Boney Sullivan, Queen of the Cheaters


Once upon a time in the Land of the Cheaters, there was a king. He was greedy and very unfair, but the people didn't mind. They thought that cheaters deserved a ruler like that.

Every year for the king's anniversary, there was a competition. It lasted many days and many people tried to win it because the winner would become king for the next year. Every time, the old king won. He was the biggest cheater of all.

One year, a young woman named Boney Sullivan decided to enter. Like everybody else, she expected to lose because the king always won. Like everybody else, she cheated too, but unlike anybody else, she didn't cheat to win. Boney Sullivan cheated so that others didn't lose.

After all, she figured, some people had traveled days and others had saved for months so that they could come to this tournament. It would be unfair for them to be sent home so quickly.

At first, nobody realized what she was doing, but one by one the players knew that they would have been out of the game if not for Boney Sullivan. Spectators watching the competition began to notice too, and they thought it was a marvelous way to cheat, so much kinder than the style of cheating preferred by their king who only wanted to win and didn't care how he did it.

The game went on for days. After a while, all the players were cheating so that everyone could keep playing rather than to win. They all enjoyed playing with each other more than they wanted to win. Everyone talked about the game and how fairly the players were cheating. This caught the attention of the king who was not happy about it.

At first, the king tried to declare that the game was over but so many people raised their voices in protest that the king's proclamation could not be heard. Then the king decided to join the game and end it in the usual way, by cheating until he won.

When the king joined in, the game immediately changed. Two players lost before they realized what had happened, and the king began to smile. Other players got angry at the king and tried to beat him, but he was the biggest cheater there, and anyone who tried to attack him quickly lost. Eventually, it was only the king and Boney left in the game.

All the people watching the game were scared for Boney. They didn't want her to lose. Nobody said anything but they each decided that they would rather have Boney rule the land than the mean king, so even the spectators began to cheat for her. They distracted the king and secretly helped Boney. The king was very good at spotting a cheat and, when he realized what was going on, he was even more furious than before. He stopped playing the game to stand up and scold his subjects.

He said a great many unkind things that should not be written down and certainly not repeated. But while he was shouting, Boney Sullivan quietly won the game.

The people closest to her began to jump and cheer for they realized that Boney had beaten the king which meant that the mean king was not their king anymore. As more people realized what the joyful cheers meant, they joined in. Soon the whole crowd was jumping and laughing and singing, and the noise completely drowned out the king who was not done shouting mean things although everyone else was tired of hearing him.

Some people lifted Boney onto their shoulders and carried her to the throne room while others grabbed the old king and carried him to the dungeon where he could be kept from trouble until the new queen decided what to do with him.

And that is the story of how Boney Sullivan became queen of the cheaters, by being the fairest in the land.

The End

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