Microcosms this week gave these three prompts Politician, Palace, Fairy Tale. Click here to find how you can join in.
His High Mufti, the Archdread of Twee hurried across the jellied courtyard. As Minister of Works and Cake his days usually involved assessing the calorific content of building materials – gingerbread, marzipan and so on. But the report he’d just read changed that.
Ahead the Palace of Brioche, Twee’s ancient Parliament loomed large, brown and comfortingly solid, if a touch crusty. But appearances were deceptive. As the report made clear, the chocolate grouting had begun to leak away, the iced mullions were crumbling and the gingerbread walls beginning to bow alarmingly.
Colin, for that was his name lowered his head against the sugar-high greetings of the populous. Why did it have to be here, in the one democracy in Fairyland that an iconic structure like the Brioche should be threatened? Other places, run by benign kings and perky princes would just channel magic to a rebuild, and damn the consequences. But not here. Magic was needed for universal health care and keeping yellow-brick roads free of potholes. The Sweet Party would insist on lowering the sugar content; the Grand Old Pastry would try and form a coalition with the Tea Party on a platform of keeping out foreign bakers; and the ruling Sugar and Spice confection would split, as usual, along sweet-savoury lines.
The choices were stark: close the Brioche, call in all grandmas to a Grand Bake On but lose part of the export drive that had been carefully negotiated to keep the other kingdoms Cake-dependant or keep the Brioche open while a employing a Cake a Day strategy to replace the weak parts. But this, he knew, would cost much more in the long run.
They would all hate him. So much for that old cliche: all political careers have happy endings.