Today is S-Day for the A-Z Challenge. How many challengers out there are running out of steam? Hang in there! We're heading into the home stretch!
I've got two more stories to go for the Happy Acres Tales, and today is Simon's. Enjoy!
"So," Simon said. "You want to know how I ended up here?"
I rolled my eyes. "Um, yeah. That's the whole point of this tale-telling thing." I wanted to add 'duh,' but resisted the urge.
"All right, I'll tell you. I'm an international spy. Well, a double agent actually. I work for a recognized government, but I'm also the head of an underground movement to reinstall a monarchy in Scotland. I'm the rightful heir to the throne, you know."
We all nodded with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Simon's insistence that he's the king of Scotland is old news around here. I heard somewhere that if you tell the same lie long enough and with enough conviction, people will start to believe it. Here at Happy Acres it's more like if you believe in your own delusions strongly enough, and repeat them with enough conviction, we all just accept it as fact.
"Scotland hasn't had it's own monarchy since sometime in the 17th century," Artie said. Since he was new to Happy Acres, he hadn't yet acclimated to Simon.
"Too true, my good man," Simon said. "And long past time to reinstall a monarch, don't you think?"
Artie looked at me, confused, unsure how to answer. I just nodded, indicating he should go along.
"I was undercover on a mission," Simon continued. "My cover was as a brewmaster running a distillery making fake Scotch whisky. We were trying to break a distribution ring. But it was also the headquarters of my underground monarchy movement."
"Ooooh," Tessa said. "International intrigue!"
"Quite right. I realized there was a mole in my organization and in my effort to flush him out things went bad and the distillery blew sky high. Needless to say, along with the whisky, my cover was blown."
"Scusies again, but if you're a super secret James Bondy type, why are you here?" Mia asked.
"Some stoolie ratted out my monarchy plans and because I posed a threat to the crown and the status quo, I was carted off and institutionalized," Simon said. His usual air of confidence had deflated into a pout.
"If you're a real spy, aren't you supposed to keep all your missions and identity secret?" Bill asked.
"Of course, but who'd believe any of you if you told them my story? You're all a bunch of lunatics. People will think you made the story up."
"Hey, I take offense at that," said T-Bone.
"As it turns out, Happy Acres is the perfect new base of operations for my monarchy movement."
"Right," I said. "Because everyone in Scotland is going to want a king who lives in the nut house."
"Britain has never had a shortage of mad kings," Artie pointed out.
"For perfect!" Mia said. "You fit right in, Simon!"