The Proclamation

Excellence In Writing Award in the 'Horizon of Dreams 2018' competition

This is a proclamation concerning that veritable scourge which plagues our country. From this day onward, within our proud nation, birds will no longer be permitted. Any instance of birds will be investigated by the Inquisitor of Birds, and rectified without hesitation.
-Royal Chancellor
The Inquisitor in question, a portly man whose age I will not guess at for fear of offending his lovely mother, was chosen for the job for one reason.
He hated birds. From the first years of childhood he had wished from the very bottom of his soul to fly, but having never achieved more than a brief and stationary hovering, despite his most sincere efforts, he was understandably bitter towards those whose anatomy inherently allowed them to fly. Birds. Bumbling, blithering things, beating broad wings through the air. Cazador hated birds.
His efforts to fulfil his duty as Inquisitor, therefore, were whole-heated, as all efforts to fulfil royally-bound duty should be. Cazador spent the two days following the issuing of the proclamation eliminating birds from every household in the country. The citizens were mostly cooperative, and apart from a few, readily surrendered their birds to him. Those that didn’t were swiftly dealt with by a delegation of the King’s army, making this the easier part of Cazador’s role. These two days were therefore blissful; filled with the crushing of crows and coronets, the cudgelling of cuckoos and quails, the clobbering of cormorants and coots and the cruel crippling of cardinals. Cazador was immensely satisfied.
This joyful period was, however, to be short-lived, as the flocks of unruly, uncivilised and unkempt birds who lived in the wilds of the country proved to be far more difficult to destroy. Unlike the citizens of the nation, these birds were uncooperative, refusing without compromise to be caught or exterminated. No matter how much Cazador and his army chased, they could not seem to keep up with the thousands of birds filling the sky, especially since these birds had the advantage of flight. Cazador was discouraged, but not defeated. Night and day he laboured, chasing birds through the city streets for hours on end, to finally catch just one and feel the warm blood gush over his hands as he wrung its skinny neck. After a time Cazador had captured thirty thousand and a half birds exactly (the half being a flying fish, which he considered to be half a bird on account of its wings and beak). Even he was slightly sickened by his sadistic successes, scruples starting slowly to take shape in his sentience - still, the statute stated sharply his service to the state. Cazador was simply doing his duty.
This is a proclamation concerning a previous proclamation from this very same Royal Palace. Due to a regrettable error of miscommunication, this first proclamation was a mistake. We did not not wish to prohibit birds, but beards - the true scourge of our proud nation. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.
-Royal Chancellor


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