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Idiot Savant

The silver-spooned scion took his birthright lightly. Life was nothing but a game to him, at least until the magistrate made him put down the drinking cup and take up religion. Papa’s pull got him a safe place during the Endless War - still, he disappeared for months without proper leave, protected by a writ bearing Papa’s seal. Papa’s silver got the young lord important jobs - he bungled them. When Papa got him started in the family business, he bankrupted it.

Suddenly chosen over his smarter brother to be given the reins of ultimate power, he strode to the golden throne. Many among the peasantry thought him a fool. They expected the worst of this man. The new king waited for Papa’s old mates and cronies to guide him. His blunders, influenced by the whisperers behind the throne, led the kingdom to ruin. Seven years of non-stop disaster, torn by violence and strife around the world.

Then he tried to redeem himself with a single act. After years of sending his knights into war, he traveled around the world to ask two ancient enemies for an impossible peace. It failed like everything else he’d done, but unlike everything else he’d ever done, the fundamental idea was brilliant.

Everyone’s opinions changed. The civilized world buzzed with questions. Had they all been wrong? Could he be an idiot savant? Or was he just a garden variety idiot?

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Story by:

Bill Kowalski

submitted at 6:07pm

13 May 2009