The venue: An undisclosed meeting room (well, undisclosed to the uninvited, that is!) in an out of the way specialist meeting complex somewhere in the country.
The time: Around now.
The room: Packed to the rafters with people from all walks of life.
At the front of the room is a large table, and sitting behind the table are seven illustrious figures, each sitting in ornate thrones. The centre throne is by far the largest, grandest, and most ornate. And the head of the committee is sitting on this thrown.
The meeting: An extraordinary gathering of the Epic Stories Commission, meeting for one purpose and one purpose only. To recruit.
Commissioner Prime (the one in the middle) stands to address the room.
“Storytellers, we have gathered from far and wide for this meeting. From all corners of the world we have travelled, each with our minds set on one thing, and one thing only… to introduce another to our number. Another character to fill the ranks, whose legend will spawn legends of its own… whose name will be known simply by looking at a colour… whose purpose will enrich the lives of many, many others.
“Somebody as legendary as the Headless Man, the Dandy, or the Girl. Yes… yes… a round of applause. Take a stand, all of you, and bow!”
Phyllis, sitting at the back of the room clicked the play button on the DVD player, and filled the room with harmonious choral singing.
The room settled, and Commissioner Prime raised his arms toward the audience.
“Let the first person to nominate approach the panel.”
He gestured to a small podium in front of the desk. Phyllis hit the stop button rather too quickly, and a muffled “sorry” could be heard from the back.
“Name yourself!” Commissioner Prime commanded.
“I am Aaron, representing the United Kingdom. I promote music on a daily basis, and know that I have the right person to fill the gap.”
“Name them!” Commissioner Prime commanded.
“Lulu.” Aaron said with conviction.
“Loo Loo!?!” Bellowed Commissioner Prime, with an over-exaggerated sense of Brian Blessed about him.
“Yes,” Aaron replied, “I was thinking that maybe we could do a remix, maybe incorporating a little dance with Boom Bang A Bang”
“Boom Bang A Bang!?!” Commissioner Prime almost choked on his bellowing.
Aaron was about to speak when he noticed the commissioner to Commissioner Prime’s left lean into him. After a muffled whisper, and a few blinks and glances, Commissioner Prime motioned Aaron over to him.
“One moment, gathered fellowship!” He announced. Aaron walked over to the desk, slightly confused.
Commissioner Prime whispered “Aaron, this is the ESC meeting, as you know, and as you are probably aware. The ESC as in the Epic Stories Commission… we seem to think that you need to be next door in the other ESC meeting, for the Eurovision Song Contest. We commented earlier that there may be confusion due to the doors being labelled ESC, but we surmised that folk would know to attend the right meeting.”
Phyllis played more choral music as the audience watched first the mutterings and then Aaron sheepishly leave the room.
“Now then, gathered storytellers,” Bellowed Commissioner Prime again. “Can we have a first to nominate a new Epic Character?”
A man walked to the podium. Phyllis pressed play.
“I am Stanley.” He announced, over-confidently. “I think we should explore Saturn next.”
“Saturn. Yes.” Bellowed Commissioner Prime. “Traditional characters.” He went on.
“No, the planet” Stanley replied.
Phyllis shut the music off. She read the signs correctly.
The commissioner at the far right pointed to the door and gestured two doors along… where the European Space Consortium were having their annual conference.
“This is the meeting of the Epic Stories Commission, where we are looking for legendary characters to become part of everyday life.” Commissioner Prime felt the need to explain. “Coincidentally, the Eurovision Song Contest and the European Space Consortium are hosting their meetings in this same venue. If you’re here for space or songs, you’re in the wrong room.”
Phyllis played dramatic classical music as those who’d been mis-directed left the room.
“Welcome, storytellers.” Bellowed Commissioner Prime to those who remained, “Will the first to nominate please approach the panel.”
“Howdy y’all!” Exclaimed the man in the Stetson, “I’m Walpole E. Epstein, and boy do I have a character for you!”
Phyllis ramped up the drums. She’d met Walpole before… and knew a good cliff-hanger when she saw one.
Epic tales never fit into one post… why on Earth should this one?
At some point in the future… but hey! Walpole’s back!!!
This is my response to Sideview’s Weekend Theme this week, which, coincidentally, is the picture featured in this post at the beginning. And Walpole’s back. Who does he think he is?
Is he a character from an epic tale?
Believe you me when I say I hope so…