The King felt mighty as always. Walking through the streets of his beloved city, turning between the stalls and shops, weaving his way to his glorious castles throne room. Looking upon his subjects with an absolute authority. They paid him no respect of course, as they were distracted with their own daily duties, some hacked away at slabs of meat, others arranging displays of goods. One weirdly toying away with a strange contraption that produced parchments with a strange dialect, one after another, dozen after a dozen. It made no difference, it was what was required to run the city of this magnitude. He reached his throne room and sat down. Placing his sceptre and de-robed his velvet gown. he looked out beyond his realm…
“Do you have those reports?” asked Paul – his “advisor”. The monarch looked up distracted.
“Hmp?” The monarch was unduly addressed and ill prepared.
“Do you have those reports I asked, the one with this months expenses!?” asked the manager clutching a tome of paper.
“Oh yes…I’ll send them right now…I finished them at home.” said John in a culpable way. He plugged in his USB stick into the computer and within seconds the screen on his desk blurred his vision for a moment as his eyes adjusted to the radiant light. Windows appeared one by one as he took hold of the poor little mouse and with a few swipes and squeaks, his royal duty was performed. Digitized into pulses of energy and shot across his realm into a distant corner where their intended destination. Ordered Emissaries carrying out the royal decree.
“…and sent, Paul. Is their anything else you needed?”
“Yes, would you mind staying after work for a bit? We need to go over a few things ready for the CEO’s visit tomorrow.” John knew it was more of a command that a request.
“Uh…” John paused to think of anything, his eyes darted upward and side ward looking for the relevant information behind them…his friends would have to wait at their appointed dinner date.
“Is there a problem?” Asked Paul in a overbearing way, already expecting a “yes”.
“No Paul, that should be fine.” John complacently relented away his free time. Paul walked off beyond the partitioned wall and could be heard faintly speaking to an unknown entity…it sounded like Mark from accounting. When John felt that Paul was out of ear shot he let out a quiet sigh, it still seemed to echo and caused an un-euphoric wave for fear of being heard.
The Champion chess player had slumped into his chair feeling relief that the move he just made wasn’t as bad as he first though…he wouldn’t have been a Champion if it was. Putting his opponent in a position just where he wanted, it was all apart of the master plan, smirking on the side of his face for a moment as he contemplated further action. He arranged his pieces neatly with an intense focus, making sure they were all facing fully in opposite direction, facing down the other army on the other side of the board. Polished, gleaming. Ready for war.
“Their my beauties, will win this infernal game!…The check might be yours for now Sir! But mine will superseded a “mate”!” John whispered to himself…it was a Championship match after all.
“So once again the “champion” is held back once again!” spoken by a mysterious figure. Who in fact said “chump” not “champion”.
“What?” asked frustratingly.
“Paul has you working late again doesn’t he?” said the accountant – Mark was his official name. Unofficial one everyone else knew him by “that twat”.
“Oh yes, third time this week.” John looked towards his screen continuing his work, not wanting to engage further.
Mark added a snide addition “Have fun!” as he sleuthed beyond sight, chuckling and readjusting his tie and tidying his slick gelled hair. Taking a sip of his cappuccino, or mocha. They all smelt the same to someone who hated machine brought.
The hours were monitored winding by, the wall mounted device and it’s twelve numbers was the conductor and the black batons instructed the entire orchestra to play in tune. The audible sound of instruments made an unattractive music that everyone was forced to bare. Click after click, ring after ring. The occasional “Oh shit” when coffee was spilt on important notes. Or the creaking of the main office door that needed better hinges. John felt sure that his music would be glorious. Standing in front of the audience waving his batons with styled flourishes and flicked gestures. His conducting would sound magnificent and the piece would end with the anticipated crescendo of “finally it’s 5:30”.
This was for my first homework for English class at College. A story in the style of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (1939) by James Thurber.
Laura Steel © 2014