Flash Fiction


word prompts: baneful / intangible / impaction / dental practitioner / denude / implore / doss down / duck down

It was a baneful existence. She meant that quite literally, as she described the role of shabwajer to the new cadet.

Shabwajers were there to denude the King, if the King ever became, shall we say, unsuitable to the practice of ruling. If she, as the Head Shabwajer, were to deem it appropriate, she must announce to the masses, via the instawire, that it was now time to select a new King.

However (and here is the baleful part), if she were incorrect (and the correctness, was, in most part, determined by the King himself), then she would be become, if you will, indisposed to the job of shabwajer henceforth.

In a permanent kind of way.

As she talked, she found a roundabout way to communicate that, while it would be a noble and fine act to, in a manner of speaking, point out the obvious, it would, unfortunately, most likely result in the termination of said pointee, and that, in point of fact, no shabwajer had ever come around to actually doing said very praiseworthy and courageous act. And, she further implored, in a calm and understated way, that the girl might think long and hard before committing to such an undertaking, the risks being so unambiguously unpleasant.

The young cadet wondered silently to herself if perhaps she hadn’t been a little hasty in her choice of profession and if she could still apply to her uncle’s dental practitioner school. After all, no one ever killed their dentist (or even their dental hygienist, or their dental hygienist’s assistant, or their dental hygienist’s secretary. Not that she had heard of at least).

But that was not to be. For reasons that were intangible to her even at this admittedly late stage in the game, she knew in her heart she was meant to be a shabwajer. Or at least, that she was not meant to be a dental practitioner. Teeth frightened her. Especially other people’s. Looking in the mirror each morning to brush her teeth was bad enough. She couldn’t imagine the horror of approaching an abscessed tooth or, heavens above, an impaction.

No, she would have to find a way to be content with her lot, no matter the strange and morally questionable duties (or lack of duties) that said post demanded (or did not demand). After all, the uniform was a large puffy duck down robe that kept even the janglewots at bay. It’s hard to argue with fashion on a world like Yupafon. And with a robe like that she could doss down anywhere. Comparing relative job perks, the gear to get some good sleep at a moment’s notice was high on her list. Some people had to go all the way home to sleep! Contemplate! Even before she acquired her ducky new costume, she would never have dreamed to go anywhere without her instamat and instapillow. But perhaps it was because of her coloring. She heard that paler races could go much longer without sleep, and even longer without sex – sometimes days. She couldn’t imagine!

Thinking of her delightful new bed-robe, a yawn overtook her. Her superior, with noticeable glee, interrupted herself midsentence and suggested they break off and head to the snugglecourt at the center square. Sighing, she consented. It would be rude not to, of course, even if she wasn’t being asked by her commanding officer. But she was genuinely tired and hoped she would at least get some sleep after the orgy was over. She was pretty sure that, near as it was to lunchbreak, the court would be well populated and it could be at least an hour before everyone was calmed down enough for it to be feasible for her to nap. Oh well, she thought. At least I will have a chance to make a good impression on my boss. No way better to butter up a superior than a good vagilick, her mom always said.

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