Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Living Room Matrix

Here is a little piece of fiction I wrote inspired by "The Politics of Jesus" and a rough week I had with my little son, who was teething. If it sounds a little insane, that is why. :)
I've added an introduction to the original version, because my husband thought it was too enigmatic. Or something.

A Living Room Matrix

This is the story of your everyday monarch. He has a kingdom, real estate, two royal automobiles and a credit card. At almost every election, he faithfully takes his monarchial self to the voting polls and votes. He also affixes his signature to numerous petitions presented by his underlings. And on days when he feels especially generous, he has been known to purchase a box of Girl Scout cookies...

Old King Cole shifted uncomfortably on his throne and heaved his round belly in a long, loud sigh. He was usually a merry old soul, but today neither pipe, nor bowl, nor fiddlers three could lift the smog of boredom that had lowered itself upon him.

Mechanically, he lifted his scepter and began toying with it lazily. It glinted in the sunlight that flowed profusely through the tall windows of the Great Hall. Studded with gems, multicolored, laid in perfect rows, compact, efficient...

The fiddlers droned on. Old King Cole changed the channel. The news was on, bad news of course. More turmoil throughout the kingdom. He began to mutter his opinions of the individuals he had chosen to run the world for him. A wailing was heard in the distance. He tried to ignore it, and switched back to the fiddlers. His eye wandered distractedly from the large screen, roved about the room, along the tiled floor, over the fake tropical plant in the gilded urn, then to the bearded man by the doorway in monk's habit, with empty hands, and sandals on his feet.

The king gave a start. “How did you get past the security system?” he demanded fiercely. Then he bit his lip in sudden shame as recognition seeped into his pudgy brain. He lowered his face, but realized the man was smiling at him. The man spoke.

“Follow me.”

At the sound of these words, the fat old king leaped to his feet, feeling as if a great weight had fallen off his shoulders. The smog vanished, he laughed aloud and, throwing back his arm, he sent the scepter hurtling through the air and into the royal pond where it landed with a satisfying kersplash! Then, as fast as his merry little legs could carry him, he ran after the bearded man with the empty hands and sandals on his feet.

The man led him into a small room, where a baby sat, ejecting a loud, dismal sound from out of his round, down curled mouth. From the look of things, and the air about the place, sound was not the only thing being ejected that day, and it appeared that this was the source of the sorrowful wail. The king, still laughing, assessed the situation in an instant, and, bending down, lifted the the child in his arms.

Which left the fiddlers to play to an empty recliner, a half drunk can of Coke, a bag of chips, and a goldfish to goggle at the strange rectangular device that had landed in her tank. Studded with buttons, multicolored, laid in perfect rows...

And where now is the bearded man in monk's habit, with the empty hands and sandals on his feet? And who is that clean diapered baby, who grins and shrieks, and the fat old king, who tickles his toes?

1 comment:

Paul said...

Cool. I love the twist at the end!