The Queen gazed out of the window as a team of paramedics, flanked by dark-suited security men, slid the stretcher into the ambulance. Its occupant, whose face was covered, had been pronounced dead at the scene, slumped over his dinner at the top table in the Long Library. It had only been by great good fortune that the contents of the glass he’d been holding had missed her spangled evening gown. White silk was a devil to clean, apparently.
Standing by the back of her chair, her butler coughed discretely. The Queen turned to him and gave a conspiratorial wink. ‘Don’t worry, Watkins. You were only acting under orders.’ The Queen smiled serenely. ‘And I am monarch and above the law.’
‘Very good, ma-am.’
‘Worked a treat, didn’t it?’ she giggled. ‘Something Philip was given on a State visit. I knew it would come in handy one day.’
‘Indeed, ma-am. If I might be permitted to say, the poisoning was entirely justified. Not that one’s Royal Highness would need to.’
‘He might have been the Leader of the Free World, but in all my years as Queen, I have never, ever come across such an odious man.’
‘He actually asked for a Coca-Cola when Blenheim has such a wonderful wine cellar!’
They both glanced at the portrait hanging over the fireplace. ‘I’m not sure what Mr Churchill would have made of him, or his own current successor.’
The Queen raised her glass to the portrait. ‘He’s a problem for another day.’
– There’s a loada trouble goin’ down in the faerie ’hood.
– Like what?
– The Myco Boys are musclin’ in on our territory. Bringin’ in a whole bunch of new ’stools and ’shrooms. Stuff that’ll make your head explode.
– So, what we gonna do about it?
– We’re goin’ on the offensive.
– Doin’ what?
– Look here bro’, I got the seeds of a brand new product. Popweed from the Wealdan Woods. This stuff’s goin’ to blow their minds. It’s super-fast growing too. By next month’s Faerie-Fest we’re gonna have the pretty-wing girls’n’boys eatin’ right outta our hands.
The restaurant was closed the following day and I was leaving that afternoon. What potent ingredient had been in the aperitif which caused the world to change before my eyes?
A seemingly innocuous ruby concoction which rendered people’s reflections invisible and gave me a voracious appetite for the steak tartare.
50 word story written in response to Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith‘s Genre Writing Challenge. I’m not quite sure that I pulled it off, but it’s just a bit of fun!
Based on a strange evening I once had in Seville. I’ll tell you about it sometime.