Day 23- An Unexpected Journey by Fleet Sparrow

Use this as the first line of your story: “Every journey begins with the tears of kings.”

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The Prompt

Use this as the first line of your story: “Every journey begins with the tears of kings.”

This can be taken literally as a story about a tragedy that’s befallen a king, or a searing indictment of the crocodile tears rulers use to start wars; or you can use this as a metaphor: instead of an actual physical journey, maybe it’s a journey of the soul.

Fleet Sparrow

Fleet Sparrow is a queer, genderless writer living in the Los Angeles area who makes zir financial living moving freight and zir creative living writing. Perhaps, one day, the twain shall meet.

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6 thoughts on “Day 23- An Unexpected Journey by Fleet Sparrow”


    Soldiers, horses, and armor, weapons and needful things.
    All marched toward the enemy lines across the hills so green.
    High upon the castle ramparts, the lowly bard did sing,
    As the highest royal in the land cried the tears of kings.

  2. I used “the tears of kings” as the cryptic answer to a secret code! Then my YA sleuths have to figure out what it is, (a potion or elixir) and then they have obstacles in finding the ingredients, putting it together, and using it for its intended purpose.
    They learn how far they’ll go to protect the people and life they love!
    At first I couldn’t think of anything to do with this prompt, but then I realized it could be a riddle or a secret, and several pages later I have a cool mystery adventure story plot! Yay!

  3. I wrote 474 words about a king who is terminally ill. All his wealth cannot buy what he wants most: the love of his life to return, good health or a place in the afterlife. He has two ghostly visitors who claim they want to help him but have revenge on their minds.

  4. I could have written a story about the experience I had while writing this story. I google-searchead for the King’s tears first. Got something to start my story with. Was ecstatic when my story was nearing the end. I found then that I forgot to save it, and it was gone!
    I acted weird. Both my daughters, knowing me well, kept mum.
    Anyway, sanity returned after a while as I finished writing another. If it fails to fulfill the criteria of the prompt, my apologies.
    Here is my story :
    Partha Da’s Journey to Bhutan Without The King’s Tears!

    “Every journey begins with the tears of kings.” Partha Da, reclining on a chair, said, shifting the cigarette from one corner of his mouth to the other, after we were done with watching the movie “The Frozen Tears of The Priest of Thay” on the TV.
    We, that is, Tapen, Jhilmil and I of the Gang-5, were sitting on the matress while Partha Da, the leader of the Gang, tall, broad-shouldered and sleuth-like, was on the chair in the semi-dark room behind Sonam’s Shop.
    “The Frozen Tears… ” by the way, had left us all so very shaken. It was a movie about some costly stones (also known as frozen or king’s tears) that the Head Priest of Thay lost once and his subsequent attempt at recovering them for mastery of The Sacred from the clutches of his enemies, the Neilshai.
    “So, Tapu, what did you learn from the movie? Partha Da asked Tapen as we still sat there, awestruck.
    “That we can’t make a journey without adequate preparation and money especially.” Tapen, the body builder of our gang, replied.
    “Right. Now, do you think you can make a journey somewhere without money or, let me put it metaphorically, the King’s tears ?”
    “Impossible! ” We all chorused.
    “If I tell you about a time when I went to a neighboring country without any money in my pocket or purse, would you believe me?”
    Tapen, chuckling, was shaking his head while Jhilmil and I pretended to be pondering over the question.
    “Let me tell you about the journey then, shall I?”
    Jhilmil, the only girl and the brightest of the gang, looked out the window. It was a Saturday. The day was still young outside. She didn’t have any more tuitions to attend. Nor did I. Sonam, the shop-owner’s pretty daughter, and the fourth member, came in with a tray. She did not watch the movie as she was busy helping her mother out in the shop. There were 3 cups of tea for the three of us while Partha Da was a teetotaller.
    “It happened at the turn of the last century. I was busy making preparations for a job in the neighbouring country of Bhutan. Heard about it?” He questioned us.
    “The Happiness Country?”Jhilmil cried out instantaneously.
    “Right. Many people came to see me off at the Howrah Station on the day of my departure. My sister, a very rich lady, offered me some cash amounting to nearly three thousand rupees. A lot of money in those days. I put them straight away in my purse and bent down to touch her feet. Tears were coursing down her cheeks as the Guard blew his whistle. Soon, the train started trooping out of the station.

