A Pocketful Of Rye


The King was in his counting-house, staring gloomily at the four small piles of florins that were all that remained of his once vast fortune.

The Queen was gone. Today had been the final straw.

She had stood loyally by his side as cutbacks had been made. The King’s throne had been replaced by a kitchen-chair with a book under one of its legs. The royal coach had been sold to a merchant who hired it out for stag-parties and hen-nights. The court jester had been replaced by a collection of humorously-shaped vegetables.

The palace guard had once numbered a hundred men, armed with swords and lances. Now the palace guard was precisely that – a single guard, armed with a frying pan.

The Queen had put up with all of that, but this morning their breakfast pie had been filled with blackbirds. They hadn’t even been cooked properly.

The Queen had taken one mouthful, then rushed off and thrown up in the garderobe, or possibly the wardrobe, she’d been in too much of a hurry to care which. She was now in The Parlour, the inn in the nearby village, eating bread and honey and chatting up men with large halberds.

The maid was gone too, after bizarrely being attacked by a blackbird in what was presumably an act of revenge.

It had all gone wrong because all royalty are related, which is why they have more fingers than toes. One of the King’s cousins was a Nigerian Prince, who had promised him a generous reward if the King would give him the keys of his counting-house so that the Prince could hide his money there from his enemies for a few days.

Well, blood is thicker than water, and sadly the King was thicker than both.


The photo is the prompt for today’s Flash Frenzy contest, and is by Ashwin Rao.

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