All is quiet save for the slap of his heels on the smooth floors. A breeze caresses his bare skin. His eyes slip shut as he loses himself in the feel of the air whispering against his flesh; goosebumps spring to life, tingling across his body. He breathes deep, pulling the fresh air into his lungs. A shiver runs down his spine and he remembers where he was headed. His steps more hurried now. He doesn’t want to miss the show. Chest heaving, he scurries to the window and it’s there—the perfect golden sun shining across his kingdom, shimmering on rooftops, glistening off the cobblestones, bathing the world in gold.
Holding his breath, he squints down at his kingdom and smiles. It’s more beautiful, more perfect, than he could have ever dreamed. He stays until the last drops of sunlight fall behind the mountain. His chest feels heavy; the coming darkness presses in on him. Not a single light glows in a window. He is alone.
He swallows hard and pads back to his room. Silver moonlight splashes across his floor as he crawls onto his bed. His wife lies perfectly still beside him. He brushes a finger down her smooth cheek and whispers, “I love you and I’m sorry.”
He closes his eyes and prays again, the same as every night, for God to lift this golden curse—his Midas touch.