Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Salad!: Part 1

Arklebar, Dark Lord of Berenir, King of Uburia, and Conqueror of Kordrun drummed his fingers on the armrest. Arrayed before him were his counselors, twenty in all, each with a heavy gold chain about his neck.

The overlord shifted in his seat, the spikes of his armor scraping loudly against the stone. The noise did nothing to alleviate the argument going on before him, as his counselors argued about some new tax or something. He’d lost the thread awhile ago and his helmet was starting to pinch. The golden dragon atop his helm certainly looked cool, but weighed a ton.

“Enough!” he finally roared, scaring everyone in the room. All eyes whirled to him as mouths froze and fingers paused mid-point. There was a good three seconds of absolute silence, broken only by a serving girl dropping a spoon. It rang loudly on the stone floor and she promptly fainted. Arklebar ignored her.

“Executioner!” he said, his voice echoing through the hall.

A burly man in a greasy leather apron and matching hood hurried up to Arklebar’s right hand.

“My lorth?”

“My lorth?” he repeated.

Arklebar reached over and yanked the hood off. The man had sweaty, black hair, a thin, scraggly beard, and was missing a lot of teeth.

“What happened to your teeth?”

The man bowed low. “You hith me in the mouth last month, my lorth. “ He bowed even lower. “It wath a moth mighthy blow, thire.”

“Huh.” Arklebar shrugged. “Don’t recall. Anyway,” he continued. “Kill everyone in here!”

Three counselors, two guards, a serving wench, a herald, and the court jester fainted.

“Everyone, my lorth?” asked the executioner.

“That’s what I sa-“ Arklebar paused. “Well, obviously not me!”
“Myselth as well, my lorth?”

Arklebar considered that. “Can you execute yourself?”

“I will thry to finth a way, lorth.”

“Hmmmmmm . . . no. But I want a detailed diagram of how you’d execute yourself. Just in case I need it later.”

“Of courth, my lorth. Ith there anyone elth to be sparrth?”

Arklebar steepled his fingers and scanned the room. Everyone was pale, there were a few tears, and one of the pages seemed to have wet himself. “I’m feeling generous,” he finally announced. There was a massive sigh from the throng that caused the tapestries to shift and the candles to waver. “High or low?” he asked the executioner. Three more people wet themselves.

Tomorrow: Part 2


Citarra said...

No new taxes--that's one way to do it. I wonder how he can afford universal schooling such that even executioners are able to create detailed schematics.

Jason Janicki said...

Perhaps he only hires well-educated executioners?