Today’s blog continues my long-neglected satirical fantasy, In The Land of the Penny Gnomes
The Chair leaned over his desk. “I’m sorry, what did you way?”
Now you’ve done it.
Will swallowed and tried to project confidence.“I said I was a Prophet of Narrative.” It came out as a squeak.
OK, listen to me. Just say what I tell you to and we’ll get through this.
“A… Prophet of Narrative?”
Will nodded. “Yes.”
Don’t appear too eager, the nodding is a bit needy.
“I’m trying!” snapped Will. He glanced over at his companions and realized he’d spoken out loud. Sindy had lost the color in her face. Bug flashed a “thumbs up.” Sills glared an unspoken, “Shut up, now,” which managed to reverberate throughout the room inside Will’s head. Nobody beamed with excitement. None of these reactions made Will feel any better about his situation.
Great, you’ve got that bureaucrat interested. We’ll get through this yet. Tell him you were talking to me.
“Really? You want me to say that?”
“I’m afraid this is getting a little tedious, young wizard.”
Will cleared his throat and nodded.
“I’m sorry!” Will snapped once more. At this point the Chair of Ordinance had had enough. He raised his hand to call for security.
Clearing his throat anew, Will didn’t nod his head and spoke with as much confidence as he could muster. “I’m very sorry if I offended you. But I wasn’t talking to you. I was talking to the Narrator.”
At this the other members of the Board of Ordinance mummered excitedly, but the Chair sat back. A slow, malevolent, grin spread across his features before he chuckled an acidic laugh.
“Really? Well I suppose this changes everything.” Turning to Sills the chair addressed the agent, “I’m disappointed in you Agent Masterful. I realize you’ve been against the Detonator since the project’s inception, but to go to these lengths….”
Sills blushed with fury as her companions took a protective step backward. Even Nobody seemed to be aware of the change in temperature around the agent. The Chair, however, appeared oblivious. He turned to Will and sneered.
“Tell me, wizard, how much were you paid to come here and make a fool of yourself today? Or are you truly delusional and came for free?”
Will, you know all those things you want to say to your parents when they tell you stuff and you think they don’t know anything?
“Yah, I guess. But how do you know that?”
Never mind. Well, on every one of those occasions you’re actually the one who doesn’t know anything.
“Oh…” mumbled Will as the Chair continued to glare down at him.
But in this one instance, that guy is the ignorant buffoon. So why don’t you tell him so?
Will grinned wickedly and didn’t even care as the Narrator berated him for nodding 1. “I wasn’t paid, and I’m not delusional.” The teen pointed at Bug, who shot him a quizzical look. “That Gnome showed up in my bedroom, ordered me to get dressed, and then had me insert a penny into a crack in my floor.”
“It was a slot, kid.”
“I don’t care! The point is, I got sucked through my floor, landed in a city in who knows where, and was told about a war going on. I’ve been hit in the head with a mallet, attacked by lawyers, and told that if I don’t do whatever I’m supposed to be doing my world might end. So I’m sorry if you’ve got a hard time believing I’m a Prophet of Narrative, but having a voice speaking in my head is about the most normal thing that’s happened to me in a week. So, Mr. Ignorant…”
Oh, that’s good.
Will thrust out his arms and shouted to the ceiling, “You shut up!” He then reacquired the Chair’s gaze and continued, “You can take your stupid little smirk, and stick it some place where no one will want to find it. I’m done being scared of everything going on here because, apparently, I’m immune to it all anyway. So get a clue and shut up.”
Nice, now tell him you know he was planning on using the detonator without telling the Board of Governors.
“And the Narrator knows you were going to blow up the Penny Ore without telling the Governors! And he’s not happy about it.”
Sills and Grimby shared a glance. As Sindy’s ears began to steam. Nobody gasped in shock.
“You were going to…use the detonator?”
Sills placed her hand on Nobody’s shoulder. “Hold on, Professor.” Looking up toward the Chair she asked, “Sir, were you planning on using the detonator without consulting the Governors?”
The Chair’s smirk had transformed into a scowl. “Of course not, and I will not allow myself to be slandered by an ignorant boy.”
One of other Board members, however, stood and pointed a finger toward the Chair. “But Wally, you said the Governors had already approved using the Detonator!”
The Chair banged his gavel, “Quiet!”
But he had lost control, the other members joined their compatriot and had begun making their own accusations against the Chair.
“I won’t take the blame for your presumption!”
“I voted against using the Detonator!”
“And on an butterscotch day, of all days!”
Sills and Grimby nodded to one another and approached the Chair. The Dwarf stepped forward with authority as he spoke, “Wally Leverage, I’m placing you under arrest.”
“On what charge!” The Chair shrieked in defiance.
“Conspiracy to commit treason.”
Sills handed the dwarf her handcuffs and he placed the apoplectic bureaucrat into custody.
“You don’t understand!” shouted the former chair as the two agents led him out of the room. “The Firewall is failing, we’re doomed, we’re all doomed!”
As the door slammed shut behind the prisoner, Sindy rounded on her father.
“That wizard is the one who told you to build the the Penny Ore Detonator?”
Nobody nodded. “He did seem more stable the last time we met. There was less shouting.”
Sindy’s face had turned the color of brick, and steam was now pouring out from her nostrils as well as her ears. She spun around to face the members of the Board and shouted, “And you supposed genius’ put that in charge of building weapons for the war effort?”
“But it was his turn,” someone protested from the membership.
“And we wonder why we’re losing?”
As the assembled members of the Board of Ordinance mentally calculated how many members they might loose to Sindy’s wrath as they ran for the exit, Fineflen stepped into the hall.
“Well, my hair is all straightened out,” the elf crowed. He cast a lazy gaze across the room and landed on Will. “What did I miss?”
- Again. ↩