The Rat King

Princess Christine Carlobos

Copyright 2020 by Princess Christine Carlobos

Book cover for story.

The fat boy ran from the Rat King, gulping for air as he prayed to the gods for his life. He had soiled himself earlier when he saw the Rat King crawl from the dingy blackened hole underground where he and his friends were playing. His friends were... somehow, somewhere... inside the Rat King now. Deader than dead.

He tried not to think about them. Live! Livelivelive! He must live! His chubby feet were heavy on the ground, his heartbeat so loud on his ears. The pitter-patter of the Rat King's thousand feet behind him were louder still. Come play, come play with us! His friends inside of the Rat King called out to him. Come play.....

"M'boy," the Rat King drooled behind him. "Yer friends would like to plaaaayyy. Don'chu wanna play wid 'em?"

The fat boy cried, for the first time in a long time. The Rat King's stench now filled the air, echoes of his friends' Come play, come play with us! Come plaaaayyyyyy! were deafening now, louder than the sounds of his chubby feet on the ground, louder than the beat of his heart as he ran for his life.
The fat boy begged the gods once more, for his life, for his home.

"D'ya theenk the gods are that kind? D'ya theenk the gods are that cruel?" the Rat King mocked. "M'boyyyy, come play wid yer friends."

The fat boy ran faster now. Faster than he has ever ran before. Suddenly, an answer to his prayers! He could see it! He could see his house! He ran, nearer, nearer, nearer still.... and when his feet touched the pavement, he thanked the gods.

Could he come out of this alive?

He could no longer hear the Rat King's feet pattering behind him, and the echoes of his friends' cries were getting fainter and fainter...

"Could it be?" the fat boy cried. "Could it be?"

After this, he will hug his mother, he will kiss his father, he will finish his food on his plate, he will eat his vegetables, he will do well in school, he will do his homework. He will, he will. After this. He just has to reach the front door.

The fat boy stepped on his house's porch and grabbed the front door. And he fell down, down, down the dingy blackened hole underground where the Rat King lived.

Come play, come play with us!

"M'boy," the Rat King smiled in front of him.

Princess Christine Carlobos is a lawyer from the Philippines. She has been writing stories since she was fourteen years old, and has won awards for her writing.

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