As the sun began to sink beneath the sky, and long shadows threw themselves onto the ground, the brave knight Sir Engagealot tried again to reassemble the Orb of Change. Try as he might, he couldn’t. There were bits missing, flaws that he hadn’t previously spotted. He sat and tried to recall the day the wizard Smartalf had offered him the orb. All he could remember was the orb’s shine; powerful, almost hypnotic. Certainly seductive. Could it be that in his haste to accept the glittering prize, he’d been blinded by it?
“Why didn’t I ask some questions before accepting the challenge?” thought Sir Engagealot. “We exchanged a vow based on common goals and shared success, but it turns out that wasn’t enough.” He spoke quietly, sadly to himself. Engagealot hadn’t noticed the tiny elf that drew up a small stone and sat next to him. He nearly jumped out of his chain mail in surprise on hearing a bright little voice say, “We all stand together, and we all fall, apart.”
“What! Who goes there!” exclaimed Engagealot as he drew his sword, ever ready to defend the Orb of Change, even in its now diminished state. “Steady on mate, you’ll have someone’s eye out with that” came the little voice again. “Down here”. Engagealot looked down and there was the tiny elf. “Who are you and what business have you tormenting me in my hour of need?” asked the knight. “And what do you mean, “we all stand together, we all fall, apart”?”
“My elfin name is Sustainabulus Behaviourful Playful Purpose the Third”, said the elf, “You may call me SB”. “I’m here because your tale of unfulfilled potential has reached me and I know something that may help you avoid such fate in the future.” “Go on”, said the curious knight hesitantly, and in the gathering gloom the elf began to tell her tale.
“I watched a similar unravelling occur when I worked for Beyondworld Tellings, the fairy world’s communication giant. I was asked to lead change for the UK branch of BT and I was so excited by the possibilities, I agreed. Well who wouldn’t? Such prestige, such a chance to make a difference, once in a lifetime stuff, fantastic!”
“Whoah, steady on” said Sir Engagealot, “Didn’t you think to ask a few questions before you jumped right in and agreed?”
“What, like you did with Smartalf and the Orb of Change?” replied SB. Sir Engagealot blushed, “Do go on” he said meekly.
SB stretched and yawned, “I shall” she said. “Tomorrow, over breakfast.” And before Sir Engagealot could protest, SB had drawn her hat down around her ears and laid down to sleep.
Chapter Two will appear tomorrow.