The Audience, A Christmas story

THE NIGHT BEFORE MY AUDIENCE WITH THE KING I WENT THROUGH MY BAG to make sure everything was there. Considering what was at stake, I couldn’t be too careful.

One by one, I took them out and replaced them: the ode I’d composed in the King’s honor, the proclamation for the King’s monument I’d commissioned, the ledger of revenue I’d collected for the King: the evidence that demonstrated my worthiness for knighthood.

I’d been traveling a long road to the royal capital and had been sleeping poorly, but the next morning I was eager to make for the castle. As I traversed the long corridor to the throne room, the order in which I should present my evidence was first and foremost in my mind.

The throne room wasn’t what I’d expected, rather small and humble by my standards. When I was presented to the King, he greeted me by name—a good sign that—and asked that I make myself comfortable, serving me a sumptuous breakfast at a table facing the throne, though I was too preoccupied to do more than sample the fare.

Before he could say another word, I told him about the things I desired to place before him.

“That’s not necessary,” he said.

“But it is, Your Highness,” I insisted.

When I went for my bag, I found it wasn’t at hand. Had I left it at the door, or in the corridor?

“I must find my bag, Sir,” I told him.

“You need not,” he said, but how could I represent myself properly without the evidence of all I’d been doing on his behalf?

I bowed and made for the door, and there in a shadowy corner was my bag. I clutched it tightly to my breast and hurried back to the table, pushing the feast aside and setting it before him.

“What do you have for me?” he said.

I reached into the bag. I was so dumbfounded I couldn’t resist removing each and every item: a judgment where I’d favored a rich man over his poor cousin, the work order to expand my private granaries, the green cap belonging to the beggar woman I’d insulted at the door of my manor, a bottle of the best wine in the world I’d acquired at great cost.

As he looked down on these tokens, all I could think to say was, “An enemy has done this, Your Highness.”

A profound sadness clouded his features, and I anticipated a terrible verdict, but when he spoke, he said, “I know about these things, but they won’t change my decision, because I judge you regret all of them.”

“I do, Your Highness…but I must find the tokens that were taken from my bag, so I can place them before you in evidence of my worthiness. Will you give me leave to seek for them?”

“That isn’t necessary, my son.”

“Please, Sir!”

He nodded gravely. I was already shoveling all those shameful things back into my bag. Someone had removed the true tokens to embarrass me, but I would find them out, retrieve the tokens, and place them before the King as I’d intended.

I suspect someone in my own province is responsible for this evil deed, so I will return home and take as long as necessary to put things back in order. Next time, I will guard my tokens with greater vigilance. The next audience will be different.

The Lucifer Ego, and questions

7 years after “Toward the Gleam” was published, it gives me joy to announce the publication of the sequel, “The Lucifer Ego”, a rousing mystery-thriller. The theft of the ancient “Toward the Gleam” manuscript, and the Oxford archaeologist recruited to recover it. Prehistoric archaeology, psychology, mythology (including Middle-Earth and Narnia), and First Things.

All the threads were connected, or were they? Who is Elana Rosman?  What of the exotic (extinct) butterfly? Why was Li Hwang in Oxford?

 

Order the print version at: https://www.amazon.com/Lucifer-Ego-Sequel-Toward-Gleam/dp/1732472602/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1534688161&sr=8-2&keywords=the+lucifer+ego

 

Or the Kindle version: https://www.amazon.com/Lucifer-Ego-Sequel-Toward-Gleam-ebook/dp/B07GLWQ98Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1534688161&sr=8-1&keywords=the+lucifer+ego

 

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Sentience, a philosophical murder mystery (copyright 2016, T. M. Doran)

The passengers and crew on Sentient Air Flight 99:

Anarch—Columbia University professor

Autarch—chairman of Globalcorp

Cynic—Sentient Air captain

Deontologic—safety and security specialist

Empiric—CalTech astrophysics researcher

Glamor—L. A. celebrity model

Gnost—flight attendant

Hedon—scion of a billionaire

Libertine—post post-modern artist

Stoic—pantheistic clergyman

 

Thirty-two minutes, twenty-seven seconds, and twenty-nine thousand feet of altitude into Sentient Air’s flight from New York to Paris, Glamor’s head descended to her breast and her tongue emerged from her mouth like a lethargic snake from its lair. Read more