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Wanting to Believe


Harry Buschman

The King of Fallacie was mightily impressed. The new tailor came from a distant kingdom known as Durango, which boasted the best dressed ruling class in the Eastern world. Surely this tailor could be persuaded, cajoled and overpaid sufficiently to dress King Fallacie’s court as good or better.

The tailor promised to take special pains to fit each member of the court individually. He made detailed measurements, and in a loud voice, called off the numbers to his assistant who wrote them down in a book. Inseams. Cuff widths. Even the Queens’ cleavage was measured with loving care.

The tailor showed samples of ermine and gold brocade and said they were far superior to those he used for the Kingdom of Durango. The Queen was delighted with the form fitting bodice of silver and gold lamé.

Months passed, during which the Queen made lavish plans for a gala ball when the entire court would attend in their new clothes. Only titled citizens of the kingdom would be there. With the King’s enthusiastic permission she also invited the Kind and Queen of Durango. “They will be insanely jealous of our new clothes,” she said.

The new clothes eventually arrived by caravan from the tailor’s workshops in the New World, and the entire court stood by while the King and Queen tore open the boxes.

A dispassionate onlooker to these proceedings – one with a purely analytical mind consistent with reason and intellect, would instinctively observe the boxes were, except for tissue paper, entirely empty. But the King and the Queen ... indeed the entire court were so intent in their expectation of a truly magnificent wardrobe that they were mesmerized by their anticipation. To them, the gowns, the uniforms, yes the spectacle of the surpassing transcendence of their new clothes was so fixed in their minds that they were convinced of their reality.

The gala ball went on as scheduled, and although the waiters, maids and kitchen staff were shocked to see their court in its vulnerable and human nakedness dancing, dining and drinking with the similarly naked court of the Kingdom of Durango, they kept their opinions to themselves.

But they did turn the heat up.

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