“And once that fool of a so-called HERO kills all the monsters in this dungeon, he will come back to the ‘kindly old man’ who game him this quest in order to get the magic sword I promised him, and hand us the Crown of Ages without us having to lift a finger! He’ll do all the dirty work, and we will get the prize!”
Corporal Meatshark twirled both his cap and his moustache as he turned to his able assistant, a toad-man named Esel. “Is it not the most brilliant of plans, Esel?”
Esel croaked loudly and sharply, then said “Yes, Master. One of your best ever!”
Corporal Meatshark quirked an eyebrow.
“I mean THE best! The best one ever!” Esel hastily added.
Corporal Meatshark smiled and nodded his approval. “Indeed. Now all we have to do is sit here and wait. ”
Corporal Meatshark smiled and stroked his goatee as he contemplated how powerful he would be with the Crown of Ages on his head. There would be feasts in his honor, monuments to his glory, a picture of him looking stern and paternal on every street corner. Songs woyuld be written in his name. Not just songs…symphonies. Operas. Entire musicals devoted to praising him. Ah, it would be glorious.
And there would be sex. Oh, so much sex.
His egocentric reverie was interrupted by his becoming aware that Esel was making the soft, choking, constipated noises that he made when he desperately wanted to say something but needed permission to speak.
Corporal Meatshark regarded Esel and, for a brief moment, pondered ignoring the toad-man’s unspoken pleas and returning to his happy thought. After all, it might be fascinating to see if the toad-man would actually choke and pass out if left in that state for long enough.
But no. He’d designed Esel better than that.
Besides, this was too glorious a day for such petty acts. He was soon to be Emperor of the World. Such low acts were beneath him.
“Yes, Esel, you may speak. ” he said in an indulgent tone.
Esel let out his breath in an explosive croak. “Oh, thank you, thank you, Master! You are so kind! You are so wise! You are so benevolent! To give a lowly disgusting toad-man like me permission to speak his unworthy thoughts before… ”
“Yes, yes. ” said Corporal Meatshark. “Now speak, Esel. ”
“Speak, boss? ” said Esel.
Corporal Meatshark sighed. “Yes, speak, You did have something to say, didn’t you?”
Esel looked shocked. But quickly recovered. “Oh yes, yes Master, I did! I mean I do! Thank you for reminding me, Master!”
Esel then drew himself up to his full three foot five inches of height and, in the polite and studious tone he always used when he was going to say something Corporal Meatshark might not like, asked “Master, are we powerful enough to defeat all the monsters inside the dungeon ourselves? ”
“Of course not. ” said Corporal Meatshark impatiently. “That’s why we are getting that idiotic elf to do it for us. ”
“Oh, OK, Master. Thank you for letting me speak. ” said Esel.
Silence fell, with Esel smiling broadly, and Corporal Meatshark looking at him, pondering whether to prolong this conversation or not.
He could read Esel like a book (after all, he’s the one who wrote it) and could tell by the faint confused look on his creation’s face that something was still bothering him.
But did he really want to know bad enough to ask? The answer would likely annoy him. He pondered this question for a few long moments.
Finally, curiosity won out. “Was that all, Esel?”
Esel looked up, and nodded happily “Yes, Master! I mean…. no, Master! There was something else! Something to go with the first thing!”
“And what was it?” said Corporal Meatshark.
Esel scrunched up his face and tapped his flippers on the floor as he always did when he was thinking very hard.
“Oh! ” said Esel. “I remember! If the elf guy is strong enough to beat the monsters and we are not, doesn’t that mean he is stronger than us? ”
“Well of course not… hmmm. ” said Corporal Meatshark. Then he lapsed into a thoughtful silence for a few moments.
“Well, ” he eventually began, ” I suppose that technically that’s true. But do not forget, we will have the element of surprise. He will be expecting to be rewarded for his heroics with a magic sword given to him by a kindly old man. He will never suspect that this kindly old man is really world menace Corporal Meatshark!”
“Oh I see!” said Esel. “And when you surprise him, we take the crown and run!”
“Uh… ” said Corporal Meatshark. “Well again, yes, technically that is what we will be doing. But once we get back to the castle, I will don the Crown of Ages and take my rightful place as the Emperor of Time!”
“Oh, of course, Master! ” said Esel. “But… may I ask another question, Master”.
“Yes, Esel, you may ask. ”
“What if the hero elf boy puts the crown on his own head?”
“What?” said Corporal Meatshark, genuinely shocked. “But… he wouldn’t… he couldn’t… why would he… but then he wouldn’t get the sword!!
Esel cowered in advance of what he was about to say “Master, maybe the Emperor of Time… doesn’t need swords.. any more?”
Corporal Meatshark raised a hand to strike Esel for his insolence, but then dropped it. “No. It’s not your fault. You are only trying to help me, and that’s what I made you to do. Forgive me, Esel. ”
“Sure thing, Master. ” said Esel eagerly. It made him glad not to get hit, but sad to see his beloved Master so deflated.
So he thought very hard again, then said “You know, Master, we could just go back to the castle and pretend none of this ever happened. ”
Just then, a stentorian voice from somewhere deep within the dungeon said “CONGRATULATIONS! You are now the Emperor of Time! Welcome, Your Majesty, to the Mansion of Time awaits!”
“That sounds like a good plan,. ” said Corporal Meatshark.
And the two of them quietly slipped away.
It was just another quiet night in Castle Meatshark when Corporal Meatshark’s evening tea was interrupted by a mighty fanfare that sounded like all the bells in Heaven ringing in harmony sounded, and a silver gate formed and opened, and a massive man, clad head to toe in royal finery, stepped thought it.
“I AM THE EMPEROR OF TIME. ” boomed the figure. “NOW WHERE’S MY SWORD?”
It occurs to me that I could have said all I really had to say in that story in around 100 words and saved myself a lot of trouble.
But stories grow as I write them. Details keeps coming to me and getting included and the end of the story disappers into a distant vanishing point, and voila, story bloat.
I probably should work on that. Learn to filter out most of the ideas popping into my head and get the basic story down before I do any embroidering.
Oh well. I learn by doing, and now, I am done.
I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.