The Jester Emperor
by Shelton Bumgarner
One upon a time, there lived a well respected, but bored, emperor. He was widely respected by all in the land, but he had ruled a long time and was looking for a change. So he decided to let the people pick a new emperor who would rule at his pleasure and entertainment.
The campaign began for the new emperor. All across the land, different people ran for the office. One was a woman who was qualified, but dull. She was no fun. Meanwhile, the other was one of the emperor’s own court jesters. He was funny and made the masses laugh as he appealed for people’s votes. He attacked any and everyone. He would say bad words and his growing numbers of supporters were mean to anyone who disagreed with him. While the emperor began to grow alarmed at the race, he felt he was wise enough to keep control and he allowed the race to continue. The race ended and to everyone’s surprise, the jester won.
The Jester Emperor, as he was now known, quickly used every power he had to stir up the population. He attacked the old emperor with great abandon. Whenever he spoke from the imperial keep, and spoke to the masses below, he demanded he become emperor for life. He said it in such a funny way that no one knew if he was serious or not. It all happened so quickly that the old emperor didn’t know what to do.
Within a month, it all became very real. The masses charged the old emperor’s home and demanded he name the Jester Emperor his successor. The old emperor did so and as he did, the Jester Emperor changed into the imperial purple and looked down on the cowering old emperor.
“I guess no one’s joking now, huh,” the Jester Emperor cackled.