The King and the Aurelian plot

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Could we just try unplugging 2020, wait for a few seconds and then plug it in again?


I would be god-damned if the year 2020 could be anymore irreparable or irreversibly doomed (at least so far) in the coming days. Some of the captivating highlights of this atrocious year would be – a rebellious virus let loose, some idiots attempting to improve their vocabulary with trending new phrases (take ‘social distancing’ for example), people losing their sense of self-worth, a suicide look-alike homicide of a young star, an interesting yellow-metal heist to boast of, some brow-raising scandalous scams for the think-tanks to feed on, me baking a cake (No! No! You, mortal fool! Don’t give me that smirk. I was not supposed to do it, at least not until 2030, lest the world should end.). Having said that, the least we can still do is to skillfully play the falling stack of our life’s cards to the best we can while we are still kept cuffed within the four walls. There is still hope. (Fingers double-crossed)

Storytime folks!

Wait! Don’t go as yet. It’s going to be damn interesting, I promise. There are interesting elements like limitless bags of gold, a brilliant scheming, a 36-24-36 hottie, a detective with that where-exactly-were-we look (to date!), and lots more.

Do I have your attention yet? You little creep! I knew it.

So, here I go.

The story behind this work is purely fictional, and any resemblance with anyone living or dead is purely intentional and definitely not coincidental. (Well! I don’t intend to play the blame-game, so, for Pete’s sake, do not get me painted in a corner.)

The story that will unfold here speaks of a tyrannical king who ruled a kingdom that witnessed the most celebrated gold heist of its time. The news of the smuggling had traversed across several borders. Surprisingly, there was one bloody Homosapien who was totally unaware of it – the King himself! Typical! Did you just think, “I have heard this before.”? (Wink! Wink!)

Anyways, he (the King) was such an international tragedy that anyone who was in touch with him was sure to be doomed. Don’t believe me? Just try shaking hands with him. Amigos! You just did? I will take your leave for now, and I promise I will be there tomorrow by your side for sure. The best I can do is place a wreath on your lifeless corpse. (Wink! Again). This despised fellow was alleged to have destroyed his kingdom culturally and politically. He had a strong aversion to a particular sect of his subjects and spent his reign oppressing them in all possible manner. “Move out of my way” was one of his favorite phrases, and he was known across lands for the same. Now, for obvious reasons, you can see why he was the most loved King the land had ever seen.

Like any ruler, this omnipotent (at least that’s what he thinks of himself) chap, too, had an administrative body of ministers who were responsible for specific areas synonymous with their scholastic expertise. For instance, a minister with educational know-how in Accounting and Finance lead the team for Forestry and Animal Husbandry. Yeah! I earnestly mean it. See, let’s be very positive here. It’s only for the sake of satisfying the knowledge-seeker instinct, nothing else, I swear. This herd of sheep…Oops! Sorry! I mean, this council of ministers was such staunch followers of the King and his vile ways that if any calamity were to befall the latter, they stood by him grounded and firm.

Before we get into serious business, there’s one more intro I inevitably need to do. Presenting before you, the ever-alluring, sly, and the most manipulative danseuse of the court. She was one of its kind, like I mentioned earlier – that typical 36-24-36 sensuous woman who could sweep anyone off their feet with her charm. Folks! Please keep a note of this smart ass. Yes! I mean it.

It so happened that one fine day a group of travelers from some faraway land happened to be sighted in the capital city in the vicinity of the palace. It was rumored that they were detectives who were in search of some stolen goods. The news soon reached the ears of the King, and he soon set out to explore the truth.

In reality, they were indeed detectives who had come to investigate the details of gold smuggling on an anonymous tip across the borders. In the initial stages, their investigation was totally stuck in a dead-end and had absolutely no clue where they were heading to. But, very soon, their super-sleuthing skills took them to the King’s palace for their further investigation (even before the King reached them). Their anonymous tip had a hint of a woman who was the king-pin behind the scam.

Oh! Look! They have already reached the palace with eyes and ears all wide open for clues. What timing! Our danseuse is totally engrossed in performing her dance regime for the King and his administrative council. Once the performance ended, the detective walked towards our danseuse and started questioning her about the heist. After hours of grilling, she revealed she was not the only one, and she was in touch with one of the most powerful ministers of the council to help her with the smuggling. The accused minister had helped her smuggle out cartloads of the yellow metal in the pretext of bringing home some ancient manuscripts of grave importance along with some juicy red apples.

Our detectives, who were yet to be convinced, thought it best to interrogate the King too to cross-examine whatever beans were spilled by his minister and the damsel. Paradoxically, the King was totally unaware of such things though all these happened right under his nose. The super sleuths were also able to track down those carrier pigeons the minister and the woman used to communicate with their counterparts across the borders. ( Are you still wondering how they did that? I, by now, have understood that you are forever curious. But, also do remember that curiosity kills the cat, you fool!)

Though the smuggled gold was retrieved, the real culprits behind the heist were yet to be brought to light. Even as the investigation was on, the news of the heist had already spread across the kingdom like wildfire. The subjects of the kingdom, who were once afraid to raise their voice against their ruler, came out in the open with strong protests. The King and his brigade worked their butts off to cover up the scam by all means but in vain. Now, if you ask me, the gold smuggling in its truest sense was an earthquake measuring a magnitude of a straight ten on the Richter scale. It totally uprooted the kingdom and was the final nail in the coffin. And as for the King, the scam had put him on a really shaky throne, eventually throwing him out of power. As expected, the kingdom slowly found its way to doomsday. 

2020 has indeed been an eventful year attempting to tickle our funny bones. I have smiled, laughed, and danced and wondered how good my coping mechanism is this year (without my housemaid, Pushpa, of course). As we get ready to step into an uncertain future, we can keep our hopes high on getting out of this mess. But, I still hope our compassion for humor never dies out, and we are constantly fed with opportunities for the same.

Featured Image Credits: Wikimedia

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