"Lord von Hogg, I beg you to see reason!"
"Bah! Reason! What has reason ever done for me? Made my trotters itch, it has. As for this 'begging' of yours, it would prove far more fruitful if accompanied by a long tonne of fresh muck. Speaking of which, where is Jebethuselah?"
"I haven't seen him in hours, my liege. Last I saw, he was with his brothers. The three of them were squirming together in a cozy little alcove adjacent to vestibule L47.612F90-3/8m. Of course, that's using the new numbering system. Under the old, vestibule L47.612F90-3/8m was catagorized as a mere sub-vestibule. Forgive me, but I do not approve of this change, especially considering the vestibule in question barely housed seven thousand ducks during last month's little 'mishap'."
"Aye, the new system is bollocks. Shite-bollocks. You've no idea how many files Steward Krumpski sends me daily concerning the whole mess. It's like that new system is his most prized nephew, and he simply can't see the lad for his flaws, like how he spilled ratatouille all over the duchess, or those horrible noises he always makes on the full moon. Curse that lad!!"
"Right! You know what vestibule L47.612F90-3/8m used to be called? Sub-vestibule Ill1il1lIlii1IIll1il1lIlii1I-4241! Now there's a name with some panache! I nearly had it tattooed on my frenulum to commemorate the whole duck incident, but then Steward Krumpski dropped the bomb on us. I was actually in the tattoo parlor when I got the memo; just when my tattooist was 96.4% done, Krumpski himself comes trundling in, all seven hundred well-fed pounds of him. He tells me the system's been changed, in fact he drops the entire four thousand page memo right on my frenulum, which as you might imagine was rather tender by this point."
"Ah, yes. Your squeal resounded throughout the entire citadel, as I recall."
"Right! Then Big Daddy Krumps tells me the news would have come much sooner, but he didn't want to influence my decision about the tattoo, thoughtful man that he is, though he couldn't even get through this little explanation without bursting into demented laughter no fewer than twenty-six times. I was so livid that I had my tattooist convert the whole thing into a picture of Krumps' manor house burning down! Course, when the manor house actually did burn down two days later I was naturally the prime suspect. I've been flanked by vulturous lawyers ever since. Legally, I am even required to have two of them sleep in my bed with me, one to each side, to ensure I don't flee the province in the dead of night, or otherwise do anything rash. This state of affairs would hardly trouble me at all, except that one of the lawyers suffers from rather voluminous nocturnal emissions, while the other is a serial sleep arsonist. For whatever reason, nobody bothers to ask him where he was on the night of the Krumpski Manor Conflagration (KMC), and he's already set my ocelot on fire twice. I am also required to have a separate pair of hostile lawyers at the breakfast table. These are tasked with chewing my food for me and regurgitating it into my mouth, though they often neglect this second step, for they are fed very little and often arrive in a ravenous state.
Furthermore, the tattoo of the burning manor turned out to be enormous, encompassing most of my body. A large portion of it has become gangrenous; you may have noticed my limp . . . ?"
"Yessir, the weather has been most fine as of late. Most fine. Although I will say that several of the clouds have been arranging themselves into some rather crude shapes, which have proven trying for my frazzled constitution. I simply haven't been the same since my nephew popped out of that wardrobe the other day, waggling his tongue like some sort of hooligan. He's gonna get that thing snagged in a freight elevator one of these days if he's not careful. Now, just what were Jebethuselah and his brothers doing in that alcove you mentioned? I do hope they weren't making that special goop of theirs again; I really need to speak with him regarding my slop sanctum."
"You ask me of the brothers three?
Jebethuselah . . .
Jebathaniel . . .
Jebethurmon . . . ?
I long to inform you of their schemes. But how can I? When so far you have not even so much as looked me in the eye?"
"You fool! I am the Baron Corpulous von Hogg! I need look upon no part of your anatomy whatsoever! Very well, I shall look you in the eye! You have been forewarned! HmphrghrguhHHURRUNGPHHRAAARGHPHM!!!!!!
There, I have done this thing."
"No you didn't, you just went all cross-eyed and spat everywhere!"
"My son, you ask of me an honor I grant not even myself! Why do you think the citadel's mirrors have all been detained?!"
"Alright, alright. At least you made a sincere effort. If you must know, Jebethuselah and co. were perusing a folio, though they were hardly making any progress at all, since they wouldn't stop screaming at each other. Even if one of them was in the midst of a series of bloodcurdling shrieks, he would soon be interrupted by his brothers. Each of them seemed to think that his screams were by far the most pertinent, and altogether this amounted to a cacophony of near-biblical intensity.
That's how I found them in the first place. I had been relaxing in my private quarters and oiling my most prized dowel, though over time I have grown increasingly unsure as to whether or not it is in fact a dowel. Regardless, I was nearly through with my twelfth oiling session of the day, when the aforementioned commotion interrupted my concentration, and nearly caused me to injure myself. I likely would not have heard the brothers at all, for their little pow wow was tucked away in the deep labyrinthine halls beneath the citadel, whereas my own quarters are comfortably nestled in the only-somewhat-deep labyrinthine halls. However, I have had the ventilation configured in such a way as to allow myself to eavesdrop on vestibule L47.612F90-3/8m in case the ducks ever arrive again in force.
So after stowing away my dowel in a secure location, I slid down the ventilation chute, and within moments I beheld the brothers three;
crouched in their clandestine alcove. Each of them was stark raving nude and drenched in industrial lubricant, presumably to allow them to cram themselves into the tiny alcove without any of their assorted glands hanging out. I think this most prudent, for Krumpski's surveyors have been scouring the halls ruthlessly as part of the steward's reorganizational efforts, and this mostly involves scraping the walls at high speed using special scythes to break up the compacted faecal matter and assorted detritus, and certainly any protruding ganglia would be unceremoniously sheared."
