The jester bowed before the king and queen. His coat, a tattered, borrowed thing, seemed unfit in the presence of royalty’s eminence. “I will sing you a traditional overtone song of my people.”
The jester pulled the bow across his khuuchir, and the two-stringed instrument wailed. The voices of the people came from his throat, some deep and worrisome while others were clear, melodic.
After the song finished, the king stood from his seat and clapped. “Excellent show!” He bent to look down on the jester.
The jester reached up and snatched the king’s gloried crown, then dashed away.
This was written for the March 28th Flash Fiction Challenge on the Carrot Ranch, where the prompt word was ’eminence.’
Now, many of you probably caught that this was a bit of a cheat. Most of this story is heavily borrowed from Don McLean’s American Pie, originally recorded and released in 1971.
When the jester sang for the king and queen
In a coat he borrowed from James Dean
And a voice that came from you and meOh and while the king was looking down
The jester stole his thorny crown
But what about the Mongolian part? Well, the lyrics of the American Pie song contained the line “And a voice that came from you and me,” which to me sounds a lot like Mongolian throat singing. Here’s my favorite Mongolian song, which you should check out:
So I placed my story in Mongolia. I hope that this mishmash of cultures wasn’t too much appropriation (I think I did it ok – I at least cited my sources!). I had a terrible time finding an image that represented Mongolia and looked royal (most free images were of horses, landscapes, or wolves, which can be very Mongolian but aren’t about people), so you get an antique Mongolian chess set.
Have an excellent day!