The Emperor of Swag [Short Fiction]

This week I wrote a short story with the sole intention of making my 8-year old cousin laugh. The reaction from him on this one was lukewarm. He’s a hard guy to impress. But I’ll keep trying :P. As far as genre goes, consider this literary nonsense…


The Emperor of Swag by Imran Lorgat

Once upon a time, in a kingdom on an island far out in the middle of the sea, there lived a King who called himself, the Emperor of Swag. The Emperor of Swag loved to show off his Swag, even though no one other than him even knew what Swag meant. He would put diamonds on his shoes and wear gold-plated underwear and even insist on eating his spaghetti with a spoon, all in the name of Swag. When the Emperor’s advisors asked him why this ‘Swag’ was so important, he would simply reply ‘YOLO’ and leave his advisors even more confused than before. This would not have been a problem if the Emperor had been more careful with the kingdom’s wealth. But he would spend hundreds of thousands of the kingdom’s gold coins to buy the most frivolous and useless of devices. Battery-powered cheese graters, socks made out of bat wings, houses in the shape of onions; the more useless the item was, the more the Emperor was willing to pay for it.
     One day, the Emperor went too far. He spent half of the kingdom’s wealth to buy a marshmallow, the size of a tennis court, made of solid gold. When asked why he had done such a silly thing, he simply said that it was all the name of Swag. The advisors were devastated. And it is possible that they would have been even more devastated still if the Emperor had not tripped over a silver-plated ant later that evening and died.
     The kingdom was in an uproar after the Emperor’s death. Even though he had been a very silly king, he was much beloved by the people because of all the public holidays and the candy that he gave to them. In honour of his passing, July 4th was named National Swag Day and, on it, everyone was required to wear a baseball cap backwards and to wear sunglasses indoors. But the spread of Swag did not stop there. In memory of the king’s passing, many young citizens began to adopt Swag as a way of life. Suddenly, for no reason at all, men started wearing underpants on the outside of their trousers and women were wearing lipstick on their noses. The Swag epidemic spread rampantly throughout the kingdom. Soon young people were dropping out of school to pursue careers in Swaggery and even some professors at universities were dedicating their career to the understanding of Swaggo-science. In a very short time, Swag had taken over most of the kingdom and its effects were brutal. Because Swaggers, as they were called, only cared about looking as silly as possible and not about being intelligent or creative, very few people read books or painted pictures anymore. The only music that young people cared to listen to involved famous Swaggers singing about how having diamonds on their steering wheels made them more fashionable than everyone else. In short, the kingdom was facing disaster and its people were only becoming sillier by the day.
     And, of course, there was also the problem of the succession. The King, who had called himself Emperor, had died young and had never been married and, as a result, he had no sons who could rule the kingdom as his heir. Since he had no family either (because he had considered Swag more important than family), there really was no one to rule the kingdom in his place. This left the kingdom in a pickle and, combined with the effect of the Swag epidemic, the once prosperous land was quickly falling into stupidity and chaos. Even for lovers of Swag, this was considered a bad thing.
     And things continued to be bad, until that one fateful day when a Knight arose from the darkness to bring order to the kingdom. The Knight’s name was Sir Ivan Huckleberry Mufasa Cheeseburger-Chainz Swaggington-Daniels-the-Third Hubla. Unfortunately for Sir Ivan, his parents had been obsessed with the Swag movement and had given him such a silly name because they believed it embodied the concept of ‘YOLO’. Sir Ivan did not agree with this and simply went by Ivan to his close friends and tried to keep a straight face when he had to show people his Driver’s License. But other than his name, there was nothing silly about Sir Ivan. He was a hero’s hero and had first been knighted by the Emperor himself when he had helped get the Emperor’s favourite cat down from a tree. Sir Ivan was also an expert martial artist and a genius strategist. So skilled was he at strategy, that he could beat any of this friends at Monopoly in under 30 minutes. Although none of his friends could read so perhaps this was not the best frame of reference. But his achievements aside, Sir Ivan was also a noble and gentle soul and he was determined to bring order to the kingdom and end the plague of Swag that was spreading through the land. But how Sir Ivan fought against the dark tides and dared to change the fate of the kingdom is a tale for another time. Suffice to say that when Swag is involved, nothing can be simple…

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