Jump to content
Sneeze Fetish Forum

The King's New Allergy

Mr. Black Cherry Berry Tea

Recommended Posts

WOAH I WROTE SOMETHING. I kinda just sat down and this came out. Not heavily edited or anything. As usual, ear-splitting sneezes, bordering on the unrealistic (or wildly unrealistic, lol). But you know, castles are not extraordinarily well-soundproofed places, and terribly echoey...

Very much inspired by a passing thought I had about BBC Merlin and Arthur and so there's remnants of Merlin if you squint, but I didn't want to be bound by that world, and (if I even continue it) the king and his manservant/court-sorcerer-on-the-low might not even make an appearance. Might just be the reaction of the castlefolks to this allergic situation. Alright, enough chatter, hope you enjoy.


I. The Night Watch

“Ha-ehhhh… ehhhhhh… hHHEEEEHHHHHhhh…”

I could practically see the castle walls shaking. I was on the king’s watch, posted just outside his bedchamber. Ordinarily the night’s watch over the king’s chamber was an uneventful, easy enough job. But that was ordinarily. And these were hardly ordinary circumstances.


“ ‘ere he goes again…” complained Caspian, the guard assigned the watch with me, rolling his eyes, and covering his ears, for all the good it’d do. “Whole castle’ll be wakin’ up five hours early in three… two…”

I did likewise, covering my ears in preparation for the explosion.




I heard more than one started yelp in the aftermath of the king’s sneeze. But those were faint, only perceptible to an elite guard like myself, trained to notice all manner of slight, subtle noises. The king’s sneeze, however, was neither slight, nor subtle. It was a veritable war-cry. Worse than a war-cry. I myself had heard the king’s war-cry and it had nothing on his all-consuming, castle-awakening, sleep-destroying…

“HHHHHAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRSSCCCHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOEEEEYYYYYY!!!” Our Vesuvial monarch erupted again, adding an involuntary—surely involuntary, he SWORE up and down it was involuntary—scream to the end, in case the body of the noise hadn’t been sufficient. 

“How long y’think ‘e goes on this time, Damien?” Caspian asked, nodding towards me.

Frankly, on the strength of that first wall-rattling sneeze, he was either going to blast the irritation out in four or five full-strength sneezes, or else…

“Sounds like ‘is nose is tickled right good, my friend.” I confessed, shaking my head, “I’m afraid it’ll be a long night for all of us. We’re in for more fits tonight. And he’ll be in a right mood in the morning. It don’t let him sleep anymore than it does the rest of us. If I didn’t know better, I’d think this allergy of the King’s was more than an allergy…”

“AAAAAAAAEEEERRRRRRRRRRSSCCCCHHHHHHHHUUUUHHHHHHHH!!” The nasal bombardments continued, that one less vocal, more nasal, still a wall of sound that surely awoke what precious-few castlefolk had managed to cling to sleep through his first two sneezes.

“Arrrggghhhhh… and you know if ‘e sneezes all nigh’, ‘e’ll prob’ly sneeze half the day too… that’ll be no sleep for us either.” Caspian griped.

“Says you,” I replied, “I sleep down in the lower town.”

“You’re telling me, you can’t hear those great big galumphing—“


“That. You’re telling me you can’t hear that down in the lower town?”

“Well, of course you can. But you know my brother does a bit of the…” I wiggled my fingers a bit, to indicate the forbidden: magic. 

“Warded the house ‘ave you? Smart one.”

“Don’t get me wrong, Caspian, you can still hear ‘im if it’s a really big one. But it’s faint, an’ I’m a plenty heavy sleeper when I want to be.”


“Gods, that was a big one!” Caspian exclaimed, “Even after all this time, ‘e still shocks me with how big they are. I know it’s a whole ‘thing’ with the royals, the whole sneezing like the thunder thing. Lord knows the princess could rattle the walls good before they married ‘er off to whatever kingdom she’s gone to, but…”


“But even Princess Eleanor couldn’t compare to this,” I finished for him. And it was true, she couldn’t. None of them could. In fact, before this whole… thing started happening, I’d personally thought the whole “descended of Jupiter with sneezes of the thunder” thing was a great crock of shite. Not that I blamed them of course; royals had to have some mystique to maintain their legitimacy, and the gods know I’d worked under worse kings as a sell-sword, before I found my place here. But still, seemed like another load of royal horseshit. Until a fortnight prior, when the king had been plagued with the most terrible allergy that seized upon him and wrung out of him sneezes that seemed fit to wake the dead… or perhaps to rival the thunder in their volume and violence. It hadn’t been so bad, the first few days. But after that first night, when the allergy refused to leave him, even in his sleep, awaking the king with the most awful irritations—who subsequently woke the entire castle with the most awful sternutations—the people of the castle had been less than enthusiastic, turning to barely-concealed rage. Lack of sleep did that to a castle. It wasn’t every night, of course, and it wasn’t as though the king sneezed constantly through the night, but… it was certainly enough to set the entire castle on edge. And this, the third night in a row? Well, blessed be the gods for gainful employment solely at night, because the castle was not going to be the sort of place I wanted to spend any time tomorrow morning.

“AAAAARRRRRCCCHHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!” The king thundered again.

