Whereas his father, Phillip, had allowed the realm to be
mediatized by the Urgens, Leonard had no such interest in annexing his rights
or his lands. It better suited him to wax away his vitality in his throne room
while remaining under siege by the larger state. The Urgens had not anticipated
a revolt, yet had answered it, efficiently, with a sea cordon.
While vital supplies were being blocked from reaching his
people, Leonard sat on his oaken chair of state, and presided, in
majesty, over: the anniversary of his principalitys liberation from
Greater Boxia, the reinvestiture of his regents, and the feast of the queen
mother, Lula van Trivlas. On that mighty seat, as well, he held council,
granted audiences to the leaders of conglomerates that wanted to buy mining
rights, received homage from war lords who wanted to extort those leaders,
awarded fiefdoms to the warlords who paid him the most generous enticements,
and performed other official functions.
Although such goings-on could be transferred to one or more of
the other rooms within his palace, or, even, to a location outside of his
ambulant, Leonard was content to stay put. He liked being served roast peacock
for breakfast and Champagne grapes for snacks. He was fond of the fan girls who
decorated his important chamber and, sometimes, he took short pleasure in
dipping his hand in one of the many bowls, filled with gold coins, which
surrounding that spaces dais. Whats more, as only Phillip had
known, Leonard was safest at home since Leonard was illiterate.
That knowledge died during the coup de tete. The details that
the conquest had been dependent on patricide, too, were hushed. After all,
Leonard did not consider himself psychotic, or see his fragmented family (his
mother had abandoned his father to move in with his sisters ex-husband)
as dysfunctional, or feel any hostility toward his former liege, except for
some loathing that had been simmering, five years heretofore, at the time when
his father decreased his allowance. Leonard conceded that he might be
classified, nonetheless, as a tad delusional.
On good days, though, Leonard understood himself as fulfilling
his duties with loyalty and integrity, as remaining calm in the midst of
confusion, and as respecting public opinion. He was not the psychologically
deformed creature, which the media portrayed. He did not have malevolent
reactions to kingdom events because his father had kept in a cage for twenty
years, and he was not a malcontent seeking a conflict-oriented solution to his
fathers power. He was the champion of his people and the small item of a
brutish murder had been a necessary means to a significant end. That his
followers valued not only their freedom, but also: nonviolence, the performance
of royal duties with dispassion, and the characteristic of gentility were not
of his concern.
Those merits were significant, though, to the small,
periwinkle-colored fairy that perched on the top of Leonards crown and
admonished Leonard, in three human languages, simultaneously. That din made it
all but impossible for the new ruler to take pleasure in the royal stallions
being marched outside of the throne room window window, to count the eyelashes
on the members of the royal harem marched through the throne room, or to
salivate over the pickled pigeons feet brought into the throne room and
left on the tableaus stairs.
As the fey jabbered on, Leonard began to cry. It was so unfair
that he continually had to sacrifice his own interests for those of his people.
In spite of this truism, he held his bearings until the incident with the
fantail dove pushed him beyond redemption.
When that pretty pigeon, which Leonard was examining as among a
handful of contenders for his lunch, dropped a bit of waste on Leonards
lap, and then audaciously refused to be recaged, Leonard gave the miniature,
fancifully dancing man, still alighted on his head, an order; clean
this, he commanded. The pixies response was less that satisfactory.
With no conspicuous effort, that little man wiggled some fingers
and succeeded, with nary a puff of smoke or blast of lightning to remove
Leonard from the throne. To wit, Leonard rematerialized in a bears den.
The mama bear did not take well to finding a human spooning with her cubs.
As for the Principality of Lesser Boxia, the apparition from the
woods appointed a Great Dane in Leonards stead. That large dog was a
splendid ruler. It maintained a high moral order in personal conduct, acted
unselfishly, except when served Cornish hens, was cared an iota about other
nations rulers opinions of his regime. The foreigners destroyed Lesser
Boxias forests, the royal minions got rich and fled for Greater Boxia and
the Queen had someone to warm her feet in the place of her ex-boyfriend.