Snakes and Pills

113 - wish call

Queen Regina was growing listless and bored. It was just that time in the afternoon, where the sun was starting to lose its battle with gravity to remain in the sky. Her Majesty would have found it easy enough to drift off to sleep in her handsome throne. But she felt that kind of behavior was unbecoming, though sadly not uncommon, of a person in her position. Here she was, charged with looking over her kingdom. How could she close her eyes and surrender to drowsiness?

Still, her eyelids grew heavier in the golden afternoon light, and willingly or not, her body slumped back slightly more in her chair, fighting every urge to completely relax. The Queen finally realized this was unsustainable, and in an attempt to snap herself out of it, she quickly clapped her hands twice.

A tall, lanky man appeared at her side from some hidden passage, suddenly occupying the chamber that was only a moment ago inhibited solely by the Queen. If this man had given into the temptation for an afternoon nap himself, he showed no signs of it. His expressions and vocalizations were as bright and chipper as they ever were.

"Your Majesty beckons?" he inquired.

"Yes, are there any callers on the palace grounds this afternoon?" Queen Regina asked.

"No, Your Highness has no callers this afternoon. Fortunately, no one has decided to trouble you with their trifles. Oh, how I wish they could more often be so self-reliant and not require your assistance," the Queen's assistant replied. He knew the Queen actually desired a meddler or two to disturb her this afternoon, but he still tried to spin the situation into a positive, as he always did.

"Verily, but it is my duty to help my subjects, and I do so happily," Regina said as a reflex. "Regardless, if there is no business to be attended to, what do we have in terms of entertainment?"

"Ah, we have the lovely Rene Gambot, renowned harpist, at Your Majesty's disposal!" the assistant merrily exclaimed, and he clapped his hands thrice. A moment later, a door to the left of the Queen's throne was opened, and a woman quickly shuffled into the chamber. She took her position in front of Regina, and gave a slight bow. Then, without a word, Rene Gambot began plucking at the strings of her harp.

The harpist was a pretty little thing, and the music she produced was pleasant enough. The Queen tried in earnest to enjoy the music, but it presented her with the same problem as before. While the song played by Rene Gambot was pleasing to the ear, it was also quite relaxing, and with each note the harp produced, Queen Regina found herself drifting closer and closer to sleep.

Politely, she let the girl finish her ditty, and with a simple "thank you," motioned to her assistant to have the harpist escorted away. She then asked him, "Is that damn fool the jester around? I do imagine that his stupid antics are more the kind of entertainment I seek today."

"Allow me a moment to summon him," her assistant said. Two or three minutes crawled by, until finally the assistant reappeared, with a foolish looking man in tow. "Presenting to Your Majesty, Harold the jester!" her assistant declared. Queen Regina's eyes filled with delight.

"Very good! Now leave us, for I wish to have some privacy in my entertainment," she ordered. Her assistant did as he was told. It was somewhat unorthodox, but who was he to argue with his Queen? The door slammed shut behind him, and then it was just the Queen and the jester alone in the royal chamber.

"Now, jester, let's see your true special talent," the Queen said, fully awake.


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