Monday, October 10, 2011

Magpie Tales: The King of Everything


The day the King of Everything returned was rather odd. He first appeared to a bus of catholic school kids, who promptly laughed at him. An elder nun rapped the King with a ruler and threw him off the bus for disturbing the peace, pronouncing him a loon.

His next appearance was to the world leaders at a United Nations summit, where they were arguing percentile points in latest political popularity polls. Say that five times fast and you might begin speaking like they do. They gave him five minutes.

Truth be told, they only reason they gave him five was they were out of ideas to try and fix the mess we were in, everything they had tried before only ending in further disaster. Rumor even had it they would not be getting Christmas bonuses from their special interest groups if they did not do something soon, so they were desperate.

They called a global press conference and gave the King the floor. People around the world tuned in to hear what this strange man had to say. Pepsi sponsored the event, mostly to promote their new talent show that would be on later during prime time.

The King spoke softly, so even the people at home leaned forward to better hear what he had to say. He spoke only ten minutes, telling a story about a wedding. When he finished the sky opened and a beam of light surrounded the King. A hush fell over world, even flies grew still. The only sound was a lone phone ringing, the agent for a certain pop star with very expensive hair answered to hear his client ranting about the poor quality of their pyrotechnics and how he would stop touring unless the heaven's shined on him too

Within seconds, the internet was a buzz with blog posts and opinion polls and within twenty minutes, he was denounced a charlatan. He was too small. Too fat. Too old. Unless you were in Florida, where they decided he was too young to be King of Everything. Needless to say, he was nothing like what they expected, so the next press conference was preempted by Survivor, because people needed a healthy dose of reality to get back to living.

Fearing for their lives, the politicians abandoned his cause and for once, their popularity increased, even if only for a week. Figuring him hungry after such hubbub, and not wanting him to think they were heartless, the politicians dropped him at the Goodwill with a twenty dollar clothes voucher.

After several weeks, a child found him forgotten on a shelf and begged his mom a quarter to purchase the slightly used toy. To quiet him, the mom acquiesced and for many years, after being tucked into bed at night, the boy would listen as the king shared stories with him then close his eyes and dream of one day changing the world.

This is a Magpie Tale.

84 comments:

DJan said...

Gasp! This is a wonderful tale, Brian. I wonder if an Internet search would tell me that the child he spoke to for years maybe grew up to be Steve Jobs. Thank you for the story

Deborah said...

Oh I just LOVED this .... wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!

blueviolet said...

We are certainly a selfish self-serving people, aren't we? So quick to lift someone up, but quicker to let them fall.

kaykuala said...

Brian,
While small in stature, he had at least someone to talk to and willing to listen! Will not venture to figure out who is he in real life. Great!

Hank

anthonynorth said...

You captured who we are in this. Excellent.

Madhulika said...

Loved this tale...
I could stop laughing (for some strange reasons) when the king was thrown out of the buss ;)

annell said...

What a delight!

Lolamouse said...

Wow. What a great story! I loved the part about the folks in Florida!

David Allen Waters said...

reminds me of the song "if God had a name" brilliant piece man :)

Christine said...

This was amazing, every child needs this kind of trinket tucked in bed with them, metaphor abound in this write, I have tears.

Valerie said...

Definitely my kind of story, Brian. Adored it.

5thsister said...

Delightful fable with a wonderful moral. If only we could just open our eyes to the the truth...

Help! Mama Remote... said...

Sounds much like our world today. Thankfully there's always someone willing to finish the battle.

hedgewitch said...

I like this fractured fairytale very much--perfect ending, and nice little dollops of sarcasm and satire all over the place for a bonus to the rather bittersweet flavor. Your short prose just keeps improving, brian.

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

Hi! Brian...
The King of Everything?...Who Is He? What Is He? Where Did He Come From? and Most Importantly, Where Will He Go?

"So the next press conference was preempted by Survivor, because people needed a healthy dose of reality to get back to living."
lol

Say that five times fast and you might begin speaking like they do. "percentile poi, poi, points latest po,po, political pop, pop, popularity polls"
[I tried to repeat this five times, but I stumbled on each try...Brian, I'm glad that I did...too!]

Thanks, for sharing another poignant well-written piece and complimentary image too!
deedee :-/

Kathe W. said...

Brian - this is brilliant! We let the media think and speak for us and they ruin peoples lives and reputations for what? Gossip?
There are smart men and women out there that wouldn't dream of entering the political realm for just those reasons.
And what we need is a statesperson with a backbone.

