“I, Ex-Queen of the Orient Am” by Catherine Nicholson, Paris

Change July 14, 2011 00:32

topic: CHANGE medium: TEXT

as shared at a PenTales event themed “Royalty”

Listen to the Story!

I should have known it would end like this. Him: world famous; me: unknown, forgotten… well, whatever. Que sera sera. I just want to have my side of the story told, draw a line I suppose.
He always was a social climber you see, even before we got married he was always wanting to talk to the right people, be seen in the right places. Because you know, he may have been a king, but not like the big names,
Herod and whatnot.
My Melchior was more the leader of a little principality really, I never minded, but after we were married he got worse. Always heading off to some awful party at the other palaces, it was embarrassing to see him there, laughing atthese rubbish jokes told by these spotty little teenage princes. To be honest it was a relief when I had the babbies.Gave me an excuse to stop at home you know.
Then that fateful day came. Of course I didn’t know it was fateful at the time, but that’s what they say isn’t it. Fateful. Bit dramatic.

I was there in the courtyard, having a nice mint tea with my ladies in waiting. And he comes up to me with this right funny look on his face, and he starts rabbiting on about going off on holiday. Well, I’d quite fancy a holiday, I thought. Somewhere occidental maybe, I’d never seen the West. Greece perhaps? But I should have known – I wasn’t
included in his plan. It sounded like some overgrown schoolboy antics to me. Him and his mates Caspar and Balthasar were going to take the camels and go off to some hill town in blimming Judah to see some baby. The mind
Well at first I thought he’d been inhaling too much insence. But turns out he was serious. He reckoned this new king was going to be born there, Bethlehem he said. And Melchior being Melchior, he wanted to get in first with
the mum and dad. The best bit was, and yes I do mean that sarcastically, the best bit was, he wanted me to go and get a present for this baby, of some people we didn’t even know. Of course I couldn’t stop him heading off but I did try to reason with him over the gift. I thought, a nice jeweled rattle, you know, decorative. Or even… some lovely embroidered cloth, you can never have enough bedding for a little one I said.
But no, his mind was made up, and off I went like an idiot with my servant Mariam, to get her to hack a bit of myrrh out of the nearest commiphora tree. Well you can see why I left him. Myrrh, for a baby? Bit morbid. You know that’s what we used for embalming back then don’t you? And I was the local laughing stock when they all heard about his little expedition to this Bethlehem place. Nobody dared say it to my face, but they all reckoned the three of them were off for some quality time with their fancy women. Embarrassing. So, before you ask, I don’t regret packing my bags and going back to my mother’s. Of course I know now that it made his name, got him into that Bible, little figures of him made, his picture on those Christmas cards of yours and all that. But I was always more for the quiet life really. I still cringe to think about that blimming myrrh, but the only real regret I have is that he got a song written about him. He wasn’t even musical! Well, here’s my version.
I, ex-queen of Orient am.
He bore gifts, and I pushed the pram.
He saw fountains, moors and mountains.
But you know what? I don’t give a damn.

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