I was on the plane travelling to a new destination – a tropical island where I hadn’t been before. I had been promised I would see ‘wild’ Nature, wild life and natives who had almost no touch with civilization. Why was I going there? I am an author of published novels which have sold better than hoped. I wanted to write another, set in a jungle for which I needed the background. As the aircraft flew on lunch was served. I looked at the items on the tray on a folding table before me. Right then the aircraft shuddered violently and since I was on an aisle seat and unbuckled, was upended and flung to the floor violently knocking my head on a structural member holding up the seat.
I heard my wife saying “You’ve become lazy. Sleeping well after day break! You’re a leading citizen of Rubi Isle and should be more active.”
I laughed and said “Why should I toil? You know what the witch Whizma has predicted at my birth.”
Whizma was a witch, someone who could forecast a person’s future, and was also a midwife.
“That the mole on the tip of your.... I won’t use the word. That the mole signifies extraordinary luck for anyone who has it. She thinks it is a sign you would become king. But the princess has still to choose you.”
“Wait a little.”
She said “I only hope the mole doesn’t disappear due to use and the consequent drenching it is subject to. I check on it every time lest the prophesy turns false.”
I had been informed that Whizma had birthed me and she and my wife alone know of the mole. It was Whizma’s prophesy that I would become king.
I said “I feel sorry for Whizma. Her mentally handicapped son is a drag on her pursuits.”
“She has been wisely saving up for his welfare. She says he‘ll be cured once he is married. He is old enough but who will marry him?”
I got up saying “The king’s aide Zep will be here any time now. I’ve serious matters to discuss with him. You and I can discuss later.”
Zep arrived and in the course of talk he asked “You know about the kingdom of Zygos?”
“Of course. That king is an ally of our king.”
“The ambassador of the king of Zygos is arriving and our king is taking a lot of trouble hosting him.”
I nodded. Zep continued “The king of Zygos has a son of marriageable age. Our king is anxious to see that his daughter marries him.”
I thought a bit and said “I’ve heard the prince of Zygos is short and stout whereas our princess is tall and slim.”He shrugged.
There was now the noise of water running out of the water clock and Zep said “Time is up. I’ll come again later. The king might need me.”
After Zep had left I summoned Whizma and told her about the prince of Zygos being considered a match for the princess of Rubi Isle.
She laughed and said “That won’t be feasible as the Zygos prince is short. Don’t worry. Our princess will become your wife and your mole will place you on the throne.”
I thought a little and asked “How will you progress my case with the king?”
She said “I’ve already told the king about your mole and that you were the most suitable to marry the princess. I have reminded him twice.”
I asked “How is your son?”
She was a bit thoughtful as she said “He is doing well.” She thought a little and added “ People don’t know that he is very intelligent and that he is only suffering from temporary insanity. I’m sure he will be cured once he gets married. I proposed Xima for him but she is unwilling. Your wife knows her well. May be she could persuade her.”
“I’ll see what can be done.”
Later I asked my wife. She said “Xima thinks he doesn’t even know what to do after the wedding.”
“She can instruct him.”
My wife grew angry “That’s the worst suggestion you’ve made. No woman will accept it.”
I said “Whizma herself can instruct her son.”
“Next you’ll ask all three to participate in the honeymoon!”
“I said it only as a joke. The king listens to Whizma. I’ve to be on very good terms with her. How then will I land the princess?”
“It doesn’t matter if you don’t. You have me and you’re sufficiently well off.”
Two weeks later Zep came to me and announced “Our princess has agreed to wed the prince of Zygos.”
I was upset to hear the news. After Zep left I called Whizma and gave her the news. I said “You and your forecast about the mole! I’ve lost my faith in you.”
She said “I’ve made many forecasts and several have been proved correct. If one didn’t come true I shouldn’t be held accountable.” I could see Whizma was in great anger as she added “I’ve to go as my son’s wedding with Xima has been fixed for next week.”
After Whizma left my wife joined me and I said “You didn’t tell me that Xima has agreed to wed Whizma’s son.”
She said “I didn’t know about it. Now there will surely be three on the honeymoon.”
My wife said “Who cares? I’m only sorry that you’ve lost the chance to succeed the king by becoming his son-in-law.”
“Don’t you think you should say that I’ve lost the beautiful princess as well?”
She said with great anger “I’m happy that a co-wife has been avoided. Except beauty what has the princess got that I don’t have?”
“I didn’t get the chance to find out!”
“You’re a mean type. Sleep alone. You won’t get what you want for 10 days.”
I closed my eyes and pleaded. “No, no! I do hope Whizma hasn’t put a spell on me to separate you and me. I was only joking. Please, please, please.....”
I opened my eyes and found myself in the aircraft propped up in my seat. A man and a woman in airline uniform were standing nearby staring at me and he said to her “The passenger has spoken and is now okay. He was concussed but has recovered. He had injured himself in the head and there is some bleeding which I’ve treated. He can be taken care of further after we land. No need for the plane to seek a midway stop.” The two left when another uniformed man came to me and said “I’m the pilot. There was some vibration which was unusual and you were thrown from your seat. The medico who was a passenger attended to you and he says you’ll be okay. You’ll be further attended to after landing.”
I said “Could I visit the toilet?”
“Do you need assistance to walk?”
I got up stretched my legs and walked a couple of steps. I said “I can go alone.”
My need wasn’t to empty my bladder. You guessed it right! After a close examination I found the result negative. No mole no luck! I was a bit disappointed! Returning to my seat I sat back with a cup of tea brought to me: I was thinking of how to use my voyage backwards in time to Rubi Isle in the novel I was planning. Why backwards? As Rubi Isle is on planet tellus - earth’s twin - which is about 800 years behind us.