* 200 articles. Two years. Whelk. The best of Upsideclown. Might be reprinted.

Royal Inquisitor

12 December 2002
George has blue blood

"What did your last slave die of?"

I flex my fingers and think, and think some more. Celine? Or Margot? I can't quite remember the names any more. They blur with the round faces of those kept. The sun through the window-panes warms my skin and I tilt my head, hoping that the light will make my cheekbones glow.

She watches me steadily; the man at her elbow puts his pen down. Babette? It comes to me. "Alice! Exhaustion. She'd been was moving Lady Sofia's belongings into the palace. I think she'd been carrying the gold bath, or the gold bidet. Or both. Yes, both, because that's how they found her, with the bathroom stuff packed on top of her."

"Interesting" she murmurs, flicking her hair. Her colleague resumes writing and hurriedly scribbles, eyes down. I look directly into the eyes behind the sunglasses of my lady investigator who gives me a coy glance before coughing and glancing back to her questions. I interject, knowing the information to be surplus: "The one before that, Jilane - poisoning, testing my tea. And the two before that were crushed by boulders."

She smiles gently. "So", she says. I raise my eyebrows and adjust my cuffs. "So. Who died and made you king?" I grin; easy enough, and she gives an easy wide smile too.

"My father. It's an inherited patriarchal royal dictatorship we have going, and I believe that it's a common system in many countries. It works well here. We have no problems with first-born daughters, as I've heard happen in your homeland" - she gives a rueful look, and I have to restrain myself from reaching over to squeeze her hand; dignity is all, after all - "and the lineage is clean. The issue of... offspring hasn't arisen in seventeen centuries. Again, unlike your fatherland. Or, motherland as I should say."

She still smiles pleasantly, but the fellow at her side is less amused and, fiddling with his shades, seems to be on the point of saying something snappily. But he thinks better of it, suddenly aware of his place, the gold at his feet and the jewelled ceiling above his head. Aware of her companion's tetchiness she says "There have been unusual circumstances at home in the past decade as you mention. As you're aware, this is part of the reason behind our visit and our work here. It has affected all of us. An unknown future is extremely unsettling experience indeed."

I am aware that I have somehow overstepped a mark or limit, but am unsure of how to remedy this. I am unused to criticism, or anything other than screened and censored comment. Uncomfortable (another unusual sensation), I adjust my position on the ceremonial throne. A shaft of sunlight illuminates the room briefly, bringing the bright colours of the murals on the walls into sharp relief.

For some reason, the atmosphere seems to be lightened as both of my questioners give wide and sudden beaming smiles. The man speaks for the first time. "I think that brings us to our last question, Your Royal Glowing Highness. If you don't mind telling us: has the sun always shone out of your arse?"


This is the fucking archive

Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
10 November 2003. George writes: Dead beat
20 October 2003. George writes: Shortening
29 September 2003. George writes: Manhattanites are Cleavage-Starved
11 September 2003. George writes: How to Bring Us in Line With the Future
18 August 2003. George writes: Slashtastic
28 July 2003. George writes: Underground Independent Small Press Comic Fight Club
7 July 2003. George writes: Careering
16 June 2003. George writes: Choose your own adventure
26 May 2003. George writes: Revelations
8 May 2003. George writes: Picture Perfect
14 April 2003. George writes: MetaPirate
24 March 2003. George writes: Preparation X
3 March 2003. George writes: F of x
13 February 2003. George writes: Three is the magic number
23 January 2003. George writes: Recorded Delivery
30 December 2002. George writes: Meat Bingo or Death
12 December 2002. George writes: Royal Inquisitor
21 November 2002. George writes: This Clown is Cancelled
28 October 2002. George writes: Shopping with God
3 October 2002. George writes: SaferSpoony
16 September 2002. George writes: Supercalanthropomorphicexpealidocious
26 August 2002. George writes: The deformed animal menagerie
5 August 2002. George writes: Plaice that Funky Music, Whitebait
15 July 2002. George writes: Safe as Houses
24 June 2002. George writes: Two Lions (DB/DS)
30 May 2002. George writes: Series 8
9 May 2002. George writes: Market Stall
11 April 2002. George writes: I, the Enlargened, Crunchy Product
18 March 2002. George writes: Cakexterminator
21 February 2002. George writes: Fiction Suit
28 January 2002. George writes: Spunk Gunk
31 December 2001. George writes: Fairytale of New Pork
10 December 2001. George writes: Circular
15 November 2001. George writes: A Man With No Ass Is No Man At All
22 October 2001. George writes: One Night in Heaven
27 September 2001. George writes: Uncut
3 September 2001. George writes: Porn Pants
9 August 2001. George writes: Names of the Roses
19 July 2001. George writes: No Fun Here
21 June 2001. George writes: All Your Elections are Belong to Us
28 May 2001. George writes: Pierced as Fuck
3 May 2001. George writes: My Lovely Horse
9 April 2001. George writes: Eight Hundred and Forty-Three
12 March 2001. George writes: Kill 'Em All
19 February 2001. George writes: Formal
25 January 2001. George writes: Sticks and stones
11 January 2001. George writes: A Thought on Morality
11 December 2000. George writes: You can't put that into a soufflé
13 November 2000. George writes: Lyrical Genius
19 October 2000. George writes: Wet wet wet wet wet
25 September 2000. George writes: Built on an Indian burial ground
31 August 2000. George writes: This Way
31 July 2000. George writes: Runt of the Litter

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