Board the train of thought to Entitlement Station, in the heart of Abundance, where the coronation of a lifetime is underway. Queen Pristine Goldspinner has just been coroneted to reign over sixteen (somewhat) united States of Consciousness. Princess Erica, the Queen’s uninvited twin sister, crashes the coronation with her eyes on the crown.
Prince Godwyn Bonheur, widower with two unruly teenage daughters, attends the coronation with his eyes on the young Queen.
Your invitation to the celebration awaits you. You will be seated between Queen Mother Marguerite and Nanny Carabella Needlepinch. Listen in. You might just catch an earful of questionable activities both above and below stairs.
A delightful read, deliciously funny. The writing is heartwarming in its honesty, relatable and purely beautiful.
~ Mirela, bank V.P.
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End of an Era
Search & Rescue workers secured chains to the king’s dripping roadster, fighting to lodge itself in the canal, while a horseman guided a team of equines, towing the Raceabout out of the canal onto dry land. Standing atop Blue Spruce Hill with palace detective Scott, the king’s chauffeur, Earnest Crankshaft assessed the scene of the accident in the canal below. Detective Scott got straight to the point, pencil to pad. “Mr. Crankshaft, any news from the hospital? Is the king alive?”
Crankshaft shook his head. “One look at Her Majesty, and I knew the news was not good. God save the king.”
“God save the king. Tell me, how did King Poldemire’s Raceabout end up head first in the canal?”
Earnest held his cap to his heart. “I said no, when His Majesty asked me to crank her up” he said. “Never before have I refused a royal order, but His Majesty had no business behind the wheel without a motoring instructor at his side. He had taken but one lesson. I know I should not have, but I walked away. The groundskeeper must have cranked her for him. I saw him in the carriage house earlier, looking for a tool.”
“You mean to say, Mr. Crankshaft, Guillyum Snibbles can crank an engine, at his age?”
“I kid you not. I myself can barely do it without spraining an arm. He must have recruited one of the footmen to crank her up.”
“You said you saw His Majesty drive out the gates.”
“I did. I hastened back to the carriage house when I heard the engine jump to life, got there just as His Majesty rolled down the drive. I ran after, out the gates, but I ran out of steam by the time I got to the lane. I stood there, and I watched, as he sputtered down the lane” he pointed “past that row of dogwoods. He had his eye on the road, but he could not get the stick into second gear. He kept grinding, what sounded like reverse. Oh, an awful sound, like nails against a chalkboard.”
“The King’s Raceabout has a reverse gear?”
“Only the best, Detective. I watched him drive around the traffic circle, and return down Contentment Lane. Remarkably, he made it. I thought I might be able to jump onto the running board, and stop the vehicle, so I crossed the lane, but just then he hit a pothole, jumped the curb, and came racing toward me at an alarming speed, with his head beneath the dash, trying to figure out the gears.”
“What did you do?”
“I ran. Not ahead mind you, but sideways. He was pumping gas and clutch simultaneously. He lost control. He should have had his eyes on the road, but he was trying to figure out the pedals.
“You can see that far?”
“I watched through my binoculars, Detective” Crankshaft pointed “You may want to take a look at the tire tracks, over there. They run straight into the canal.”
“Right through the mud, I see. I’ll check those out later. Please continue, Mr. Crankshaft.”
“Well, His Majesty drove straight into the canal. I saw one of the gardeners on the tractor, mowing the lawn. I ran to him and asked if he would summon the Queen. Meanwhile, I ran to call an ambulance. I cranked the Isotta Fraschini, and stood at the portico holding the door open for seventeen minutes, before Her Majesty descended the steps.”
Detective Scott looked up. “You asked the gardener to summon Queen Marguerite?”
“I did” Crankshaft nodded “Her Majesty, and Princess Pristine.”
“Why would you ask the gardener to summon royalty?”
“Mr. Tibbons was nowhere in sight, but the young gardener was. He is quicker than I, Detective. I am a timekeeper, not a runner. I asked the gardener to ask the butler to summon the royals. My thought was to expedite.”
“I understand” the detective crossed a t, dotted two i’s, and looked up. “What happened next?”
“Search & Rescue jingled in. Two men in diving gear jumped off the wagon, dove into the canal, and pulled His Majesty onto dry land. They pounded on his chest, and administered mouth-to-mouth, while securing him to a gurney. Then they slid the gurney onto the hearse, and jingled off.”
“If you will excuse me now, I will go examine those tracks.”
“They run straight into the canal, Detective.”
Detective Scott pulled out his slide rule, bent down, and expanded his tape. Measuring, he considered width, depth, weight, and breadth.
A waterfall gushed through the metal pleats on the engine hood, as the horses pulled the roadster out of the canal. One worker pulled clinging seaweed off the doors, and radiator cap, while another hosed the roadster down.
Detective Scott climbed back up the hill. “I can feel the sun burning my neck” he wiped his brow, as he approached. “My calculations tell me the king was going between thirty and thirty-five miles per hour when the Raceabout hit the water.”
The ambulance’s jingling bells were playing a cyclical hijack with Earnest Crankshaft’s mind. His train of thought got derailed.
“Mr. Crankshaft” Detective Scott stirred the chauffeur’s arm “Are you with me?” There was no response. Scott stirred harder. “Mr. Crankshaft?”
Crankshaft shook his head. “Oh, eh” he re-entered the plot. “I seem to have checked out there for a moment.”
“Are you all right?”
“Yes, I think so. What is it you were saying?”
“I said the Raceabout was doing about thirty miles an hour when His Majesty hit the water.”
“I believe His Majesty thought the only way to stop the roadster was to drive it into the canal.”
“A silly misfortune” Scott poked his pen into his pad’s spiral, flipped the pad shut, and slipped it into his pocket “Mr. Crankshaft, I shall add your statements to the report.”
Crankshaft turned solemn. “I should never have denied His Majesty.”
“Nothing we can do about it now” Scott extended a hand “When His Majesty insists, one does what one must.”
“Yes, one does what one must.”
“Thank you, Sir, for your keen observations.”
“Glad to be of service, Detective, anything to serve the crown, Detective. Long Live the Queen.”
“Long Live the Queen.”
Detective Scott hopped onto his scooter, and returned to the Entitlement Security Office, deep within the workings of the palace sous terrain, where he occupied a desk in a cubby.
Still lost in the reverberating clatter of jingling bells and galloping horses, Earnest Crankshaft breathed in the freshly mown lawn, and sneezed, unlocking his olfactory orifices to accept the pequine sea air of Entitlement, the small kingdom on the sea every subject wanted to be a part of. He positioned his cap on his head, and climbed a boulder. A chlorophyll scent danced in with the breeze, causing him to become one with the rumbling tractor engine. He squatted. One more deep breath, he closed his eyes, and mourned the loss of his King.