Part Six: “The crown will find an heir”15 August 2018
It was 1578. William Shakespeare was 14 years old when he left school. Then he disappeared. Between 1578 and 1582, there is no documented evidence linking the bard to any job or location. Nobody knows what Shakespeare did in those years. Until now.
Shakespeare ambled passed the Sidney Myer Asia Centre and twisted around into Monash Rd. A cheerful-looking woman in a colourful scarf waved with one hand while the other held a collection of flyers.
“Excuse me! Do you have a moment to talk about the upcoming student elections?”
“I doth not intend such an idle matter to pierce my brow.”
“Well we’ve got lots of great policies to discuss. What do you care about most of all?”
“About poetry and taking the fair hand of Anne Hathaway.”
“Pretty sure Adam Shulman beat you to it, mate.”
“Marry, who is this villain?”
“It doesn’t matter. What policies concerning the student union interest you the most?”
“Oh, why didst thou promise such a beauteous day and then let base clouds o’ertake me in my way?” Our bard spun and picked up some speed to his gait.
“Don’t worry, we can walk and talk if you need to get somewhere.”
“Thou dost infect my eyes.”
“Well personal quips aside, are you planning on voting in the student elections?”
“I will be taking no such part in matters concerning idle kings.”
“Well maybe we can have a chat about what we do and perhaps I’ll change your mind?”
“Away, you starveling, you elf-skin, you dried neat’s-tongue, bull’s-pizzle, you stock-fish!”
The eyesore with flyers crumpled away and fell back to a dark crowd of friendlier folk. Our bard’s face was wrinkled with irritable grout that was evident to others who were handing out flyers and ignoring his gaze. He wore this expression all the way to the Baillieu and found it quite effective for avoiding political confabulation.
The gates of the Baillieu magically slid open as Shakespeare approached them, as if welcoming him to its literary realms, free from those wanting talk of student elections. He scanned the room and walked about for a bit, looking for a place he could rest. Most of the seats were taken by academic fiends who were sleeping, stealing the air from the studious. He eventually found Chloe, her books spread completely across the desk, splayed in all directions in front of her and the empty chair by her side. Chloe looked up, spotted him and bunched up her books so he’d have a place to sit down.
“How ya going, mate?”
“I am undone by the fools of this academy who preach their lust for power.”
“Lust is quite a strong word, mate.”
“Marry, that was the intended design of the utterance.”
“So who are you going to vote for?”
“I will not lower my mind to such matters.”
“Yeah, fair enough. Hey, I’m going to a pub quiz night tonight. Do you want to come along?”
“I apologise, Chloe. I understand I am pleasant to the eye, and perhaps other parts too, but I must remain loyal to my country back home.”
“What the fuck?”
“I wish nothing we would discuss more, and I am flattered you would like to be my sheath, but I must keep fighting with my bare bodkin, for that hand of sweet Anne.”
“Dude, seriously! Fuck the fuck off. It’s a pub night. Stop thinking with your fucking dick.”
“Prithee, be more subtle with your talk of ill things.”
“Mate, you weren’t being subtle. You think you were, but you really weren’t. I want to be your sheath? Seriously fuck off.”
Chloe gathered up her books and held them close to her side as she stood up and walked out of the room, quite visibly upset. Our bard didn’t understand the act of going out with a platonic friend of the opposite sex. It just didn’t make sense to him. He was from a time of the past, and the present still spoke in such foreign ways. He tapped his hands on the table and felt a great mass mete his gut. He knew he’d upset Chloe, but he didn’t know why and hadn’t power or skill to make any change. He slowly took off his splayed backwards cap, he felt undeserving of its modern flavour. Once again he felt bound to the societal norms of his childhood.
As Shakespeare scurried out from the Baillieu, a deluge of unpleasantness swarmed against him in the form of many knaves carrying flyers, all in colourful dress. He was in a melancholic mood and found their pressing behaviour worsened his state. He learnt a new expression from Chloe that day that he found quite effective. He told them to fuck the fuck off.