|Hope springs eternal...|
The shadows were getting long. It was almost time. The council would not wait beyond moonrise. Tonight, moonrise would occur a mere twenty-two minutes after sunset. Czar King Rex the Glorious Leader knew that.
"How do you know that," asked Horus, the Bird-Headed Fool - Rex's jester.
Rex chortled confidently, failing to break stride as he maintained a nine-foot distance between himself and his fool, trailing behind. "You have to know these things, when you're a czar."
"Oh yeah, well, obviously. But, aren't you..."
"Aren't I what, Horus?" Rex growled impatiently.
"Aren't you - you know - obfuscating the throne, or something?"
Rex stopped, prompting the fool to stop and back up a step and a half to maintain the nine-foot separation. "Abdicating, man, abdicating. And yes, I am. That's why we're in such haste to meet the council before moonrise. I plan to renounce my title. If they won't amend the charter, then I don't want to be czar, anymore."
"Oh yeah," the bird-headed fool said, resuming his march nine feet behind his once again mobile king. "You told me already. I remember. I was just wondering if you'll still know stuff like that business about when the moon comes up, when you're not king anymore."
"Of course I will, Horus," the soon-to-be-former glorious leader laughed. "I'll know everything I know now. The only difference will be that no one will listen when I speak. And that will be more wonderful than you can ever know."
"Oh, don't misunderestimate me, Rex. I know a thing or two. I've heard what the council says about you. I've seen the scrawls on the poles and barns and bridges. Your reign has been nothing but headaches for you. 'Rex is a buffoon, Rex is a Marxist, Rex can't do anything, blah blah blah. I don't know how you put up with it for this long."
"I don't know either, Horus, I really don't. But no more. There's the smoke from the council fire. My freedom is nigh."
"But what am I to do, oh glorious leader?" the fool asked.
Czar King Rex stopped again, and so did his fool, nine feet behind. "I told you, man. You will be free, as well. You can be the next leader's fool, and bring him the same invaluable joy and distraction and relief that you provided me, these past eight years, or you can walk away - a free hobo - to find your own tracks."
The bird-headed fool thought for a moment. "Can I walk with you? I don't care if you're the king, or the president, or just another walking dead loser. You're my friend. I'll go with you."
"That'll do, Horus," Rex smiled.
"Can I ask you one question, though?"
"Why are you... abdi-whatever-it-is your throne?"
"It's simple, my friend. I want to marry Hard-Flossing Hope Peak, and the charter says that I can't, because hoboes aren't supposed to use dental floss. I tried to get the council to pass an amendment to the charter, and they refused to even bring it to a vote. I love that woman more than I love being the glorious leader, so there you have it."
"That's the best thing I've heard all day!" Horus declared. "To hell with the council! Hope is a swell gal. You're making the right choice."
"Of course I am, Horus. Life is short. Life out here is even shorter. I'm going to share what I have with Hope, flossing be damned."
"Say, boss? Maybe we can do a double wedding. I've been courting Ol' Barb Stab-You-Quick, and it's getting pretty serious."
Rex shook his head. "Horus, my friend, if you can get that woman to say yes without putting a hole in you, you're on."
Another bit of hobo fluff, prompted by my writey mates at Studio 30-Plus.