Happy Tales 032311
A Fringe Fairy Tale
The other day the Dissenting Editor and I were talking and she was complaining. Not news so far, but this time she was complaining about the “ickyness” factor in many of the Prospect entertainment pieces.
“Why do you have to be so icky? Don’t you care how it makes us feel?”
Of course I care. We care very much about our readers, without them we’d be like the Mountain Messenger.
Still, I assume people read what they want to and ignore the rest. If they read an “icky” piece, I assume they’re mature enough to handle it. The interaction between the writer and the reader involves a tiny bit of text from the writer and a lifetime of context from the reader. I don’t “put things” in the reader’s mind; if the Dissenting Editor notices “icky buildup” after reading a piece, am I being coy to suggest some of it was already there? Do I write as skillfully as I can? Yes. Do I enjoy ribald, edgy, even weird pieces? Does a Klingon poop in the body waste receptacle duct of the main recycler; of course I do.
I asked, “what do you want me to write about, elves and butterflies and rainbows?”
“Yeah, that would be fine for a change.”
So, here it is.
This piece is about the goblins, who want to build a Justice Fortress in the magical kingdom of Downieville. The King of Downieville, King Lee the Prudent, doesn’t really want the Justice Fortress, but if he complained the goblins would send the paper imps to plague him with papers, all obscure, all bearing curses, all very scary.
The King mostly wants the elves to return to the kingdom. The Yuba Brotherhood of Elves had once had a large bakery there, but like everybody else these days, had moved the operation south. The elves still owned land in the kingdom, and that land figured into the goblins’ plans for the fortress.
The King got his wise men together, and they drank a little stout and worried about what to do.
After a time they came to a conclusion: “meetings,” they told him, “there should be meetings”.
So the King had a meeting with Genicia, Queen of the Yuba Elves.
“There will never be a freaking bakery in your kingdom again. It’s too far out, the elves don’t want to live there. The schools suck.”
The King was frustrated, but what could he do? The last thing he wanted was war with the elves.
Still, he held in his heart the hope the bakery would return, creating a flood of money the local poor could only imagine.
Then, he heard the goblins wanted to buy land from the elves to build the justice fortress. He was upset, if the elves sold the land, they might never return.
Is this a scheme to rid themselves of the land, everyone in the kingdom wondered.
The elves got word of this and Genicia visited the king.
“We don’t particularly want to sell the land, we could; either way, someone should poop or get off the receptacle duct.”
King Lee the Prudent met with his wise men again. After much thought they came to a conclusion: “Meetings are needed, more meetings.”
He had other problems with the elves. The Elven Service had seized many of the roads the people of the kingdom used to gather peat and hunt and grow pot and the other daily activities of the people. The Elven King was also taking water from the Barons to buy votes from the fishes in the stream and the fairies of the East.
The King had no more luck dealing with the goblins. His wise guys had suggested the goblins build their justice fortress into the side of the hill, which would be dank and mossy and doubtless much to the liking of the goblins, instead of using flat ground which was in short supply in the kingdom, and which the people need for standing and sleeping on.
King Lee the Prudent tried to talk with the goblins, but they aren't good listeners. He tries talking with the elves, but they have fun as his expense. He won't give up his people's flat land, and he won't give up his dream of the kingdom of Downieville rich with the fragrance of warm bakery elves.
His sleep is troubled.
Even now, the king holds meetings, and if they fail, he’ll call his wise men together, and who knows what they’ll suggest?
More as it happens!