Ragtag Daily Prompt: Obfuscate

It was time for the Prime Minister’s weekly appointment with the Queen. When he reached the top of the long marble staircase, he had to pause to collect his breath. After a minute, he nodded his head, and the Chamberlain knocked on the double-door twice with his white gloved hand. The doors immediately opened, and the PM entered. There he found his young Queen standing beside the fireplace with her hands primly folded in front of her.

“Welcome, my lord,” she said stiffly, her mouth frozen with an obviously artificial smile. She extended her hand. Taking her hand in his, he bent over and kissed his own thumb which was placed over her wrist. This was in keeping with protocol. To actually kiss her hand was unthinkable! “Please, my lord,” she continued. “Take a seat.” She motioned to a chair that was opposite from the fireplace by about ten meters.

He shook his head. “No, thank you, ma’am. It is only proper that I stand during our interview.” This was a formulaic conversation that was repeated ad nauseam every time he came to her sitting room.

“Very well, my lord,” she replied. “If you will forgive me, I will sit now.” Queen Pirouette sat on a beautifully upholstered straight backed chair. Over the coarse of forty minutes, the PM gave an abbreviated rundown of all the business of government that had unfolded during the previous week, including legislation pending, foreign affairs and accounts of spending. When he had finished, the Queen nodded and then said, “Thank you, my lord. If you would be so kind, I would like an update on my aunt. It is my understanding that she was moved from the North Tower without my authorization.”

The Prime Minister had come to the interview prepared to be questioned on this subject, but he was surprised that she had brought it up so quickly. Taking a handkerchief, he passed it over his brow, as a stall for time, and then spoke. “I assume, of course that you are speaking of her ladyship, commonly known as Tata Sous-sus, your cousin. For security purposes, she was removed from her place of confinement to a secret, undisclosed location. This was primarily for her own safety. Intelligence reports, received by my office, indicated that her life was in danger; therefore, I took the liberty of moving her, knowing full well of your love for her and desire for her well-being.”

Queen Pirouette stood up and approached the PM who was more than twelve centimeters taller than her. When she reached striking distance, she poked him in the center of his chest with her forefinger. “Listen to me, little man,” she said, restraining herself from shouting, her voice trembling with rage. “Your ability to obfuscate is legendary. How dare you move her without even notifying me, much less asking for my permission. She was arrested under my authority. Her disposition is entirely under my discretion. This is not the first time you have overstepped your bounds.” She poked him again, this time even harder. “But by God, it is the last!”

Published by Russell Smith

I was born at the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. I find inspiration in the lives of so many people from Joan of Arc to Oscar Wilde. While my primary avocation is photography, I also enjoy philosophy, theology and most of all, history. My beloved wife, Robin Anne Smith, who passed away in 2013 is an inspiration to me. My beloved partner, Dana is also a great support and inspiration to me. I'd be remiss if I did not mention my cats: Maxwell, Nigel, Pirouette and GarGar.

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