KING FOR A MINUTE
"Are you the oldest in our house?" she asks.
"Yes," I say.
"When you're the oldest in the house," she says, "you're like a king."
I look around our place. It doesn't look much like a castle or palace. There are no throne rooms in which to conduct business, no slotted windows through which to shoot arrows from crossbows, no suits of armor with which to protect ourselves in battle, no chapel in which to pray for our souls.
"What does that mean ?" I ask.
"When you're the king, you can get mad and say bad words. When you're not the king, you'll get a time out."
"How do you know about kings?" I ask
"Henry the Eight was a king."
"What did he do as a king?"
"He told the beautiful women they had to die."
"Am I like that?"
"You're more like a teenager. You didn't grow as much as a king."
"Do I look like a teenager? Is my hair too long?"
I realize then that our castle is close to the shop of an artisan who cuts hair. I don't need to send a messenger, pick up a broad ax or saddle a steed. I can just walk and get a trim.
Thaddeus Rutkowski's second book, Tetched: A Novel in Fractals, was published recently by Behler Publications in California. His first novel, Roughhouse (Kaya Press), was a finalist for an Asian American Literary Award. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and daughter.
You can find Thaddeus's web site at www.thaddeusrutkowski.com.