I'm a great big geek in a great big glass jar. Twenty million or more people spend their days staring at me through the lens of the media. There are days the lid is on so tight I am suffocating but the only way to escape permanently is to shatter my entire world.
The wheels of my skateboard grind on the pavement. Dad's subjects, the commuters on the way to work and school are skittles and I'm the ball, according to the newspapers all of them hate me anyway. Nothing I do will ever ingratiate me with them so why try? A man in a pinstripe suit gets out of my way, sticking a finger up as he goes. I return the gesture.
"Read all about it. The end of the world is nigh!" a fellow redhead, a religious type in black, yells. I aim for him and laugh as he ducks behind a street food stand. The frying doughnuts smell so good. Kind of wish I'd had breakfast now. Like an automatic weapon stuck on fire the religious type aims a string of curse words that would make a lesser man than myself blush. His sky god damns me to eternal torment -- apparently.
"He's not real you know," I shout back at him.
The doughnut flipper in his candy striped hat grins at me and waves his spatula. He's not much older than me and his acne has me thinking pizza might be good. Really should have had breakfast.
At the corner is a couple, displaying a disgusting amount of public affection. Seriously, the odd kiss is fine but get your hands out her skirt. I rumble past and the women spring apart, muttering and glaring.
"Get a room!"
They raise a fist at my helpful suggestion.
If I remove my pollution mask and black hood they'd all fall to the ground and declare undying fealty to His Royal Highness Prince Angus of Covesea Island and associated territories. Embarrassing for me especially as I know what they really think of me. Satirists don't call me "The Royal Oaf" for nothing.
“Oy!” a security guard starched, suited and booted yells at me from his position in front of the automated revolving doors of Jing-Ore Electrical Company Towers. Crap! He's making chase. I'm not ready to be caught and returned to the prison of the palace, so I put on a spurt and pray to the Universal Father, in whom I do not believe, that I don't fall off. Dad'll be volcanic enough when he discovers I've slipped my guards. He'll fully erupt if I end up in hospital – again.
Between the Jing-Ore Towers and the glass-and-steel skyscraper of the Vesta Automated Mining Company is a narrow alleyway and I manoeuvre down it. I halt the board and get off. I've always wanted to be able to kick it up and catch it but last time I knocked myself out trying. There's evidence of unwashed bodies sleeping here on a regular basis, its seeped into the walls and the discarded cardboard boxes; stale urine; beer soaked vomit and another smell I can't identify which is making my eyes water. Two large bins filled with empty metal canisters will give me a hiding place until the security guard has given up. A body wrapped in a filthy thick plaid blanket already occupies the space in spite of the hot weather it's shivering. Next to it is a cup of Nacl coins which would make getting home easier.
Beneath the folds of the cloth is movement and before I can take my wallet out to exchange the coins for a substantial note I'm assaulted by a tiny wolf-squirrel barking and flapping its leathery wings in my face. The tiny thing is eyeing up my entire six-feet-five frame as though it would make a nice hors d'oeuvres and I'm forced to shield my eyes from its attack before I lose one.
“Gorse, stop that.” A grimy, but attractive face appears from beneath the blanket. “Come here.” The creature retreats to her shoulder and glares at me. She wipes her face with a filthy, shaking arm and squints at me. “Who are you?”
CHAPTER ONE - PART TWO
A night of blood, mayhem and magic thrust Prince Angus, the youngest son of the king, onto the throne of Covesea Island. He's never wanted to be king. Social media calls King Angus a clown. His subjects don't rate his ability to lead them in the trade negotiations with one of the planet's superpowers.