Root Position - “Downsized” [Living Empires]

scene 1 by Layman Kingsford

“I’m afraid I have bad news for you. We’re letting you and your brothers go.”

Feryys leveled his bland gaze upon Bossman Bosttwik. “Go? You mean to top billing?” Feryys gave his black-painted nails a casual once over. “I dare say it’s about time we are recognized as this circus’s main attraction.”

“Can I throw him out now?” growled the gravel-deep voice of Molg who stood imposingly behind Bossman Bosttwik’s left shoulder with his massive green arms crossed over his equally massive chest.

Bossman Bosttwyk glanced with rolled eyes from the black-enshrouded elf seated in front of his desk up to the gargantuan ogre towering behind him. “No Molg, I sincerely hope it doesn’t come to that.”

“Who’s coming?” Molg grunted.

“You’re doing great, Molg. Just stand there and look threatening”

Molg let out a low rumble and crossed his arms in the opposite configuration and took a slightly wider stance.

Bossman Bosttwik took a slow and deep breath as he turned back to the elf. “I think you misunderstood me, Feryys. The other directors and I are relieving you three of employment with the Pink Triangle Circus.”

Feryys’s ruby eyes widened slightly with what Bossman Bosttwik assumed passed for excitement in the gloomy visage of the elf. “You mean you’re giving us a solo tour?” Ferrys then started rambling as if to people sitting to either side of him. “We’ll need entirely new choreography,” he said to his left. “And, of course, new costumes, shoes and a special new hat for Patryk,” he crowed quite loudly to his right then with a snap of his head and a flourish of his het-black hair. He then started speaking to his left again, but in a restrained whisper. “I’m thinking the two songs I wrote last night are pure rubbish but I might be able to salvage a stanza or two. Surely a trumpetous fanfare can be written for our introduction and Qwentyn will provide us with flashing light displays in every color of the rainbow....”

Bossman Bosttwik dipped his quill in the inkpot and started singing the paperwork stacked on his desk. He had long ago learned it was fruitless to try and get a word in when the crazy elf triplets got worked up in one of their verbal detonations. Even when it was just one of them alone.

Nearly five minutes passed before Bossman Bosttwik began to wonder if Feryys would actually suffocate from lack of inhaling during his elaborate plan-making diatribe. Molg appeared completely unaware that anything strange was transpiring in front of him. The hulking ogre stood there like a stone monolith.

“Who will be taking care of the circus’s books and accounting?” Feryys suddenly asked in a placid tone, jolting Bossman Bosttwik out of his reverie.

Bosttwik calmly put his quill down on top of the large stack of signed work orders. “I’m glad you asked, Feryys. Ever since you took over the bookkeeping the circus has had greater and greater financial difficulties.”

The elf placed his hand daintily upon his breast with a small gasp.

“Oh, we’re not accusing you of embezzlement,” Bosttwik was quick to add. “It’s just that we think it best for us to hire an outside professional to take care of that end of the business. It was not a good idea for us, and by us I mean my predecessor, to entrust such burdensome work to one of our own.”

“I am inclined to agree,” Feryys said. “Despite my sharp mind for numbers and my keen organization skills and my impeccable attention to detail I do think my talents are best dedicated on the stage.”

“Quite right.” Bossman Bosttwik agreed. Placating the triplets’ baffling ego-centrism was usually the quickest method to ending interactions with them. “I still think you’ve not understood me entirely. The Pink Triangle Circus will no longer be your employer. We are down-sizing the entertainment offerings we provide and you and your brothers are simply sad casualties of a drooping economy in these parts.”

“Right,” Feryys whispered slowly. He glanced sharply to the back corner of the tent pavilion. “So....we will be managing our own solo act. Fair enough. I can see you’ve been planning on unfettering us for quite some time Bossman Bastidge, and rightly so. Our talent shouldn’t be impeded by the needs of such a large ensemble as this circus and the spotlight should truly be placed upon us. We have clearly outgrown what this institution has to offer and we shall flourish as free agents!”

Feryys stood up so suddenly he knocked his stool over with a soft thump as it hit the throw rug covering the grassy floor. He turned side-on to the desk, sort of humped one shoulder higher than the other and delivered a bizarre stare with one raised eyebrow at Bossman Bosttwik. Molg shifted his stance to the balls of his feet.

“Bossman Batwing, I thank you for all that you and the Pink Triangle Circus have done for me and my brethren. We were raised from infancy in these tents, fed a fine diet of song and dance, and have been provided a fabulous life of entertaining masses of our adoring fans!” Feryys’ voice crescendoed. He stretched his arms high and wide to the vaulted peaks of the tent pavilion. “We embrace the new road you now show us. It is assuredly a path to greatness and uncalculated fame!” 

With a flourish of dark robe and cloak he spun on his heels and headed to the tent entrance never letting his proclamations waver. “There shall be no limits set for me and my brostras as we plum the world for the lost chords of harmony, the missing steps of mysterious dances and the unuttered words of mind-shattering dramas!”

The elf stepped through the entrance flaps as if the curtains of a great stage were rising for him and announced to whoever was outside, “The Crazy Elves from Earlier are going solo!”

The tent flaps dropped back into place cutting off the bright sunshine from outside and occluded the elf from sight and, blessedly, from sound due to the thick fabric. Bossman Bosttwik sighed. Never has firing someone felt so satisfying.

Without looking up from his papers he said to the ogre, “Molg, please follow Ferrys and his two brothers to make sure they leave the circus for good.”

“Yes, Bossman,” Molg grunted through his large protruding canines. He rolled his shoulders to shift his massive battle axe and harness on his back as he stomped out of the tent on his reverse-articulated legs.

Maybe that’ll take care of the other firing of the day, Bossman Bosttwik thought. Molg should take my instructions quite literally and if we’re lucky, we’ll never see him again either.

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