King of India
by Jacob Fox
The manor overlooked the sweltering jungle, which grew
untamed until it reached the northern lawn, stopping
short as if held by an invisible force of God. On the
balcony of the third floor sat Sir Captain Cecil
Waterstone, sipping earl grey, looking at his Indian
servant placing a sterling silver tray on to the white
"Coffee, and they say India is filled with barbarians.
Mukesh, the greatest thing to happen to the empire was
the war with America. By God we could have won, but
won what? A bunch of rabble who doesn't even have the
common decency to have teatime. To think they could
have been subjects to our dear Queen! They can't even
speak proper English. We should be expanding the
empire to America and gentrifying them! Truly
barbaric." The Captain looked up from his cup. A cold
stare froze the dark but timid man. "Don't you agree,
Mukesh in his butler's uniform nodded and placed one
cube of sugar into a cup of tea. "Yes, my lord. When
is Lady Waterstone coming to tea, sir?"
Mukesh kept his head bowed to the lord, who was
thirty-two and twenty years his junior. Waterstone
shook his head and snarled. "Not this afternoon, she's
is having tea with the governor's wife on the coast.
Apparently the governor's wife is better company than
I. Probably better in bed, if you believe her."
Mukesh nodded again and spoke the accented English he
learned in the schools funded by the British. "Shall I
find your schedule for today, my lord?"
"Oh, no, no, no. I plan on spending the rest of the
afternoon in a light stroll in the jungle." he said
with a flick of his hand.
Mukesh lifted his head to this but stifled his
surprised look. "If that is what my lord wishes."
Lord Waterstone finished his cup and smiled to himself
while quietly telling himself that a stroll in the
blazing jungle was what he needed to satisfy his inner
adventurous desires. It was a high time for the
British Empire and the lord. His father vested in him
his rights to the massive estates in India and Cecil
reveled in the fact that he was far from the
bureaucrats and aristocrats of London and Windsor, and
the natives and naive of the northern frontiers of
India satisfied his needs for superiority. In his
large and quiet home he was the king, to the local
members of nobility he was an intellectual superior,
to the servants of the domicile he was the cruel
tyrant who dominated over them with a quick hand and a
sharp riding crop. Cecil Waterstone was the living
embodiment of what future generations would call
fascism and in this environment, his ego was caressed
and grew. As he walked down the steps to the lower
floor, he looked out to the jungle and smiled to
himself, what could a minor walk in the jungle do to
In the foray facing the jungle a grandfather clock
chimed five in the afternoon and the heat was constant
but that couldn't faze Waterstone as he placed his
Panama hat on his head and placed the dull edge of his
machete on his shoulder. He strode across the lawn and
never broke his confident stride as he stepped into
the dark jungle. Nature surrounded him with scents of
wild orchids, fresh earth, and vegetation. Sounds that
were once distant in his lonely bedroom became sharp,
the caws of colorful birds, shuffling of small
creatures he imagined to be lesser animals like
rodents and monkeys as looked up to canopy after
canopy after canopy rise above him. Cecil stood just
feet from his manicured lawn and grinned, revealing a
gap centered in the middle of his tanned young face.
He walked further. His ego pulled him farther from his
civilization into the dark jungle where he didn't just
feel like a great man, but a great god.
Joy filled young lord's small heart. He owned all
this, this massive, all-consuming, grand wilderness,
and in his revelry he nearly missed a light flash of
Waterstone rushed to try and see what the corner of
his eye glimpsed. He turned, turned again, and again,
but the young lord saw was nothing. His all-filling
ego left no room for inner doubt, but his British
nobility allowed some concern. A shuffle, not from a
rodent but from something greater came from his rear
and he rush around to see nothing but the breeze
ruffling ferns. Cecil asked himself who was fooling
with him and his mind like this. How dare they play
with me? No living thing was greater than him. Not any
man. Not any creature. Not any force of nature. Not
any force of God. He was a God! He was greatness and
the only thing above him was the Blessed Queen of
England and only time, age, and geography separated
him and her.
"How dare you pester me? I am Lord Waterstone!"
His confident reply was answered by another shuffle
from his rear.
