The Royal Food Tester

Everyone watched as I cut a little piece from the delicious looking steak on the gold plate in front of me. I inspected it carefully with my eyes. Then, I sniffed it, taking in the aroma of the meat. Finally, I nervously put it into my mouth to taste it. I felt the juices of the steak pour into my mouth as I chewed it thoroughly.

Swallowing the piece of steak, I then picked up the glass of red wine in front of me. Brining it under my nose, I sniffed it, taking in the scent. Then, reluctantly, I took a sip, and thoroughly washed my mouth with it. Satisfied with the wine, I swallowed it.

I nodded at the man standing next to me. Nodding back at me, he picked up the glass of wine and the plate of steak. Then, he walked over to the smiling king, and placed the glass and the plate in front of him.

The king dug into his meal. Next to the king was the king's advisor, who said to me, "Thank you, you may return to your room now. We will send someone for you when it is time for dessert."

I walked back to my room and laid down on my bed, staring up at the ceiling.

'How many years has it been?' I thought to myself.

Three years. I have been the king's food tester for three years. Every day for the past three years, I have been testing the king's food, making sure that it hadn't been poisoned by being the first to eat it. Putting my life in danger every single damn day for that tyrant of a king.

For years now, he had been bribing and taking bribes. Changing tax laws for his own benefit. Ruling over the kingdom with an iron fist.

Of course, I couldn't quit even if I wanted to. I had been an outspoken opponent to the king. Unfortunately, with his power, he managed to get me arrested and convicted for treason. The only alternative to jail and never being able to see my wife and daughter again was to be the king's food tester.

There was a knock on my door, followed by, "It's time for dessert."

I clenched my fists. All I could say was, "Coming."

I got up and followed the guard back to the dining room.

I sat down and watched as the king smirked, delighted at the torture he was putting me through. I cursed at him in my mind.

A delicious looking crêpe was brought to me. Again, I cursed at the king inside my head as I nervously picked up my knife and fork. I cut a piece of it and brought it up to my nose as usual and sniffed it. Then, as usual, I reluctantly put it into my mouth and began chewing it thoroughly. Last, but not least, I nervously swallowed it.

I seemed to be fine, so the dessert was brought in front of the king, who laughed heartily.

That's when I started feeling dizzy. The crêpe had been poisoned.

I started to say something, but then, I stopped.

I was probably going to die, but I was not going to go down alone.

I watched as the king licked his lips and slowly picked up his knife and fork.

I sat still, trying to look like I was fine.

The king started cutting into the crêpe. Slowly, he cut a piece out.

'Eat it!' My brain yelled.

The king brought it in front of his mouth and smiled.

'Eat!' My brain yelled again.

Finally, the king ate it. He continued digging into the crêpe, and with every piece that he ate, my heart grew lighter, as my body grew heavier.

Halfway through the crêpe, the king stopped eating.

"I feel... dizzy," he said. Then he coughed out blood and his head fell onto the table.

Everybody started rushing towards the fallen king.

My job now done, I coughed out blood myself. Then, I smiled and closed my eyes as my head fell.