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Author Topic: Long Gone  (Read 542 times)

Offline Myroria

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Long Gone
« on: February 24, 2015, 03:10:30 PM »
2008

Olms walked down the hall of the Administrator's House with haste. More bungalow than grand palace, it was at one time the nicest building in New Fellowmoor, Resdaynia, but that ended in probably 1950.

"I need to see the Administrator!" he yelled in the direction of what looked like the bald head of Bevadar, the Administrator's assistant.

"I'm sorry, Olms!" Bevadar yelled back. He lowered the volume of his voice as Olms approached. Bevadar obstructed the door. "The Administrator doesn't want to be disturbed." He lowered his voice to a whisper. "He's listening to his old tapes again,"

"This is important!" Olms exclaimed with all but a stomp of the foot.

"I'm on strict instructions not to open this door. I'm sorry." the valet replied. There was a tinge of pleading in his voice, as if he wished he could stop listening to the Administrator's old tapes through the door but knew there was no hope of that.

"Haven't you heard the news?" Olms asked, greeting Bevadar's pleading with annoyance. "Check your phone,"

"I leave my phone at home when I'm working, Olms."

"The Queen's dead."

Bevadar, perhaps the only monarchist left in Resdaynia besides the Administrator himself, reached for his bald head before realizing he stopped wearing a hat years ago.

"That's terrible."

"The Administrator is going to have plenty of time to listen to his tapes back home." Olms began. "They're dissolving this office. They're replacing it all with a republic."

"They? Who's th - "

"Just go read the newspaper, okay? I need to talk to the Administrator."

Bevadar remained silent.

"This is some kind of joke,"

"Does it look like I'm joking?" Olms said. The annoyance in his voice was growing stronger as the cheer in Bevadar's old voice grew weaker. Bevadar bowed his head and turned to the door. He knocked three times but there was no response. He sighed deeply and slowly opened the door.

"Administrator? There's someone here to see you," Bevadar said through the crack. The voice inside remained silent for a moment before speaking - the tone stentorian, but with the slur of a third whisky evident.

"Send them in,"

Bevadar opened the door and slipped by Olms, walking, then jogging, to the nearest television.

"Administrator?" Olms began. The Administrator was turned away from Olms, facing out one of the bungalow's small windows.

Now that Olms had the countenance to notice, he could hear the Administrator's old tapes. The volume on the cassette player was turned to its maximum, to make up for the distortion of twenty-five years since the tapes' production. They were old news broadcasts - either recorded from a radio or taken from the radio station's studio itself.

"In a surprising announcement from the Residence today, Marsilamat Quarrovth, one of the House's rising stars and a personal favorite of the Queen, was made Administrator of Resdaynia. The position is largely ceremonial and its holder is tasked with 'supervising' the nation's far-flung colony. In political circles it is widely considered a punishment - "

"What did you need to speak to me about?" the Administrator said, turning and placing his whiskey on a desk. He just celebrated his 80th birthday but looked thirty years older.

Olms' attention to the recording was distracted by the Administrator's voice.

"I'm afraid that Her Majesty is dead, sera."

The Administrator remained silent but reached for his whiskey again, nearly knocking it off the desk with his trembling hands.

"Sources close to the Residence say that the sudden change of heart is due to long-rumored involvement Marsilamat and several others had in the suicide of Telvon Moomintroth, a Moomintroth noble who, in the early 1960s, was accused of embezzling funds from his House's census fund."

"Wh-when did that happen?"

"This morning. The Council of Great Houses is dissolved and - "

"What?!" the Administrator said. He stepped towards Olms. "Is this some kind of joke?"

"I wish it was, sera. Her Majesty called for it to be replaced by a republic in her will."

"That's not legal," the Administrator said. He took another step towards Olms.

"She also called," Olms began. He paused. "for the Office of the Administrator to be dissolved."

The Administrator dropped his glass. His hands shook but he remained silent.

"The new Administrator did not respond to our request for a comment."

Tears came to the old man's eyes and he stepped closer to Olms, wrapping his arms around him. Olms gulped.

"I can go home," he cried. "I can go home!"



1961

"Big night planned?" the cashier asked as he typed numbers into the register next to him.

"What?" Marsilamat asked.

"You're just buying a lot of gin."

