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Ancient Past creative writing fiction poetry

Empress Tikki

Shxpir for Harper's Bazaar ChinaThe actuary’s gaunt face presented harshly against the hush of apprehension that gripped the room. The Empress veiled herself with a blank expression. When no one was looking, she released a slow eye roll.

Etiquette dictated that she not show scorn or deference. Today was particularly challenging. On the eve of expansion, the actuary stopped to raise a challenge. He had discovered two spots on a six inch map. The surveyors looked confused. But they quietly agreed that this was a democracy, and let him have his say.

Trailing off the table were yards of hemp scroll. Empress Tikki wanted to wrap it around his neck. “One more passage and then we’re whole, one last signing is the end I’m told…”

Shadowed by nervous ministers, the actuary started clearing his throat. The metallic timbre induced, in the Empress, a maddening primal scream. “Be impermanent in this please, do not drag it out another note…”

♫ Gffmh-gmffh gffmh-gmffmh gffmh-gmffh fhmm
hmmfh fmmgh fhmm hmmfh gffmh-hhhmm ♫

“Pray the deities, restore my soul,” muttered the Empress, “we are held hostage by a mating goat.” She flashed a smile to restore decorum. The actuary had until sunrise to interrogate the two moth stains.


Empress Tikki | SB

Photo credit: SHXPIR for Harper’s Bazaar China, 2014. Musical inspiration:  Habanera from Carmen by Georges Bizet.

By ΠιCΘLΣ

Life is short, so let’s be decent.

88 replies on “Empress Tikki”

Hahaha, how many of these have I suffered on a week to week basis?! Gah!
There have been a few when I have come dangerously close to dozing off, yawns unsuccessfully concealed by hands and dropped head. I cannot hold a poker face (and I am afflicted with involuntary eye rolls and eyebrow raises) so I worry my impatience is obvious – alas, it doesn’t hasten nor reduce the incessant questions.

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We have the same affliction. Usually, when I hear a colleague coughing, I hand them a lozenge. In this case, throat clearing is a nervous habit, a way to procrastinate. Now every time it happens, I have a reason to smile.

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This was delicious!! After I read the poem then looked at the picture the words “Are you kidding me?” immediately popped to mind. Oh how many times I’ve felt like this especially in the workplace but being cognizant of professionalism kept my real feelings at bay. Loved it!!

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Thank you so much for reading. Believe it or not, this feels like the last three minutes of my Tuesday afternoon meetings. Someone always starts the entire thing from the beginning by asking a question that was we spent the last meeting discussing. “Pay attention” or “keep up” are just not appropriate in a democratic regime so we start over just to humor this questioner. I always bring tea and notebooks so I can block out that part. That much I am thankful for.

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Hahaha been there, done that, there’s one in every bunch. The impatient part of me just doesn’t understand why this individual is lost but whadya gonna do. What’s really annoying is when the rest of the room feels the same way because you can feel the collective groan and the questioner persists when the rest of us are ready to leave.

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Oh believe me as I was reading your response I had dual feelings of uncontrollable laughter and rage as I thought about some of those uncomfortable seminars, meetings, trainings, etc. where the leader went to great lengths to ensure everyone understood and yet there’s that one special someone who raises their hand, and not once mind you, but again and again. And while I try my darndest to be patient and understanding after they’ve asked the same question three different ways honestly I’m about ready to lose my cookies. I am glad that I can at least play out these negative responses in my mind. 😉

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Thanks so much! I am glad you like her. She is an interesting package of protocol and feminine grace. Should pack a punch in the next story. I hope you’ll enjoy that one, too.

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You did the right thing. I will send you some prayers of protection, positive energy and healing. You’re an empath and absorb energy but you don’t have to absorb everything. Stay cleansed and healed in spirit. xo

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Hi SB, it was the father of my very close friend. He passed away last dec 27 and his funeral is today 1pm Philippine time.

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Thank you, I appreciate it. I took care of him and he’s a second father figure to me. He appeared 2x to me in vision thus the theme of my writing was for his son and daughter. I am still having goosebumps because the last time I had the same encounter was with my maternal grandfather when he passed away in 2007.

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Thank you for sharing this. I admire you for using your gift to share his words with your family. It is a scary thing to go through without someone physically there to ground you. You will be fine, just always pray for protection from any negative influences and you will do well. xo

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It was incorporated into the story after a thought or two. The parody poem came first, months ago, and I wasn’t going to publish it but this story needed embellishment and those lyrics worked with it. Thank you for reading, Jennifer.

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Maybe with my old female boss – she found me much more charming than my new male boss. I don’t think he’d approve.

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