heodore Semper Segnis, Royal Schedule Master and right-hand man to Emperor Null, loved to watch the lichens grow in the Planes of Gelu. With the title Royal Schedule Master, one would think that Theodore had better things to do, but Theodore worked in the same manner that the lichens grew, slowly, and watching the lichen grow was the perfect form of procrastination for Theodore.
Theodore worked and lived in the Province of Gelu, where could often be a line seen wandering from the Royal Castle all the way into the village square. The line would be full of peasants, farmers, smiths, and carpenters all waiting to talk to Royal Schedule Master Theodore Semper Segnis. A typical conversation with the Royal Servant of Clerical Affairs would sound like this; "I need to speak to Theodore, he has been put in charge of scheduling my shipment of lumber. It was supposed to arrive from the East Province nine days ago." - "I'm sorry sir, but the Royal Schedule Master Theodore is unable to speak to any of the townspeople today." The townspeople know that when Theodore can not be bothered, that he is out in the ice planes watching the lichens and putting off his work.
Now, a question might arise, one that a foreigner to the province might ask; "How much of the lives of the people of Gelu depend on a on the Royal Schedule?" While it is a known fact that Emperor Null is a persnickety fuss budget, who will only allow tasks in the village to be accomplished if they are scheduled prior to their onset. This means that any villager found doing unscheduled work or using building materials that arrived in town, from an unscheduled shipment, will be fined steeply or spend time in the Royal Castle's Dungeon.
Almost every task imaginable must be scheduled. Building a stable? Baling hay? Firing pots in the kiln? Requesting a shipment? It all must be scheduled and that schedule must be made by Theodore and none other. This is a real problem for the townsfolk of Gelu. Theodore does such little work and so rarely finishes the Royal Schedule, that most of the town looks like an unfinished mess. There are barns without doors and shops without floors. Seamstresses without needles, and knights without shields. There are rivers without bridges and houses without kitchens. Work is ever rarely finished.
One day, while Theodore was out in the ice planes, procrastinating, he heard a soft murmur emanating from the distance. "Theodore, a strong work ethic...." Theodore strained to hear the voice, but to no avail. He began to quickly move about, tilting his head in every last angle trying to find where the voice was coming from. "Theodore, a strong work ethic is the road to success and procrastination the road to failure." Theodore had moved closer to the voice, but was still unsure of the source. "Who is this calling my name?", Theodore proclaimed out loud as he continued to crane his neck left and right, looking for the source of the voice, when it suddenly spoke again, "It is I the Lichen of The Plane of Gelu, the one you are so fond of watching grow." Theodore could not believe his ears and thought to himself,"I must have put down one too many a flagon of mead the prior night and this some strange aftereffect." "No!" The voice interrupter, "This is not the aftereffect of a night of heavy mead downing. It is The Lichen of The Plane of Gelu who speaks." Theodre felt his heart beating faster and faster. he could feel it pulsing in his throat. "This is madness, you are a hallucination, a figment of my minds creation, this is how you read my thought and tomorrow you shall be naught." Theodore spoke this line out loud as he quivered in fear. Slowly, Theodore dropped to his knees and placed his head near the lichen, hoping to prove to himself that the voice had not actually been emanating from the lichen. Silence, Theodore's heart began to remove itself from his throat, when the voice thundered loudly in Theodore's ear, "Theodore, because of you the townspeople are suffering. Today you will eat a piece of my own, a piece of lichen that will cause your beard to grow. For every part of a minute that you procrastinate, from making the Royal Schedule, your beard will grow. Your beard will grow by one hundred and two times the rate of a normal man." Theodore froze, his heart now taking it's home in his throat again, waiting for the voice to speak again. Nothing. Theodore then exclaimed "I will never partake in you, hallucination!" and he sprang from his knees and ran frantically back toward the town. In an effort to calm himself Theodore repeated the phrase as he ran, "I will never partake, never partake, never part-uhhh!" Theodore slipped on a patch of ice and fell head long into the ground, his mouth agape. Theodore took a large gulp as he made an effort to get back on to his feet and at that he realized that his mouth was full of lichen that was growing on the floor of the plane. "No!" Theodore shouted, as he spit out a clump of lichen, "this cannot be." Still in a panic, Theodore continued to flee back to the town.
Once back in town, Theodore was greeted with the oddest of stares from the townspeople. He new he probably look a bit messy, from slipping into the lichen, but as he went to touch his face, he could feel something soft like. Theodore's beard had grown enough in length, just on the frantic run back to town, to where it could be gathered and pulled on.
Okay that's as far as I'm going with this one for now, although I probably won't finish this. I wrote this as I was procrastinating and it may not make the most sense.
Any critiques on the story are welcome. Specifically, critiques on proper tense and person. Thoughts on if the narrator maintains the proper narrator mode, if the dialogue is done correctly, spelling errors, boring parts, and any questions to where the story is supposed to go, please reply!
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