The African King
“Will you come away from that computer and eat your dinner, it’s going cold.” Molly shouted upstairs to her teenage daughter.
“I’ll be down In a minute. I’m talking to someone on Social Media. They’re a really important person. A King of somewhere, apparently.” Laura shouted back at her Mother.
It took a little while for the statement to sink in. Did she just say she was talking to a King? On Social Media? It’s bound to be some hoax. I mean it would be too great a fluke to really be talking to an actual King. It must be some kind of trick to get hold of her bank account. They’ll be in for a shock, with the college fees so high, her daughter was so badly In debt there was no money to take. Maybe they’d have pity on her and pay some money in instead.
Molly ran upstairs to take a look, but as she got there, the door opened and Laura came out.
“It’s alright, I told him my dinner was ready and so we ended our chat.”
Laura went downstairs to eat her Spaghetti Bolognese. Molly entered the room, ignoring for once the fact that the wardrobe appeared to have vomited clothes all over the floor. She went up to the computer and clicked the mouse.
It demanded a Password.
Knowing her daughter well enough she knew she had probably used her pet rat’s name and her date of birth for the password. She typed in ‘Asteroid’ and ‘97’.
It was accepted. The screen came up “Welcome Laura. What would you like to do today?”
Molly thought how polite computers were nowadays. How she longed someone would ask her the same question, but no one had for years. She clicked on ‘History’ and loaded the last page her daughter had open. Although she wasn’t much of a social media fiend like her daughter, she still used computers every day at work and so she knew how they worked. She’d even set parental controls on some of the internet functions.
A video screen came up, and before she could stop it, it dialled the last number automatically.
A young man with very dark skin wearing bright robes of green trimmed with an edge of red, yellow and black and wearing a cap in matching colours, appeared on the screen.
“Laura, you have finished your dinner much quicker than I thought.” The man spoke English perfectly but he had an accent and pronounced each word very slowly and precisely.
“Ah, I see it is not Laura, who am I talking to please?” The Man asked.
“Oh, I am Laura’s Mother, I wanted to see who she had been talking to.” Molly replied.
“Well, here I am. My Name is King Opoko Kwesi. I hope you do not mind me talking to your daughter. It is very interesting to me to talk to people from all around the world. So many people think I am a criminal that they do not want to talk to me. Your daughter has been very kind. I hope you do not think I am being Pecksniffian.”
Molly must have stared at the screen at the use of that word because the man apologised for his language.
“Please excuse me, I have learned English from a text book, a very old text book, so I apologise if I use words that you do not use every day.”
Molly picked up the dictionary that was by Laura’s desk and looked up the word Pecksniffian, because she had never heard of it before. To her astonishment, she found it. It said, ‘Pecksniffian – Sanctimonious and often hypocritically so’.
Molly looked back at the screen and spoke, “Well, I have to admit, I have some reservations about the authenticity of your title” Let that show him she could use long words too, “So I must ask you not to contact my daughter again.”
“I can send you proof of who I am, if that will make you feel more secure? I am emphatically who I have said I am. I seek only to find out more about other places.”
“I look forward to seeing your credential’s” Molly exclaimed and with a final terse “Goodbye” terminated the call and then blocked the address on the computer, marking it as spam.
Well that was the end of it and she thought no more about it. It was the start of the half term break and so she took Laura on some short trips away to London and to Paris, to soak up a bit of culture. Then they went on a picnic to the park. It was a reminder of those times when Laura had been little and she had enjoyed taking her away. She had to admit though that Laura had grown up. She wasn’t her little girl any longer.
She had completely forgotten about the African King until they got home and a delivery man was standing looking perplexed outside their front gate.
“I have a delivery for you Madam, please can you sign here.” He held out a clip board and she saw her name clearly and it had come from Ghana in West Africa. “There is a note for you too” he said.
While the delivery man opened the doors at the back of his truck Molly opened the letter. It just read
here are my credentials.
King Opoko Kwesi”.
The delivery driver was pulling on a long rope. He turned and asked her “So Madam, where do you want this Elephant?”
Today’s things are: picnic, asteroid, social media