“That one sounded tuckered out!” Caspian exclaimed, “y’think that means he’ll taper off soon?”

I shook my head. “It was a bit smaller than his usual but… mark me, we’ve got plenty left in this fit of his. If the gods are kind—“

“HHEEEEEEAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRR-CCCHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!” And there was the loudest sneeze yet, perhaps the loudest I’d heard from him since the whole business began. I nearly jumped in fright, and poor Caspian leapt fully into the air. He was only lucky he stifled his squeal of shock—more than one guard had already been replaced for reacting too noisily to the king’s eruptions. Poor thing. I think it embarrassed the king. He was already suffering, he didn’t need the reminder of how much he was inconveniencing everybody else with his inability to get a hold of his accursed, enormous, explosive, seizing sinuses…


“If the gods are kind, we’re halfway through. If not… for all we know this fit’ll go straight into the second and we’ll barely get a reprieve for thirty minutes.”

“Gods, I don’t know how you do it.” Caspian said, shaking his head at me, and clutching at his chest, trying to recover from the fright the king had given him. “They really weren’t this bad, during the war? I know you fought in his unit, back when ‘e was just the prince.”

“Oh, well… ‘e sneezed plenty big back then too. Woke us up more than once, tho half the time I think it was on purpose. It was always suspiciously close to time to march. But that…” I shook my head, “that was a bunch of soldiers, sleeping light and sleeping rough, ready for action at any time—you know he had us on the dangerous route, aroun’ through that forest—and sure, ‘e was loud but this is—“


“This is different. This is worse than I’ve ever heard ‘im, by far. I heard tell in the old days, if ‘e caught cold, you could hear him, real faint, down in the kitchens. But not like… you know old Caliphrea said it sounded to her like he was right next to her bedside. First night she woke up all ready to curtsey and ask what the king was doin’ in ‘er bedchambers!” I chuckled.

Caspian chuckled too, for a second, while another earsplitting "AEEEEEEERRRRRRRSSCCCHHHOOOOOOOO!!! HAAEEEEESCCHHHOOOOOOOOOO!!" double sneeze erupted in the chamber behind us. They were coming on quicker now. He was reaching the end of the fit, where the sneezes came back-to-back. On the bright side, it indicated that our nightly bombardment from the king's nasal artillery was soon to come to an end, or at least reach a temporary reprieve. On the downside, when he started having multiples in a row, the king sneezed a lot.

As he recovered from the shock of the king's latest double, Caspian looked at me, rather seriously. “You don’t think…?” He asked, wiggling his fingers a little.

At last he’d got it. I’d been hinting around at it for a while, but. It wasn’t wise to speak too openly about these things. A little enchantment of a bungalow in the lower town, sure. The occasional herbal pick-me-up, a little help with the chores… that much was fine to speak about. That much had changed, since the bad old days, where magic was concerned. But this? Speculating that the king had been ensorcelled? Especially with something like this, something so close to the mythology that had always surrounded the crown? To attribute it to anything other than the king’s royal blood and manly fortitude (at least in earshot of any of the nobility) was unwise, to say the least. But now that he’d said it, I could reveal a bit more of my thoughts.


Or, at least, I could if the king stopped sneezing long enough for me to be heard over the din. And to think this was only his first fit of the night…

Edited by Mr. Black Cherry Berry Tea
Link to comment

Oh this is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! The dialogue is on point, and there's a nice arc in plot for just sitting down and writing! Not to mention the aspect of sneezing 'fit for a king!' Ah? Ah? Se what I did there? Ahhh nevermind-- IT WAS GREAT BUDDY KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!!

Link to comment

Oooh I love this! The guards’ banter is so well done, but I’d love the king’s itchy perspective or someone in his chamber... 😇

Link to comment

Oh mh god, like always, your story had blown me away. It's truly fantastic

Link to comment

YAYYYYYYY!!!! Another amazing story from you!! I agree, the guards banter is amazing... Really sets the pace... And those sneezes! Wowza!! Great job, Tea!!! 

Link to comment

This is GREAT. I'm a sucker for comic fantasy - honestly, I'm reading this as much for the banter between the guards and the snarky narrative voice as I am for the sneezes.

I also love the little hints of worldbuilding and perhaps a deeper plot that are building up! (Much like the king's sneezes :lol:) Magic being forbidden in a fantasy world yet still obviously pretty commonly being practiced on the down-low is an interesting touch, and gives the whole question of "who would dare curse the King" a bit more weight.

tl;dr I greatly enjoyed this and I'm excited for any future instalments!

Link to comment
On 5/12/2018 at 0:25 AM, Queen of Spaids (or Kita) said:

Oh this is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! The dialogue is on point, and there's a nice arc in plot for just sitting down and writing! Not to mention the aspect of sneezing 'fit for a king!' Ah? Ah? Se what I did there? Ahhh nevermind-- IT WAS GREAT BUDDY KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!!

I totally agree with you!! and yes I did see what you did there!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA lol.:thumbs_up:

Link to comment

My oh my, this is just.....adorable.  Poor king. Maybe he needs to get kissed by the right girl to fix things, or a sorceress needs to come and diagnose him, or maybe he will get murdered in his bed by sleep deprived subjects! 

