RESIGNATION • by Christopher Owen

To: The Dark Lord of Mordoom

From: Grimby

My most exalted and esteemed master, Lord of Mordoom and rightful ruler of all the lands of Greater and Lesser Earth, this missive is to inform you of my immediate resignation as your resolute and trusty henchman.

Now, before you do anything rash, like turn me into a lump of charcoal or similar, let me remind you that I have served you faithfully on all your various nefarious campaigns since you coalesced from the nothingness that those rotten elves and dwarves sent you to millennia ago. I returned your dark blade Nightbiter to you; fitted you with new, and might I say, intimidating armor. When you ordered the purging of the gnomes of Gnobb Hill, I led the charge. When you ordered the siege and sacking of Sissyphant City, I marshaled you foul and filthy troops from the darkest regions of the land. When you poisoned the Sweet Tree of Goodness, was it not I who mixed you that vile draught?

I’ve done these and a hundredfold other things in good, faithful service to you, and ne’er asked for anything more than the glory that came from serving you. But I feel that this service has been all for naught, vis-a-vis your recent lack of attention to furthering your iniquitous schemes to rule the world.

I’m not the only one to feel this way. Other resignations may follow. Your henchmen are antsy; they like not this recent passive behavior on your part. The bugbears have taken to fighting among themselves. The ghouls have gone missing. The other day I caught Shagga the Executioner in tears for lack of a head to sever. ‘Tis veritable chaos, m’Lord, and not the good kind. And I can find only one cause to blame for this situation.

The kitten.

Yes, beyond the pale of all that is unholy and dark, you’ve adopted a stray kitten into your fell palace, and now you are done for. I cannot explain it really. It is beyond the fathom of my mind to understand. Just how a kitten could have made it through the fetid and foul terrain of Mordoom unscathed is beyond me. How did it pass through ranks of ogres and goblins uneaten? How did it move through the boiling fires of your moats, which have turned even the most steadfast knight and paladin to ash?

It is no matter. Suffice to say it is here, and it has your heart, an organ which until recently I didn’t believe you to possess.

Oh, how I woe the sight of you these days. Where once you rolled great boulders down upon the Bobbits of Branchwater, now you roll balls of yarn to tease your cat. You once slew the mighty Horsemen of Harrowfin, but now you open tins of horsemeat to feed the little fur ball. Your palace was once filled with pain and panic, but now it is filled with purring.

You have lost your way, O Mighty One.

So, immediately and forthwith, consider our partnership severed and terminated. I shall go forth into the world and seek gainful employ elsewhere. Surely there are other foul figures in need of my services. Surely I can find a degenerate lich who could use my aid, or a witch lord, or at least a barrow-wight with delusions of grandeur. Hell, I might try dark lording myself. The world certainly needs one to counteract all that singing and merriment and lack of war and strife that have taken hold since you found your feline companion.

So, I would say I wish you well, but I do not. Here’s hoping that puerile pussy of yours grows into an ornery and obstinate tom cat, as I hear they are wont to do. As for me, I’ve always been something of a dog person myself.

Your flummoxed former servant,


Christopher Owen lives in Texas with his wife and two cats. His work has appeared at Daily Science Fiction, Fried Fiction, Mystic Signals and other places. He is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop.

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