…but was urged by Gloria to let Omar be, which was a good decision considering Omar shortly returned with a small weirdly shaped ball in hand. The Prince enthusiastically guzzled an entire positivity potion save for a few drops, placing the empty bottle near the rocking penguins. The swirl of purple vapour from the rim of the bottle made some of the penguins tumble into a emotive dance piece and others sing to a gleeful faster pace.
The potion didn’t appear to work on Omar, whose blank expression caused him to fade into the background of his own merry occasion. I won’t comment on whether Omar was making a universe out of a planet but I do know that though he sat in his royal chair he wasn’t at his party for long. Distant eyes and thoughts of yonder clouded him, Omar yearned for a state of uncertainty and surprise. Challenges he could practise or even be forced to train towards and the feelings that danced with accomplishment. Oh yes, Omar would have swapped a limb to escape the monotony of the royal expectations he could readily meet. It’s not known whether he sufficiently understood the transformation of what he frequently proclaimed to want but away from his parents in the confines of his room Omar would regularly mutter about his frustration with great enthusiasm. Quietly disappointed and still with his unmoved face on, Omar bounced the ball he made from the surplus of stretchy hair ties in his mother’s miscellaneous storage chest. On the third bounce the ball hit the hard edge of the nearby steps and quickly took off ping-ponging around the hall. Omar ballistically sprang from his spot too as he walked amongst the crowd in search of his creation only stopping to spin an admirer, listen to an elder or shake hands with kingdom friends.
Meanwhile, through the mixed crowd the ball zipped and zagged both under and over the heads, arms and legs of different species. Each rebound only seemed to quicken the dance of the object in flight as it spun towards the grand cake. Jumping to improve his view, whilst appearing to enjoy the skill of the royal musicians Omar followed the ball with his eyes and his feet. Right before the ball was due to rocket through the tiers of the cake, it suddenly disappeared. Omar leaned forward in disbelief, relieved for the apparent miracle but still assessing his view of the odd event and hoping to get a glimpse of his creation. Ever closer to the cake and under the ruse of immersion in the atmosphere, he had not managed to locate the ball. Omar wearily sulked back to his royal chair with disappointment. It took Omar quite some time to make the lively ball, though he lost it in less time than a blink of…seconds.
The thundering clang!!! and grind of heavy metal joints marked the opening of the grand hall doors, from the distance of his seat Omar made out the shadow of a small hunched figure that transitioned into a larger slip of a person the closer they came. The royal guests gasped and parted instinctively to make way for the limping ol…other. As the white cloak came down off the figure’s head and granted the hall good view, the cloak flashed the coat of a big cat then turned black. I wondered whether it was a reversible coat…I mean Omar wondered of course. The room was flabbergasted by the presence of Moilinere with his awful walk and creaky horse voice, no one would have suspected that someone of five hundred and eighty years so he claimed could look so…so…visibly sprightly. Although it should also be told that before this moment no one had ever bothered to converse with the man in the white cloak, which was now made black for the occasion. The people of Jicotea were afraid of Moilinere since his appearance in the kingdom but not because of his previous posture and not so much the scratchy voice he usually kept but because he defied all boundaries of understanding regarding the relationship between white garments and mud on such herbaceous land. To them only masterful sorcery could explain how Moilinere managed to remain so impeccably clean in all the boiling, blistering and balmy climates the kingdom offered. As Moilinere casually strode ever closer to the Prince the crowd grew unanimously silent and the royal band noisily cut their play, vibrating pans still shook in an attempt to slow ding… ding… ding. Awkward. Gloria tidily drifted to the seat on the left of her son and George still part of the crowd extended a powerful hand that equally blocked and braced Moilinere’s chest.
‘That is far enough. What brings you here?’ George queried, his smooth vibrato echoed causing the glass objects in the room to shake and a tiny sliver of the antique chandelier to crack then descend to the floor. The nearby crowd jumped or flinched but mostly pretended not to notice anything it was not a new experience with their King and their cleaning team speedily disappeared as fast as they had appeared.
