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Flash, Flash Fiction: Who's the Real Ruler?

MizBejabbers has been a professional writer/editor for all of her adult life. Before that, she was just a little girl storyteller.


The Jester Was Late

Queen Esmerelda barked, “Where is Griswold?” “I summoned him a long time ago!” Her ladies in waiting shuddered. Nobody kept Her Majesty waiting. Nobody! She had ordered subjects beheaded for keeping her waiting for shorter periods than this. Griswold was only a court jester, one of several. “Off with his head” probably would be her next command.

The tardy, soon-to-be-late, court jester finally bowed to the queen, to whom a minute equaled an hour. Esmerelda had felt the need of someone to cheer her up, and now she really was upset. Griswold was in trouble.

The Jester Was in Deep Doodoo

“Begging your majesty’s pardon,” Griswold apologized to the scowling face.

“You have kept me waiting, your Sorry Lateship. What is your lame excuse to keep me from having you beheaded?”

Knowing that no excuse would be believed by Her Majesty, the truth tumbled from his mouth. “My deepest apologies, Your Majesty. I usually try to serve Your Majesty from my heart with my deepest feelings of high esteem for you. But my arse said to my heart, ‘today I am in charge, and you will serve the queen when I say so.’ My arse just now relieved my heart to answer your summons, Your Majesty. I was in the loo with the flux.”

The horrified court emitted a collective gasp. Then complete silence. After a pregnant pause the queen exploded in laughter until tears streamed down her cheeks. Finished with her unladylike guffaw, she said to Griswold, “That is the most amusing thing anyone has ever dared say to me. From this moment, I command you to be my personal jester. Now proceed to entertain me some more.”

My Husband Was a Stand In for My Muse on This One

For some reason, my muse decided to take a vacation this summer. You know my muse, the one who looks like Johnny Depp and talks like Keith Richards? I guess it was so inspired by Pirates of the Caribbean reruns that it decided to go on a cruise without me. But to make a long story short, one day my husband, Larry, remarked about the old joke the brain only thinks it controls the body. With instant inspiration for a fiction, I kicked into high gear without the presence of my muse. I certainly hope that he is enjoying himself on that cruise without me.

I guess I could have made this little story into a longer flash fiction by adding more descriptive details, but why bother? When the message is self-contained like this one, to add more description just drags it out, which can lead to boredom.

Somehow I just can’t hit the HP requirement of 1150 words on this story, so it probably will never see a niche site, but that’s all right. My vacationing muse will return soon. I hope he’s feeling refreshed and ready to go, because I’d like to get back to my writing. But I’m just a little bit jealous that he didn't invite me to go with him. I do hope he brings me back one of those pretty little shell necklaces.

But for now, I'll just throw in one of those nonsensical videos and a silly poll that HP likes so much, so ENJOY!

Addition: My Mom Also Inspired This Tale

I was in such a rush to get this published and move on to something else that I forgot one of the main reasons that I wrote this tale of honesty. My mom deserves credit for this with an anecdote of her own of what happened to her one day in the third grade. I think she used it as a teaching tool to teach me.

She said that the teacher told the class that she was leaving the room for a few minutes and instructed them not to talk while she was gone. She wanted to return to a quite room. Mom said that, of course, almost all of the students took advantage of her absence and the room began to buzz. She was one of the talkers.

Upon returning to the noisy room, the teacher singled out the students one by one, asking them if they talked. If they denied it and she knew that they did they were punished. Likewise if the student admitted talking and started making excuses for his or her disobedience, the student was punished. Finally she came to my mom, little Mildred. "Mildred, she asked, "were you talking?"

Mom admitted that she was, and the teacher asked her why was she talking.

Mom said she couldn't think of an excuse and knew she would be punished anyway even if she did, so she replied, "Because I wanted to."

She said the teacher was so flustered at her honest answer that she said, "well, all right, just don't do it again. Unlike the other kids, mom didn't receive any punishment. However, she said that excuse only worked one time. Later on, if another student tried the same answer, the wise teacher didn't accept it as an excuse.

