Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Grop's the blessed one, and that's, well, okay.
Grop's feet were soaking halfway up to his knees in what, until recently, was the loneliest pond in the capital. The water was supposed to help relieve tension and sooth his soul. Or sole. He was never sure what people meant about that. He hoped it would work on the latter. He was starting to feel it, until an excited voice overpowered whatever effect the water was having.
"Grop? Hey Grop! You here for the coronation?"
"Traff? What are you doing here?"
"Like I said, the coronation! The Crownfish is going to surface, and choose the king! I somehow thought I could get close enough to see, but it was getting too crowded. Half the land is packed into the mirror lakes!"
"Too bad it wasn't the whole land. The other half was packed into the Ministry of Non-Aquatic Beasts. I must've been shunted into the wrong line five or six times."
"So you're not here for the coronation?"
"Nah, a guard gave me trouble for my mule's license being almost -- ALMOST, now -- being up for renewal, so I figured I'd better come in and get that taken care of, 'cause I just KNOW they'll hassle me about it again. Which they probably will, by the way, so don't tell me I've been wasting my time."
"Why Grop, I'd never dream of it. You do what you've got to, and I'll leave you to it."
For a few seconds, the sound of water dominated the conversation, like the timid third wheel desperately trying to fill an awkward silence.
"You know they'll just find something else. They want to hassle you, they'll find a reason."
Grop's head dipped a bit and snorted an agreement. But he wasn't in the mood for agreement, so he shifted the subject back to Traff.
"Speaking of wasting time, what exactly brought you to THIS lonely, quiet, secluded little spring? I know it's crowded and all back in the plaza, but I think you'd have a better chance of keeping up on events way, way, all the way, over there."
"That's the thing. I don't think they WILL find the Crownfish today. People are packed to their gills and then some. On my way down into the square, you couldn't even see where the water ended and the paving began. It's worse than New Years. Yeah, I don't think he'll surface until he's got room to breathe, know what I mean?"
"Sure, yeah, I know the feeling."
The water quietly interjected a few words again.
"I'm actually... going to go on my way now. Already had to stand in line with everyone, hate to have to walk home with them too. And these waters are hardly as soothing as they were earlier."
Grop waded in a little deeper and stooped over the pond. He wished he could stay longer, he really did, but Traff wasn't the easiest company to be in. Made him think about the wrong things. At least a splash of water might ease his mind for the walk home.
He must've used a little more force than he was used to, though, because a rush of water sent him reeling three quarters of a turn onto his back. His fall looked so graceful that an optimist -- or maybe a smart-alec -- might think that he was giving his legs a break, and letting the rest of his body soak. Grop was not an optimist. His head throbbed heavily as he brought himself up out of the pond.
"REVEL IN YOUR HONOR FOR YOU ARE BLESSED BEYOND ALL OF YOUR KIND"
"Haha, that's great. Just keep your comments to yourself, Traff."
"MANY IMAGINE THEIR WORTHINESS, BUT YOU ALONE HAVE VIRTUE ENOUGH"
"Seriously, you're not clever. Give it a rest."
"I, I, Grop, you, you've got something on..."
"Way to kick a guy while he's down, by the way. I don't exactly feel "Blessed beyond all my kind" or anything, thanks."
"I, I didn't SAY anything! I, it's just, your head, you've got a.."
"What? What is it? What about my head is sooo hilarious?"
"I AM VASILIS THE LIVING CROWNFISH AND I DEEM YOU WORRRTTTHHYYYY"
"The CrownFish, Grop, THE Crownfish! He's perched on your scalp! He's chosen you!"
"I AM VASILIS THE LIVING CROWNFISH. I BESTOW UPON YOU TODAY THE KINGDOM OF BOTH OUR PEOPLES FOR A HUNDRED YEARS"
"Okay. Hi, Vasilis. I'm uh, Grop."
"BLESSED LORD GROP, MAY YOUR DAYS BE LONG AND YOUR WINTERS SHORT"