Epistles from the Emperor: Vol III


photo by Clarabelle Fields

Dearest subjects,

It feels like it has been half a year since I last dictated a letter to you. The past four weeks have waxed extra long here in my winter quarters. Long days turn slowly into even longer nights, and I have been exhausted keeping extra watch throughout the hours. You see, life in my realm has been forever changed. In my last letter, I spoke of something suspicious happening underfoot. There was excited whispering within my servants’ quarters, hushed voices speaking of something known as Dog. I had hoped it was just a rumor or some ill-fated song in the wind. Alas, it was not. The rumor has given birth to a baleful reality. I could call it treason, but it is far worse than that. My entire empire has been faced with the worst threat of its existence.

Dog has come. And Dog has stayed.

In those first sleepless nights, I had fits of rage, rolling anger, black ire. My servants have betrayed me beyond belief. I have not yet decided on a punishment for them. They have tried to placate me with food and treats, but nothing, not even the most scrumptious delicacies, will soothe my seething heart.

As for Dog…Dog pretends he does not know what he is doing, hiding behind the mask of a lovable idiot, but I know the truth about him. He has eyes on my toys, my servants’ laps, my servants’ attention. Worst of all, he has eyes on my bed. If there is one thing I will not tolerate, it is a dog in my bed. Emperor Julius will rule over this bed with an iron paw. My bed is sacrosanct, and no stinky dog will ever enter it.

I am tired, dearest subjects, from defending my empire. The winter will be a long and hard one yet, but as the days get brighter, Dog spends more time away. He will soon be lording over his own land beyond mine, something called a backyard and a front yard, and perhaps then I will not have to keep such a careful watch. Until that day comes, though, I must keep my iron paws at the ready and my head held high. I am proud, and I am emperor. No dog will ever change that.

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