What possibilities! 

Link to comment
On 5/22/2018 at 8:13 PM, Janenotsoplain said:

My oh my, this is just.....adorable.  Poor king. Maybe he needs to get kissed by the right girl to fix things, or a sorceress needs to come and diagnose him, or maybe he will get murdered in his bed by sleep deprived subjects! 

What possibilities! 

I second this it could be interesting for sure. 

Link to comment
  • 5 weeks later...
  • 8 months later...

I wrote a chapter 2. Idk, I had stuff laying around. I might go back and improve the voice, I feel like it sort of slackens throughout... but at least I actually wrote something, lol. Hope you enjoy.

Also it’s the wrong size font. I can’t fix it on my tablet but I’ll get on my desktop and fix it later. Sorry, lol. Finally fixed the font two years later lmao.


II. The Head Cook




Thank the gods I hadn’t bothered to attempt sleep. Five nights running, and my old bones, and my bad health, I think the king’s sneeze might have shocked me into an early grave! Saints and heavens, louder than ever! And the gods know the king would never forgive himself for that, would probably set that sorcerer of his—not that the king’s manservant was to be referred to as a sorcerer, and wasn’t that peculiar, though it’s hardly the first not-entire-secret-secret that’s gone around this old castle, including the nasty business about the king’s own mother… oh dear me I’m rambling. Well in any case, I’d die of fright, he’d send down the sorcerer to save me and before I knew it I’d find myself an undead cook, cursed to make the king’s favorite pastries for all eternity. Which, after some consideration, doesn’t sound all that bad, especially if the sorcerer fixed my aching hip. I quite like making pastries.


“Ms Caliphrea… ’e’s off again!” Tarran said, as she shuffled into the kitchen, still in her nightgown, looking harried and upset. I should never have told that girl she was my favorite of the maids—she was always seeking me out, more and more since the King’s booming sneezes had started up. She was a sweet girl, but somehow in the evenings she never had the energy to help me mix dough and cut tarts.


“Worse ’n last night!” I said, commiserating as I poured the milk and sugar in with the flour, shortly before the king proved me right with a great thundering




You really could hear him just as clear as bell, as if he’d been right next to me. Though clear as a bell might’ve been something of an understatement. The king’s sneezes—




—were more like standing inside a great cathedral bell as it was being rung, filling your whole head with sound, resounding and resounding til it was all you could even think of. At least, that’s what they were like lately. The good King’s never been a quiet sneezer, that I can say with a great deal of confidence. Even when he was still the Prince and not a crowned and holy King, he’d still sneeze loud enough that I could hear down in the kitchens. Of course, then his chamber was right above the kitchens, even if a few floors of the castle above. And it was loud, true. (Although I might exaggerate the tale a bit, that’s my right as a matriarch of this castle!) But back then he wasn’t being heard in the lower town, I know that; no one sneezes that loud. Or no one did, because these days…




“Auuggghhh…” Tarran moaned, “I’m just so tiiiiiiired, mum. I don’t mean to complain but…” She flopped down onto the counter, rather dramatically. I must’ve been tired myself because I’d ordinarily scold her for such behavior, but I just nudged her over a bit, so I could get at the rolling pin. The first dough, that I’d made earlier in the night, would be rested and ready to roll out soon. 


“But it’s just… does the King have to sneeze so loudly?” she whined, “I’m half-deaf, mum! And my sis, she works in the stables and she says it frights the horses so they’ve got to keep someone to the stables all the time and if his sneezin’ didn’t wake the stablehands as much as it does the horses…”


“He can’t help it, you know that,” I said, giving her a gentle pat on the head. “If he would, he could. The King loves his people. You know he’d do anything to make things better for us. I’ll bet the king has tried five or six times to exile himself til he gets his sneezing under control. But we need him here—”




“MERCY!” I yelped, “that was a loud one even for ‘im! Must’ve been brewing in there for a while… now what was I saying, Tarran?”


“Blah blah blah he’s a good king and he loves us and we need him here. I don’t care, mum, I just wanna sleep!”


“Now Tarran—” 




The king sneezed again, with a scream at the end that rattled like the thunder. In fact, that’s exactly what it sounded like, like the King was a one-man storm, like a clap of thunder…


“Mum?” Tarran asked, tapping at my shoulder. “Mum, you were saying?”


“I was… I was saying…”




“Tarran. Tarran, have I ever told you the tale of our royal family and the great gods of Olympus?”


“The great who’s of a-what-ness??” 


“The gods of Olympus… Jupiter, the King of the gods. Our royal family is descended from the god of…”




Louder still. It seemed that the King’s roars were louder than thunder, louder than ever…


“Tarran… in the morning… go and fetch the physician, will you? Tell him that old Caliphrea wants to see em. Tell ‘im it’s important, and to come right away.”




“Oh by the gods!” Tarran exclaimed. “How is he doing that? If I sneezed that loud I’d… I’d blow up! It’s impossible! D’ye hear that mum? How are any of us supposed to sleep with the King storming away up there…”


I put an arm around her, going back to rolling out my dough before cutting it and putting it in the oven. The storm was over for now, you could always tell after a big fit of sneezes like that. “There there child. Run along now and catch some sleep before he starts up again. You know the King’s manservant has been called back to the castle; between him and that old physician of ours, we’ll have the King fixed right up in no time, isn’t that right?”


