by : Milthy Swinebuckle
Although in stature and physique the man was nothing, he was powerful. His power lay in some frivolous little country on the borders of Russia, and although not a superpower, could still hold its own in a world full of war and disease while simultaneously offering great riches to the wise and devious.
The darkness outside was good for him as he surveyed a tiny part of his beloved land. He moved quickly away from any prying eyes that may have spotted his wanderings, darting swiftly into the shadows, hiding himself behind a small wooden out-building in the grounds of Hoppinghall Palace and then taking a few quick looks around to make sure nobody had seen him, he lit up a cigarette.
For forty seven years, not once had any kind of drug, especially nicotine, had been inhaled by Prime Minister Brabble. He’d always found the taste of the tobacco revolting and had to force himself to take another draw, then another and another. He felt a strange nauseous sensation come over his person and he literally had to cover his mouth and fight back the sensation as a gut full of vomit threatened to escape from him. You would think after experiencing all of this he would throw the cigarette away but in fact he was quite happy with his unwell predicament as this was no ordinary cigarette. The skin on the palms of he’s hands became moist with sticky sweat, this he was most pleased with as the sweat would be his means of assassinating the King.
“One cigarette will be enough. One dirty doobie is all you’ve got to smoke.” he thought to himself. “Besides I couldn’t stomach another one of those revolting things.”
Earlier that year a group of American underwater explorers had discovered a strange blue plant that grew only on the edge of deep volcanic sea vents. The plant was found to be deadly poisonous even to the touch as it secreted a transparent fluid which could enter through the pores in a mans skin causing a terrible chemical reaction and bringing on a painful and incurable death in but a matter of minutes.
Later, after several months of research on the plant a new breakthrough was discovered in its properties. The deadly plant could be mixed with tobacco and smoked quite safely. This would produce a unique rich taste and smell like no other tobacco but with one major side effect. The poison would expire through the pores in the individuals skin and although the person had now themselves become immune to that level of virulent poison that they had absorbed into their blood at a safe and slow rate, others who would touch them would not be so fortunate. The amount of plant smoked would make the persons sweat more deadly and quicken an individual’s death who’d touched the infected person. Once the poison was in the system, immunity to it was guaranteed, though only immunity at the level he or she had smoked. If you smoked over twenty a day it was said that you could kill an elephant ten times over with a simple touch. Eventually the individual would sweat it all out until it had completely left their body. Prime Minister Brabble however was only interested in killing the one man and so the one cigarette was all that was needed and that to the Prime Minister was what was important.
You might find it strange why a Prime Minister should be at all bothered about a King. Put simply the King still had power, and Brabble had encountered this on various occasions. There was the time that Brabble had wanted to put up taxes only for the King to declare in a public announcement that the countries economy system was better than ever and the proposed tax increase was a disgrace. Meant only to bleed the people of their hard earned cash and to fill the pockets of the already rich. After this the country threatened to erupt in chaos and a civil war looked likely. In the end it was Brabble who backed down and the King was hailed a national hero for standing up to a tyrant.
This is just one of the examples of how the pair had come to dislike each other so much, their feud stretched back years and as time went on the pair found that they couldn’t abide the other presence until eventually they avoided one another completely. Brabble also knew that if the King was out of the way his successor to the Throne would be his six year old son. Brabble knew a six year old would obviously not interfere in politics and Brabble would be able to do what he wanted, and what Brabble wanted was money, power and total control. Many of the smaller countries around his were desperate for medical supplies. The King he knew would offer these supplies as a gift, not wanting anything in return.
“With the King out of the way those poor little bastard’s will pay an arm and a leg for food, medicines, clothing… Yes, even weapons! I’ll be rich and as an added bonus my own country far better off”, Brabble thought rubbing his slimy hands together. “King Malbarrow……Pah, I’ve tolerated that intolerable prat for far far far too long”.
Brabble had to admire his own ingenuity. To kill the king in such a way was to him a stroke of genius. He had tried in the past to hire a hitman to do the job for him but not one would accept. The King was constantly surrounded by a posse of bodyguards which amassed to a small army. Even when Brabble had put it about that a king’s ransom was on offer, nobody from the dark underworld of death came forward to claim a prize worth more than his weight in gold.
So Brabble had decided to do it himself, having found out about the strange cigarettes which where a national secret in America, thus he had had to buy them on the black market were they cost him ten grand for ten.
He exited the shadows and approached the Palace, a meeting had been arranged between him and the King which was to be televised to the nation. Each one would give a speech on how the tourist trade was bringing money into the country and providing more jobs. The King he knew would claim (as subtlety as possible) that the country possessed was one of the oldest and noblest Royal Families and this presented a great interest to the average tourist willing to pay great amounts for the privilege to see them. Brabble of course thought this was complete and utter bollicks, and in truth he was probably right.