My Silly Little Poll

© 2018 Doris James MizBejabbers


Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on June 08, 2020:

Thank you, Greg Cain, I really appreciate comments like yours. I like to give backgrounds whenever possible.

greg cain from Moscow, Idaho, USA on June 08, 2020:

I love this short tale and how Griswold told the truth in a daring and comical way to save his arse and his head. I also like how you provided insight into the origins of the piece. Seeing inside the mind of a writer is a most excellent way to learn about the craft. Nice piece.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on April 01, 2020:

Rochelle, thank you for reading my little story and commenting. I guess Griswold thought "here goes nothing" anyway. He lucked out.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on April 01, 2020:

Rajan, I'm glad I could bring some sunshine into your day. Glad you liked my mom's story, too. We laughed about that for years.

Rochelle Ann De Zoysa from Moratuwa, Sri Lanka on April 01, 2020:

Enjoyed your stories :) It's humbling to see that when people give credit to where it is due :) I hope you are safe and healthy :) Take care and God bless you!!

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 01, 2020:

This is just what I needed to break the dull atmosphere. Love this story and your mom's too.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 11, 2019:

Hi, Peggy, nice to see you. No, my muse didn't bring me back anything but excuses for his absence. He isn't as smart as Griswold. Maybe I should behead him. Glad you enjoyed this one.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 10, 2019:

Nice way to start the day. This has me smiling. Hope you got that shell necklace. Haha!

Robert Sacchi on May 02, 2019:

You're welcome.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on May 01, 2019:

Thank you, Robert. It was fun to write. Glad you read it.

Robert Sacchi on April 30, 2019:

A clever piece of fiction and fun related stories. Well done.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on December 28, 2018:

Of course I agree, Lady Paula! I guess it really was a power trip for kings and queens of yore. I believe that's why our democratic republic was established...so more people could keep their heads. LOL I'm glad I live today because I'm not as clever as Griswold or even my mom. Love ya, Girlfriend.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on December 28, 2018:

Sean, I love humor of all kinds, and I love fantasy, so when they are combined, how can we lose? Thank you for your very nice comment. I think we can be great friends.

Suzie from Carson City on December 27, 2018:

MzB.....Looks like that jester saved his arse by being quite clever. Must have been a feeling of enormous power for the Kings & Queens of yore to be so feared, everyone bowed to their every whim......control by intimidation & threat!

I wonder when simple "nagging" came to replace beheading? It's certainly a lot less messy. Well girlfriend, I think men should be grateful that we "Queens" of today are so much more civil!! I just know you agree!!! LOL, Paula

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on December 27, 2018:

Absolutely Hilarious! So smart and well written! I admire your talent! I am sure that beyond Terry Pratchett you love Douglas Adams and Monty Python, as I do! I am so glad I found you.

Humour is a sure sign of good-hearted person!


Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on October 07, 2018:

That's great, Debra. I'll answer it affirmatively.

Debra Allen from West By God on October 07, 2018:

Doris, I deleted all my hubs, but my account is still open. I can't bear to leave with most of my friends still here. I am on Facebook and a few others too. I sent you a freind request for you there.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on October 06, 2018:

Debra, I'm glad you found me. I thought you had left HP, and I'm so glad you didn't. (Maybe I'm thinking of someone else.) Actually, I got my idea from an old joke about the brain and the arse and changed it to the heart and the arse. I'm glad it made you laugh. I hope it brought the sunshine. Our sun is flickering on and off here, too.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on October 06, 2018:

Nell, I loved your comment, too. Mom could be clever when she wasn't letting my dad do his usual "male superiority" thing like men did back then. She was a talented artist and musician and my dad was the math and science family member.

Debra Allen from West By God on October 06, 2018:

LOL. I finally got back in touch with you and found your latest article and it a grand one. Made me laugh all through the article. Your mom was good at telling the truth even it was that once in the classroom. I loved the part about the heart and the arse as well. This did brighten my day and I do believe that while reading this the sun did finally come out today.