“Yes mum. I’m sorry… I don’t mean to speak ill of the King I’m just… I’m just so tired…”


“So run along now, and get your rest. Odds are he’ll start up again before the sun rises. Get in your winks while you can.” 


“Yes mum. I hope it’s a long time before he starts up again this time. Me poor ears can’t take much more!” She whined, giving one last forlorn look back at me before she slunk back to her chambers for a bit of rest.


For me, I had plotting to do. I knew the old physician knew of the stories, the legend of the power of Jupiter and all that. All us of a certain age knew the fairytale. But not all have been in this castle as long as I have. Not all remember how the stories can come true. And besides, I had baking to do! And he was going to start up again soon. If I needed my rest, I’d take it during the day while the maids spread the food throughout the castle. Of course, the King had taken to sneezing more and more during the day as well… but with any luck, between my old stories and the physician, and the King’s sorcerer heading back this way… hopefully our nightly disruptions—and our exhausted King—would be set right soon enough.


“Sneezin’! Of all things, sneezin’!” I chuckled to myself, “Well, wonders never cease around here. I’ve certainly seen worse.” I murmured as I cut the dough and carried it towards the ovens.

Edited by Mr. Black Cherry Berry Tea
Link to comment

Wow! I love it, Tea! Great addition to the story. I really like how they were shocked at how loud one of the sneezes was, saying how that was huge, even for him! As always, great job. You're a remarkable writer, and I can't wait to read more :)

Link to comment

Oh Jesus what is this? AMAZING! Me likes very very very much!!! Hope you do post another chapter! 

Link to comment
  • 6 months later...

III. The Sorcerer

Bugger. Blighter. Codswollop. Addlepate. Nincompoop. Stubborn old never-changing know-it-all arrogant clotpole of a king!


And damn near the most attractive man in the whole history of the planet!

It was enough that he’d lied, said he was fine, said it was just a little allergy, said it was no worry at all if I went out on a quest, said he’d deal with it, said he’d solve the issue just fine on his own… and never even bothered to think that he might keep up the entire kingdom! That was all enough, but that the problem I was now—finally—called upon to solve was so gods damned distracting…


“Bloody hell, they’ve gotten louder! Ohhh, you don’t know how much you’re helping me with this sleeping potio---, er, I mean, this sleeping medicine." The old villager assured me. And ordinarily I would be gracious and more than glad to help but right now all I could offer him was a distracted,

“Oh, yes, of course, uh…”

For all I knew, he was nattering on in the background, joking about the draught or magic or the sneezes but oh the sneezes were all I could focus on, all I could think about, waiting for the next one to strike wondering how each one was impossibly louder than the last, standing on edge, hoping I’d be able to hide my reaction to the next gigantic, impossible, ridiculous, practically supernatural:


“Bloody hell, he’s putting me on!” The words leapt from my throat before I could contain them but by all the gods if it didn’t seem like he was making them louder, more vocal, more desperate just for me…

I had to get out of here.

“Alright, so nice to talk to you but I’m afraid I’ll have to go, of course I’m glad to help you, as the King’s Right Hand it’s my duty to help everyone in the kingdom but especially our beloved capitol citizens and..”


“Oh by all the gods that was a bellow, he’s practically roaring them…” I bit my fist. Apparently whatever cursed robbed him of control of his nose left my mouth similarly uncontrollable. Who would have thought I’d ever have a secret to conceal from the people more than the magic? And yet, here I was shuffling out of a house, mesmerized, practically possessed by the constant eruptions coming from the throne room, where I knew he was attempting to hold court, but couldn’t because his nose, his beautiful nose, his itching, twitching, out-of-control, world wonder of a nose wouldn’t let him conduct state business, was more demanding, more powerful even than a king, forcing him to surrender every few moments to another magically-amplified:


He was always a loud sneezer. I wouldn’t say that was the first thing that attracted him to me. No, that wouldn’t even be true. But I wouldn’t lie and say I didn’t notice it either. He’d get colds, back when I was his manservent, and I would tend to him and try so hard to pretend every great galumphing roar of a sneeze didn’t make me want to swoon. And the servants, the kitchen staff, even the knights would laugh and joke that he had the sneezes of thunder, that they could hear him all over the castle and into the lower town, well… it might have been a joke then, but it certainly wasn’t now. Neither the range of his boisterous sternutations, nor their thunderous source.


“Gods!” I cried out, unable to restrain it. The townsfolk would think, there goes the King’s Right Hand, as annoyed with him as the rest of us are. But annoyance was as far from my mind as the King was from his senses when he sent me away, in the midst of what I knew was not some ordinary ailment. Even before they’d grown to their present titanic scope, I knew there was something unusual about this new allergy of his, something stronger, deeper. I almost felt my magic react—of course, I figured it wasn’t exactly my magic that was pulling me to stay with him, care for him. These things can be hard to tell apart. Apparently it was both.

