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Trouble in Nomoreland: Flash Fiction
I wasn’t sure about trying my hand at flash fiction, and sure enough, this turned out to be one of the most difficult things I’ve ever written. The idea for the storyline flashed into my mind, and when I sat down to write it just kept flashing me. Or maybe it was my muse flashing me. Did I tell you he looks just like Johnny Depp? Anyway, I ended up with a little more than 2,300 words, which is definitely not flash fiction. Then, like the king in my story, I began to pare until I could pare no more. Some writers say that flash fiction cannot be more than 300 words, while others say no more than 1000 words. So how about a compromise at less than 500 words? If that isn’t copacetic, then let’s call it semi-flash fiction.
To make a long story short, I've discovered that I like writing flash fiction, provided that my handsome muse stays away. Maybe he'll come back looking like Keith Richards.
This is a satire/fantasy, and my first attempt, so puleeze, don't judge me too harshly. All I want to do is give you a laugh today.
King Rusty Butt
The near-emaciated farmer begged at the foot of the throne of King Rusty Butt and Queen Snarfrella. “Please, Your Majesty, I can’t pay anymore taxes. I still owe some from the last crop.”
“I will give you six more months and penalize you two chickens, the king answered.
Queen Snarfrella snarfed, but then she was always snarfing. That was why she was so named. She snarfed that more taxes were needed in the kingdom, the poor subjects be damned. If the king didn’t raise more money somehow, the kingdom would be bankrupt, and he would never share her bed. “If you won't raise taxes, YOU find the money, I don’t care how!” She snarfed out of the room.
The state of their marriage and lack of an heir created as much gossip in the little kingdom of Nomoreland as its near-empty coffers. The king had never tasted of his bride in their two years of marriage, and Snarfrella never let him forget that she considered him beneath her. The royal Butts of Gotmoreland were rumored to have dwarf blood, and Rusty got his given name from his looks. She was forced into marriage with the demi-dwarf prince to prevent the complete financial fall of her father’s kingdom after his death.
Rusty had gone through all his money to pay the debts, and his father, King Odd, refused to lend him more. He sat forlornly and unattended in the Great Hall, or so he thought.
A familiar voice spoke, “Beggin’ Yur Majesty’s pardon. I think I can help. Yur sittin’ on a royal fortune and don’t even know it.” Prime Minister Kilroy had spoken. Kilroy was here; Kilroy was always here.
The king's look at his prime minister said it all. He'd lost his marbles! The prime minister explained that the fortune was literally under the royal butt. The throne was made of gold, painted over, and the baubles were real gems, not glass as everyone believed. The queen’s late mother, Queen Gambalina, had a gambling problem. To ward off bankruptcy, her father, King Geetus, emptied the royal coffers and had the painted jeweled throne made to hide their fortune. Occasionally, a jewel had been removed and sold when the need became dire, such as right now.
It took some convincing, but Rusty scratched the paint and hit pure gold. He sold the large ruby at the top for enough money to pay off the kingdom’s debts. He lowered taxes on his subjects and still had enough left to throw a ball. He had three smaller stones removed from a bottom rung for Snarfrella a diamond necklace.
Queen Snarfrella looked very happy as King Rusty took her arm to escort her to the ball. She even called him, “My darling.”
Kilroy winked. There would be a hot time in the old castle tonight!