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Excerpt from Royal Flush

05/13/2011

This part comes after the King has publicly displayed tremendous insensitivity following the death of his royal advisor.

The King had assumed the funeral itself would be sufficient to appease his disgruntled subjects, however he could see he sorely miscalculated. If he cherished his life—and, all things considered, he did—he would have to deliver a bloody good eulogy. Luckily, his scribes had spent the entire night writing one. He had yet to read it himself, but they assured him it was their finest work. He smoothed it out on the podium.

A drop of water smote the paper in its dead center, causing the ink to trickle and marring an entire paragraph. The King looked up, unable to accept what was happening.

It began to rain in earnest, and the eulogy was quickly rendered illegible. The King cursed. He would have sworn the sky was clear mere minutes before. “Why is it always raining in this blasted Kingdom?”

He cast his gaze over the assembled throng. They looked back at him impatiently, many of them stroking their assorted weaponry. The King swallowed. He would have to improvise.

He racked his brains for a compliment to pay his deceased associate. There had to be something the King had liked about him.

“My advisor,” he began, “was a terrible polo player.”

The crowd booed loudly. The King ducked, barely dodging a battleaxe that hurtled toward him from one of the front rows.

Frantic, he cast about for something else to say. “His level-headed advice is the reason many of you have avoided the headsman for so long.”

The crowd entered a frenzied rage, seething forward as one. The King squeaked. They intended, it seemed, to tear him apart, piece by royal piece.

“Wait!” he shouted, holding up both hands. “Wait! I’m not finished!”

The crowd paused impatiently.

“During his brief life,” he rushed on, “the advisor’s foresight often spared me tremendous hardship—much like the wickedly sharp and pointy hardship I’m facing this very moment.”

The crowd gave a reluctant chuckle.

“Once, he saved me from becoming the meal of man-eating alligators, by persuading me not to include them in the royal moat. Which,” he added, “I recently had the misfortune of falling into.”

This time, those assembled laughed outright. The King could hardly believe it. He was winning the crowd over. Gaining confidence, he said, “Of course, the man was completely incompetent when it came to mixing a drink.”

The crowd growled.

“I guess what I really mean!” he shouted above the mounting tumult. Gradually, it subsided. “I guess what I really mean to say is my advisor was the only man in the Kingdom who remained by my side without having to be bribed, swindled or threatened.” He hesitated. “In fact, he remained despite being bribed, swindled and threatened.”

The crowd murmured appreciatively. The King noted with shock that many of them were moved to tears. They began to set down their various projectiles.

“The advisor was my dearest friend,” he concluded, placing his hand over his heart, “and for that reason I will miss him dearly.”

The peasants gave a deafening cheer, clapping and pumping fists in the air. The King took this opportunity to quietly remove himself from the center of attention. He used his sleeve to wipe a trickle of sweat from his brow.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Ted Wagoner permalink
    03/07/2012 3:31 PM

    This page leaves me wanting more,,Royal Flush has defiantly been added to my list and once i am back on my feet and able to purchase a luxury I’m getting this book..Great teaser page here for sure..Thanks..

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