Was it three? Five? Ten? Twelve? Seventeen? more roaring sneezes he released on my walk from the lower town up to the castle? I couldn’t keep track, distracted by how desperately I wanted  to go either to him—


“By the ancient—!” another bitten off curse. It was as though I was walking through a wall of sound. The shockwave of his sneeze felt as though it bodily pushed me back, washed over me like a wave. Was it my magic that was tingling my skin or was it just… me? These things could be hard to tell apart. But no, no time to focus on that. How ironic that this of all things would be the most successful attack on the kingdom in years, practically decades. How could anyone have known between his pride and my predilections, we would find this perhaps the hardest to break of all known curses?

I had trained. Trained ceaselessly, trained til I had control over my magic that I could only have dreamt of as a younger man. (And did, actually). And as such, ordinarily breaking such a curse—powers of the ancient gods notwithstanding—would be… well, if not child’s play, certainly achievable. But as desperately as I focused on the needs of our Kingdom, there was always a tendril, and edge of my dumb desire, that I could not will into the spell. To break a curse like the King’s “allergy,” one bound up in centuries old magics even I knew more by feel than by fact, would take all my concentration, all my will. But I could not bend all my will to the containment of these eruptions he called sneezes, not when there was still a part of me that found nothing in all the world more attractive.

But I had to put that out of my mind as I passed through the castle halls. I was approaching our apothecary’s chambers. My old Druid rival, turned a friend. Still, friend though he might be, I knew better than to trust him with a secret like the real reason I was unable to break this curse—the mockery might literally never end. Still, I had to suppress a shudder when the King sneezed just as I passed by the Audience Chamber, where he was still doing his best to conduct official business.


I couldn’t help my curiosity, couldn’t help but peer in to see a chamber full of petitioners and nobles, scribes and scholars, openly bracing themselves, covering their ears, looking at the King’s working, flaring, twitching nostrils as though they were facing down a lance at a tourney, hunkering down in the hopes that their ears would survive another:


He sounded so pitiful, so miserable, so utterly at the mercy of the tickle in his nose. The sneezes sounded as though they were wrenched from him, and I cursed myself for my weakness—surely my love for him ought to be strong enough that all of my being would spare him this suffering. Surely that love ought to outweigh that tendril of silly, foolish desire…


I couldn’t stand this much longer, caught between the pleasure of the sight and the torment of my powerlessness, not before the King’s new allergy, but before my own stubborn selfishness. Whoever managed to work this curse, to channel the magicks of the King’s bloodline in such a frankly ridiculous way, surely they never could have suspected they would practically grind royal business to a halt, since the king could hardly get through three sentences without succumbing to sneezes that shook the castle to its foundations.

I could only hope that the apothecary had a remedy where I did not. I suspected I was still red in the face when I arrived at his chambers, to see him standing outside, smirking.

“I see you took some time to check on our monarch and his nasal bombardments,” he drawled, smirk never fading.

I could have asked him how precisely he knew I had taken such time, but I knew that was a question I would do decidedly better not to ask. “Yes, I have.” I replied tersely.

“Oh, the King’s Right Hand is too austere and wise for a bit of ribbing from the Court Physician I see. Alright, alright, we’ll play this your way.” He said, as he ushered me into his chambers. I could hear the laugh in his voice, and despite my very firm pledge never to use magic to harm, or for selfish ends, I quite wanted to curse him into silence. Although that would prevent him from telling me about his remedy, assuming he had one.

“Yes, of course, I have a solution. Never thought I’d be the one to solve a magical malady with you around but I suppose this is why it never hurts to have a backup, hm?” He said, mirth still dancing around his eyes. I perhaps would have succumbed to a desire to at least place a mild hex on him but of course, the King intervened with a—


It would be undignified, and untrue, to say I had to stifle a moan. It was just surprise.

“Ah, I see the typhoon still rages.” He said, looking up at me under coy eyelashes. “Well, it won’t for much longer, as I have devised a solution!”

I wanted to scream at him to get on with it, but frankly I didn’t trust my voice as another great cracking “HHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRSCCCCCCCCCHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!” lascerated the air.

“So, we know that you are unable to directly attack this curse. And while there are rituals I could perform—very lengthy and painful rituals which I would not at all enjoy—” his curving lips belied that statement but beyond a raised eyebrow I did not dare comment, “that would separate our King from the ancient Olympian magicks that echo through his bloodline.  Oh, pause for thunder!”


I wanted to ask him how he knew that the King was about to sneeze yet again, but so often with the Druid it was better not knowing.

“In any case, while I could accomplish such a ritual, the consequences on our King’s temperament, abilities, and frankly his sheer dumb luck may be unpredictable. Whatever silly hedgewitch stumbled her way into this curse was dealing in forces far beyond her comprehension or abilities. In all likelihood, all of this involves nothing more than an enchantment on some pollenating plant or other that causes the pollen to excite the Olympian magicks with which our King is imbued. All that energy excited, with nowhere to go, what can it do but release. At this point, the King is probably less responding to an allergy than releasing pure Olympian magick in the only way his body knows how. Which I suppose is better than him manifesting lightning bolts, or perhaps the magic itself tearing him in two. Or three. Or five. Or any number of pieces, really, given the nature of wild mag—”


That one seemed to be the loudest yet. Maybe this theory of magic all riled up with nowhere to go was true. And whatever the magic was, it seemed to be more and more riled by the second.

