by Colleen K
A Jester's life is never an easy one.
| Clocks aren’t supposed to stand still like that, Jasper the Jester thought to himself as he stood in front of the twin thrones. He was sweating profusely under his jester’s suit, standing there, waiting to be acknowledged by the King. He’d travailed far for this chance to perform for the Court. He failed at everything else he’d attempted to do. How hard could it be to tell a few jokes? Jasper shifted slightly, moving from one foot to the other. Easy if you’re funny, he thought morosely, which I’m not. No sense of humor, no magic tricks up my sleeve, just nothing.
He’d lost track of time standing there. The unmoving hands of the large clock behind the thrones provided no help to tell the passing of time. The King cleared his throat, dragging Jasper’s eyes back to the two people setting in front of him. The King, a burly man with stark white hair and rather unkempt clothing was setting slouched in his seat. A frown marred his face as he looked at Jasper. The Lords and Ladies in attendance murmured at his frown, as one taking a step back.
“Well Jester” he muttered, seemingly disinterested in the whole proceedings. “What have you for us this day?”
“M…M…My Liege” Jasper stammered out, his voice squeaky, stalling for time. The King rolled his eyes.
“Yes…Yes…get on with it!” He instructed, waving his hand at Jasper. A slim, graceful hand touched the King’s sleeve, the Queen’s tinkling voice interrupting him.
“Stop it Bertie!” she admonished the King. “Let the poor man gather his wits!”
Jasper’s gaze swung her way. She sat next to her husband, in one hand a delicate wine glass, half filled with a rosy colored liquid. In the other she held an old book, The Book of Translations. Jasper noticed that while the King was disheveled, the Queen was dressed immaculately.
Her hair was piled high on the top of her head, making Jasper gaze in awe and wonder how her long neck could hold her head up. Her deep crimson dress was fitted tightly to her plush body, accenting each curve of her figure. And the neckline of the dress…one look and Jasper felt his face turn a fiery red. She took a drink from the wine glass to hide the smile on her lips.
The King’s looked at his Queen, a petulant scowl on his face.
“He needs to get on with it Penny.” He huffed, “I don’t have all day.” He looked back at Jasper. “He’d better be funny or he’ll go the way of the last jester.” The Queen sighed in annoyance.
“As if you have anything better to do?” she said, under her breath. The King’s head snapped back in her direction, but she smiled sweetly at him. Then she waved at Jasper to start.
He cleared his suddenly dry throat, glancing with longing at the Queen’s wine glass. Oh what he wouldn’t give for a drink right about now. Clearing his throat, he jumped right in.
“Three dragons walk into a bar… there were no survivors.”
He paused, waiting. Silence. Seconds seemed to stretch into minutes. Nothing. The King just stared at him. Jasper heard a mouse scratching some place close by. He swallowed and tried again.
“A barmaid walks up to the Kng and says, Is that a rod of lordly might in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?”
All those in the hall gasped as one, taking another step back. The King turning red in the face, the Queen snickering. Quickly, without stopping to think, Jasper tries one last time.
“A Jester walks up to a Queen and says, Is that your new spell, Stunning Jugs, or is it all natural?”
Stunned silence fills the hall. Not even a gasp is heard, even the mouse has quieted.
A soft chuckle comes from the Queen. She begins to laugh uproariously, gasping “…stunning…jugs…”
The King turns to look at her, as if she’s lost her mind.
“Penny?” He asks confused. She just waves to where Jasper stands, looking like death. Not wanting to look the fool, the King issues a rather fake sounding chuckle. The chuckle soon becomes a forced laugh. After a few minutes, the room follows suit, no one wants to be seen NOT laughing when their King is.
Waving his hand amid the fake laughing in the hall, he bellows over sound “Jester…You’re hired!”
Jasper, his eyes growing wide, mouth moving like a fish out of water, is speechless. Looking over at the Queen, she winks at him as she lifts her ample breasts and jiggles them at him.
Where upon, Jasper promptly dropped into an unmanly faint.
Another writing prompt exercise from Ryan Lanz’s A Writer’s Path blog. Prompts were:
Begin a scene with this line: Clocks aren’t supposed to stand still like that.
Include all of these elements into a scene: a wine glass, a translation book, awe, and a puzzle piece.
Write a scene with a court jester who doesn’t think he’s funny.