Story: The Fantastical Court Jester – 14/09/19

The fantastical court jester had a multitude of skills. Though he felt that life and himself were a cruel joke, he still amused those in the court as he was willed to. He threw up a rabbit from a hat, danced with his feet flung up and down this way and that, he grabbed the sparkling stars and the moon from wherever he could, out of thin air, and then  he would throw them into the area where the King and Queen and Princess were watching with a great sense of enjoyment, yet the parents still projected an air of judgement. Because they couldn’t act too impressed, they needed the court jester to know that he always was required to up his game, as they do say. To perfect his show, better each time, with more elaborate skills and tricks, while the King and Queen quietly sipped their glasses of red wine.

The princess, though, utterly divine she was, was forever exuberant about his skills. Though, secretly, just between yourselves and I, the Princess had a great crush on this fantastical court jester who didn’t really appreciate his wretched life. And how could he, where he was hired as a mere spectacle, there to amuse and be laughed at, by beings in the court who he felt were buffoons who liked to belittle him. Princess never said a thing about her secret love for him because she knew that nothing could come of it, besides she was already promised to Lord Chive. She hated that obnoxious boy, yet her mother and father had picked him as her future husband because his family had much wealth hidden and also on display. They didn’t shy away from living the life of extroverted billionaires, and this fact made the King and Queen feel very pleased with their selection, of their daughter’s future man.

Still, Princess dreamed of her jester, his smiling face, his painted, decorated eyelids, his twinkling bells on his costumes that when heard, caused her tingles and shudders, in the only good constructionist way that was known how. A tingle here was enough to make her heart leap and bound, and cause an ache deep within her stomach that no food could appease. She needed to view his shows again, over and over, because he was her living drug, the thing she most desired. How much she hated that wretched Lord Chive for being promised as her man for the rest of her life, why, she was only nineteen, she had eyes, ears, a heart and mind, surely, she could select for herself. She would choose her ironic court jester, who had recently been catching her eyes.

The jester wondered whether there was something going on with the Princess, for she stared at him with such hunger and intent. It wasn’t as though he was undressing before her, to a tight bodysuit to showcase his pasty skin, but with bulging muscles and a well-built chest. Occasionally he caught her stares, when he dared to look at her beauty which he’d just realised was there, a wide-eyed glance into her brown docile eyes and slowly, over time, during his shows, he, too, began to fall in love. Before each show he would be nervous now, whereas before he couldn’t give a damn, prior to this, a show was just a show, but with a special audience who actually appreciated his skills, and perhaps more of him, he felt a warmth in his heart that made him fulfilled.

Then, one morning, when the court jester was ready to perform, he took a deep breath and walked before the King, Queen, and daughter. He was wearing a brand-new outfit, selected especially to please the princess, he wore hearts plastered all over his front and his back. And as he danced slowly, sensually, catching the princess’s eyes often, the King and Queen were outraged, they couldn’t believe this treason!

“What on earth is going on?” demanded the King. “I want to know right now!” Suddenly, the jester snapped to, what was he doing here in this love-suit? What on earth had possessed him to create and wear such a thing, when he knew that his feelings for Princess needed to remain hidden? He was just a mere jester, a slave of entertainment, nothing but a speck of dust in the eyes of someone as noble and wealthy as Prince Chive. Abashed, embarrassed and mortified, the jester hung his head, apologised profusely and walked off the stage, proceeding to cry. He wailed and wailed and wailed, knowing that he’d likely be dismissed, into their lands of the forest, where those who committed criminal acts against the royal family lived. The last time he would see his beloved princess had already occurred, it had passed, and her facial expression of confusion mixed with acceptance and love for his visual love proclamation would be what remained in his mind, forever there to be drawn upon and observed.

But, the jester was not banished to the forest, instead he was locked up in the dungeons. Which would be a worse ending? he wondered to himself. Still, at least he could see his princess; every morning she snuck into the chambers of prisoners, and fed him her elaborate and rich breakfasts which she’d refused herself. There she told him of her love, which had blossomed before he even realised, of how his irony at life and means of still projecting happiness were what drew her to him. He would then share his brightened realisations, the moments that he knew she loved him for him, and the moment that he decided to proclaim his true feelings with the heart-suit, before the Queen and King.

Eventually, the jester was freed, and was allowed to remain in the castle. Instead though, he was assigned a different role, and it was within the kitchen, deep in the mass of passageways, where King and Queen believed their daughter wouldn’t find him. The reason they kept him in the castle was a very simple fact: once he had received enough punishment for his behaviour, he could return to his jester role, because he was extremely talented at that.

Love still secretly blossomed though, and whispers of their emotional affair caught wind of Lord Chive’s ears. Mortified by Princess’s lack of loyalty, he withdrew from their arrangement for future husband and wife.

“If she cannot remain loyal, before we are even wed, why makes you think I’d like to bring her wholly into my life?” said Lord Chive to the King. Outraged at the scandal which had still unfolded beneath his very nose, he summoned his daughter and growled at her, with great anger, and he expelled her from the castle at once along with the traitorous jester. They could fend for themselves for some quite time. Of course, they would be allowed back, for not for a decent amount of time. Punishment needed to be observed firstly as something of a permanent kind. Instead of being desperate and feeling betrayed, the court jester and Princess were overjoyed at what had occurred, because now they were free, to love and be, without any need to hide from the eyes of her parents or the world.

The King desperately missed his daughter and soon realised the error of his ways. She was the light of his life, and he had simply flung her aside, because her heart wanted to know another, not the man he had deemed as the correct, wise choice. Who was he to decide who his daughter should love? Was it his role – no, never! – to force her into an alliance that would benefit the Crown, but not the girl? He felt ashamed of himself, and sent out troops to welcome her daughter and her new love back into the castle. Once found though, they didn’t wish to accept the invitation. The irony of the situation is, sometimes a forced freedom is exactly what one needs to realise their own slice of heaven.

© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.


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