“So!” he said, either brought back on track by the King’s exp,losion or the impatience he saw on my face, “we could track down the agent causing the reaction, which would presumably involve exposing the King successively to every flower that grows in the nearby region to see which most excites the Olympian allergy, rather than the King’s ordinary sensitivities to pollen, which in turn would involve some sort of measure both of magic and of, well volume…” he continued, his smirk back and wider by the second. He wanted some sort of reaction. I wouldn’t give him one. If I could summon a yawn for myself, I would.

“But then again, the exposure might excite the Olympian magicks too much and well we’ve already discussed the possibilities there… in any case, after much thought, I have finally come to the correct conclusion! It will require your assistance, of course, although in a roundabout way, as you seem to experience some sort of… disability… when it comes to this particular magical circumstance. Our issue is that the King’s wild magick needs somewhere to go. So we shall simply tell it to go to you!”

    “To me?!” I couldn’t help but blurt. I had done my best to stay stoic during his explanation—any reaction risked revealing too much—but this was too much. “You mean, when the King sneezes… forever, it will… send ancient Olympian magic into me?”

“Well, not forever. Over time it will… hm… it will establish a flow with your magic. A sort of… channel for the magic to travel. So rather than release in a sort of uncontrollable, violent…”


“…that,” he chuckled, “rather than that, if his magic is excited, it will simply flow into your infinite supply of magic, of which it is already, in some sense, a part. And presumably if you are in regular and close contact with the King, which, as his Right Hand you must be, the magic will naturally flow back to him, in gradual, manageable amounts, which shouldn’t cause such a—”


“--dramatic reaction.”

I couldn’t help but lean against the counter for a moment, as I felt my knees give a bit with that last sneeze. I still had reason to doubt the Druid, although his plan made sense. And he truly was an ally, he’d proven that a thousand times over. Still, his alliegence—as he regularly made plain—was not to our King, much less to our Kingdom, and still less to me, in any real way. His alliegance was to prophecies, to the Old Religion, and some role that my magic—not me, but my magic—supposedly played in their Grand Design. But at present I could have given a flying codswollop about a grand design. All I wanted was to be at the King’s side, and sooner rather than later. And I wanted this problem solved. So…

“Alright. How soon can the remedy be prepared?”

“I’ll need a list of herbs…” he said, brandishing a rather long scroll, “how would you like to relive your former days are the physician’s apprentice, and help me gather these? I couldn’t possibly entrust it to anyone else, and it will help the spell for you to have as much proximity to the ingredients as poss—”

I did indulge myself in a bit of magic to summon the scroll from his hand. I may or may not have also indulged myself in sticking my tongue out at him. Which of course only promptly caused me to bite said tongue when another great rushing


—resounded through the castle. The Druid’s face remained placid, smirk constant, but I could tell inside he was quaking with laughter.

“Alright, alright, I’ll gather your ingredients. Just… help him. Please.”

“Of course I shall. I am ever at your service.”

“I’ll believe that when I see it.” I muttered, as I turned to go, already scanning the scroll for the list of elements needed for this remedy.

“Hm, what was that?”


“Sorry, couldn’t hear you over all that, gotta go!”

And with that I rushed from the Druid’s chambers. I suspected I heard a chortle through the closed door.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/26/2019 at 5:51 AM, starpollen said:

Love this story!  Hoping we get more direct interaction with sneezy king 🥰 

I second that!


It’s a brilliant story, and I love that the Sorcerer is enjoying the sneezes as much as I am! 

Would love an update - I am intrigued as to how the Druid’s “solution” will work! 

Link to comment
  • 1 year later...

LMAO y'all this is so overwritten, I apologize. But also whatever, I managed to get something written so y'all get to read it, maybe I will go back and make it better later okay bye!! *runs away*


IV. The King


My nose. My damned nose. By all the gods old and new, my insatiable, insufferable, intolerable, insistent, itchy, tickly, twitching, torurous nose!

“So the… th-thehhhh… the harvest in the W-weehhhhh… Western… -sniff-”

I was fighting.  I was fighting as hard as I’d ever fought anything. Harder. But to do battle against a swordsman, a sorceror, a monster, a ghost… that was child’s play. For that I had tools and training. Years of training in weapons and fighting. For this meeting too: years of training in diplomacy, in leadership. But none of that training involved a struggle to the death against your own damned nose!

“In the W-wehhhh… weeeeeeehhHHHH…”

Through narrowing eyes, I saw their faces: full of disapproval, fear, hands itching to clap to their ears, legs twitching to hide under the table, as though I really were a storm unto myself, and in taking cover, they might be spared the worst. Perhaps if I simply allowed the sneeze to come, it might not be so monstrous but… I could not. I could not bring myself to succumb so easily, to give in, to be weak. I chanced putting a finger beneath my nose. It was a desperate failsafe that had served at least a few times, but in truth I could never resist for long. I could no more resist these violent eruptions than the sky, overcharged with energy, could resist the lightning arcing across the sky, or the terrible roar of the thunder in response.


