The Complication

The foundation of invention suppers the twelve powerful men, not including the host Lìaku. All rulers of a capital land, rather grand all in all. As the crisply cooked hog is brought from the kitchen served upon a platter the other servants offer prized wines to the the rest of the dining halls guests. Christophé, Kalou, Montíqué, Táora and Vatera gulp their wonderfully aged refreshment whilst the rest stay to their proud home brew ‘Eaglesbeak’. Nothing to do of course with an Eagles beak, it was to be that his father once drank so much of it during its experimental phase that he had woken everyone in the castle, by swooping and making eagle noises outside the sleeping chambers and compartments. Eventually a guard found his Royal calamity in a nest of twigs, straw and barn animals snuggling in the middle of the courtyard. There are extra helpings of everything from goose fat, steamed greens, crackling skin, pigs blood and spleen. Amidst the conjugation of rustling plates forks and stakes invested in survival, the host stands, gesturing for a quiet audience.

“Thank-you Brothers, for meeting at my castle on such short notice, there are matters to attend to after dinner. So, eat up you rascally scalawags because there is plenty to discuss.”

After a succession of playful horas and roars the only sound to fill the room was cutlery and general camaraderie. The tables competitive and boisterous ambiance pursued with old recollections of War, women and bountiful spoils. Their superior attention to detail hooked them into each story as if they were there with them. Líaku did not want to derail the flowing anecdotal conversation, deciding to ignore the innate permission to speak. Extravagant normality ensued further and continued for the duration of the activity. After dinner was done, and the stories of older warriors exhausted, they retired to the drawing room for a selection of Persian whiskies. Twelve chairs spaced into a council, they all sit, in size order of their realm. Some smoke through elegant pipes, some hefty, some chew and some prefer to object. Líaku enters the inner circle and utters confidently.

“I know. I know what one of you plans to do to me. You must think the less I know the better. I know. I know one of you plans to betray me. I know. I know it is one of you. I know. So who is it going to be huh? There’s only eleven antidotes!-“

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