Fireblossom said...

Oh come on...you made this all up!

Didn't you?

adeeyoyo said...

Aaah,IF ONLY... Wonderful, Brian!

Elaine said...

A ruler, hit with a ruler. Love this magpie!

Daniel said...

First, I loved the picture. It sparked all kinds of ideas in my head before I even got to your prose. But then your story was even better. Loved the idea you explored and the juxtaposition between the so-called worldly and wise, and the truly humble of heart. Great stuff man.

JeannetteLS said...

"... even the flies grew still."

Where your mind roams is a little scary to examines. But it sure isn't scary to read the results. I love the story on every level--all the ones already mentioned. And it's just, well, a really GOOD STORY. Had to read every word, then read it again outloud. It IS a bedtime story, isn't it? Oops. It's only 11:30.

Great opening to my computer day.

Mama Zen said...

Oh, Brian! This is wonderful and gorgeous and I could keep gushing . . .

Kathy Bischoping said...

You have some lovely detailing, what with the flies growing still, Survivor, the $20 voucher, and that Very Expensive hair.

izzy said...

Oh good something positive kept cycling! Great fun, thanks!

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Brian,

I was amazed at the photo. Very lovely,very realistic.

I loved this story beautifully conceived and written.

Best wishes,
Joseph

Joanna Jenkins said...

I'm loving this one Brian. So many truths tucked in there. And "Pepsi sponsored the event" had me laughing out loud.
Cheers, jj

Pat Hatt said...

That was such a great tale
Yeah I did start sounding like them with the ppp wail
So funny it's pathetic how people change their tune so fast
So their popularity will last
Made me cringe at Survivor being reality
That is just another human mind numbing casuality..haha

Teri said...

You never cease to amaze me at your creativity. You are an amazing person Brian. Maybe YOU are "The King of Everything"!

ipenka said...

I definitely laughed at the Florida bit.

It was an entertaining tale, definitely pictured an indignant king after being thrown off the bus!

Leovi said...

Good job, very intelligent, a delicious story.

LadyCat said...

Somewhere there is a boy who would be king...could be king.

Helen said...

A real fairy tail ... for adults! You had me in the first stanza ... memories of an elder nun rapping my youngest son on his knuckles!!!

Myrna R. said...

You have a way of capturing our subconscious and making it travel to mesmerizing fairy lands.

I so much enjoyed reading this. Hope if the King of Everything comes my way - I'll listen.

Fred said...

Lots of great thoughts through this. Excellent tale. i do have to say In reading the first section I misread rapped and boy does that take the piece into a whole new direction- quickly caught it though, just thought you'd find that funny. Love the tale, really nicely penned. Thanks

happygirl said...

Thank you.

Lyn said...

Won't be the first time the world abandoned his cause...nor the last. Choose your teacher!

Sue said...

What a talent you have, Brian.

Loved this.

=)

thingy said...

The perfect tale for young and old, alike. Wonderful!

Baino said...

Kinda liked this but you closed it off too quickly. Love the humour and pathos in it though.

Jan said...

So poignant, sad, and a well-written story/commentary on our lives.

Jan said...

And creative—not just well-written—I forgot to include inventive, metaphorical and all those other labels for creative genius. This touched me. Good pic, too.

Kay said...

loved every bit of this..esp the whispering of stories in bed!

Tara Miller said...

I'm not sure if you were referring to this or not but if we would listen for and follow the guidance of the still, soft voice of our King rather than our own will and desire for control this world wouldn't be in the shape it is now. That little boy is smart and will one day change the world because he chose to be quiet and listen.

You always amaze me, love, with this beautiful gift.

vivinfrance said...

delicious story.

Roy Schulze said...

I fear that's pretty much the way things would pan out these days. You captured it well.

My Magpie 86 entry is Cepheus.

The Noiseless Cuckooclock said...

very wonderful story.

sweet pea. said...

this is so lovely.
and about the florida people. hahaha, that made me laugh.
i thoroughly enjoyed reading the whole thing.

and i thank you for your comment on mine. i rewrote a part of it after thinking about it, if you would like to go see =)
http://goroshechek.blogspot.com/2011/10/mornings.html

sweet pea. said...

i may actually have to print it out and hang it on my wall somewhere.

ayala said...

Brian, this is wonderful. I love it!

Suz said...

fun...ny

June_Butterfly said...

WOW!!Now I loved this!!Made me want to reflect.

Steve E said...