    Next morning as the train was halting at Falakata, I got down from my seat and sat on the lower berth in front of the window. Most of the co-passengers, by then, had got off the train for nearby tourist destinations like Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Sikim or Jaldapara. I had hardly called out to a passing vendor for a packet of Wills when I noticed that my purse from the back pocket was missing!

    Think about my situation! My immediate reaction was to stand up and take a look at the upper berth I slept in on the previous night. My suitcase was there all right but not my purse. It was gone with all the shining notes for good.

    I felt so helpless. I realized then that I was completely broke! There was no point informing the Ticket Checker. I couldn’t contact my people back home as we didn’t have mobiles in those days. I kept looking suspiciously at the man sitting opposite with a scar across his face and a stubble, for the rest of the journey till the train reached New Alipurduar.”

    “Without money, did you come back to Kolkata next?” Tapen interrupted again.

    “I very often wonder if you people have any brains, you siot. (Siot was a blend Partha Da invented joining the two words ‘silly’ and ‘goat’) If I found it difficult to get to Bhutan from New Bangaigaon via New Alipurduar, how could I have gotten back to Kol so easily?”

    Partha Da went back pulling at his cigarette while Jhilmil and I turned to Tapen with a murderous look in our eyes.

    “I hired a cab from New Bangaigaon to Galekphug, the border town in Bhutan.”

    “How did you hire the cab, Partha Da, by magic? ” Jhilmil queried looking all very innocent.

    Partha Da overlooked the question and carried on. “I told the cab chap about being pick-pocketted. He agreed to give me a ride till Galekphug in exchange of my Titan wristwatch though.

    I was exhausted by the time I stepped into the border town at around 3 in the afternoon. Bhutan is a treat to the eye. There were hotels lined on either side of the road. I decided on the nearest called Y-Me.
    I was lucky when the young Manager of the hotel, one Geltshen, lent a sympathetic ear to my poor plight and helped me out. He was pursuing a course in Buddhist Studies from a university in Mussorie and working as the Manager of Y-Me while vacationing back in his native place.

    We became fast friends within a few days while I was awaiting my Place of Posting from the Regional Office. Thanks to Gyelshen that I could proceed to a very remote place called Ura and reported to office on time.” He stopped to shake the ash off his cigar into the ashtray on a stool beside his chair.

    “So, you see, Gang-5, that one could undertake a journey without any kings tears, or in plain words, money. That’s what was being conveyed through this movie – that every journey begins with the tears of Kings or King’s tears. Only occasionally, one might be lucky to undertake a journey WITHOUT them or money like it happened to me. And surprising as it may sound to you, exactly 3 months after joining my workplace, I had to come down to Kol without the King’s tears as well. But I will tell you about it some other time.”

    Partha Da ended abruotly having noticed Tapen yawning, and me looking longingly at the kitchen from where the aroma of fresh chicken being cooked, percolated the whole atmosphere.

    “Hold on a sec as I ain’t done yet.” Partha Da raised his hand to stop Jhilmil from trying to roll the mattress back in. “I’m planning a trip to Kathmandu, the capital of the neighbirimg Nepal, by the end of this year. Anyone interested in accompanying me?”

    “Are you gonna undertake this with or without the king’s tears?” I couldn’t help asking him.

    “We’ll wait and see”.

    The end

  5. Wrote today’s story using characters from my Baseball Boys series. Rhys speaks the prompt line. I haven’t gotten to the point in book 1 which actually leads to this moment, but it’s coming up. Today’s story was 350 words. The beginning:

    “Every journey begins with the tears of kings.”
    Caleb laughed as he stepped out of the locker room right into a group of his former teammates. “What the hell are you guys doing here? Don’t you have a game?”
    Rhys shook his head, grinning at making his friend laugh. And at being able to surprise him. So, Brock had kept his mouth shut. “Tomorrow. Early afternoon, so we got in tonight. And it’s just down the road. We figured we’d catch your first game of the season, since Brock couldn’t make it.”
    Annnnd…he probably shouldn’t have mentioned that. Rhys knew Brock wasn’t adjusting well to the new routine of barely getting to see his boyfriend over several months. Apparently, Caleb wasn’t either. Time to change the subject. “That was a great first game, though. You stomped all over the World Series champs.”

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