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Yesterday's King
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Yesterday's King
How often do we sit back and just thank God for the people and things that we have in our life? Maybe we should.
[1,259 words]
Literary Fiction
Beau Hefley
i am 42, single and live in New Mexico
[July 2011]
[email protected]
Illusions (Poetry) This is a poem that describes not the life that we see, but the one that we don't. [115 words] [Teenage]
In My Dreams (Short Stories) this story hit close to home and I'm not ashamed to admit that I got teary eyed. Please feel free to comment on it or any of my writings, I would really like to get your feedback. you can fill out th... [1,206 words] [Relationships]
Judgement (Poetry) being single, a friend talked me into joining an online dating site. As i browsed through the descriptions, indiscrminately choosing to search further or completely ignore people based upon looks alon... [165 words] [Motivational]
Sentiment Of Sorrow (Short Stories) I wrote this after watching a history channel series abour the civil war. It wasn't the blood and bodies i noticed so much as the look of weariness on the soldiers faces. [590 words] [Action]
The Moonlight (Short Stories) I wrote this while sitting on a beach in Alabama. [481 words] [Fantasy]
The Unspoken (Short Stories) A story for anyone who has ever been in love. Please feel free to e-mail me at [email protected] with any comments about any of my stories or poems. [1,046 words] [Romance]
Yesterday's King
Beau Hefley

Yesterday’s King

Hey you, excuse me, yes you. Come closer, don’t be afraid, let’s sit you and I and discuss the world, you may find that we have much more in common than you think.
Though my sight is nearly gone I can feel your eyes upon me and can guess at the look of revulsion that must reside there. You’re wondering, who I am, WHAT I am. Well, if you will but sit, I will gladly answer that question and thereby put it to rest.

There, now isn’t that better? How exhausted you must be from the endless scurrying, the constant search for “stuff”. Stuff to make us feel better, stuff to make us look better. “Just like the joneses”, isn’t that the phrase that you use today?
I’m sure it must be nice to talk to your friends and neighbors about that engine you have under the hood, or the beautiful house that you just purchased or maybe even about that new electronic gadget that is going to end all of the struggles of daily living and give you the life of ease that you have always dreamed of, but at what cost? What price is paid in the end due to your constant search for more “stuff”?
Vehicles grow old and begin to fall apart, houses burn down; gadgets are eventually replaced by even more advanced gadgets and in the end, what is left?

I can hear the soft rustling of your clothing as you fidget back and forth, I understand. Be patient yet a little while longer and you may find that it was worth the wait.

I was once like you, you know. I had a wonderful job in a factory right around the block from where we sit now, the name isn’t important, it was long ago and you wouldn’t have heard of it anyway. I was married to a wonderful woman who gave me two healthy sons and we had a beautiful home in one of the better neighborhoods around here. I could describe them to you but I won’t, those memories are for me to cherish and I guard them jealously.
I would wake to the sound of little feet pattering up and down the stairs and the smell of bacon frying as she prepared breakfast for us. I would tip toe downstairs to sneak up and kiss her neck from behind and she would turn, acting as if she was angry and scold me for scaring her, but in the end she would break down laughing and remind me to hurry so I wouldn’t be late. I would turn and take the stairs two at a time, stopping long enough to tousle the boys’ hair then hit the shower and get ready to leave.

 Life was wonderful, it was everything that I had ever hoped for and more and that’s where my story should end, don’t you think? I believe all good story’s should have a happy ending and I think that you do too, but that wouldn’t be reality would it? In the real world happiness only lasts for as long as you allow it to.
I would like to tell you that the factory closed down and moved away or that something horrible happened to my family to cause me to exist in this state of being, but that would be a lie and friends should never lie to one another. No, in the end it was something much simpler and ultimately more tragic, it was greed and envy.
I looked up one day and realized that no matter how hard I worked, I always seemed to have less than those around me, so I worked harder and longer hours. Still, in the end, I never seemed to have enough. I became frustrated; she and the kids were holding me back. The expense of raising a family on my salary was draining and it wasn’t fair to me.
I tried many times to talk to her about it but could never quite get the words out, instead I chose not to say anything and just bottled it up inside. The more I held it in, the angrier I got until I found myself looking for reasons to find fault with her. She would cry and beg me to tell her what was wrong but I wouldn’t. I couldn’t put what I was feeling into words; I just knew that all of my failures and disappointments were somehow tied to her and the kids.

 Well, eventually things came to a head and I came home one night to find the house empty and a note on the kitchen table. “I love you”, it said. “When you get things figured out, call me”. I was the happiest guy in the world, I was finally free. All the hours of overtime would finally start to pay off and I could start enjoying my life again.

Within a few months I had managed to save enough to buy a boat and although it wasn’t as large as some of my neighbors, it was still large enough to command respect. A year later I bought a new car. I was really living the high life and if I wanted it, I just went out and bought it. Within a few years I felt like I had pretty much everything that I had ever wanted and it was about then that reality set in.
I would cook dinner on my new stove and set out one plate, there was no one else to cook for. I would sit on my new sofa and watch my new television while I ate but I wouldn’t speak; there was no one to talk to. Sometimes I would drive up into the mountains in my new car but the ride would be empty and joyless because there was no one to share it with.
I tried taking the boat out on weekends to see if that helped but all the water did was depress me even further, instead of the sounds of laughter and children splashing in the water, all I heard was the hollow thump as the water lapped against the hull.
I began to drink to ease the loneliness. At first it was just when things were bad, then it was every day and finally all day. At some point I lost the house, the car and the boat along with everything else but I don’t really remember it, by then I was in a drunken fog all the time. A train could have hit me and I probably wouldn’t have known it. So, here I sit before you with nothing but these old clothes and a ragged coat to keep me warm. Pretty story, is it not?
I suppose that I should stop right there for I hear you restlessly shuffling again but i wonder, is it an eagerness to be gone or fear this time? Do you by chance see some of yourself in me? No? Well, that’s left to be seen isn’t it?
Before you go, you wondered earlier who or what I was and I promised you an answer. I’m you, or at least a reflection of you. I am what you may someday become if you are not very, very careful. So, by all means go back to your scurrying and constant aching for the life you should have had instead of the one that you do have. I’ll be right here waiting and I can always use the company.



"I enjoyed this story immensely! it put into words how i look at life.. So often we don't see what we have...and that is when we miss out on life's greatest gifts..these gifts come with a life long fight to keep them but they are worth it. Because they bring a true happiness called "Living".I hope someday the character in your story moves forward from his greed and selfishness and finds his place so he too can start living then maybe in the future there will be that happy ending. Great story Mr.Hefley!!!" -- lilly, t or c, nm, usa.


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© 2011 Beau Hefley
July 2011

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