The Regaler

Before the Identification had occurred, the province was in a state of nervous waiting. The previous Regaler Jesus XVI was in his ninety-fourth year and many believed he would pass on before his successor was found.

So when Jesus XVII, a twelve year old boy from Chi-Chi was identified and brought to the Capital, his journey through the city gates was not unlike that of a saviour, with streets lined with people and petals floating in the air.

Though still a boy, his first official action helped install a great sense of expectation to the people.

‘Cut down that Oak that stands outside my window, from the twigs make pens, and from the trunk make paper’, he had demanded.

This bode well with the people. Surely great wisdom will come of this they thought, and surely great Motives.

Motives we’re the drivers behind this society, they set the future direction, identified key aspects, and all citizens to greater and lesser extents would then spend the rest of their lives working to achieve these Motives, all for the betterment of the society.

Months passed and nothing was heard from the young Regaler, except his requests for food, water, pen and paper. He never once left his room; never once spoke except to make his requests, but still rumour filtered down to the people that his chambers we’re quickly filling with piles of paper covered entirely with his writings.

The people waited.

Now years passed. The office bearers gathered and discussed what they should do. Many believed there was nothing, it was unprecedented to approach the Regaler without being requested to do so, and it was definitely against all traditions to enquire as to their progress. But then again, no Regaler had gone ten years without issuing a single text let alone a Motive for society.

In the end it was decided the most senior officer would pay the Regaler a visit to ‘see how he was getting on’.

The longest part of the visit was his approach to the Regaler’s chambers, the meeting and subsequent retreat we’re achieved in far less time.

The officers knew they had to take some action, the lack of Motive was affecting their people’s morale, so publicly they made an announcement, the Regaler was producing one of the great feats of wisdom ever seen, while privately, they began the search for the next Regaler, Jesus XVIII.
The Regaler was eighty-seven when I was born, and I was eight when I was identified as the next Regaler.

For the uncommon amount of wisdom I possessed, being Identified scared me no end, let alone being the youngest Regaler in our entire history.

The expectation of the people was evident as I entered the Capital, the noise was deafening and the dappled sky carried the scent of roses. It was always a glorious occasion when a successor found, but my ascension carried a lot more weight then normal. For his eighty plus years as Regaler, Jesus XVII had used 23,002 pens and filled five chambers with over one million pages of writing. Yet not one text was released, not one Motive was passed down to the people. We we’re like a herd of sheep afraid to be the one to move, so none we’re then able to follow.

As I entered the Regaler’s chamber I was hit with a smell of mustiness and greeted by great piles of dust covered paper. I quietly walked the chambers, searching for Jesus XVII, avoiding the stacks until I finally found him lying in his bed. It was by his window, the sun was streaming in, highlighting the white of his hair and beard. Only serving to increase his wizened appearance and the trepidation I felt.

‘Great Regaler’, I started, quietly and as respectfully as I could.

He didn’t move or respond but I could see his pale blue eyes we’re fixed intently on the scene outside his window.

‘Great Regaler…I am Jesus XVIII’, then I waited.

Gradually he turned to look at me and with a voice not used to speaking said ‘Y…your ssso young’.

I at once felt embarrassed and lowered my eyes to the floor, but I knew my duty, knew what I must say to affirm my ascension.

‘Great Regaler..I request the benefit of your wisdom in this hour of my ascension, I request you spend your of your days passing your mind to me so I may continue the great work you have done’.

He continued to look at me, the words rehearsed, expected and then delivered poorly, they we’re having no effect on him. Then I said something that broke tradition and his lethargy.

‘And…and I re…request your first and only Motive for the people’. At this his eyes widened and he used his hands to sit up a little straighter, his bony shoulders nearly touching his big ears as he did so. My words we’re a great insult to the Regaler, I waited for the worst.

I was surprised and relieved when he laughed. ‘You are right to make this request young Regaler…I have sat here in my chambers and written and expounded great wisdom onto pages upon pages and none of it has been given to the people.’

His face then became serious and wizened and old again and he beckoned me closer with his hand. ‘I shall now give you what you ask one and only Motive’.

Now my stomach began to churn, I wondered if I should grab pen and paper, I wondered if this Motive, the result of a life long pursuit, would be given its due coming from the mouth of a boy. I held my breath as he again began to speak.

‘Over eighty years ago, as a twelve year old boy I demanded a great oak tree that stood outside this very window be cut down and made into pen and paper. The remains of this great tree lay piled and strewn around you now’.

And then he said his last words, the very last words he would ever say, until the day he died.

‘I want you to plant an oak outside my chamber window’.

The Regaler

Michael Douglass

Alexandria, Australia

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