Monday November 7th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: the supreme ruler.

Had a pretty enjoyable birthday day for Max. Opened some presents in the morning, a couple more in the afternoon, and the remainder at his birthday dinner at Kat's parents house.

Oh, and the cake was delicious too:

What I initially considered the definite highlight came fairly early. Early enough for it to be topped later on, apparently.


Kat and I gave Max a globe for his 4th birthday, one that has a 'plane' attached which can be controlled with a joystick. It's got some fairly advanced features that are a bit beyond him at this point, but he's finding it interesting enough to just 'fly' the plane around the world, occasionally clicking on various points of interest. He'll grow into the games and other features soon enough, I'm sure.

Anyway. My sister Sue called not long after he'd opened it and during their chat the following exchange took place:

"You know what Mommy and Dada gave me for a present?"

"What did they give you?"

"The whole Earth!"

I pretty much lost it instantly. I was certain it couldn't be outdone by anything else that could happen today.

So then I stopped by Kat's parents house this afternoon to drop off dinner food before running to the bakery to pick up his cake. Max was there, along with Natalie, and they were playing with his new toy (because of course he brought it with him when he went up earlier). When Max saw me he had this to say:

"Dada, look! My toy! Natalie and I are controlling the Earth!"

This kid, you guys. Anyway, here's a less than perfect picture of him and his new toy, while he was giving Miles a turn to play with it:

Happy birthday, you funny little man.


Greg said...

Those are excellent pictures and I really like the look of the cake (also: well done on getting such good contrast on a difficult subject like chocolate and cherry!). I can imagine Max being impressed with it too :) The globe seems like a great present, especially with the comments you got from Max over it The one about controlling the whole earth is absolutely wonderful.
It's rare that I wonder if you've picked a prompt specifically, but the coincidence that the prompt today is "the supreme ruler" just as Ernest meets the King in my tale is strong enough that I have to ask if you're gently prodding me to keep continuing the tale, or if it really is just chance that Max happened to provide the perfect prompt for me as well?

The supreme ruler
The King was a slight man who looked younger than his forty-three years. His hair was chestnut brown and thick, turning into waves as it cascaded down the back of his neck, over the high collar of his gold-and-blue dress-jacket. His eyes were deep-set and silvery, and his mouth was a thin-line that expanded into a mirthful smile as he looked at Ernest. One shiny, boot-clad foot was resting on an upholstered ottoman, and his trousers were the hard-wearing drab blue cotton twill of an army uniform. All in all, he looked much more like a General than a King at that moment in time.
Arrayed off to one side of him, standing in various attitudes of at-ease, were Lords McAnally, Thereau and Vileburn, and behind them were their respective pages. The pages were all children still, none aged over fifteen, and they all looked terrified to be in the King's presence.
"Ernest," said the King. "Stand up, having you kneel before me makes me worry that you're studying my shoes to determine where I've been before I came here. It is very good to see you again, and I'm delighted that you were available for this... this situation. It requires delicacy, you were a natural choice for this."
Ernest stood, his knees clicking softly. "Thank-you your Majesty," he said, inclining his head in a court bow. "I'm honoured by your words, as always."

Greg said...

Lord Thereau stepped forward. He was a tall man with hair like a dandelion clock after a strong wind. He had a walking stick in his left hand, but Ernest had noticed many times that he seemed to have no use for it. "Might I suggest we move in a little," he said. "We have but a half-hour before dinner, and the inner rooms are better warded simply because they are inside, and so the wards nest." His voice was scratchy as though he had had throat problems.
The Lords, the King, and Ernest walked through a doorway into a sitting room with several armchairs arrayed around a coffee table. A door from this led to the bedroom, and Lord Thereau closed both doors himself. After he had done so Lord Vileburn placed his hands together and softly recited a prayer of protection, and a feeling of peace descended on the room.
"Ernest." The King rarely wasted time. "Someone killed Lord Campion, and the indications are that they knew he was a vampire. The time of his death is quite inconvenient: we have a treaty summit approaching with both the Franco-Prussian Empire and the Italianate Dominion. Lord Campion was tasked with delivering a comprehensive review of our military position and whether we can retain our possession of Malta and Gibraltar despite the repeated demands to surrender non-contiguous territories. I need to know, by the end of the week, who killed Lord Campion and whether this is indicative of penetration of our Court."
"It may be," said Lord Vileburn, leaning forward and clasping his hands together, "that the killer only found vampires objectionable."
"Many do," said Ernest.
"We use the resources available to us," said the King. He gazed unblinkingly at Ernest. "You understand, at least, that what is desirable and what is necessary cannot be forced together, but that events must be turned to allow them to meet naturally."
Ernest nodded, and shifted in his seat. A moment's silence passed, and he took that as his cue.
"My opinion is private," he said, "and does not impact my job. As your Investigator my opinions are exactly yours, Sire, though my conclusions are mine and are presented to assist you in your job."
"Quite," said the King. He looked around the circle. "You would all do well to remember that. At the moment the vampiracy of the Campion clan is necessary though not desirable, and it is essential to our progress that they are not hampered from carrying out their duties. The Lords-Martial, -Magical and -Theurgical are all providing protection for this funeral, Ernest, but this is the logical time and place for an assault on the clan to happen. Find out how it will happen, find out who is behind it, and do so quickly.
Now, there will be briefings for you, which Steve," Lord McAnally inclined his head, "and Memneth," Lord Vileburn smiled briefly, "will provide, but first I would like to eat and talk of less-weighty things. My Lords all have other engagements, so I think you and I, Ernest, might stay here in your suite and converse a little?"
As Ernest expressed his thanks the Lords stood up and excused themselves to their various dinner dates.

Marc said...

Greg - just chance, as it happens. I'd been trying to read your commentary as you've been posting them, but I've been saving reading your takes on the prompt until I had time to respond to them. So... this one is especially coincidental I guess!

I think I quite like this King, so far at any rate. It's a well described scene, as your usual from you, and the details are delightfully intriguing. You carry me onward with your tale, sir.

So... onward we go! (I hope!)