Marsilamat squinted as if to get a better look at the man. Despite being blocks from the Residence, this liquor store looked like any other. Bathed in a sickly dim light, Marsilamat likely couldn't read any of the bottle's labels even if he wasn't drunk. He picked up whichever bottles were clear and square and hoped it was gin.

"Oh," he said. "Just uh - yeah. I guess I have a big night planned."

The cashier looked suspicious for a moment but continued punching numbers into his register.

"You've got a - " the cashier said. He tapped the top of his head. Marsilamat slowly raised his own hand to his hair and felt a cowlick, propped up by the generous amounts of pomade he used this morning. He tried his hardest to straighten it out but gave up after the fifth attempt. The cashier shook his head slowly and continued punching numbers into the register.

"Marsil'!" came a woman's voice from behind him. Marsilamat turned slowly, propping himself up on the counter.

"Sathasa," he slurred. "It's so nice to see you!"

"It's so nice to see you too!" she said, stepping towards him. She was holding a bottle of wine. "I didn't know you lived around here! I had a blast on our date the other night," she said with a smile.

"Oh, uh - me too!"

Sathasa smiled.

"We should do it again soon." Marsilamat said.

"We should!" she replied. She walked forward for a hug. Marsilamat gasped to himself but managed to get up on his feet. He roughly patted her on the back as she held him.

"Boy, Marsil', celebrating something tonight?"

"Uh - why do you say that?" he asked. Sathasa didn't say anything for a moment but let him go. Marsilamat focused on the endless tapping of the cash register for a moment before she broke his attention.

"You smell like perfume, Marsil'."

"Oh, I don't - "

"And what's that on your collar?!" she exclaimed. She put the bottle of wine down on a nearby shelf and grabbed his shirt. "Is that lipstick?"

"I don't - I, uh - "

Sathasa frowned and scrunched her eyebrows.

"Who's all that gin for? Some crosstown whore?"

"No, no, Sathasa - I, uh - "

"Ugh!"

"It's for the queen! I work for the queen!"

Sathasa shook her head.

"That's even worse!"

Marsilamat sighed. Sathasa stomped out of the liquor store.

"Are you going to buy that wine?" the cashier asked.

"What?" Marsilamat said, turning towards the counter again. "I, uh, I don't drink wine."

"She does."

"I don't think she wants to hear from me," he replied.

"I don't care if she wants to hear from you. She was going to buy wine. Now she's not. Someone's gotta buy it."

Marsilamat tried looking at the cashier but his eyes crossed.

"Fine."



Marsilamat was a block from the Grand Residence when he saw a man in a suit walking towards him. He held his bag of gin and wine closer to his body and tried his best to look sober.

"Marsilamat!" the man yelled. He apparently had the night vision of a cat. He jogged the few paces to Marsilamat.

"Oh, uh,"

"It's Adril Quarseth! I represent part of Serbank Ward on the Council," he said.

"Oh, uh, yes, I remember you. It's good to see you, Adril."

"Boy, you look like shit, Marsilamat. Not getting much sleep?"

"Uh, yeah," he said, glancing at the Residence ahead. "Not getting much sleep."

"I get you. Listen, let me recommend you my doctor - he gives out sleeping pills like candy. It's gr - "

"Oh, that won't be nece - necess - I don't think I'll need that. I have my own."

Adril frowned for a moment. "If you say so. Hey, listen," he said, walking towards Marsilamat. Marsilamat backed up until his back hit a building, Adril standing in front of him.

"Me and some other buddies on the Council have this idea,"

"Oh, uh, oh yeah?"

"Yeah. Are you in?"

"I, uh, I don't know the idea."

"Well it's a little secret."

"I, uh, I don't know if I can agree to things I don't know about."

Adril nodded sagely.

"I get that. I get that."

"Uh - "

"Hey, listen, Marsil', do you mind if I call you Marsil'?"

"Uh, yeah. Go ahead." He clutched his bag of liquor tighter in case he needed to knock someone out with it.

"We're gonna have a meeting on Thursday at the Q Club in Fellowmoor. You know the place?"

"Uh - "

"Great! We'll explain it all there."

"Uh - okay."

"Hey," Adril said, putting a hand on Marsilamat's shoulder softly. "It was great to see you."

"You, uh - you too."
"I assure you -- I will be quite content to be a mere mortal again, dedicated to my own amusements."