Stepping Up

Inspired by Paula’s Thursday Inspo #100, where she prompts with the image below.

As Paula is stepping back from this prompt, can I just take the opportunity to say thank you? I’m kinda late to the party on this one, but I have thoroughly enjoyed writing my responses, where my time and my imagination has permitted. Hosting a prompt has always scared me witless, just the amount of reading you’re committing yourself to, so… hat’s off to you, and thanks.

The boy, about ten years old, is seated on the carpet. He is playing with finger puppets. He giggles, laughs, clearly enjoying himself. The boy is dressed in the finest silk clothing, in handmade leather shoes which reflect the light like mirrors.

The boy is playing with a man. They are both laughing and joking. They might be father and son, were it not for a veneer of formality layered onto their informal pleasure. In fact, the man is a butler, merely a surrogate.

Their surroundings: both are sitting cross-legged on a sumptuous, red carpet. The room is a gallery, with sunlight streaming in from one side. They are surrounded by opulence. Gilt trim is everywhere.

At the far end of the gallery – twenty yards away – is a door. A man enters. He too is dressed well, and he walks stiffly, almost marching. He approaches slowly, gracefully. The boy giggles – through the mirrors on the ceiling, he can see the man’s thinning scalp. The two continue to play.

The man arrives. He clears his throat. He glares at the butler, who responds immediately. The butler jumps up and in an instant is standing to attention. The boy regards the visitor.

“I’m afraid, your majesty, that your time as dauphin is at an end.” Then, pausing for effective reverence, he bows. “God Save The King”.

Slim Pickings

inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 18 March 2021, affordable.

We went out to a restaurant so posh,
That I couldn’t find nothing to nosh,
From the menu, drew blank,
I would need to rob bank,
All I found, beans on toast, orange squash.