A Puppet Governor

And so I continued my journey through the land of dreams, and as I dreamt I saw a queen in the mountains.  She held herself high and straight; in her voice was elegance, and force.  A cunning diplomat, and a powerful sorceress.  And as I travelled through her realm I heard her voice on the chill winds, summoning her people to her side, and beckoning the rest to follow her as well.  She spoke of a time of glory long past, and a time coming soon when glory would be theirs again.  She spoke of rebirth, and renewal.  And I was for a moment entranced.

But then I continued to listen.  She began to speak using words I did not understand.  She spoke the names of strange creatures, strange places, and strange kingdoms, which I had never before heard, and she spoke of them as if I knew what significance they held.  Her rhetoric was awash with this presumptuous foreign language, and I became lost.

And as I stumbled and fell, I saw from my place in the dirt another vision.  I saw that the enigmatic names within her speech were wielded like a sword, meant to intimidate; like a wand, meant to ensorcell.  I saw the weak-willed masses fall by that sword and follow her, as it swung over my head.  And as I lay there in the dust, forgotten, as she gathered her people to her and turned to enter her palace, I saw that she was but a shell of a queen.

Her words could have meant something, if only they were more than just words; meant to inspire those who hear but do not listen.  I wanted to believe her, follow her, worship her.  She was beautiful, and graceful, and exotic, and I loved her.  But there was nothing for me to love within that lithe dress and quiet feet that seemed to hover above the ground.  She was only a dress, only words.  Long words, heavy words, words meant to crush my spirit with their mere presence.  But empty words all the same.  And I hated her more than I loved her because of it.

And so I walked away from the kingdom in the mountains, and continued to dream.


7 thoughts on “A Puppet Governor

  1. This is fantastic, and I love the flow of the words. I can understand how the author feels, as I have witnessed such scenes myself, and been in such situations. You are a great writer.

    • Thanks much for the compliment; I’m glad you enjoyed it. I wish I had more time to devote to fleshing out my actual prose and stories, but it’s good to know that people like you are finding worth in my little things too.

      I’ve seen this happen far too often, mostly in fantasy fiction, and I’ve never liked it, but until yesterday I never really realized what I found wrong with it. It’s this presumption the author has that I go in caring about the things they’re putting in my face; that hearing about King Memphendian and the Azure Knights of the Frostglaive instantly makes me interested in knowing more, because look, they’re capitalized, so they’re proper nouns and they must be good! But I don’t care. Not because I’m a bitter pessimist living in a no-fun zone, but because I literally have no idea what they’re talking about. I don’t know what’s important, and at what level of importance it is; I’m a blank slate with no opinion and no foreknowledge. An author could tell me, “The Azure Knights of the Frostglaive are much stronger than Haezon’s Grand Phoenixes,” but that’s not what makes me care about them. What makes me care is hearing characters discuss how afraid they are of the Azure Knights, viewing the social differences between the two squadrons, or seeing the Phoenixes experience a crushing defeat against the Knights. Perspective. Immersion. Give me proper nouns while I’m immersed, and I’ll eat them up, because now the world I’m immersed in is being fleshed out. But give me too many proper nouns before I’m immersed, and you only build a wall I don’t see why I should climb, and on top of that you appear pretentious for assuming that your proper nouns are inherently important. And if proper nouns are all you’ve got, then you’ve got nothing if I’m not enamored by them.

      • That’s an excellent point, and I think I will actually try and learn from that. It will certainly make me re-evaluate my own writing, especially since I am currently writing a story on my own blog, which probably has too many proper nouns. . . However, the real story I am working on, that is my pride and joy, doesn’t have that, and I am very pleased with how it is turning out. Thanks for the advice, even if it wasn’t intended as advice, I am still going to be able to learn from it.

      • I don’t mind at all. I get something out of writing just by putting my scrambled thoughts onto a page where they won’t fly away, and it makes me smile when somebody else gets something out of them beyond that. If you feel that others will get something out of it as well, then by all means. Just give credit where credit is due.

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