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Tales From Beyond The Enchanted Prong Hills

The Prince Of Fresh Fruit

Mike

Page 2



  

Dawn broke. The cock crowed. The people gathered enthusiastically before the castle gates of King Farnsborough. Each of the king's subjects proudly held before them a single maraschino soaked peeled plum. Bunting had been spread across the streets, flags were unfurled, jugglers juggled, stilt walkers stilt walked and fire eaters fire ate. Even a toad tosser from the Enchanted Prong Hills had come to join in the festivities and was tossing his toads in his own peculiar manner.
And then there was Prince Vitamin C riding majestically upon his noble steed Crappalot. Trotting up the rampart he halted at the port cullis and hailed the guard on duty.
"Loyal guardsman of His Gracious Majesty King Farnsborough," called the fruity prince, "Pray raise the port cullis that we may pay court to your sovereign and rid him of the evil curse that has for too long beset this beleaguered country."
A silence descended upon the masses as they awaited the guard's reply.
"Fuck off, you great pansy!" responded the guard, "You don't take me in with all that hoity-toity palaver."
"We've got some fruit," said the prince hopefully.
"Citrus fruit?" inquired the guard.
"Aye," said the prince, "Plums!"
"Oh well, why didn't you say?" said the guard, and the port cullis rattled its way up the gateway.
Led by Prince Vitamin C the townspeople trooped into the castle grounds and entered the court of the afflicted king. The prince bowed gracefully before the king who, to his courtiers, still appeared quite kingly for no one had recently uttered the forbidden hosiery word. Princess Daughter stood anxiously by her father's side wondering if this stranger was the one true prince worthy of half her hand.
"My liege," announced the prince, "I have at my disposal the means of dispelling the blight that ails your majesty."
"Oh goody," enthused the king in a most jolly manner.
"With your majesty's permission," coaxed the prince.
"Proceed," beckoned the king, wisely.
"Good townspeople," the prince spoke toward his followers, "I want you to place your maraschino soaked plums upon the heads of all of the courtiers."
The people obeyed with great delight. Even the courtiers were pleased for they also had been given an active rôle to play in the healing of their monarch.
"Bowmen," the prince addressed the Royal Guard Of Archers, "Take aim at the plums."
The courtiers smiled at each other as the castle bowmen obliged. This was going to be an exciting stunt - much better than toad tossing.
"Fire!" commanded the prince.
Pitow, pitow, pitow!
Arrows shot across the courtroom swift and clean with the grace and speed of a shoal of barracudas darting at their quarries, mercilessly plunging their sharp pointy teeth through the soft scaly flesh of their prey, shredding fins, gills and tails and finally devouring the flaky bodies in an aquatic orgy of fishy slaughter*. But fish are not fruit and instead of hitting the plums, each arrow embedded itself in the forehead of its allotted courtier. Blood oozed down the stunned faces and splattered to the floor preceding the array of thuds of corpses hitting the cold stone flags. The king glared in horrified astonishment as each of his faithful courtiers tumbled to the ground.
The last of the bodies fell. The archers lowered their bows. Prince Vitamin C turned to address the king.
"Trousers!" he cried.
The shocked townspeople gasped in horror at the utterance of the T-word. With a gesture from the sergeant-at-arms the archers each took another arrow from their quivers and trained them on the prince.

*Well, it wasn't quite like that but you get the gist.

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