General Fiction posted September 6, 2016

This work has reached the exceptional level
A boy considers the best way to rule the world


by oliver818

If I was in charge.... Contest Winner 

The small, crumpled ball of yellowed paper lay on his desk for a few moments more, before his big, beefy fingers curved around it and flung it into the trash. I don't need that anymore, he smirked to himself.

"Ok children, the topic of today's essay is 'If I ruled the world'. Five hundred words, no cross outs, on my desk by Friday."

"If I ruled the world, " he thought to himself. No homework for a start! For anyone! No school at all actually! Oh wait, but then what would he do? No, that was childish. They needed school, his father had told him. Without education you might as well live in a cave.

The gravel crushed under his slow, mechanically moving feet. Questions expanded and burst like blisters in his ruminations. If I ruled the world. Like the whole world? What does that mean? How could I ever rule New Zealand, let alone whole world? And if I did, what would I have to do? What would I want to do?

His ears twitched slightly and a smile crossed his face. His mother's soft piano music meant she was home early, he could ask her!

"What exactly would the ruler of the world have to rule over and what would he have to do? Why don't you go and have a look at the globe over there. It's got all one hundred and ninety or however many countries there are in the world marked on it. I guess the ruler of the world would have to rule all that."

"But, how? The earth is huge, how could one person rule it?"

"Well, luckily at the moment, no one person can. Now will you let me get on with piano practice?"

"Ok mum."

The shiny globe spun round and round under the brush of his small fingers. There seemed to be a lot of sea. Where was New Zealand again? The tiny names seemed to be trying to hide from his probing eyes.

"What are you up to son?"

"Dad! You've got to help me! What would the ruler of world do?"

"Huh? Why the strange question son?"

"It's a something I have to write for school. What would I do if I ruled the world."

"Well now, I know what I'd do! Take from the rich and give to the poor. A lot of inequality out there Joey. Not everyone gets meat and potatoes every night like we do."

The globe swung to the left, and the father's fat thumb punched into the Americas.

"Just look at this part! Lots of rich people up here in the north, lots of poor down here in the south. I'd just take a whole lot of that northern money and hand it out down there in the south!"

"Really? It's that simple?"

"Well, careful now son, nothing is that simple. Think about it for a minute. How would you decide who to take money off? And what if the people you took it off get angry? Would you want someone to just take your belongings away and give them to someone else?"

"Well, if I ruled the world, they would just have to listen to me, wouldn't they? And we'd all have the same amount, so it would be ok."

"Oh, look at the time, Joey, the news is starting. You can think a bit more about this later."

Meat and potatoes lining his stomach, the chair rocked gently beneath him. The tips of his toes bounced off the floor rhythmically as he read over his freshly written essay.

"If I ruled the world.
By Joey Folk

If I ruled the world, I would want it to be equal. I would make sure everyone had the same amount of food, the same clothes and the same kind of house. Everyone would work everyday to make sure we had enough food, and no one would be too fat or too thin. Everyone would have the right to go to school, and everyone, including myself, would be equal. Of course, I would work a little less because I have to rule everything and make decisions. And my mum and dad would work less because by that time they'd be old and need to rest. But everyone else would be equal."

The end of his pencil split under his chewing teeth, filling his mouth with tiny wood chips. The empty wrapper of a chocolate bar stared back up at him as he bent down to spit them out.

"What about me then?" The edge of the table cracked into his skull, and a four letter word spilled from his mouth.

"Oh jeez, sorry Joey, I didn't mean to scare you buddy."

The newly raised lump on his head stung under his older brother's long fingers.

" I see they gave you the old "If I ruled the world" essay to write. I remember that one. You're on the right track, I think, although you're starting to sound an awful lot like a communist there."

"A commu what?"

" A communist. You know, the Reds. Believe in equality for all, rights of the workers. Problem is, it never works. Look at Russia, look at China, Cuba, shoot, look at Vietnam and Cambodia! Millions dead in the name of equality. Don't go down that path Joey. Not unless you want to build your future state on corpses."

"Then what did you write about when you had to write about this?"

"Hell I don't remember. Probably something about creating harmony through free-markets. Haha. Just kidding. I think I said I'd solve pollution by banning factories, and give all men two women each. I got an F."

The paper smashed up easily in his hand, forming a small ball. It bounced from hand to hand, and then arched, landing next to the rubbish bin.

"Dammit. If I ruled the world, I would never have to worry about the laws of physics messing up my shots."

He just wasn't so sure about equality now. Not if it involved spilling blood. He couldn't live with that.

Suddenly, someone else occurred to him. Grandad! He always has good advice, when he could hear the question. The dial tone rang softly in his ear. Five minutes later, having established he was talking to his youngest grandson, and the question was with regards to ruling the world, the elderly man gave his reply.

"Maybe you should think more about what kind of leader you want to be, Joey. President, prime minister, king, emperor? That makes a huge difference to how you would rule."


"Well, for example, a president and a prime minister have to rule alongside a government. A king can rule with a government, or he can just decide to disband the government and rule by himself. An emperor just needs advisors, but he always needs to be expanding. He needs to be constantly conquering to keep his empire fresh with new lands."

"Ok. Well I just know don't want to kill anyone."

"Ha, then you probably won't be ruling the world anytime soon, boy."

The crackling, bitter laughter echoed down the phone.

"Let me tell you something lad. When I was a kid, a whole lot of people around the world, including one particularly nasty Austrian man, got into power. Some of them wanted to control the whole world, and to do it, they spared no one. Millions of lives were lost. Millions more were ruined. Don't get into that business, Joey, it's messy, and you may find yourself wishing you'd never begun."

Joey was at a loss for words now. Literally. His rubbish bin was overflowing with the scrunched paper skeletons of his future career. The most recent one read, "If I ruled the world, I wouldn't kill anyone." But that left him with another four hundred and four words left to write! A year ago, he would have started crying and run to his mum. Now he was a boy with a mission. Find a way to rule the world without bloodshed.

Two days later, the thin paper hanging lightly in his hand, he strolled up to the teacher's desk. It landed softly on a pile of other papers, and his name stood out proudly from the top. He'd done it.

"Thank you Joey, you may sit down."

"If I ruled the world
By Joey Folk

There is no if, I will never rule the world. In fact, I absolutely would never want to rule the world. Why? Because I don't want to hurt anyone. If you want to rule the world, that means you have to conquer it. To conquer means to take something that belongs to others and make it yours.

I have always been taught to share, so how could I possibly take away something that belongs to someone else? In the past, many people have tried to rule the world. Alexander the Great, Attila the Hun, Napoleon. Hitler, Stalin. All of them caused incredible suffering in order to attain their goal. As the famous Lord Acton said, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

So if you ask me what I would do if I ruled the world? I would give it back to whoever it came from, and resign my position.

The end."

The great emperor of the whole world, Joey Folk stood up and went to the balcony overlooking the square. He had done it! Adoring voices echoed up at him as he waved at the cheering masses.

He laughed at the naive kid he had been when he had written that essay. Of course he wanted to to rule the world, who wouldn't? His grandad was right, he thought to himself, as he signed the thousandth death warrant of the day. He couldn't believe it when his brother had slipped that old essay into one his daily reports. He'd laughed himself hoarse over it.

Running the world is tiring. he thought to himself, the thick stuffing of the chair gently supporting his back. The cold, metal crown was heavy, and dug uncomfortably into his skull. He'd have to get some silk sewn into the rim, he decided, yawning loudly.

If I was in charge....
Contest Winner
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Artwork by VMarguarite at

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