On Fuzzy-heads and Metal-men
You walk your hands forwards toward your feet, making it look like considerably more effort than it really is. You pretend to have difficulty bending any further, wheezing with effort, and soon the fuzzy-heads are all turned to watch you straining... you vocalise a sharp cracking noise and quickly bend yourself over till your hands are neatly between your feet, your face grinning upside down between your knees.
The fuzzy-heads wince, gasp and groan, watching with horror as you lift your feet from the floor, walking sideways on your hands, crab-fashion, with twisted middle to give the effect of a broken spine with freely dangling hips and legs.
You grin widely, flipping over and jumping upright. The amazed fuzzy-heads begin clapping even before you lift your hands triumphantly above your head. You bow deeply.
But then they turn away, ignoring you. Horrible fuzzy-heads! Muttering at each other, serious voices and big words, matters of state, blah blah blah. You scowl.
Then you see Master still watching at you... Master isn't a fuzzy-head; he's nice. He bores of the fuzzy-heads just like you do. You lock eyes at him, then wink, slowly and exaggeratedly. He grins. You look round the fuzzy-heads with wide eyes and dramatically pointing hands. His grin widens; you stop, your target picked for you.
The fuzzy-head has a long white beard and a stupid deep voice. You cartwheel across the room, bells jingling. You pick three flaming torches and begin juggling, sending each high into the air. Soon the fuzzy-heads are watching again, clapping in time to the music, ooo-ing with each feint. You catch each torch, extinguishing them one-by-one in your mouth. Applause; polite appreciation.
Act not over yet, fuzzy-heads.
You bow deeply, head almost touching the floor, smouldering torches in hand, and the fuzzy-heads all start to turn away. You maintain your bow. You turn and blow softly on the last glowing torch, which reignites, just under the hem of the fuzzy-head's robe.
Screams; panic! Water thrown across burning fuzzy-head; fuzzy-head struggles to become naked, wrinkly and old with stupid long beard and angry voice. You laugh. Master laughs.
Fuzzy-head punches you.
Stupid fuzzy-head. You fall backward, feigning a harder hit than weak-fuzzy-head could have managed. You sprawl, pretending unconsciousness, and the room drops into shocked silence.
Naked soaked bearded stupid fuzzy-head has all eyes on him. Deep-angry-grumble-noise. Fuzzy-heads agree. Show over.
Minutes later, you slink off, and squat behind Master's chair. He ruffles your hair and feeds you grapes.
A week later you bow deeply in the city centre, showing mock respect to fuzzy-head's head displayed on a spike, bearded mouth in stupid open gawp. Someone said his head got spiked for stealing the city money. Not true. Your head gets spiked if you don't have a sense of humour.
City is busy. Fuzzy-heads, nothing-people and metal-men everywhere. Metal-men serious and angry; frightened-look-like with big swords, and nothing-people run around carrying food and clothes and nothing-childrens.
Music too; drums. Thud, thud, thud. Loud, like whole city drumming. You dance, airily twisting. Metal man shouts angry at you. Twist faster, better dance. Metal-man swings metal staff at you. You crumple, hurt.
Streets not safe. People here not appreciating, all angry-scared. Thud, thud, thud. Dance for Master, perhaps. You return to the palace.
Master sits. A shouty fuzzy-head waves his arms at Master, angrying. Fuzzy-head is mean and not at all funny. Master sits, looks bored and angry. You stand behind mean fuzzy-head, waving your arms and pretending shouty-angry like fuzzy-head. Master giggles.
Fuzzy-head stops, turns. Silent, he opens his mouth. You open your mouth: mirror-like. He glances back at Master, who grins. You quickly put your thumb in your mouth, sucking. Fuzzy-head looks at you again, then shouts his angry, spilling Master's wine and stomping out.
You dance to the thud, thud, thud, and Master soon gets happy again with clap, clap, clapping. He opens his arms. You run, tumble, and slide over to his feet, and he ruffles your hair. You hold his leg.
Master speaks soft words, reassuring. Mean drummers won't hurt us, he says, fuzzy-heads and nothing-people be damned, drummers won't be let to hurt us.
Master shouts for metal-man, who stomps in. Master tells metal-man, damn the fuzzy-heads and nothing-peoples. Metal-man looks shocked. Master makes serious orders at metal-man. Metal-man says he is too small to accept big scary order like that. Goes to fetch bigger metal-man.
Master ruffles your hair and then lifts you up, father-like. Safe. Master carries you to the window to listen to the drums thud thudding. City walls full of metal-men. Over the walls, the drummers are thud-thudding loudly, dirty, hairy. The Sun is shiny in the sky. You stare at the Sun.
The Sun stares at you.
Hello little woman.
You need to do something important for me.
Okay, if you ask nicely. (you giggle)
Very well. Please kill the Emperor.
What?! Master! No, I won't!
You said you would. I asked nicely.
Horrible! Horrible! You're supposed to be a nice goddess! I like Master, he's nice.
An important metal-man is coming. If he tells the important metal-man what he told the little one, then lots of people will die.
Master will be safe though, and so will I! People out there are just fuzzy-heads and nothing-persons.
The Emperor is nice to you and you alone. You must do this for all of them. There is no choice.
Master stares out the window. He talks about the little people below, how they wouldn't understand how difficult it is to make decisions for the whole Empire like he does; how he has to fight the fuzzy-heads in the senate with all their silly ways of spending his money.
Watch me Master, you say, and whirl in a spiral of dancing twisting jingling bells, cartwheeling chaotically around the room. Master starts to clap to the thud, thud, thud rhythm, and you spin faster and faster, dizzying and beautiful; master cheers and claps; you flip, jump, back-flip, and land with your feet squarely in Master's chest.
Master falls out of the window. You fall out too.
You catch onto a flagpole with one hand, and hang there, watching Master's surprised face drop away. When he hits the ground he is broken and twisted into a funny shape.
You try to remember the shape in case you ever need to mime falling down.
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