Oh, how I love Mad Mona. She’s just crazy enough to be fun. Last time I wrote about her she was in a spaghetti eating contest. Today she’s got some issues with her favorite royal robe. Here’s some flash fiction for your reading pleasure.
She squints her eyes down at the label, pressing her wire frame reading glasses into her nose, but it’s the grumble and huff that set me on edge. That shredded piece of cloth in her hand is all that’s left of her favorite queenly robe, and no matter how many times she’s told it won’t last another wash she refuses to let it go.
“Doyle, what is this word here?” She drapes the tattered thing across her arm and whips the tag into my face, inches from my nose, then swift as a skittering cat pulls it back, squinching enough to make it look like her eyes are closed.
I inwardly sigh as I realize she didn’t really expect an answer from me, but say, “I’m sure it’s just the basic washing instructions. Aren’t there any little pictures?”
Mad Mona . . . erm . . . I mean her Queenliness lowers her hand and looks at me over the top of her reading glasses with one eyebrow raised and her lips set in a pert line. “I’m not a ninny, Doyle.”
“Of course, Your Majesty.”
She holds it out to me again, but this time the mad monarch of Madonia released the precious rag into my grasp. I peer down at the tag, faded and smooth. “It says . . .” I squint. “It starts with a D.”
Queen Mona lets out a huff of annoyance, enough to harangue me after all our years as master and servant. “Hand it over, you blind fool.”
She’s called me worse. I hand it over without a second’s delay and wait for her to demand I read it again. I’m beginning to think I might need reading glasses as well. I watch her turn it this way and that, rub her thumb over the material as if she could wipe away the years of wear and tear, and then spit on it.
“Now try to read it, Doyle-ee-boily.”
I can’t help the inner cringe from showing on my face, but my dear Mad Mona just grins at me like she’s solved the riddle of life. With great reluctance and a little disgust, I reach out for the worthless piece of material and bring the slobbery tag near my nose.
The next thing I know, I hear a soft cackle and feel the slimy oozing goo of her spittle rubbing into the pores of my prematurely aging face and know this crazy kook of a queen will be the death of me yet. I open my mouth only to regret the move, gagging on the slippery saliva from my monarch’s mouth and scramble to push the offending tag away from my person.
Mad Mona falls back on a chair, laughing her head off, her hand pressed to her jiggling belly while I stand there, doing my best to wipe the disgusted look from my face just as much as the human generated goo that is also plastered there.
“Really, Majesty,” I say in the most chiding voice I can manage.
She’s stopped laughing, but the look on her face is delighted beyond reason by the simple act of her surprise attack. She gives a soft giggle and says, “Oh Doyle, you old fart. It was only a joke. Where’s your sense of humor, you big stick-in-the-mud?”
I try not to take offense at her words, but some days that’s easier said than done. Today is one of those days. “Majesty, would you just wear the nice new robe your daughter sent you from Pastarea?”
Mona sits forward quick as a flash and glares at me. I hold my breath, unsure what the mad woman will do or say.
“Never speak to me of Pastrea again! Those . . . those . . . uncouth, unsophisticated heathen chose Hinky Hanover–”
“Right. They chose that hinky Rutheford Hanover as winner instead of me. I clearly finished before him.” She sits back in a huff, the pout on her face a close match to the one the young Lord Thomas wore on his third birthday when his cake was light blue instead of dark blue.
“It was a close call, Majesty, but I do believe he did in fact swallow his noodles before you.”
“Leave it to you to side with the smelly man.”
“I don’t know what you could mean, Your Queenliness.”
“All you men are the same. Blind. Now, the tag says deee-terge, Doyle, so go deterge my robe before I deterge your brain.”
“Yes, Your Royalness. Right away,” I say to her majesty, Mad Mona of Madonia.
With tattered robe in hand, I hightail it from the throne room, sure I’ll have less trouble with the laundry than that ponderous woman any day of the week.