Fiction LNE
Fiction Friday

My Fool is a Crock

by: Jen

I don't like to speak ill of my servants, but there comes a time when a Empress has got to speak her mind. My fool, Andrews, is a crock.

It's not so much that he hasn't ever once got me to laugh. I am a woman of stern and taciturn demeanor, as befits the supreme sovereign ruler of the land. I don't laugh, as a strict policy. But I didn't once think that hiring a fool would mean that I would have to spend time trying to make him laugh. No, this fool is, I repeat, a crock.

Andrews is without a doubt the most insecure, inhibited and neurotic fool ever to put on a varicolored coat and tight breeches. The man is afraid of people. He blushes and stammers when Princess Tanya enters the feasting hall, and he falls totally mute when we have guests. Not just visiting dignitaries and other persons of high stature, mind you--When the rotating spit repairman walked behind his chair while court was in session, he turned vermillion and had to be excused from the table. When an emissary from Lettalia made direct eye contact with him during a state dinner, and Andrews dove under the table, pulling the table-linen under with him. There is the still blackbird pie remnants in the chandelier, and I had to cede an entire island chain to the Lettalian delegation the next day to cover the cleaning bills for their doublets.

What makes it all worse is that Andrews feels really, really bad about it all. When I went to go find him and cut off his stupid head after the Lettalian fiasco, I found him curled up in the corner of the castle, weeping into a varicolored hankerchief. And he looked so sad and so pathetic with his jingling cap askew on his head and the tears streaming through the greasepaint on his face that I ended up fixing him a glass of warm milk and a peanut butter and banana sandwich in the back pantry and telling him that everything was going to be okay. It's not going to be okay! Since when does the empress of a major wool-exporting kingdom have time to be giving comfort and succor to her agoraphobic fool? Since never, is the answer. I missed an important meeting with the rayon lobby guild while I was making that milk! And for what? It's not like his services help keep the castle running smoothly, or provide any sort of benefit to me or this kingdom in any single way. I don't know what I was thinking I would get when I got a fool, but this is not it.

I suppose I should have expected a jester of such low quality. I mean, who goes into fooling as a line of work these days, anyway? It's 1993, for crap's sake.