That same prompt from Challenge #00891-B160, but this time the FAQ is posted for the benefit of assassins, on an Overlord's (Evil or not, your choice) office/chambers. -- RecklessPrudence
[AN: That prompt read:
- Business hours are 9:00 to 5:30 - Please deposit last will and testament in box below - Knock and remove shoes before entering]
They said Lord Mavolo's temper was legendary, but this... innocent-looking little plaque... It made Goodie Dowser think twice about her petition. Well, it did for five seconds, at best.
She snatched a form off the secretary's desk and hastily wrote, All that which is mine shall goe to mine second daughter, as she will do better with it than I ever have. And then printed her name and signed in the blank.
Of course she made the holy sign when she slid the form into the slot. She needed any god who was paying attention, right now.
Goodie Dowser spent all of thirty seconds being afraid. Then she took in the deep pile carpets, the mahogany furniture, the gold accents and the pet peacock sitting haughtily on its golden, bejeweled perch. Then she got angry.
Lord Mavolo looked her up and down and said, "Let me guess. You don't like your taxes and you want your family to eat. Regularly."
"Up to you," she said. "It always is. Just keep in mind that starving peasants ain't goin' to push a plough. And dead peasants don't grow nothing."
He had a white cat. Of course he did. It was enormous and fluffy and seemed quite content to remain where it was and be petted for the remainder of its life. "You dare speak to me like this?"
"My life's already over by coming here to complain," she reasoned. "In for a penny, in for a pound, I reckon. If I'm going to die for what I say, I may as well speak my mind." Emboldened, flying high on adrenaline, Goodie Dowser did so. "And you, sir, ain't never broke a blister buryin' a child. Nor had to sweat for a field only to watch all of it go for soldiers. Nor had your last pig and your last chicken taken for taxes. Nor had to grind up gleanings and grass just to feed thems as still living! Nor had t' eat the rats and mice as is everywhere nowadays! Nor had to pick 'em out yer family ere ya bury 'em, nor keep the bloody things for stew!"
The peacock squawked and flew from its perch and onto some marble bust on an upper shelf. The bust wobbled dangerously for a moment, but settled.
"You say we need you," she screeched. Tears she didn't know she had filled her eyes and her vision. "Well I say without you, we had our children living, our chickens, our eggs, our fields and our pigs to ourselves! If we needed you, our lives would be better for it!"
"And how would you suggest I pay for your... pigs, chickens and fields?"
Goodie Dowser looked around his office. "You're surrounded by riches and you ask me that? You have gilded armour, jeweled swords, and a ruby-encrusted perch for that bird... and you ask me how you're going to pay." She summoned all her fury at him and roared, "LIVE LIKE A BLOODY PEASANT AND YOU'LL HAVE MONEY COMING OUT YOUR WALLS, YOU GREAT PILLOCK!"
The cat fled in a cloud of white hairs. The bodyguard flinched away from her. Even Lord Mavolo had forgotten to be angry and vengeful and shrank in his Corinthian leather chair.
He squeaked, "...if I do that, will you go away?"