In A Midnight Dreary (A Fool’s Game)

This is a part of Steampunk storyline that I’ve been running in the background of other projects. Feel free to let me know what you think as it’s a labour of love. Here’s the sample.

Deep in the heart of a London apartment, a fire flickers and crackles through a damp midnight. Sat beside the hearth, the two greatest minds in all Europe do battle over gin and tonics. The game, pride. The price, everything.

“Never confuse arrogance with insouciance. I pride myself on my arrogance for I have earned it whereas the insouciant are nonchalant through an incapacity to perfect the art of being so good as to be arrogant.”
“Well, that is, so you, is it not?”
“I prefer the art of understatement, the subtle adjective, the sleight of hand played on the paper of life. There is no room in this world for another self-indulgent loudmouth who thinks himself the better of others when, in truth, he compares himself to only the monkeys.”
“Ah, so what you suggest by said ramble is that you are no mere mortal, no average man, no fool and most certainly no monkey?”
“I am me, and I do not have need to prove it.”
“But the very fact you have taken provocation from my carefully crafted use of the English language would suggest different.”
“You may presume so.”
“Presumptions suggest guesswork; I never guess.”
“Are you always so certain of yourself?”
“I am.”
“Then, let us do battle.”
“Are you ready?”
“Born so.”
“Are you prepared?”
“Then, you have lost before we begin.”
“Might I enquire as to how you have come to so absurd a conclusion without even stating your case?”
“You may.”
“You state that you are a superior being even if you do not use those exact words. That would initiate a knowledge of the human mind that no other possesses.”
“It would.”
“Then you, sir, have failed. For you see, I, in my quiet way, have considered every option, every nuance of our discussion, claim and counterclaim. I have calculated every action and every reaction and know before we start that you cannot compete in any of them. You have failed before you have begun and I laugh in pity for you. You see, sir, there is no fool so foolish as a fool who thinks himself un-foolish. In the middle of this midnight drear, this last bastion of gentleman’s dialogue, this room in a place that might be a home, you have allowed a fine drink to affect you. I have not.”
“I don’t follow?”
“And thus a fool is proven.”

The End.


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