Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Bill, as per John’s orders, went to find Mischa and brought him immediately to John’s room, where John sat waiting for their arrival. They were going to plan tomorrow’s assassination. After Bill and Mischa entered the room, John walked over to the door and made sure it was locked before sitting down again.

“I’ve had about three minutes to think, and throughout the course of these three minutes, I came up with precisely three plans. My original plan was to challenge Claudius to a sword fight, but I shortly realized that I’ve never even looked at a sword before. My next was to kill Bill, but that wouldn’t kill Claudius, so we’ll keep that as a backup. My new plan is a clever spin-off of my first: to challenge Claudius to a duel but have one of you stab him in the back when he’s not looking. And by one of you, I mean Mischa,” explained John.

“I will do it, Comrade! You needn’t worry, because my specialty is back stabbing,” assured Mischa. “But how am I to get into position without anybody noticing?”

“That’s the beauty of the plan. We’ll need a diversion – and nobody’s better at creating diversions than Bill,” said John, to Bill’s delight.

“Really? You think so? Wow! Thanks John! That’s the first nice thing you’ve ever said about me!” piped the garbageman.

“And I’m willing to bet it’ll be the last,” muttered John. “The only problem is that I don’t know how to get Claudius to agree to such a battle. Any suggestions?”

“I have one, John,” said Jeannine, walking through the door and entering the room.

“You! How did you get through the door?” demanded John.

“Well, you locked the door, but you apparently forgot to close it,” she said. “Anyway, as I was saying, I have an idea. You are worried that Claudius won’t fight you, correct?”

“Right,” said John.

“You needn’t worry. I can make him fight you easily. All I have to do is convince him that killing you in public would be the perfect way to gain the respect of his subjects. He is a very proud man. If he has one tragic flaw, it’s hubris,” said Jeannine.

“Very well,” responded John, “it’s settled. You’ll convince Claudius to fight me, Bill will distract all of his guards, and Mischa will stab him in the back, thereby putting my father’s spirit to rest. Don’t drink that, Bill; it’s ear poison.”

“Oh, whoops,” said Bill, putting down the bottle.

They all retired to their separate rooms, preparing for the next day, completely unaware that Bob Clark was, in fact, listening to the entire conversation, hidden behind a refulgent yellow arras, just one of dozens located throughout the castle. Reluctant to spend money on surveillance equipment, Claudius had instead opted to have his men hide behind arrases and listen in on conversations.

“The woman is a traitor, is she not? Then she shall die, although she’s very hot,” said Bob to himself. “I must inform the monarch of their plan. If not, his reign will end as it began!”

John, however, heard every word, as Bob had neither kept his voice down nor checked to see whether John was asleep yet.

“What have we here?” he yelled loudly. “A spy!”

John sprang out of bed and, picking up a sword, thrust it into the arras, slaying Bob.

“Ow! Now I’m dying. Thanks a lot, asshole.”

“You’re welcome,” said John, sneering. “And tomorrow, your king shall meet the same fate!”

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