The word for today’s story has been provided by the ever-helpful Kate. Actually, Kate has suggested a number of excellent prompts for this challenge and this will be the first in a sequence of them. The word Kate provided is “BOMBASTIC”, and I’ll admit to being surprised and slightly disappointed to learn that it doesn’t mean “crazy”, “lively” or “wild” as I initially thought. Curse you, Mr Bean, for misleading me!
Anyway, it’s still an interesting word and I rather enjoyed the character which came to life upon my re-education. I hope you all do, too.
By Adam Dixon
“…and I put it to you, dearest members of the public, that none of my esteemed peers would perform quite so well as I have!” The newly-crowned King Geoffrey asserted, brandishing the sleeves of his voluminous golden robe with gleeful vigour.
“Nay, but ‘tis true!” he continued, grinning from one end of his carefully-trimmed beard to the other. “’The fine body of men and women who make up the Assembly and who serve as my advisors are all able and intelligent people. Sharp of mind and keen of eye where matters of state are concerned; of this there can be no doubt! But, dear people, not one of them could perform the duties expected of a monarch with such stalwart effectiveness and practiced ease as I! ‘Tis true that I have been blessed by the gods of this world to be worthy of so lofty a duty, and in turn you are fortunate indeed to be the subjects over which I hold dominion!”
Kind Geoffrey beamed at the vast gathering of people standing before his palace. They had come to his grounds in droves following his coronation, with thousands upon thousands of them waiting to hear him speak. Rightly so, thought he! It was not every day that the common folk were graced with the attention of such a mighty and impressive figure of a man! The subjects gathered beneath him as he addressed them on his balcony would long tell the story of how they heard Good King Geoffrey speak, and their children would pass the tale on to their children and so on and so forth. King Geoffrey glowed with pride for these hypothetical offspring, and was delightfully happy for the very real men and women who were listening to him now. What a truly splendiferous day they must be having! He continued with his self-confident rhetoric for over an hour, before reaching the end of his speech.
“Sadly, dear friends, I must take my leave of you. All that is left for me to announce is that my first decree as King is to make a bold change to the face of my kingdom, to forever prove my undying loyalty towards you good people. I declare that from this day forward, I shall no longer be known as King Geoffrey, for I fear that the word “King” is rather archaic and distances the monarch from his people, but instead I shall be known as High Citizen Geoffrey, the first amongst his fellow men! Thank you, one and all, and I bid you adieu!” The ruler formerly and briefly known as King Geoffrey blew kisses to the crowd and bowed as he moved back inside, revelling in the rapturous applause he received.
“What d’you make of all that then?” A man in stained blue overalls asked, squinting at the man in the smart suit next to him. The grey-haired gentleman snorted and made a show of straightening his tie and jacket.
“Oh, more or less what I’ve come to expect,” he said with a nasal drawl. “The man is as bombastic as ever, full of wind and self-praise but little else. He’ll make an awful monarch.” The man in the overalls laughed, running a hand across his stubbly chin.
“Oh yeah, you’ve got that right, mister!” He said with a guffaw. “Makes for an amusin’ spectacle, though! High Citizen Geoffrey, may he live long and keep us all laughin’ while he does!” The two men shared a moment to appreciate the joke, as thousands of people shuffled home around them. Geoffrey watched his subjects dispersing from behind a curtain and smiled. Truly, what a magnificent day for all it had been!