Cecil turned to find a magnificent image. Standing
above him was a graceful combination between tiger and
femininity. The creature's eyes were emerald green and
she walked the limb with the grace of the tiger.
Cecil's face was looked in awe, humbling his ego down
to nothing. This creature was truly greater than
anything he had ever see. She jumped from a height
taller than his mansion and as she fell, he watched
her form grow and shapen into a massive Bengal
tigress. The new form landed on its paws in front of
the dumbstruck lord and looked deep into his trembling
She rose from her forepaws, but her gaze never
strayed, filling him with something other than his
lost companion ego. The young lord tried to hold firm
as fear shook within him like an earthquake. A new
feeling entered him and the fear receded as the
admiration and this new intangible, indescribable
feeling grew. Her nude form stood inches, hairlengths
from him. The tigress smirked and walked around the
foolish lord, silently studying him, his form, his
demeanor, his scent, everything about him. The tigress
took in everything she saw and she wanted him.
Unconsciously, he closed his eyes. The thought of her
drifting in his mind.
His nostrils flared trying to collect knowledge his
closed eyes could not find. She could smell her fur;
he could smell orchids mixing with the scent of the
female's musk, which drowned out the rest of the world
around him. Though she never touched him, he could
feel her, not her physical form, he felt a sensation
of something spiritual, god-like and this feeling
roamed within him like the tigers roamed India. His
concentration deeply enveloped on the world he could
not see. Pulling him into an imaginary dream-like
world that became cluttered with mystical images
familiar and foreign. Crusaders in chain mail and war
horses. King Richard and the Holy Grail. Christ on the
cross. Wolves howling to the moon god. Odin's flying
crows. Allah's will swirling in spiraled shapes.
Dancing Shivas flailing their multiple arms, dancing
on one toe. And forming from the glowing chaos, the
tigress. He watched these mental sights but what he
heard was over this was all consuming. At first low
and quiet, the voice slowly rose, his ears moved
trying to catch the message. He could make out one
word, then two, then he hear the accent, then he heard
her voice in all of it's glory.
"Young lord, be my mate. Be my king."
Her words echoed in his find as his new confidence
held firm in his mind. A confidence not linked to him,
but to responsibility and a wisdom that was foreign to
his former self which was fading into a new image of a
lordship. His answer came as he looked upon the
jungle, with a pair of green feline eyes. As he spoke
fangs squeezed together the gap in his teeth.
The young lord lifted his hands to her shoulders and
softly pulled closer with growling claws. The tigress
grasped his army uniform shirt and tore it at the
seams. His bare chest grew as he became more and more
the king beast. Orange fur spread like wildfire and
the lord tore the constrictive clothing free from his
thickening legs. He looked down to the remnants and
found them foreign to him. The tigress embraced her
new lord and nuzzled the stubble of fur rising from a
short tiger muzzle. New ideals, unknown knowledge from
her, the jungle and all of India filled him. He was
the tiger. He no longer owned a small parcel of land
in India, he didn't own India, he was now a part of
her. The royalty of India embraced and walked deeper
into his home.
In the kitchen Mukesh closed his dark eyes and sighed.
The Queen of India had found her king and Mukesh had
found peace once again.
Dear Lord Waterstone,
On behalf of your daughter Lady Sarah Waterstone, I
was called to your estates in India She returned to
find Sir Captain Cecil Waterstone was missing. After
interviews with the servants, we learned after his
afternoon tea he took a walk into the jungles behind
the northern lawn of the estate and never returned.
Sounds of a pair of tigers could be heard in the
jungles near the estate but we are investigating
suspicions of a more criminal explanation, which are
lingering after being informed about the staff's
feelings about the lord. After an extensive search of
the jungle we found Lord Waterstone's machete
unbloodied and his clothes shredded. I regret that no
other signs were found of the lord. We are currently
investigating the fact that the clothing was found
unsoiled and much like the machete, unbloodied. That
is a perplexing detail that we are currently
investigating along with the servants of the estate. I
feel though, my lord, that the matter is not a
criminal one but an act of God. On behalf of all here
in India, we extend our deepest sorrows to you.
With deepest regrets,
Major Timothy Waterstone
Copyright 2002 by Jacob Fox. If you want to post this anywhere else, please ask for permission first. Thank you.
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