Resolutions for a New Year
No more Brackk the Terrible! I’ve got get my act together. Every year I say “no more impaling people just because I skipped breakfast” but then a week into the new year I’m having a rough Monday and some pleb doesn’t bow low enough and I’m right back to square one.
Not this year. I might never work my way up to Brackk the Great, or Brackk the Merciful, but Brackk the Reasonable? Brackk the ok if you get him on the right day? That seems possible.
I’ve read the trick is to come up with coping strategies. Ready made plan B’s you can draw on when you want to remove an individual’s head from his body because he coughed and now you’ve lost you train of thought.
That counting to ten malark is completely useless though. I tried that last year and if anything, adding a virtual count down to the inflicting of violence seemed crueler than what I was doing before. At least then half of them never knew what hit them.
This year I’ve a new plan, it’s called “Ceramic Scenery”………………….Although that doesn’t seem right.
Whatever, basically when I feel the urge to inflict grievous bodily harm, I’m going to close my eyes and picture a nice, pleasant setting. Something that puts me at ease, maybe a decimated battlefield the morning after, when the crows or all happy and making little happy crow noises. The only issue is going to be having my eyes open long enough during the day to get anything accomplished.
It’s got to be done though, being a ruthless tyrant is a young man’s game, it’s time to transition to being a beloved tyrant, and to do that I’ve got to get my temper under control.
This morning I was woken up by a rooster crowing somewhere in the old town district. This is a single incident that cannot be allowed to become a pattern.
As soon as I’m finished my resolution writings, my first breakfast, my mid morning nap, and my second breakfast there will be no procrastination! All rooster’s must by silent from here on out and anyone caught in possession of a rooster that makes even the quietest utterance will be hanged until said rooster lays an egg!
It should be noted that this second resolution in no way contravenes resolution number one because:
A. I am no longer in the rage I awoke with and have decided to not have every chicken and owner of chicken’s cut up into tiny pieces and thrown into the sea, as was my initial impulse, a mercy I expect the populace (especially the poultry affiliated portion) to be suitably grateful for. And,
B. If I am to become Brackk the Even-Tempered non-Mass Murderer, then I am going to need to be bloody well rested.
Obviously, I am in peak physical fitness, a representative of the gods on earth with the body to match. Everyone I ask says my glory is beyond compare and you can tell they really mean it. I always know if someone is lying and even though there’s no question their lives depended on answering that question correctly, the accuracy and universal enthusiasm of their answers really showed their sincerity.
Still, despite all this I can’t help but feel my garments have become a little snug. At first, I blamed the material itself, assuming it was not of the high quality it was reported to be and had shrunk over time. Naturally I had a score of tailors put to death for this treasonous act. Now though, I wonder if my six meals a day plus the occasional feast, all part of the royal duties of course, have made me not fat obviously. Definitely not fat. Fat is not the word.
Overly muscular maybe? Yes, that sounds right. If anything, I’ve got too bloody strong for my own good, my weak garments can no longer contain my abundant heft. Now strength is no bad quality for a king to have, to be sure, but I’ve always prided myself on my panther like agility and I worry my increasing might may be making me less nimble than I once was.
When I hacked my way to the top, was it not my quickness that bested Bronk of the North? Ten stabs delivered quickly beats one big swing, is what my old man used to say and that was as wise a thing he ever said.
That’s why from now on every day I’m going to be sure to hit Jim. He’s a wirey fellow they send to help get my boots on, and I tell you that’s a role you don’t retain for as long as Jim has without being quick on your feet. The way I see it if I can land a few swift blows on that little weasel’s head every morning my agility will be back in no time.
New Year, New Style
Why are my subjects so filthy? Honestly, I’ll be presiding over the grievance hearings and all I can think about is how scruffy both parties look. More than once the time has come for my judgement, and I haven’t heard a word that’s been said. Thankfully I’ve covered it well, you can never go wrong with ordering whatever’s in dispute to be cut in half.
From now on I want the people of my kingdom to be known for having a certain level of style. Maybe we all wear distinctive hats? Although I’ve been told there is an unexplained shortage of tailors at present.
Maybe we wear our formal dinner wear a little more frequently, I don’t know, but I’m sick of all these slovenly looking peasants. They say dress for the job you want but as far as I can see all these peasants are having jolly old time of it in the fields despite their complaining because I don’t see them dressing any differently.
Enjoy the Small Things
The clink of the guillotine, the jangle of loot. Life’s short Brackk, that’s something almost everyone who comes into contact with you is reminded of.
I have to remember that and not be so hard on myself.
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Hi William! Congratulations on getting shortlisted. I thought this story was witty and funny and sweet. I think I loved most the way you talked about second breakfast-being a big Hobbit fan. I also loved the way you made this piece reasonable and human-despite your non human MC. I sincerely wish a happy new year to you both!
Thanks so much Amanda! Really appreciate the feedback.
Congratulations, William, on the short list! Well-deserved!
Thanks so much Wendy. A really pleasant surprise!
Love the humor here, William, and your interpretation of the prompt. A Vlad the Impaler type of tyrant trying to improve himself, as best he can? Yeah, I'm on board with that concept. Always fun to read about dictators who don't quite understand how hated they are, and this had me laughing from the first paragraph. As awful as Brackk is, you made me want to root for him to become a little more even-tempered. Thanks for sharing this one. I enjoyed it! P.S. My favorite line was: "Although I’ve been told there is an unexplained shortage of tai...
Thanks very much Zack! Really glad you enjoyed it!
Congrats on the shortlist, William! Definitely happy to see this story get some shine.
Thanks Zach! Really appreciate the support.
lol :) Loved this, great humor and fun spin on the prompt!
This was so much fun to read - I particularly liked your "hit Jim" resolution and also this line: "adding a virtual count down to the inflicting of violence seemed crueler than what I was doing before" I'm rooting for Brackk!
Haha thanks Amanda! That's so nice to hear!