This blog contains material I wrote and posted on multiply.com between the years 2005 and 2011 only. It does not contain any new material. For newer writing, please check my main blog (Bill the Butcher).


Thursday, 11 October 2012

A Problem With Virginity

The king’s favourite unicorn was sick.

White as the driven snow, graceful as a swan, with a horn long as your arm and sharp as a needle, with legs slender and dainty as moonbeams, he was an awesome animal indeed. And he could run fast as the wind, fast as thought, fast as the meteor that streaked across the sky.

But the unicorn was sick.

His head was drooping, his breath hot and dry, his attitude one of extreme dejection. He wasn’t eating. He wilted in his stable.

And tomorrow was the day of the Unicorn Races!

What to do, what to do?

From across the seven seas kings and emperors, presidents and dictators, had sent their unicorns to the races. They were wonderful animals, all of them, but none was a patch on the king’s unicorn. But the king’s unicorn was ill, and if he could not race, there would be hell to pay, and more besides.

The Royal Veterinarian had shaken his head and pronounced himself baffled, and then gone and hanged himself; the king, in desperation, had ordered his personal Royal Physician to attend to the horse. That worthy, in a sweat of fear at the thought of the consequences of failure, had promptly packed his bags and left the country by the well-travelled smuggler’s route. The king, his own blood-pressure rising steadily, finally decided enough was enough.

“Fetch my Royal Magician!” he shouted.

Hardly had the last syllable left his mouth that the Royal Magician materialised in a flash of lurid orange light and a puff of smoke. The king clutched at his chest and reeled.

“Don’t do things like that!” he said when he had recovered. “You know I’ve high blood pressure.”

“Sorry, Your Majesty,” the Royal Magician said contritely, not quite managing to hide a grin. “What can I do for you? Is it that your lady wife has mislaid her jewels again? Or do you wish me to turn your white hair temporarily black for the races? But for that office the Royal Hairdresser would be more appropriate.”

“Shut up and listen.” The king, with a few brief words, explained the problem. “And now it’s up to you,” he said. “Succeed in this and I’ll cover you with gold. And if you don’t succeed...”

“If I don’t succeed, then what?” the magician said, chuckling, and vanished. A small black bat fluttered up to the ceiling.

“All right,” said the king, gritting the dentures the lately decapitated Royal Dentist had never managed to get to fit properly, “I can’t do anything to you if you fail. But you’d better succeed if you want my gold.”

“I could take it all anytime I wanted,” pointed out the magician, changing back from the bat. “But it’s an interesting problem. I shall have to examine him.” He vanished and reappeared in less than ten seconds. “Hmm, it is interesting. We shall have to work to get him fit. Maybe a drop of virgin’s blood...no, that won’t work.”

“Why not?” the king demanded. “we’ll fetch as much virgin’s blood as you want. Buckets full.”

“We already sacrificed most of the virgins in the kingdom to that dragon last year, the one your majesty had me summon from hell,” the Royal Magician pointed out.

“And those that were left, you deflowered yourself,” pointed out the queen, with a grim smile. “You left not a single one. You claimed it would make you healthy and wealthy and wise.” She shrugged. “I’m yet to see any evidence of it.”

“The moot point is, we don’t have any virgin’s blood,” the Royal Magician explained. “So we shall have to try something else.”

“You forgot the Royal Princess,” said the king. “Fetch her and get some blood from her. A syringe of it won’t hurt.”

“You know how faint she gets at the sight of blood,” the queen said.

“She can always cover her eyes,” said the king, and the Royal Princess, who was known in certain quarters as the Royal Bitch and in others as the Royal Slut, was fetched.

“Blood?” she squeaked. “It won’t work, besides. I’m no virgin.” She pointed. “Just ask him, and him, and him over there. And maybe him, as well, though I don’t remember if I screwed him or his twin brother.”

“What?” gasped the queen, and fainted.

“That’s no bother,” the king said. “I’m issuing a Royal Decree proclaiming you to be a virgin. There, problem solved.”

“One moment,” said the Royal Magician, and snapped his fingers. A syringe appeared in them. “I can assure you this is sterile,” he said, and drew a few drops of the Royal Princess’ blood. “Now let’s see if it works.” He conjured up a jar of green Gorgon milk. “I’m glad I had this in the lab,” he said, and mixed in the Royal blood. The milk smoked and turned purple. “Now to feed it to him,” he said and vanished. A moment later he appeared precipitately, with the mark of a unicorn hoof on the seat of his robes. “He doesn’t like the idea of drinking it,” he said, gasping.

“So what else have you got?” asked the king.

“We could try...” the Royal Magician frowned. “No, not that...we’re out of the other thing...wait.” He shrugged. “A real virgin’s blood it will have to be.”

“But where do we get any?” asked the king, in despair.

“We must call all the women we can find,” said the Royal Magician, “and ask them. Maybe one might be a virgin. You never know.”

So, a few hours later, a huge number of women were made to assemble and sit in the middle of the Royal Stadium and the king and his Royal Magician went to see them. “If any of you are virgins,” the king shouted, “stand up!”

Nothing happened. Nobody moved.

“That’s it,” said the king bitterly. “I’m done.”

“Don’t despair,” said the Royal Magician. But the king, muttering, had already walked away. “Again,” shouted the Royal Magician, “any virgins here?”

Slowly, a woman stood up at the back.

The next day the king’s unicorn was the fastest at the races, and won by several laps over the rest of the field, incredible as everyone had thought such a feat to be.

“How did you do that?” asked the king, in amazement. Because word had leaked out that the king’s unicorn was ill, the bookies had given it odds of a hundred to one against, and he had cleaned up big. “I thought we couldn’t find any virgins?”

“Look over there,” said the Royal Magician, and pointed. “There’s your virgin.”

“But that woman has a baby in her arms,” objected the king. “How can she be a virgin?”

“Come here,” said the magician. The woman with the baby came.

“Madam,” said the king, “you have a baby which, I see, you’ve lately been nursing. Can you tell me how you could possibly be a virgin?”

“But I’m not,” said the woman.

“But you stood up at the meeting last night, didn’t you?” the Royal magician prompted. “Why, sionce you aren’t a virgin?”

“My little daughter is four months old,” said the woman. “How can she stand up for herself?”


Copyright B Purkayastha 2009
 

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