A Modern Fable

by Joseph Grant

Once upon a now, there was an emperor who dressed himself in many fine, multicolored, multilayered truths and waged a War on Error, as he chose to believe the flawed information spoon-fed to him by his courtiers but once slowly digested, it fit in with his own starving agenda, however ideologically mutated and evolved, but he did not believe in such things anyway, so he mindlessly went along with it, sort of like FDR invading, say, South America for the attack on Pearl Harbor. No matter what some people said or did, the war continued and if they spoke out against the Emperor’s war, they were branded “bad people” or what was called, say it with me, children, “un-pa-tri-o-tic” and had their taxes audited and conversations listened to and we all know it’s bad to listen to other people’s conversations, don’t we, children... and the laws of the land were redacted to fit the Emperor’s forever ebbing and surging contingency plans. There was an Evil Dragon that the Emperor kept extremely well-fed and highly prized and this Dragon was bathed in Oil daily to keep its scales shiny and new-looking just like the Emperor’s coat of many convenient truths and he was told that this Dragon was his magical friend and would keep all other enemies at bay while he fought his irrelevant war. Though the infrastructure of this once enchanted land was crumbling, bridges collapsing, damned dams breaking and flooding cities of this kingdom, currency at an almost all-time low and the serfs of the kingdom sometimes having to work all day and night without benefits and none for their children too, who were left behind anyway, the war machines were kept alive to keep the Dragon of Oil well-fed so the War on Error could continue in a place where the real patriotic young men and women were sent to fight and sometimes never return. Over time, the fancy truths in which the Emperor had clothed himself had all worn away threadbare and to this day still, he stands naked to the fact that to his subjects he no longer wears such elaborately woven golden threads in his Kingdom of Idiocy. Good night, children, sleep soundly if you can.


Joseph Grant, whose full catalog is here, has been published in over 55 literary reviews and e-zines, such as Byline, New Authors Journal, Howling Moon Press, Hack Writers, New Online Review, Indite Circle and Cerebral Catalyst.


Emily said...

keep telling the truth if no one else will

Adam J. Whitlatch said...

I've been referring to him as "The Emperor" for years. You wrote exactly what's on my mind.

Well done, my friend. But watch out for The Man.

The Man said...

Too late. I'm already planning my revenge.

austere said...


Madam Z said...

I'd like to feed the Emperor to the "Evil Dragon." Then I'd use the Dragon to plug the hole in one of the "damned dams breaking." I might have to work "all day and night," but just think of the great "benefits!"

We'd make a "fabulous" team, Joe.