“No, no, no, this is all wrong. All wrong!” moaned the prince, pacing back and forth in front of the armory. He shot a baleful glare at his adviser once more and stopping in his tracks; asked in an incredulous yet expectant tone, “Well?! Aren’t you going to do something to fix this?!”
“Yes, your highness”, sighed his long suffering adviser. He was short, pale and sickly looking; having black hair with pale white skin. Just as he was about to open his mouth and say something to the third man standing in the room; he was interrupted.
“Merde! What is wrong this time, then?” spoke the tall and ridiculous looking Frenchman standing in one corner of the room. His name was Armand Bacque and he was wearing an eye-searing red shirt with poufy sleeves and skin tight grey leather pants. He was holding a basket full of odd ends and bobs, like thread and scraps of brightly coloured silk.
“What is wrong? Arfan, he is asking what is wrong! I have never seen such a ridiculous looking costume in my life! Just look at him, he won’t even be able to intimidate a kitten in that outfit! I thought I told you to bring me an expert! I shall be laughed out of my kingdom if my foreign guests see this!” seethed the prince in outrage, waving helplessly in anger at the last man in the room. This man was wearing, what arguably was a typical Western Archer’s uniform.
“You go too far your highness! Why, it is a Masterpiece of design; the bright colour, the bold metallic contrast and that bow just sets it off wonderfully! I even procured a matching helmet and leather detailing! So far you have rejected every design I have come up with – unreasonably, I might add. If you keep insulting my skill, I shall take my expertise elsewhere!” exclaimed the Frenchman, dropping his basket and puffing up in indignation. Arfan opened his mouth to try to soothe the man’s ravaged pride, before being cut off yet again; by the Prince this time.
“A masterpiece of design he says! It looks ludicrous; he looks like he stole a dress from my little sister’s wardrobe! All it is missing is the frills! And it doesn’t even have a pace for his sword! I ask you to design an intimidating western styled guard uniform and you give me this! I refuse to believe that guards in England dress this way, why, no one would ever take them seriously. Our holdings are one of the richest and most prosperous in India. Are you trying to sabotage my father, the Sultan Temur’s image?!” ranted the prince passionately. This whole time the Frenchman’s face had been getting redder and redder, and it seemed to Arfan that he had finally reached critical mass.
“That’s IT! I Quit! No more of this nonsense! I shall take my talents where they are better appreciated! The Prince of Athens has been inviting me to his palace for weeks. I declined him to work for the great Ahmed Khan Sartaj, because I had heard of your majesty, but it turns out that rumors are just that – rumors!” said Armand, after saying that he kicked aside the basket and stormed out of the room, cursing in French the whole time.
There was a dead silence in the room for a few moments and then the prince said, “A bit high-strung isn’t he, that one? Oh well, since that project was a bust, let’s go to the kitchens and ask them if they are capable of French cooking good enough to impress our foreign guests.” Said the prince, unperturbed and already moving on to his next scheme. Arfan, sighed heavily in defeat and followed after him.
“Um, your highness, may I take my leave?” the soldier in the archer’s costume called out after them. Neither of them heard him, the prince busy elaborating on his latest plan and Arfan busy trying to talk him out of it.
Consequently the poor soldier slept in that outlandish costume and later was discovered in the morning by his commanding officer, who was ready to reprimand him severely for abandoning his post. Upon seeing his outlandish garb, however the commander just sighed and muttered resignedly, “The prince, it’s always the prince. Just get back to work, soldier.”
Author’s Note: This story is written in response to a prompt, “KREATIVE KUE # 171 BY KEITH CHANNING”.
On to this week’s challenge: Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org before 6pm next Sunday (if you aren’t sure what the time is where I live, this link will tell you). If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here – pingbacks don’t often work.
Go on. You know you want to. Let your creativity and imagination soar. I shall display the entries, with links to your own blog or web site, next Monday.
I discovered this cue on John Howell’s Website.