They came, thick, fast and violent. Each one felt like it took all my strength, as though I couldn’t help but through the full weight of my body—no, the full weight of the castle herself into each sneeze. And then, for a moment…


No itch, no tickle, no torture. As terrible as they were, as much as they terrorized my meeting, my castle, my citizens, my countryside… there was a guilty, fiendish part of me that felt such magnificent release and relief with each great roar that was loosed from my mouth and nose. Drained, too, of course. Exhausted as though I’d climbed a mountain after practically each sneeze, let alone a whole terrible fit of them like I’d done. But also, utterly and simply delighted.

And then I opened my eyes and the embarrassment flooded in, and then, barely a split-second later, the tiny, teasing, barely-perceptible blossom of the itch that presaged another sneeze. The urge to sneeze again was following closer and closer on the glorious feeling of release and relief. When this all started I could go half the day without a sneezing fit. Then hours. Now barely minutes. But perhaps if I didn’t think about it, if I just barrelled through and ignored the tickle… maybe it would leave me alone.

“My apologies again, gentlemen.” I said, and quickly, before anyone could comment upon my nose: “Now, the Western harvest is among the best we’ve had in some years, which means our levy at the current rate should be -sniff!-” the itch already was worming its way up. But I could hold out still. I could ignore it.

“At the current rate should be more than sufficient to provide for capitol needs, y-yes Minister?”

The Minister of the Exchequer tried to discreetly rub at his ears, but it was obvious what he was doing, trying to clear his head from my sneezing long enough to focus on what I was saying. I couldn’t bear it.

“Yes! It will be sufficient, I don’t need you to check my arithmetic. You may repohhh… re-re…” I gave a hard sniff, and allowed myself  a quick rub at the underside of my nose with the heel of my palm. It was an embarrassing, almost childish gesture but I was far beyond caring about small embarrassments. I had much, much larger mortifications to be concerned with.

“Youmayreportbackifneedsbe!” I barrelled out, knowing the tickle was already roused, and at any moment could turn the act of speech into feat as tricky as any in my storied questing career.

“What is the next item on the ahhh… hahhh…” my eyes swam, unfocused for a moment. Hands crept up towards ears, dread lining in every face of the council. I could feel my knights tensing behind me, as though bracing for an explosion, hoping not to be knocked off their feet. The sneeze wasn’t even ready, it would play with me for several more moment yet. It reminded me of nothing more than sparring with the quartermaster as a boy: putting up a valiant fight, certain I was on the edge of victory… only to find he was only playing a game with me. He would always win.

“The next agenda item!” I said, slamming a fist down on the table. I wasn’t angry with the council, and I hope they knew that, but. It was all so damned frustrating… I couldn’t speak without terrifying my council, not with my words but with the threat of my nose. Of all the mortifying.

“Well my lord, we have not admitted petitioners in over three weeks, owing to your condition. I was informed the Royal Physician as well as the, ah, King’s Right Hand will be pursuing some possibilities for treatment, but the peo---”

“Damn the conditiiIiiiHHHHHH… HHIIIHHHHHH!!” May noses and sneezes be damned by all the gods old and new! The urge was already prickling in my nose, fanning its way towards inevitability, as though to mock me for cursing it. By all the gods, I should be able to see my people, to hear their complaints and all because of my god’s damned lack of control, I couldn’t even do that… I felt furious as a boy, looking up at the quartermaster teary-eyed with rage at losing, at humiliation. And here I was again, losing. And to a thrice damned tickle in my thrice damned nose…!

My nose, on which the whole room hyperfocused, as intent upon it as I’d ever been on any foe on the battlefield. Every twitch garnered a flinch, every skipped breath a skipped heartbeat. My damned sneezes could be heard throughout the entire castle, throughout the entire town. I was just waiting for someone to announce they’d heard me sneeze at the furthest edges of the regions, echoing off the Black Mountains or the White Cliffs, resounding across oceans…

With all that, being so close to my sneeze must have been a form of auditory torture. And I couldn’t put my advisors through that. Not any longer. And not with the vague but unmistakable sense I felt that what was beginning to well up in me would be a fit to rival any I’d suffered since I came down with this accursed, irreparable allergy, this implacable need that seemed to be unmoved by any force physical or magical, on earth or in the realms above. I was going to sneeze, and the fit would leave me exhausted and the whole castle ringing, I knew. But the urge itself was small now, my winds gathering strength for the one man hurricane they would turn me into. What a curse, to make of a king a slave to his own body. I was disgusted with myself. And yet, I could no more stop the force building within me than I could will the rising sun to set or still the flowing tide.

This council meeting was accomplishing nothing. And dammit, I needed to sneeze.

Abruptly, I pushed back from the chair. Everyone rose with me. “Ladies and gentlemen, you must excuse me, I’m a-afraid… oh I…” I was doing my best to keep up a kingly facade but already I was faltering before the effort of damming back the torrent of sneezes that seemed to be pressing up against each other, jockeying for position, each demanding to be the first to erupt out of me. “oh gods, I have to sneeze. It’s going to be a terrible fit and I… Iahhhhhh… I m-muuhhhhh… I must r-repair to my… my chahhhhHHHHH… hAHHHHHHHHHHHH… w-with m-mehhhh…!”

