He couldn’t love her in life, but he could avenge her in death!
Check out the latest episode of ‘The Hidden Gems Podcast,’ featuring the best short stories that you’ve never heard. Today’s episode features a short story written by Dan Hitt, entitled “Crown Your Hatred,” which is set in a brutal, far off world of mysterious assassins and duplicitous tin men.
Once upon a time, there was a great Toad-King. He ate his wife and she landed in his belly. She was so angry that she took to beating the walls of his stomach, which bothered him greatly. The Toad-King called the Toad- Doctor, but no medicine that the Toad-Doctor gave him could stop her from beating upon the walls of her jail.
The Toad King sent out a royal proclamation offering the best lily-pad and the juiciest flies to anyone who could stop his wife from beating him from within.
The best musicians and singers came from all over the pond. One Frog-Singer sang her a beautiful song called ‘please stop hurting your husband’, but her beatings from within only got worse. A renowned Toad-Storyteller told her a bedtime story that had worked like a charm on his spawn, but the Toad-King’s wife refused to be cajoled.
Finally, the Toad-King could take it no more. He began beating his own stomach and she beat back and, before long, the Toad-King was dead. The wife crawled upward, out of his stomach, up his throat and tumbled out of his mouth to land with a plop on his gilded lily-pad.
When she saw what she had done, she let out a terrible cry of despair because she had loved him and hadn’t meant to hurt him. She had only been angry. She cried for three days and then a big juicy fly came by and her tongue shot out and she gobbled up the juicy fly — and it tasted good.
She looked around and saw that the lily-pad kingdom had no king. She took the king’s crown from her darling king’s rotting head and plopped it on her own head.
“I am the Toad-Queen. Bury the Toad-King and bring me more flies.”