Castles and Chimneys Part 1 


It was either the falling snow, the frozen lakes, or the fact that the Prince had just lost his balls. These preceding an abstruse scandal that involved a pregnant underage goat or whatever the gossips had it tagged. 


The council had tried extra hard to make things right. They had certified the whole story as a mere rumour. A lost ball was all of a sudden too large to conceal. 

Lips told tales, the street watered the throat of passersby, traders, market women and foreigners, everyone had an ear-share of the doing of their one true heir.


 “It was unimaginable, unforgivable, and unforgettable, it wouldn’t go well in history. His forefathers had done too well to have their lineage padded with this disgraceful, piece of disgusting devil in the form of a son!” An old woman had ranted with all her breath at the market square one awkward evening as she tried to push two rumpled registered trade notes into the vegetable seller's outstretched dry palm. He was a dark and in his late seventies and had hair that was laced with heavy touches of gray. He had a broad nose and a wide forehead, wrinkles on his nose carved across the corner of his lips, restricting his fat drooping cheeks. 


Amidst the words in the street, rumors and over-exaggerated truths, every political activity went on. The tale club-wielding savages and other banner men raiding local folks did not go untold without the stories crusaders taking on new territories. 




It was a dull evening and the Royal Court was quite stuffy as the place brimmed with a joint contribution. The air was thick with pungent body odour and reeked of bad breath that faintly reminds one of soiled socks. The open fire made the whole atmosphere more clumsy as it toiled it part in solitude, partially keeping them alive. The councilmen, king, queen and a few other judiciary executives all waited patiently in the court as the eerie hush that cut across the spacious hall birthed a delicate string of tension. 


The king was a dwarf and a stool had helped him up his throne. His beautiful wife sat to his left, her palm laced with his, caressing his old crusty hands. His brains were between her thighs, and he enjoyed the fact that he loved not just her. He was a fan of tits and pleasure; the king had so many mistresses, he had personally decided against marrying. 


The king's adviser, a short man called 'the Hand', marched in with five fully armoured knights. He stopped in front of the king and bowed. It took him a decade to look up, the King's impatient eyes raised him. The Hand frowned, took off his gloves as he positioned himself for a long speech. 


“Your majesty..." He began as he carefully rested his hands on his bulgy belly which sagged way below his crotch. He reeked of panic.


“Our enemies are upon us and our sins have caught up with us.” 

The council men were on their feet now, with the priest at the extreme corner of the room crossing his chest repeatedly and kissing his thumb after each cross. 


“My lord! I can't explain this, the land is wasted. The whole town is under siege.” 


The king had a befuddled look as he tried to make sense of what his overweight adviser was saying.

 

“Did you receive a comprehensive report about this?” he inquired. 

The Hand sunk the panic further. What he said next strummed the delicate string of tension and aggression echoed through the long hall.


"Our town is on fire. There is chaos in the north and the west. The east is burning out. The end is near my king! There are mysterious ants everywhere!....."


“Mys---what?” The king stopped him.  

He looked back, picked his nose and reach out with his fingers as he vigorously robbed the corner of his eyes.


 “Ants my lord. They are atta---cking the land my L-O-R-D” He dragged on as 

he took a new position that shifted the weight of his burden to the left leg, then he spoke again. 


“The ants are----” 


The look on the king's face had a price and the whole of the council looked like they had just risen from the grave, the priest looked like he had lost his salvation and was ready to rip the fat messenger apart for the already delivered pressure. 


“We would let the Hand have a rest now!” the king said. He waved the guards to take him out. 

“Put him in bounds and tie his face…”

“My king! The ants are everywhere in the castle. You must listen to me. I was told to... ” He was jerked off his feet, held firm by two strong men as they hauled him out of the court,  hands against his lips. 


“He will be fed with ants!” The king said with disgust, his bright eyes caught a smile on the queen's face and he jerked against the stool at his feet with anger. 

“What is so funny?” 


He looked forward and whisked, a knight was in on his knees. 

“Speak” The King said, and spat far away, wiped his lips dry with sleeves of his robe. 

“The Leader of the Ants is in for a negotiation!” 


“Antsssss?” He stressed, distress and confusion flooded his arched brows. 

“Yes My lord! A group of curaders from the East, have taken over half of Wales and are crossing our borders as we speak... “ He panted as he spoke, he must have rushed his way up to the court. “I reported to the Hand to talk to you about it. There is war coming my king.” 

The King looked up as one of the men who carried away the Hand came in. 


“What now?” 

“He's dead sire.” 


“Dead! Did you just say dead?” The king exclaimed. He tried to get off the throne in anger, but the stool was no more--Poor dwarf. 

“My lord, you gave us the gesture to behead your hand, right after he raised a false tension” 

The king took off his crown. Beady sweats encircled his bald head. He rubbed his bald head way down to his face. Tiny lines raced across his forehead. 


“I said feed him with ants…” He yelled.

He looked at the council men, his eyes almost popping out of his socket as he narrowed his words in anger. 


“This bastard literally beheaded my hand...” Spit flushed in the air as he shirked. He touched his wrist as he was talking, but no one knew what his real concern was about.