- “You don’t have to eat it.”
- We’re going to make it look accidental.
- the site of an extraordinary event
- so soft and so elegant
- stern, judgmental, and bossy
Tune in next time part 86 Click Here for Earlier Installments
My second drugging in less than 12 hours brought back vivid memories of my wedding to Fleur. Her family made liberal use of narcotics and paralytics in all of their ceremonies.
You might think that the days of marriages arranged to strengthen political ties were long gone, but you would be wrong. During my mother’s second term as president she desired an ally amongst the stern, judgmental, and bossy warlords of Contraria, and so Fleur and I were forced to marry. I was assured that she would be so soft and so elegant, so unlike her father. I was lied to. Fleur was indeed elegant, but she was not soft. And while she did not resemble her father much physically, she was his protege in matters both political and temperamental.
I tried to convince Mother that my twin Jason would make a more appropriate groom, but she insisted that he had to be available to rap throughout the fortnight-long reception. And so for two long weeks the White House lawn and rose garden were the site of an extraordinary event, a bombastic celebration that resembled Burning Man more than a state wedding reception. Fleur and I exchanged our vows wearing only the floral headdresses of her people. Upon consummation of the marriage, our first Contrarian tribal question and answer session was broadcast on C-SPAN. Through the haze of drugs I overheard my mother and Fleur’s father plotting the bombing of Contraria’s eternal rival. “Don’t worry,” Mother assured the warlord. “We’re going to make it look accidental.”
Everyone knows how that worked out, of course.
And now, even after that debacle, and the sex scandal that killed my father and removed my mother from office in disgrace, I was still wed to Fleur, still subject to the violent traditions of her clan, still expected to produce an heir.
As the blowgun poison wore off I became aware again of the stuffy tent and the scratchy doily adhered to my groin. Fleur stood before me with a giant cicada pinched between two chopsticks. My punishment for getting my first question wrong.
“You don’t have to eat it.” My father-in-law fixed me with a smirk. “But the alternative is even worse.”
bonus points for using them in reverse order