"So once there was a man, who was... a prince. And he knew he had a kingdom to run somewhere out there; but he never looked. For the prince loved stories so much that in time, he lost himself in them. One day, the prince decided to look out his window after hearing noises out there. He saw the village, all the people out there, so much more than ink and paper. They were all so beautiful, so solid. Happy, bright. He wanted so much to join them, but as he rose to run to the door, he found he could barely stand. He coughed and fell back down, all of a sudden so weak. His coughs alerted the village, and they broke down the walls, their lost prince found once again. They were overjoyed, but the prince hadn't even the strength to smile. But even dying, he was still a prince, and he told the village,
"Don't you worry, for in my last moments I have seen true beauty. You have all gifted me with a good death, rather than a lonely one, and once I have left this world, perhaps I will find another, and I will use my years much more wisely."
So the prince passed from that life, and instead of wasting his next life caught in a net of paper and ink, he shared stories of his own, heard stories from others, and made new stories. For now he knew what a wonderful place the world was and how many things there were to see; and he saw them all."
The room was still.
"So he didn't have the strength to smile," Alison choked out. "But he managed to say a whole grandiose speech? Pathetic plot flaw."
His dry laughs shook the bed.
"Everybody needs a good ending."
This was his.