Cepheus of Bellevue

This week you will be spared the long, drawn-out introduction by Lord Windbag of Goshen. He’s off to celebrate independence with friends and family.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the person who never bores us with trivial chit-chat is the elegant and debonair Lady Astor Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise in madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright - Claire Fuller
copyright – Claire Fuller

Cepheus ascended the throne at nineteen. The next forty years brought a succession of queens passing through his bedchamber with no heir forthcoming.

“Alas, nothing but barren wombs,” declared his steward.

“Perhaps he’s sterile,” whispered the cook.

“Or gay.” The jester snickered and winked.

Wizards and magicians were summoned from surrounding kingdoms offering potions and incantations to stimulate fertility. Nothing worked.

As a last resort, they consulted the old witch, Hazel of Havertown. “Give him these,” she placed three diamond-shaped, blue pills in the chamberlain’s hand. “Your king shall rise and become rigid as stone.”

She failed to mention the possible side effects.

44 Comments on “Cepheus of Bellevue

  1. They’re not kidding about those side effects. Both my right and left side become as rigid as stone! My front, not so much. I’ll have Hazel of Havertown whip up a batch for you; one look at her and you’ll certainly need the industrial strength variety! Happy Forth, Russell!


    • That’s a scary thought, Perry. Maybe I’ll wait until Halloween for you to introduce me to Hazel. Distant cousin, I assume?


  2. Well, I for one love your long-winded introductions. A very happy 4th July to you and your family, Russell. You have to watch those witches; some of them have a perverse sense of humour.


    • I’ll pass that on to Lord Windbag, he’ll be thrilled. And thanks for you faithful readership and thoughtful comments. Happy 4th to you.


  3. Russell. this is very funny and fun and light and … you get the picture. And mentioning the side effects had me smiling ear to ear. Have you ever noticed the announcers say them so quickly (because they have only a minute during a commercial and the list is longer than the Jolly Green Giants arm) you don’t catch but half? I won’t go any further. Happy 4th.


  4. Dear Cepheus,

    Bummer on those side-effects. There’s stiff and then there’s rigid. Guess there won’t be any hits or heirs in that castle. 😉 Funny. Have a great 4th.


    Lady A.


  5. How was the king after 4 hours? Any unscheduled trips to the royal infirmary? Good story Russell – Happy 4th of July! Nan 🙂


  6. Russell, Happy 4th! They don’t celebrate the 4th of July in India naturally. However, they don’t miss many other days of celebration. Funny story once again. 😀 The poor king. First he turns to stone, then they put him outside where the crud gathers on him and birds target him. Well done as usual. 🙂 —Susan


  7. Sometimes those long-drawn-out intros are my favourite parts, Russell. You’d have struggled to top this story though, had me grinning from ear to ear – cheeky witch!


    • Why, thank you. I always wanted to write for them, but I didn’t think anyone really read the articles 🙂


  8. Hah, this is fabulous! I just guffawed in delight. How frustrating for the king, suppose he’s still conscious in his new….rigid form, LOL 😀


  9. LOL. I look forward to your stories each week to see how that wicked humour is going to interpret the prompt. Absolutely loved this.


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