Nell rose on October 02, 2018:

LOL! I love it. And your mother was a clever woman, lol!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 28, 2018:

Hi, Shauna, nice to hear from you. I enjoyed your comment. Thank you.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 28, 2018:

Miz B, this story is full of chuckles from the cranky queen to little 3rd grade Mildred.

I suspect your muse will return rather quickly now that he know others are vying for his position and doing rather well at his job!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 27, 2018:

Me, too, Mary. I can read it and get it over with. Same for writing it. Good to hear from you.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on September 27, 2018:

I had a good laugh, too, with the Queen. I'm all for flash fiction as it is more witty and fun.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 27, 2018:

Hi, Bill, thanks for the compliment. Glad I could make your day. I wrote one article on how to write fiction from real life. Maybe I should write another on how to turn a joke into flash fiction. Thanks for commenting, my friend.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 27, 2018:

John, I hope you are right about the length of hubs. (Can't exactly call fiction an article, right?) I went back and read the requirements and it said (if I remember correctly) 700 to 1150, so I guess they've made some changes. However, most people aren't going to reach that when they publish poetry. I think with my explanations, I reached about 780. Thanks for point this out. You do good work, or as they say in our South, "you done good."

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 27, 2018:

Shannon, considering the fact that he may not be able to top his first act, you may be right. We'll just have to guess how he fares, won't we?Thanks for reading and commenting.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 27, 2018:

Zulma, that is so funny, and I'll have to add it. I was taking for granted that "me" was mama, but I realize I shouldn't have done that. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 27, 2018:

You crack me up, MizB! Great story had me laughing...your asides after the story had me laughing...just a fun read to begin my day with, and I thank you. Let's see more from you soon, okay?


Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on September 27, 2018:

This story made me smile. By the way, you didn't include the option 'Me' in your poll. So I'll include it here. Me. I rule. Just don't tell my husband. He thinks he does and it's easier to get things done around here if he carries on believing that. :D

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on September 26, 2018:

Just. Hiding in regarding Flash Fiction and HP. If I am to write any fiction it is always flash fiction now. I know When I see a piece of fiction here I immediately scroll through to check the length of it. If it is too long I won’t start to read it. I know that is sad because I used to lobe a good thick juicy novel I could sit down with for days.

You mention HPs requirement to have 1150 words, well I think that has gone by the wayside especially with poetry and fiction because almost every one of my new hubs are on Letterpile and most are only around 300 or 400 words.

Shannon Henry from Texas on September 26, 2018:

This is the most clever thing I have read in several days, at least! With a queen like that, sounds like the soon-to-be-late joker may wish he'd lied and saved his ass some sh--. . .

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 26, 2018:

Manatita, I wasn't sure what kind of reception this tiny tale would get. Thank you, my friend.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 26, 2018:

Ann, in reading the comments I was reminded of an anecdote my mom told me years ago about her honesty. I think I'll add it to the explanation. I love writing flash fiction because it does attract readers on HP. I found that writing regular fiction was a waste of time. Most people don't have time to read it. You are right, HP doesn't give flash fiction its due. I wish they did. It's comments like yours that keep me going. Thank you, my friend.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 26, 2018:

Pamela, Thanks for your comment. Glad you like my honest jester.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 26, 2018:

Flourish, thanks, dear soul, for your comment. I tried to keep it brief.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 26, 2018:

Maybe you were, John. I think we've all been something we're interested in now. Thanks for your comment, my friend.

manatita44 from london on September 26, 2018:

Funny and well told. I could see why the Queen liked it. Carry on, Miz. carry on!

Ann Carr from SW England on September 26, 2018:

Great flash fiction. Made me laugh. Who needs polls and videos? Flash fiction is an art which is sadly not given its due by HP. I suppose we could all add extras just for the sake of it but that shouldn't be necessary should it?

Well done with this. Who needs a muse?!


Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on September 26, 2018:

Very funny and entertaining finction. I like the court jester!

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 26, 2018:

“Brevity is the soul of wit.” Great little flash comic.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on September 25, 2018:

Very funny MizB. This did everything it needed to without having to be dragged out with more description. I am always partial to stories about court jesters for some reason. Maybe I was one in a previous life.

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