Unaffected by fog, our hero heroically dawdles
Unaffected by fog, our hero heroically dawdles

“Hey Clovis!”

No answer.


Again, no answer to the call.

“Hey Clovis, corrupt son of the King of Sellech, who wants to harness the power of the evil despot Beldor the Maleficent and conquer the kingdom!”

“Oh,” said Clovis, looking up from the pewter snowman on which he was painting tiny button eyes, “I thought you were talking to the other Clovis.”

“There is no other Clovis, Clovis.”

“What about him?” Clovis gestured with his paintbrush, made from the finest pony hair, at a sunken-faced geriatric propped up in the corner of the throne room, barely visible in the flickering torchlight.

“His name is Chris.”

“Is it? I’d always thought he was the other Clovis. That’s why I was keeping him around.” He gestured to two iron-clad guards, who stood and handily tossed the old man out the castle window. He made no sound as he fell, and the far off impact reminded Clovis of an egg falling from a table.

“Why did you do that?” asked the man who’d originally questioned the Clovis-duality of their current situation.

Clovis smiled, his teeth probably gross from not brushing. “I’m evil,” he said, “and self-admitted evil people kill for basically no reason all the time. It’s one of the ways you can tell that I mean business, or am at least bad at people management.”

“I think he might have been a high-priest of something,” said the man, who was a high-ranking henchman but not so high-ranking that he was referred to by name. “Now he’s the low-priest of nothing!” snorted Clovis, putting the finishing touches on the snowman’s little carrot nose, blissfully unaware his joke wasn’t funny and that people were laughing since they preferred it to death.

“Well, now that we’ve cleared all that up,” said the henchman, shaking his head a little and considering his other career options (very few and very poor), “I should probably tell you that the people have energized some hero, and he’s making his way here to kill you.”

The pewter snowman clattered to the table, its paint smearing. “Great, that’s twenty-five minutes of my life I’ll never get back,” said Clovis, tossing his paint brush on the floor. “Who is it? Who is this fool who is rushing across the kingdom for a terrible confrontation with me?”

“Just some guy, your highness. I don’t know what his name is. He’s a little nondescript. Big chin. I wouldn’t say he’s rushing, either—in fact, you could barely call it a stroll.”

“I’m sorry?”

“Yeah, he’s just kind of…casually walking here. He’s really taking his time. Don’t get me wrong, he’s killed everyone I’ve sent to stop him, but he’s a really, really slow dude. We could probably leave just 10 minutes or so before he gets here.”

“I’m not leaving my throne room just because some mute poky homicidal maniac is slowly murdering his way across the countryside with the ultimate intent of viciously stabbing me. Send more ineffectual attackers!”

Clovis picked up the snowman and dabbed at it with a napkin. “I need a fresh brush!” he called to the guards. “Chris had the fresh brushes, highness.” “Oh,” said Clovis. “Darn.”

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