He entered the Palace and was shown by a servant to the great hall of the Palace where the King and the cameras awaited. He glanced at the king not wanting to meet his eye in case he saw the gleam of horror that sparkled in Brabble’s and would guess that something was up. He also kept well away from everybody else around him as he was as dangerous as a gigantic South American arrow frog and anybody touching his skin would die a painful and hideous death.
The speeches lasted longer than imagined and Brabble felt nervous as he addressed the crowd. This nervousness though was not because of stage fright, fact was speaking to a crowd such as this was a common day occurrence for him. It was the fact that he was about to commit cold blooded murder that bothered him. After a good twenty minutes of speaking apiece, addressing their nation as was rightly expected (though in Brabble’s opinion both men filled the air with bullshit and false truths) he prepared for the moment when himself and the King would approach each other and shake hands in an act of good will. Their bitter rivalry had not gone unnoticed amongst the countries hordes and slander was spreading fast of the rift that was opening up, becoming an all too obvious maw of hatred between the pair.
First the King approached the audience to have a few words with the general public and it was at this point that Brabble could not believe the bad luck that was about to be dealt to him. As the King reached out his hand to shake members of the audience, Brabble noticed the white leather glove adorning the kings digits. Brabble’s face dropped, all the planning, all the scheming had been in vain. It was a rare occasion that he got to meet the king, this, mainly as stated before about the two men despising each other and keeping well clear of the others company. Brabble couldn’t hide his despair and when the king approached him to shake his hand Brabble grimaced and had to clench his teeth to stop himself from swearing out loud at the card fate had dealt him.
As he looked down he froze at what he saw, the Kings hand was bare and then he realised that the King was only wearing a glove on his right hand, obviously he had a touch of the Michael Jackson’s and did not want to pollute his hand when he went amongst the crowd fearing their germs would infect him. Brabble could relate to this as he found the average member of public a walking diseased infested death trap of common germs.
Brabble not believing his luck grabbed the Kings hand firmly and shaking it up and down said: “Your Majesty today is a great day indeed, for too long has our country…erm sorry, your country not seen the pair of us together. Showing them that if we can get along then anyone can. From this day forward I swear to you my allegiance to the crown and will serve this country well.”
The King smiled as the pairs hands moved up and down in a gesture of good will.
Brabble continued: “I hope you all the best in the future my King and wish you a long and happy life. I as the Prime Ministeeerrrr of…ahhh, shit, ow, oh, ah, er, what’s going on, I feel (vomit).”
A look of realisation spread across Brabble’s as terrific pain spread through his body, twisting and contorting his features.
“You bast… You sly old bastarderrrd” he managed to squeeze out as his life slipped from him.
Later that night the Queen went to see her husband in the Royal rest room. The King had just settled down into his favourite place of rest, a twelve thousand pound rocking chair covered in endangered fox skin. It was the one place he could get a little bit of piece and quiet as she didn’t like the collection of animal heads he kept as trophies. To tell the truth he did not like them much himself but it did keep her away. But tonight however, she entered.
“Ar husband. There you are. I bring you grave and tragic news about the Prime Min…”.
The Queen stopped in mid sentence and sniffed at the air.
“Good grief what’s that horrible smell.” The King smiled, and lit up another of his cigarettes.
“Really darling”, continued the Queen. “You should stop, you smoke far too many and by the smell in the air your onto those expensive extra strong foreign ones again. You should try and give up, or at least try and cut down, forty a day just isn’t healthy. One of these days you’re going to get one of those horrible diseases there always warning you about on the television.”
She shook her head and coughed as the king just smiled and blew out a purposeful lungful in her direction.
“I tell you one of these days they will be the death of you. Still why should I care, all you do is sit about and mope all day anyway. So go ahead and smoke if you want to. Go on you stupid old git… Smoke yourself into your grave and see if I care.”
Chuckling to himself the King put his feet up onto the small foot rest that had been stuffed with the feathers of ten large owls and took a long hard draw on his beloved cancer stick before stubbing it out.
“No, perhaps your right my dear, they are bad for you. And another thing, they are rather expensive. Well these ones anyway… Even for me.”
The King then went over to his wife and taking her by the hands, kissed the annoying nagging bitch for one last time.
Although in stature and physique the man was nothing, he was powerful. His power lay in some frivolous little country on the borders of Russia, and although not a superpower, could still hold its own in a world full of war and disease while simultaneously offering great riches to the wise and devious. There was one problem...The King...So the King would have to die...His method of assassination would be simple...He would use the DOOBIE OF DEATH!!!!