King Jeremy the Wicked


Connel Coats '25


With each step he took, the highway grew quieter and quieter, but never truly fading as if calling to him to return, to come back, but it was too late to try and beckon him back. The boy already craved the silence.
The leafy walls of the dog highway slowly started to close in on him, with each step ever encroaching. The highway picked up, it must be five. The roads were slick with oil from all the burned-out cars making it through the next day. Ever mulling in the background of his thoughts, never not babbling to hear itself rattle.
But the dog highway had the greatest reward a space where no noise could be picked up, one could forget about the discordant rhythm.
Jeremy could think again, the highway was not gone but almost forgotten. At least that’s what Jeremy wanted. The walls were now so close he could count the number of leaves on each awning branch and the trail almost came to a complete curve wetted with the runoff of the perfection that lies ahead. Without the never-ending blast from the never-ending stretches of asphalt, Jeremy could see more, feel more, sense more. The shadows cast by seemingly nothing spit images into his head and perform plays for only him to enjoy. The ground felt hard like concrete but not. It was far too squishy to be the cold hard stone that he had lived on his whole life. Now crouching, Jeremy can hear his head ring, each step sending big waves of energy from his feet all the way up to the crown of his skull. Our hero never knew such little things could make such big noises, what a magnificent discovery. Still, Jeremy continued down his path, the path that he wanted to go, the path that nobody ever has. On his hands and knees, he could see a blinding. It was magnificent, enchanting even. It was the most he had ever seen he couldn’t look away he kept crawling faster now, unable to await his prize. The shadows sped up as if to encourage him to go and catch his reward. If he could only see everyone now, still hearing the roads weighed down by everyone speaking constantly thinking ‘what fools’ he scoffed to himself but his voice was almost deafening in the tunnel; He never noticed how loud he had to shout to be noticed, but now was different, no more talking sounded like a fair rule to him. This Couldn’t be tainted by speech, nobody asked him if he would go so he shouldn’t demolish the perfection of this. Almost at the end of the tunnel, he was now slithering, returning to an animal. How long was he in here? None of that matters; all he could want, all he could need, was at the end of this tunnel. Nearing the end of his path Jeremy found himself making no noise as he moved along for each noise. He thought he couldn’t bear it, it was too loud. Even the leaves on the branches of the trees spoke to him, not in any script he could understand, but words still.
The end of the tunnel never came but the silence became louder until it was worse than the highway. He could hear every little tissue in his body tear and repair every second he moved. With no energy to keep moving, the hold got smaller and smaller until it was the radius of a thimble. The leaves were no longer speaking, but they were yelling, screeching, laughing even. The shadows danced no more for he was blacking out all the light. All that Jeremy searched for was impossible; so he lay, still, unborn by this imperfect perfection. For he was no king, he was the fool.
And then all he could see, all he could hear, all he could taste, all he could smell, all he could feel, all he could think was.