‘I am here for the Prince.’ A trail of opened mouths like domestic fish against a tank met the reply from Moilinere, the room waited for king George’s response as he dropped his hand.
‘I believe you may have missed the error with your plan.’ George calmly stepped back and walked to his chair right of Omar whilst gesturing to his rows of muscle that surfaced from within the crowd and others from everywhere but nowhere detectable. He too was cautious of Moilinere. The Moilinere appeared unfazed by the presence of the royal guards and revealed a flat but golden key in his outstretched left hand. He spoke only for the Prince and made no eye contact with anyone else,
‘I heard what you asked but could not bring it, four five nine one do not forget to flip it.’ The Moilinere fell silent after this utterance and remained in the same position until the Prince left his chair and took the card like golden key. He briefly inspected it once in his possession and when he looked up Moilinere was halfway across the hall. Omar called to him ‘Thank you’ and questioned what the key would open but Moinlinere only repeated his instructuons and left. Omar frowned mystified by the encounter, he was covertly comforted to look around and see that others including his parents where just as puzzled or weary by the Moilinere’s visit. The penguins shrugged and the tigers sunk to a lying position few paws covered their eyes (they also mentions that they would eat me if I included this part but I will take this risk to deliver the real story). The Prince regained the seat between his parents and his Father summoned the royal musicians to resume playing. Initial movements were tentative but eventually the attendees were ebullient and joyous again.
It was late at night when Omar was roused by the intermittent flash of light in his room, he covered his head with his royal sheets in quick protest to rising from his bed. However, he was no match for the heat conducted by his blankets and soon found it quite a feat to feel like he was still breathing. Omar relented and lowered the sheets from over his head and was blasted with the glare of light, he could have sworn that the source was brighter this time. Finally, sitting up in bed he noticed that the bright disturbance was coming from the same spot where he left the key from Moilinere. Omar attempted to dispose of key many times during his birthday jollification but largely to no avail, the Prince was forced to keep the key. Irrespective of how he tried to rid himself of the key, it would always return to him. He gently placed the key on the soil of a plant but it when he stood, the key was right there stuck to his fingers. Gloria asked her son whether he was feeling okay as Omar held a peculiar expression, sweat beads formed on his temples. Omar nodded and mimed that he was hot and needed a drink, which his Mother personally brought to him. He thanked his Mother, took a sip claiming to feel miraculously better. With the Queen satisfied with her son’s reasoning, she gave him space to enjoy himself and rejoined her husband who was making some interesting moves. A relieved Omar dropped the key into the drink and poured it down the room’s connection to the drainage system, upon discarding the cup he noted that the key was now fixed to the back of his hand. He danced through the mass of people with his hands up in the air feigning that he was completely invested in the music and contributing to the dance floor. The Prince drew closer to his destination still pulsing his hands in the air and busting moves, as others joined him and imitated his shapes.
Directly below the source of his intention, Omar held his hands up towards the suction port of the air conditioning system and the key flew away. This elicited a sigh of relief from him, only for the key to swiftly reappear on the tip of his nose. Omar quickly removed it hoping no one would notice and made his way to the other side of the hall, where he pushed open a window and pelted it outside. He watched with exuberant anticipation willing that to be the last action required, the key glided away then plummeted. The Prince was elated he really believed that the key had met its match, until an attendee complimented him on his artistic key shaped hair tie. Omar yanked the key from his hair and dropped it begrudgingly into his pocket, it remained there until the end of the night and the last guest had left. I know this because I saw Omar repeatedly checked this throughout the night. Initially he placed a hand inside his pocket but when the key stuck to his fingers and revealed its presence during a handshake with spiritual leader, he apologised profusely and resorted to tapping his pocket instead.