I ordered my retinue to follow me, but I’m sure a number of them did so quite reluctantly, and frankly I couldn’t blame them. What I felt coming seemed like a sneeze to beat all sneezes, an itch to beat all itches, nothing which could soothed, calmed, or controlled by a little finger under the nose, a few rough rubs. I’d asked my former manservant more than once about his… powers. How he felt all the hidden powers of the earth welling up through him, the connection to the secret side of everything, how he could make it shimmer and dance. I felt the same sense  of something beyond myself intruding upon me, but it was not under my control. I was beneath its thumb, dancing like a marionette on a string in miserable abasement to, of all things, a tickle in my nose.

“Someone… someone please… huhhhh… p-put your f-finger… under…”

It was pathetic. At least I’d managed to get well out of the way of the council chambers before I succumbed. I’d only embarrassed myself like this once or twice before, but if this went on much longer, I’d have to appoint a knight to do this for me full time, to press and pinch and wrangle my nose in a way my own hands could no longer suffice. Perhaps that way I could at least forestall the sneezes long enough to do any of the duties of a king.

But for now, my only goal was fighting off the absolutely monstrous fit I felt brewing for a few more moments, until I could at least reach my chamber. At least then I could succumb in private, although such succumbing was never private. Before the curse even, I blushed to think a vigorous sneeze might echo through the castle, and I never could dam them back. But under the curse now… all of the castle, all of the city heard my every falter. The sound of my failure resounding back at me from every brick in the kingdom.

The Captain of the Guard slid a thick finger under my nose, and ever so imperceptibly the urge diminished. He pushed upward, hard. And all I could do was blink at him in acknowledgement. At this point a single word would send it all crashing down.

“Knights dismissed! I will escort the King further.” I heard his voice ringing out, and I was as grateful as I’d ever been for him. At least the knights would be spared the very worst. The captain alone would be with me to the eruptive end.

“Not much further now, sire. Please, hold out!” And there was an uncertainty or even... a fear in his voice. It wasn't as if I'd never heard such fear from the Captain of the Guard before. We had quested together, season after season. But this tone of voice ought to be reserved for a onrushing army or a sleeping dragon. Surely there was no reason to steel himself so before my nose?

“T-t-traahhHHHH… tr-trying…” I choked out, scrunching my nose as aggressively as I could, as though if my nostrils recoiled from the irritation, I might dodge the sneeze—no, sneezes—altogether.

And suddenly, unimaginably, the urge… exploded.

It was as if I had never needed to sneeze before in my life. Tears sprang to my eyes, and the simmering flame of the urge became a wild forest fire. Helplessly, I jerked away from the Captain, scrubbing desperately at my nose even as the heavy breaths ripped themselves from me…


“My King, not yet!” the Captain insisted. Not to be deterred, he came up behind me and tried to guide me, but I was surrendered to the sneeze, overpowered by the urge, defeated by the invisible twinging need. He was practically pushing me as the sneeze swelled and swelled.


It swelled more and MORE, feeling more ferocious than any of my previous sneezes. I felt like a volcano on the precipice of eruption, as though my winds were swirling and turning and twisting and braiding their way towards tornadic devastation, as though I were not only a a lightning strike but indeed a whole storm set loose to wreak havoc across the land.

“Nearly there, nearly there, please sire you musn't give in…”

But it was too late.


On and on and on the sneezes came, more and more violent, “volume” not even describing what I felt bursting from me. Somewhere, dimly, I heard the sounds of something falling over, and yet still the steady pressure of the Captain at my back, finally…

“Sir, your chamber… We must not let them see you!”

Whether I was able to exert some minimal effort even subdued by my sneeze attack, or whether the Captain just shoved me, somehow I stumbled into the chamber, still sneezing relentlessly, barely heard the door slam behind me, helpless to the urge. My whole world narrowed to my nose, and it was as though some block within me surrendered and the sneezes roared out of me, louder and more violent than ever before again and again and again…

I could not tell how long it had been when the fit finally ended. I felt… amazing. Warm and sated. Entirely itch-free, as though I’d never need to sneeze again in my life. Practically glowing. Maybe that was it? Maybe that monster of a fit had at last blown the insufferable urge away for good? But the moment of euphoria lasted barely an instant. I heard a… squeak? and I opened my eyes to find… him. The sorcerer. His robes and hair disheveled, and then, the room…

The bed was without sheets. The mattress ripped, feathers piled against the stone wall, piled up with the rugs, half my clothes, my pillows, my chairs

“Wh-what… what did I… what did I do?” I asked, panting and mortified.

He stood, mortified, as red as I’d seen him in years. His mouth agape. “I—I… I—I have to go!” He exclaimed, and rushed from the room.

Had I hurt him? Scared him? Surely he of all the denizens of the castle had no reason to fear… anyone. But as I cast my eyes across the disheveled, half-wrecked room, I began to see what he saw. Nothing to fear. But something to pity. An out-of-control freak. Certainly no King.

And even then, with a trickle of fear running down my spine… I began to feel the urge to sneeze again, sputtering back to life. I sat on my ruined bed, feeling the weakened timbers sputter and creak with my weight, head in hands.

“By all the gods…”

Edited by Mr. Black Cherry Berry Tea
Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...