Print it out??? I'm goin' to leave it on my laptop screen, hang it in the foyer, to remain there forever.

I'll get me a new Notebook--or iPod, or whatever is newly marketed this coming week.

Of all blogs, reading yours for the past couple years has been a most worthy occupation, also entertaining!
You-the genius, Brian!

Margaret said...

Their popularity lasted for a week...
Ha. That about sums it up...
And the bit of hope at the end was a very nice touch. Yes, and it would take a child to listen.

Laurie Kolp said...

Excellent, Brian... and full of many layers.

Ann Grenier said...

What an imagination! I like it!

Lena said...

Life's a bugger and you captured it delightfully through a fab little story!

Tumblewords: said...

Incredible tale - loved every word of it!

Betsy said...

Almost sounds like The Word, written as a different story but the meaning is the same.

The answers are right in front of us, in a still small voice. And we are blinded... being too busy, too proud and too self serving to hear it.

lori said...

Sometimes I feel like I could really see your stories being made into short films. Just an idea for all your spare time, lol.

Not that fame is your goal, but your stuff will eventually make its way into more and more hands (or onto more and more screens). You can mark that down somewhere. I truly do believe many more are going to know who you are one day. Eventually, you'll outgrow all of us, but we'll be able to say we knew you when. And, that will be enough. Until then, keep those posts coming! :)

The Cello Strings said...

I believe that you are both the king and the boy,

at least they represent part of you.

magical magpie tale, very very impressed.

The Cello Strings said...

I believe that you are both the king and the boy,

at least they represent part of you.

magical magpie tale, very very impressed.

Hazel said...

Human nature, right on! Well captured.

Claudia said...

you know what..? this was exactly the same king i had in my car the other day...recognized him by his crimson cloak.. but at least i know now where he went - and no wonder this boy dreamt of changing the world... happens easily when you listen to the stories he has to share... smiles - love the tale you spun for us bri..

farmlady said...

And some of them said, "What will he look like if he does come back?"

spacedlaw said...

Sweet (and melancholy).

Lydia said...

A marvelous write, indeed! Not to sound like I'm on "repeat," but I am awed by your storytelling. I bet it just felt good writing this, as you recalled those nights in your boyhood when the trinket King of Everything taught you the craft you share today. ;)

Me said...

Yeah, I know you are famous for your poetry, but I do love it when you tell us a story instead. Pure awesome, love this one!

Dave King said...

67 comments is some small measure of how brilliant this is. Ten times that would hardly do it justice, though.

sharmishtha said...

beautifully said brian. most probably this is the thing that will happen in reality too. :(

The Old Raven said...

You really brought this to a close in a marvelous manner!

Magpie said...

Spinning yarns is one of your many true talents.

Caty said...

Love this story! Of course it was a little boy who listened :) Love all the details in this...you are a great story teller :)

Katherine Krige said...

A skillfully written tale/commentary on the state of the world today.

Jannie Funster said...

Holy CRAP. This is freaking good!! My favorite writing of your ever. I really liked how you got the point across but didn't name names, greater universal appeal I think.

Since you are such a good visual artist too, Bri,I think you oughta illustrate this. Maybe a graphic novel?

Pepsi and the talent show -- LOL. dancing with the Pepsi Stars maybe.

Oh, the expensive hair made me laugh too.

xo

Okie said...

what a wonderful story. love it. :)

Mary Ann Potter said...

Delightfully told. I especially liked the way he was dropped off at the Goodwill. Bless his kingly heart. Nicely done with this imaginative prompt!

Isabel Doyle said...

that pretty well sums us up
great story well told

Trellissimo said...

That was sweet - no doubt because it was sponsored by Pepsi?!

Zuzana said...

Brian this one had a feeling of Hans Christian Andersen over it, you know him and his fairytales, those fables that always have a twist.;))
xoxo

Brigid said...

Yes, Brian, I agree with one of your commenters that your pieces have a short film feel to them. I have just finished a scriptwriting course myself and my first screenplay, I can just see you do something with this piece. The details in your story were so well observed.

Mary said...

Excellent! So many interesting aspects to this tale. As soon as I thought I knew the point you were making the point changed. Sort of like politics! LOL.

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Superb story - loved it at surely gave an accurate description of the world we live in today.

Anna :o]

~T~ said...

"Who is this that cometh ... with dyed garments?" Will we recognize wisdom when it comes?

Syd said...

A good one. At least, he found a good home to retell his stories of the world.