King Procrast’s Big Mistake
The ruler of Procrastia, King Procrast XIV, lived the prodigal palace life, throwing lavish parties regularly for thousands of handpicked guests. Donning a huge gold crown studded with sparkling jewels which rest precariously upon his shiny, bald head resembling a thimble on a potato, the king outweighed most by hundreds of pounds. During every feast, Procrast would eat enough food to satisfy an entire household. In fact, he recently hired a team of six royal “standers” to assist the obese king in standing. The year’s bountiful reaping (no credit goes to the dilatory King) and conditions gave Procrast a good reason to celebrate. However, unbeknownst to the king, ...view middle of the document...
Even the merriest guests froze in mid-chew, paling. The words seemed to suck all of the warmth from the huge room instantly. Fear and bewilderment radiated from their faces. A low, fearful mummer filled the hall. However, the king filled up with fury.
“Not only have you have rejected my generous offer of hospitality you have ruined my party! Guards, remove this foul man.”
As the guards dragged the cloaked man away, he waved a fist defiantly shouting, “Your reign will cease if you continue to rein irresponsibly. This is my warning for you!” As the cloaked left, there was a loud clap of thunder. The date was Friday the 13th.
The rest of the week passed without further incident. The King made use of this time to hold a huge speech convincing the somewhat frightened citizens of their safety. The listeners left believing the attacks were “just a common, harmless raid that was fully under control.” In spite of the Procrast’s speech, the northern invaders rapidly advanced toward Procrast, unhindered by Procrastian defenders.
The messenger stumbled into the king’s hall interrupting Procrast’s breakfast. He was covered with a filthy, tattered, bloodstained cloak. His eyes made the King recoil inside. It was the haunted eyes of a man who had witnessed death. He coughed once and began.
“Your Majesty…Northern Fief defeated…Lord North… killed…many men massacred. I…the only survivor,” he croaked, “You must…send help.”
With his final assignment accomplished, he collapsed upon the floor and breathed his last.
The events in the throne room disturbed the king. Part of him wanted to send troops. However, there were miles and miles (~200mi) of land separating Procrast from the invaders. Surely the enemy would be stopped before reaching him. Procrast I will not send reinforcements. However, Procrast still felt ill and ominous at heart. That night, he dreamed of hourglasses filled with not sand but grinning skulls, bleached white, and whispering his name.
Several weeks passed by, with several more messengers coming, all delivering the same news concerning the raiders burning yet another town or city and the Procrastian soldiers needing reinforcements. The king, considerably distressed argued with himself: Wouldn’t it just be safer to go ahead and send troops? one voice asked. No, there are enough troops between me and the barbarians, was the reply. But, why isn’t the advance slowing down? questioned the first voice. Oh, the soldiers are just getting used to fighting. We haven’t had a raid in many decades. Once the Porcrastians are used to fighting, the enemy will be beat back. I will not send reinforcements until further notice. The king realized that he still felt uneasy. Only fifty miles to the north, the foreign invaders burned another village and massacred the inhabitants.
The very next day, early in the morning, two men strode into the palace. They were dressed oddly, obviously foreigners.
“What brings you here on this fine morning?” inquired king Procrast. ...