Let it be four days from now. The time for the Sacred Pick will correspond with the time of cleansing.” High Priest.

” All things are working out so smoothly.” Halkali observed

Nodding his head, the High Priest then said,

“Send out the order. All, everyone must gather together on that day. None should be missing. Prepare the feast. Food and drink must aboud greatly as we usher in our new King. No one is to be missing!”

” High Priest, the food rations have been greatly depleted since King Killin took over the fields for opium. I do fear that we may overburden ourselves by feasting all the people” Halkali said

Knocking his hands on the table in anger, the High Priest said,

” Is this what King Haffadan’s kingdom has come to! He would turn in his grave if he knew what that King Killin had done to his kingdom!”

Sighing as he remembered the great days of King Haffadan’s rule, versus that of his son King Killin, the high priest said.

” This is why we need a new King quickly, or we will be starving on opium. Halkali, take the sacred gold and treasures and go to our neighbours in Sedaxia; purchase food, wine and grain. I will extend the time for the Sacred Pick to eight more days. You should return before then.”

” As you command High Priest.” Halkali said. He then bowed and left.

Seven days later: The Day before of The Sacred Pick.

It was the middle of the night and Sybil and Rebecca were setting out from early so they could camp nearer to the activities and the great box.

” Well come on Faelyn. Your holding us up. If we don’t go now we will never get a good spot!” Rebecca shouted frustratedly

” Yes, my girl you really must hurry up. I could be the next King. ” Sybil called out excitedly. The jolly old man was dressed in his best outfit and decked out in gold.

Katya and Zolokhan were seated in the back of a long cart attached to an ox. The two were glad to be escorted by the excited family. When they arrived in the heart of the city, it was already a crush of people. It took them awhile to get through the crowds. They had to park the cart and walk. Finally they found a nice spot under some trees. There everyone pitched in to set up camp.

” Oh you two are really good people to pitch in and help us with the tent and fire wood. You’re our guests yet Zolokhan doesn’t mind breaking a sweat with my old Sybil here.” Rebecca said appreciatively after Zolokhan had returned with the last of their firewood.

” It’s not really winter yet but it’s still getting nifty in the nights.” Sybil commented. The old man took a seat under the trees.

” I’m truth I’m glad for the work. I’d like to remain muscular.” Zolokhan chuckled hitting his chest.

Katya was having a good time. She watched as groups of young unmarried girls danced around and celebrated. Polvolka and Faelyn had joined in. There were men passing out neatly cut portions of various meats to the gathered family groups for them to roast. Older women were weaving and binding together palm leaves and handing it to their sons and husbands to make shaded roofs over their tents in preparation for tomorrow’s sacred day.

Platters and bags of dried fruits and fresh fruits were being handed out as well to the various families. Children snacked on sweet treats to their hearts content. The excitement and good cheer was palpable in the air. It was like the people had been thirsting for a long time and finally rains of happiness and liveliness had showered down on them.

There was a freeness and a determination to be cheerful. There was no fighting or jostling even though, there were so many people. Everyone helped their neighbour. There was also a continuous effort to keep their spaces clean and neat.

Katya watched as one man cut a piece of fruit and fed it to another, while another fed him a piece of cooked meat. They even grabbed Zolokhan and pressed dried fruits and wine into his hands and lips.

Rebecca excused herself to go paint children’s faces and women’s hands with some older friends of hers. The young dancing girls gathered around and placed brightly colored garlands around Katya’s neck.
The men along with Sybil formed a circular ring and did their traditional dancing . Songs were sung and instruments played. Stories were told until finally many settled down for the night, needing their rest for the highly anticipated Sacred Pick.

Kristus walked back from the centre of the city where he had observed the great box. Smiling to himself, he took his secret route to his underground hideout. He was especially cheerful, he felt the newness of the times. He felt victorious but most of all he was excited to tell the ex-King Killin now turned the maimed Bardak, about the festivities.

” Hey ugly, you will never imagine the excitement of the people for tomorrow’s Sacred Pick ceremony.” Kristus said clapping his hands

” My my, they never celebrated like that when you became king.” Kristus continued.

A defeated and depressed King Killin looked at the young man hatefully. Kristus had cut out his tongue, so he couldn’t even curse his punisher.

” Don’t worry, I have already set up a nice spot for you to watch it all happen tomorrow. You will miss out on nothing.” Kristus said walking over to King Killin and looking down on his crumpled figure on the ground.

” Come it’s time to put on your salve for your wounds. No dying on me now…no you will not.” Kristus said smiling coldly.

” Tomorrow is the day. Your big day. The once great King will see another’s buttocks on his throne. Another shall fart on that thrown. Foreign envoys will present their gifts to another. Your name is already forgotten by your people.” Kristus viciously teased.

” Oh and your precious bear, Shazan, well let’s just say he made a good carpet.”

A tongueless, one armed, one legged, one eyed King Killin now fully stuck as Old beggar Bardak flayed his one remaining arm at Kristus in overwhelming rage. To which Kristus laughed and laughed even harder.