In the comfort of his room, Omar removed his blankets then his sheets and got out of bed. Pulling his nearby robe on, the key glowed brighter and brighter. The room was flooded with a squint inducing fluorescent rush. The Prince instinctively shielded his eyes to get closer to the key and with each step forward he was rewarded, as the key reduced its visual onslaught. Brief summary of the next scene; I have absolutely no reason that might explain why the Prince decided he needed to check what would happen if he walked back to bed again…twice sigh. When Omar finally grew bored of the back and forth illumination game with the key he marched over and picked it up, a strong gust of wind whipped around the Prince whoosh!!! The key proceeded to pull him with the strength of a hurricane out of his own bedroom window. I was grabbed mid air and placed inside the Prince’s robe pocket and during my first peek (that would last until we landed back on the ground) I saw the key’s light melt through the glass and make a boy sized hole that we could fit through. The same hole instantly repaired as if what I witnessed was merely imagined once we were clear of it, outside. Flying through the air, much like a bird only several beasts faster.
As we landed, I poked my head out of the robe pocket and saw that the key was guiding the Prince towards a dusty brown chest. The aged chest caused a murky grey cloud of dust to embrace the air and him to splutter on inhalation. I might have missed something else as I waited for the Prince to remove his shielding hand, when he finally did I quickly took another furtive look. The key tapped on the lock of the chest then secured itself to Omar’s fingers, he used the key to unlock the chest. It rattled mid air zipping round in circles and twists then hummed, coughing out colourful gases that sounded like expelled wind but thankfully without the unpleasant smell. The brown chest transformed into a steam elevator. A single short ring!!! produced an advance technology panel that was at least a century ahead of the elevator. The futuristic access pad showed no clear numbers but when Omar pressed a square on the pad a number appeared on the screen, the Prince figured out that the numbers were scrambled and did not ascend as would be expected. I half assumed it was a memory game until I noticed that Omar was stroking his finger tips across the access pad, the numbers had to be felt not read…my, my, my what a clever guy. The Prince entered 459 1 but it was denied probably because of the space between the last numbers right so he removed the offending numbers and tried again. He typed 4591 on his second go but this code was also denied so with last chance Omar closed his eyes for a few seconds and mumbled,
‘Something, something, something 4591 do not forget to…’ Just as I was about to get weirded out, his eyes flickered open with the look of realisation, the I have the answer and silly me look. The Prince entered 1954 this time and the elevator doors drew open, he curiously entered the elevator and the doors shut scarily close behind him. Any slower and it seemed likely that Omar would have become as thin and flat as the golden key. The noise made Omar jump but he quickly recovered to give the impression that he was unbothered, whilst he checked that I was okay. The elevator travelled slowly, ever so gradual that if it wasn’t for the eventual ding! marking each floor I would not have known that it was moving at all. By the third floor the Prince’s enthusiasm waned almost completely to be replaced by impatient tapping, lying down, and inevitable slumber. We woke to a strange voice; simultaneously echoey and close as if made from inside the elevator but when we glanced around no one was found. It pleased Omar to see the elevator’s seventh button lit up, it indicated that we had passed that floor. The Prince identified the voice,
‘Moilinere!!!…Where are you?’ He persisted to give the elevator another once over before the voice resumed.
‘Yes it is me but do not look for me, I will not take this journey with you. Prince Omar Fane of Jicotea you have asked for challenge and adventure so I have granted your heart’s desire, as my gift to you on your birthday.’ The Prince nodded pleased with his present and there was a remarkable yet slight tremor in the right corner of his lips but no smile became of it.
‘Should you meet this occasion you shall be a great ruler but…’ The Moilinere faltered and the pause made the Prince quite concerned. An expression that I had never witnessed before crept across his face then bloomed.
‘But what?!!’ Omar was very lively with his hand movements; they told of support for the sense of urgency in his speech. The Moilinere’s second period before speaking made the atmosphere worrisome for the Prince.
‘You must throw yourself into this task for should you fail to help the opportunity of change before you, then you will be unable to return to Jicotea.’ The Moilinere cleared his throat as Omar replied,
‘What do you mean unable to return…as in like never? I didn’t ask for this. Moilinere!!! This isn’t what I asked for…Moilinere what have you done?…Answer me!!!’ Omar futilely demanded…
Copyright Teherah Wheeler (©) 2017
Image by bridgemanart
If you missed part 1
All the best