1527 c/o Catherine Maskell


Huáscar is slumped in his Luxury Executive Oak & Leather Office Throne. His chin hangs heavily on his solid gold chest plate. It feels refreshingly cold for the first few seconds of contact but his days-old-stubble stabs back into the tip of his chin like one hundred tiny enemy daggers.

"Everyone thinks I'm an asshole"

He slides his thumb and his forefinger over his eyelids and holds the top of his nose for a moment. The heavy gold man-bangles adorning his wrist jangle downwards towards his elbow like quivering peasants.

Huáscar thinks to himself "I am an asshole"

He repeatedly clicks the left mouse button with his giant right forefinger and jiggles it around the desk, quickly in a roughly circular motion. The computer mouse looks like a small toy version of a computer mouse beneath his big wretched, wrinkled hand.

There is still mud and blood caked under his overgrown fingernails from last week's battle.

Huáscar receives daily pep-talks via e-mail.

He has arranged this with his assistant so he will receive an e-mail a day every morning with an inspirational thought for the day.

This morning's is:

Pain is temporary. Glory is forever.

He also receives a word of the day from dictionary.com but this hasn't arrived yet.

Pain is temporary. Glory is forever.

"Ah too true" he says out loud, as he nods solemnly to nobody and reaches for the cup of black coffee.

He takes a sip, places the mug deliberately back on the table and stands up. He continues to speak aloud, projecting into the empty room, whilst purposefully pacing back and forth behind his desk.

"Only the strong can be truly glorious. And I am glorious and mighty like the sun. I suppose all anyone can really hope to do is follow in my path and bathe in some of my reflected glory. I am the chosen one."

The gold framed photograph of he and his half brother on summer vacation catches his eye. They are 10 and 12 years old respectively and share the same toothy grin. Behind them a strong river rushes along. It is the dry season but the river is high and it's current is strong.

Huáscar stops the reminiscence in mid flow.

"No. I am the chosen one. My brother is an idiot. Probably, the biggest idiot of them all. His wife is an idiot, and an ugly one at that... although she is my sister...

"Still I would rather have married a cousin...

"He will continue to sire ugly, idiot children. His advisors are "Yes Men", peasants the lot of them and his concubines are riddled with diseases. His people are terrible farmers. As a society they will destroy themselves easily enough given time but I will be happy to help them along."

He smiles to himself and sits back down at his desk.

Huáscar opens an e-mail that he sent to himself yesterday.

Clicks reply.

Types something.

Clicks send.

The inbox shows One New Message.

He does this same action for about ten minutes. Like Pavlov's dog, he never ceases to get excited when he sees the arrival of new mail.

Even though he knows he is its author.

And he knows what it is going to say.