There once was a prince. He would have never got to rule the kingdom since there were too many princes between him and the throne. But that did not bother him much. He wanted to rule the hearts and imaginations of the people of his clan. In these days of electronic media, that was far better a franchise than just sitting on a throne. Even that was not an original idea; a certain princess of an island nation had aspired to and become the “Princess of Hearts” until she died when her car crashed in a tunnel. That princess was beautiful, so it was easy for her.
But he was a tribesman, not too hot in the looks department. Becoming Prince of Hearts was not exactly his cup of tea. So he decided to do something different. He sought to destroy egos. That would hurt and that would leave a lasting impression. It would be his legacy.
So he took looked around for a soft target, among the land of unbelievers. He zeroed on a nation that was egotistical, overfed and pompous. The infidel ruler of the nation, who people called Potus was so full of shit. He kept talking about national pride and convinced his people that his nation was untouchable. The prince gathered around him some tribesmen who were restless.
“I am bored” they complained.
“You wanna do something fun? It’s risky and can cost you your life?” he asked.
“Yeah, why not?” said some of them. Others dropped out. They weren’t that bored!
So he got them to fly planes into the totemic symbols of the proud nation’s pride.
Citizens died in the crash, the proud nation wept.
The prince became famous. He, like Gabbar Singh, became the monster mothers scared their kids with if they did not drink their milk or sleep at bed time.
The proud nation peed in its pants, just like Golaith’s supporters when David took him down with a slingshot. It realized that it was not untouchable. It also realized that other countries hated it. The nation did not like that. It dethroned its ruler and crowned another Potus.
This Potus knew that he needed to stop posturing and prove a point. He had to kill monsters. Like all corporate honchos, he had to show results.
He befriended other rulers, some of them simply so that he gained knowledge about where these monsters lived. Meanwhile whispers maligned this Potus too. Some thought he was weak, others thought he was soft. Still others distrusted him. He got worried, he could get dethroned like the last Potus and become a joke on late night talk shows. His wife and daughters would not like that!
He consulted his trusted aide, a sorceress with more ice in her veins than blood. She went online with her crystal ball.
“King, here you are in trouble, and the monster that destroyed our totem pole was found living a cushy retired life with his youngest wife”
“So what do you suggest Sorceress?”
“This monster destroyed your slanderers loved ones. He killed them. He destroyed our pride. If you kill him, Potus, all will be forgiven.”
“So what’s the problem? Kill him!”
The sorceress said, “Potus, please sit down. You are not going to like this!”
“Tell me!” he said, unable to sit down because of anxiety.
“We already have him dead. We just did not tell people.”
“What with Wikileaks and the unstable economy, there just wasn’t the right time.”
Potus peered into the crystal ball. All he could see was grey images. “Why doesn’t Google color them?” he grumbled.
“We don’t own Google, Potus. And stop grumbling. There is more!”
He sighed and said “Tell me!”
“Thing is, we did not kill him. He got irritable, living in seclusion for so long. His tribesmen and sons were also having a bad case of cabin fever. There was a shoot out and they killed each other. We can’t claim the glory”
“Damn! Now what do we do?”
“The monster was given shelter by our vassal nation. You need to threaten the vassal nation with retribution and allow them to let us fly by the monster’s castle and create a huge noise. They will agree”
“How dare they shelter our enemies!”
“Never mind that, we can squash them like a bug. They’re already scared and will agree to sell their mothers right now”
Potus smiled, understanding what the sorceress was saying. “You must have been a good queen to your Potus, sorceress”
“Thank you Potus. Yes I was, but he always played around and got caught with his pants down eventually”
So on a fateful Sunday, when the nation woke up, they got the news that the monster had been killed. Doctored gory pictures of the monster were shown to the nation that danced and celebrated. His decomposed body was thrown into the sea to avoid any controversies.
The tribesmen mourned their prince, who had hurt the proud nation and brought it down to its infidel knees.
But a strange thing happened. The Potus and the Prince both had similar names, with just a letter that was different. To some, they both appeared similar. Both had taken steps to kill, maim and destroy to keep their name shining. Both had crossed lines to destroy pride of the other. One’s motive was controversial; the other’s method gave rise to conspiracy theories.
They say the monster is dead. Really? Which monster?