Tea With Wolves

2: Tea With WolvesSo there was an old man sitting by the fire. He was boiling some water, and every now and then he would drop some dried leaves into the mix. It had taken me longer to reach the village than I had anticipated. Night was encroaching.

“Tea, stranger?” the old man asked as I approached him.

“I’m no stranger,” I said. “I used to be King of these lands. Do you not recognize my face?”

“King?” the old man laughed. “My friend, the land of Cimmera has known no King for a thousand years.”

“BullshitTM!”

The old man paused for a moment. “Tell me friend, what is your business in these forsaken lands?”

“My name is Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 2012, I will become President of the Universe. Trust meTM.”

The old man tried not to laugh. “President of the Universe, eh? Indeed.” He got up from his stool. “Well, I suppose you’re going to need a throne. This will do for now,” he said, pointing to the stool. “And a crown… a crown… ah-ha!” He snapped his fingers and scurried off to a nearby hut. He emerged with a bowl under his arm. “A crown!” he exclaimed. He was grinning like a small child.

“And now,” he said, “we must address your subjects. Hurry. They are waiting for you.” He led me to the outskirts of the village, and we stood atop a small mound, surrounded by nothing. Just uninhabitable desert. In every direction.

“PEOPLE OF CIMMERIA,” the old man bellowed, arms outstretched, trying to keep his laughter in check. “YOUR PRESIDENT WOULD LIKE TO ADDRESS YOU!” With that, he was slapping my back, unable to speak through the laughter, pointing to the emptiness that surrounded us.

“Very funny. DickheadTM.”

“Please forgive me, friend,” he managed after a few minutes, still chuckling. “It gets very lonely out here. I can’t remember the last time I had reason to laugh. But enough. Come, let’s go have some tea.”

We walked back to the village.


Night had fallen. We could hear the wolves crying out to the moon as we sat by the fire, sipping on the old man’s herbal brew.

 

“What happened to all the people?” I asked him.

The old man sighed heavily. “That is a long and terrible tale. But if you are to be President of the Universe one day, it is one that you must hear.”

“Before you start, can I ask you something?”

“I suppose so.”

“Do you have any stogies? I’m running low.”

“What the hell’s a stogie?”

“Never mind.”

With that, the old man started telling me his long and terrible tale…

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