Monday, May 23, 2011

Malice in Hinterland

The Regina was fretting and fuming. Her fancy skull-headed hairpin had been missing since she woke up from her dream world. The Mad Hatter was playing croquette in the backyard with the handmaiden, taking advantage of the queen’s slumber. The little black bird was doing a waltz on the rooftop with her new-found male mate, Raven, to the sizzling hot tune of ‘Radhe Shyam, Pretty Pam’, which was the rage of the day after 'Munni Badnaam Huyi' and 'Sheila ki Jawaani'.

Unable to find anyone in her vicinity, the queen took out her anger on a lazy lizard posted on her Facebook wall by the court jester, Kronje Bray. She deleted the post using a swipe stick and posted back a black cobra on Bray’s wall.  Her anger refused to subside.  She started pulling the rope that rang the alarm bell mounted atop the castle.

The alarm bell sounded like a death knell. All hell broke loose. Everyone in the royal household sprang to attention and started scampering. The chef, Debbie the dabbler, two dozen members of his kitchen harem, the housekeeper, Hardshell Shylock,  and his two dozen girlish looking lads snoring in the corner of the store-room after a night-long revelry, the chief security officer, Subisvell along with two dozen of guards of a private detective agency, all left whatever they were doing or not doing and headed towards the main durbar hall.

“All is well,” shouted Subedar Subisvel. “Good morning all, have a mast, mast Monday,” chimed the housekeeper, who gave free stock market tip offs to gullible members of the royal entourage to make a quick buck on the side. “Good morning your highness,” squeaked Kronje Bray who had quickly logged out on receiving the black cobra pix on his Facebook wall from the queen.

“Has anyone seen my skull-headed hairpin”, thundered the queen, “I can’t find it since morning.” A hush fell on the assemblage. There was a pin drop silence. Everyone was afraid that if a pin happens to drop at the moment, the person next to it would certainly face the gallows. “Your highness, I had seen Debbie needling the petite little maiden the other day. But, surely it didn’t have a skull-head, it had a heart-shaped ruby at the end,” squealed Kronje.

The queen turned her killer looks towards Debbie who cringed and involuntarily winked with a sheepish expression on his face. “I know Debbie has this compulsive inclination of gifting his girls all kinds of trinkets. But, I also know he buys these from the nearby dollar shop. He dare not risk presenting any of these girls with the royal pin,” said Shylock coming to Debbie’s help.

The Mad Hatter was silently watching the inquest from behind the queen. “The missing pin is stuck at the bottom of the Royal gown,” whispered the handmaiden, pressing the hand of Mad Hatter. “Keep quiet, let her highness discover this when she sits on the throne,” said he.

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