"Aye, the very same happened to my favored nephew just the other day! I have been unable to pry from him just what he was doing packed into that alcove and slathered in machine oil, but the point is that a few of his nodules were poking out, and boy howdy! We have not been able to get them back. The lad's been working on some sort of jolly-old manuscript ever since. Calls it his 'manifesto'. Clever boy."
"Right! Those surveyors are not in the habit of returning lost property. All credit to the Brothers Jeb for discovering a workaround. Rumor has it Steward Krumpski's already amassed a hoard of over eight thousand severed pistons, and he's turning them into one immense, soggy sculpture! He calls it 'modern art'! Ain't nothing modern about lopping off a bloke's johnson; it's medieval is what it is. Anyways, the exhibition starts in three weeks. I already bought advance tickets for my entire family. They're saying you can catch whiffs of the thing throughout the whole of the artisan's district!"
"Oh dear. In all likelihood Steward Krumpski will make my nephew's ganglion the centerpiece of the smorgasbord. That man is obsessed with using my relatives' severed glands as keystones for his various 'art' projects; this is the fifth time this year! Darn near rankles my hackles, it do. Darn near."
"Yes, Krumpski is a genuine savant if you ass me. A paragon of the finer things. Have you ever looked him in the eye? They say the fires of photoplasmic genius gestate therein. I would say that I've enjoyed this uncommon privilege, but that'd be a cold fib. The man only communicates with me via smoke signal (it is said that not once in his sixty-year career has even one of his pipes been extinguished, this in spite of emphatic efforts by the opposition), and the series of mirrors he utilizes to sneer at me truly is elaborate."
"Indeed, I have looked Krumpski in the eye on numerous occasions! How can you even ask me that?! As a matter of fact, I am at this very moment making eye contact with every point of consciousness within six miles of - WIPE THAT SMIRK OFF YOUR FACE!!!"
"Forgive me, my lord. I was in no way scoffing at what you were saying, oh no. Oh no no no no no no no no. I was not. If I was, I would tell you straight up. That's a fack. An immutable fak. Savvy?"
"So tell me another fact, won't you?; just what precisely were the Brothers Jeb doing in that alcove? My lust for muck grows more urgent by the moment, and I require Jebethuselah's tender ministrations."
"Ah, yes, well as the three grown men slipped and slithered over one another in their greased state, their folio chanced to splat out onto the marble floor with a resounding squelch. A deathly silence had pervaded the hall from the instant I appeared before them, and their eyes followed me curiously. All screaming had ceased, yet they never once paused in their serpentine undulations, and they didn't seem to mind in the least when I began to peruse their folio, which actually turned out to be a manifesto of sorts."
"My nephew's got one of those! Blasted boy. Try as I might he just won't give me the time of day. He stole all the clocks, too, and I've been late to literally everything ever since. Steward Krumpski's been having fits, which I don't mind at all, but what does rankle me is that I just don't know when to give my nephew his medicine. It's this tincture, you see. Supposed to turn him into an upstanding citizen. I've had a horrid time trying to get him to take the stuff; even if I can force it down his gullet, he immediately spits it out into my mouth. To be honest, I love when this happens. The stuff makes me feel so good, I just go berserk! Reminds me of something I tried in my youth once, a wily substance Kemist Kormorant kalled 'Meth-imp-ate-a-mean', or some such. Anyways, I'm extremely resolved to see my nephew firmly established on the straight and narrow, and so I've taken to pumping a turkey baster full of the stuff into his trap door as he slumbers. This invariably triggers in him a sort of manic frenzy, which I have decided is a symptom of the 'bad juju' exiting his system."
"Say, did you pick up that tincture from Wizard Krustbourne? He's been giving me the very same thing! I've been taking it regularly for some six months, and let me tell you, it really does turn you into an upstanding citizen! It's made me so upstanding that all my teeth fell out, so now when I'm thrashing around in the gutter, it doesn't hurt folks nearly so much when I bite their ankles. Yessir, good ol' Krustbourne'll fix you up right. I myself can't go more than twelve hours without the stuff."
"Yes, your honor, nay, glory, is almost palpable when you thrash in the gutter, especially when the turds get lodged in your mouth and eyes. I can almost feel the glory tangibly coursing through my curly little pink tail whenever this occurs.
Ah! There you are Jebethuselah! My, you are looking nude today. Myself and eunuch Bensen here were just talking about you. Were you and your brothers enjoying yourselves? I can tell by that wretched frown of yours."
"I haven't the foggiest notion what you're blathering about, my lord. It would take a great deal of paperwork to convince me that I have a single brother, let alone multiple of them. Furthermore, I pride myself on having enjoyed nothing whatsoever for some years now. And even if I did know what you were talking about, there certainly wouldn't be any sort of manifesto involved. No, no certainly not. So don't bother asking! Okay?"
"Now now Jebethuselah, don't get your sphincter in a fix. I only ask that you prepare a cool muck jacuzzi for my sensory enjoyment. I am in dire need of refreshment."
"At once, my liege."
"Oh and Jebethuselah?"
"Do send in that nephew of mine. I must bend his ear with several dollops of Wisdom™."
"Right away, my lord."
The revolution began several days later. It was commanded by the Brothers Jeb, whose manifesto dealt mainly with what they decried as gross overcompensation for their labors as alcove carvers. The brothers claimed this surplus of funds enabled them to purchase industrial lubricants of an extremely fine quality, and that this practically forced them to spend all their spare time slipping and slithering over one another in tightly confined, shoddily constructed alcoves, time which they would vastly prefer to spend playing chutes and ladders, pick-up sticks, jenga, etc.]
"Royal Pig" by jimmiehomeschoolmom is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/?ref=openverse.