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The Impeccable Spy by Sue Chamblin Frederick

Charles unseen randomly chose page 17

Aingeal Rose randomly chose line 7

“She smiled, and unbelievably, lowered the pistol.”

Alexa set timer for 47 minutes — “Timer set for 47 minutes”

——–

It was a brand new Glock Aristocrat 9 millimeter pistol with a matte black finish and an overabundance of gold trim. Embedded in the gold of the pistol were several large diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires set along the side of the barrel and into the handle. It had a variegated ivory handle engraved with the House of Handover’s arrogant Double Eagle emblem. This gun was clearly a masterwork of decorative art created for a special royal ceremony. It was mentioned in the placard below the Aristocrat that it was a very deadly weapon and to emphasize its special deadliness the eighteen bullets loaded into it were said to be made of an amalgam of gold, platinum, and plutonium. Clearly, this gun was made with the intention of solving the kinds of problems that occasionally confront kings, queens, princes, princesses and royal scoundrels.

Public rumor understood that this unique gun was named for Maximilian, one of the more deadly of all of these particular royals’ ancestors, but that was probably idle speculation. The curators for the Royal Museum had mounted Max overnight, pointing straight out, thirteen feet above the gallery floor just above the medieval portrait of their patron Maximilian. The pointing gun was illuminated by hidden spotlights. In the subdued lighting of the gallery, it was spectacular and erotically ominous. Max was a clear message to the assembled royals that their lives were always hanging by the thread of punctilious politeness. If they violated any of the members’ honor or that of their extended family that gun would somehow, miraculously, in the middle of the night come down and correct the situation, permanently.

All eighteen members of the family were there for the dedication of the Weapon of Conciliation.

There had been some recent squabbles. There are always squabbles among the royals because there are always vast sums of wealth floating around with strangely defined terms of ownership. Theirs was an ownership based on millennial-old agreements that were made in now forgotten dialects of dead languages. Now it was an ownership based on bombastic bluster and bodacious bluff.

As would be befitting of such a strange and monstrous occasion the Royal Court Jester would be the one conducting the christening ceremony. After all, who among the royals themselves could do the honors without creating a long and horrible set of confusing entanglements.

After all these snobby aristos were seated by some arcane ritual of ancient prestige and current prominence, facing Max, the ceremony commenced with appropriate solemnity. They first pronounced in unison a solemn-sounding ritualized prayer, praising God and then their ancestors. That was followed by a long paean from their senile elder to the long dead Maximilian, for making it all possible. It was on the third saying of the word Maximilian that it happened.

Everyone sat absolutely stunned. Although a photographer was present, he too was rigid. Everyone was frozen into their royal poses that are usually seen in their carefully arranged family photographs. But, it all happened so suddenly that no photo was taken.

The Jester’s trained capuchin monkey, Little Max, had jumped up the wall to Maximilian’s portrait and easily scrambled directly up its ornate frame to Max the pistol, the Weapon of Conciliation. She grabbed it in her long-fingered hands. She smiled, and unbelievably, lowered the pistol. and pointed it directly at this panic-frozen crowd of royals.

They all instantly recognized that it was their ancestral God. Their revered god of deadly violence, coming to pay them a visit they would never forget.

What happened next was unbelievable.

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