The Vocabulary Pope

As the door to the Vocabulary Pope's office opened I heard a voice shouting, "--ill be excommunicated!"  I sat upright in my chair, and watched as a short. pale man with a worried expression on his face darted through the door, barely looked at the Papal secretary, slid across the polished floor and crashed into the door on the far side of the room.  I started to stand, intending to help him up, but then the secretary lifted his head from his recessed desk-screen.  The green light from the screen lit his face from underneath, and he appeared both ill and feral.

"The Vocabulary Pope will see you now," he said, and his fingers danced across the embedded keyboard making tiny little clicks.  The pale man at the other door wasn't moving, but I could hear him panting.  I didn't dare offend the Vocabulary Pope, so I stood up and walked as calmly as I could to the door to the Papal Office.  My hands were shaking, and I had to think about every step I took.

The door to the office was made of thick wood, and had one of those metal gadgets attached to it to retard the speed that the door closed.  I pulled it open with difficulty and stepped past the door, letting go of it.  The door shut far faster than I'd expected and struck me firmly in the back, catapulting me into the Pope's office.  I collapsed onto my hands and knees on a thick rug that stretched the full width of the office and half the length.  It was ivory, with words woven in brown in varying sizes all across it.  I had landed just in front of Cupidity and Soliloquy.  I looked up, and saw the Pope sat behind a desk the size of a dining table, glaring at me.

The Pope's gaze was intense: sparkling blue eyes peered out from next to a roman nose above a chin that could be used as a bottle opener.

"Genuflection won't help you this time, Yiorgios," he said.  "You've been neologising."


The End

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