Once upon a time, there was a crafty courtier who masterly went about serving his Queen in the land of the Island Realm.

A long long time ago, before the time of the Sly Fox Network delivering fake news throughout the realm, before the social media empire of Facebook was infiltrated by Russian hordes, long before the self-absorbed oligarchy with their leader King Trump gained control of the entire kingdom, there was a small protectorate at the end of the rainbow known as the Queendom of the Island Realm.

It was there that this crafty courtier went about serving his majesty, Queen Garyela. The courtier spent his days spinning tales of the wonders of the Queen and of the Queen’s great powers of leadership, vision, financial stewardship, and so much more. This crafty courtier spun such tales of grandiosity over the years that most of the Queen’s subjects did not know of anything other than those tales as truth.

The tool so sinisterly used by this crafty courtier was a tabloid called the Island Realm News. It was with this glossy publication that exaggerated truths, self-glorification, misrepresentation of facts, and other cunning methods were used to hold subjects in their state of admiration and servitude to the Queen.

Lord Angelo and other righteous knights who stepped forward and tried to free the realm of this darkness had their characters ruthlessly assassinated by the glossy torturous pages of the crafty courtier’s printed word.

So, Queen Garyela ruled on, with those who rose to battle against her reign slain by the arrows of Sir Kelley and others, their service secured with bags of gold coins retrieved from the campaign chest of Her Royal Majesty’s treasury.

Such wealth was the rewards of homage paid to her greatness by traders, outsiders seeking to do business with the realm, those seeking the blessings of court, all the way down to subjects seeking not to lose their prized positions on the courts’ boards and advisory committees.

Then one day the crafty courtier made a mistake when he presented a very special gift to the Sovereign. This very rare and unique gift was a magical talking mirror secured from the vast treasures of the Lohr Castle in Germany. He was sure that such a valuable and treasured gift would win favor from Her Majesty, but it turned out to be the undoing of Sir Kelley and ultimately of the Queen herself.

The magical mirror had a reputation for always speaking the truth. To the pleasure of Queen Garyela, the mirror always confirmed the greatness of her highness. Queen Garyela would ask, “Mirror Mirror on the wall, who is the most wonderful Queen Mayor of all?”

The magical mirror would respond by affirming that the Queen Mayor was the most wonderful and majestic Queen Mayor of them all. This went on for years, years when expensive tennis courts were installed on the palace grounds, years when the citizenry was asked to give more to the Treasury while the crown went on more and more trips abroad; and still the mirror kept offering the self-gratifying response to the Queen.

Then one day the Magical Mirror changed its tune. On that day the mirror’s response to Queen Garyela’s question told a tale of someone new in the realm, someone even greater and more wonderful than the Queen.

The enraged Queen lashed out at Sir Kelley and demanded an end to such lies and treachery; but all Sir Kelley could do was to report that rumors of a Lord Justin had begun spreading throughout the realm. The rumors told of great feats, of a wonderful vision, of new and fresh ideas, and of a firm commitment to the citizenry of the realm not experienced for years.

Growing ever more frenzied each day, Queen Garyela could not stop asking the same question of the magic mirror, “Mirror Mirror on the wall, who is the greatest Queen Mayor of all?” Again and again, the magic mirror would respond with the answer that drove the monarch further and further into a state of rage and indignation. The mirror continued to boast of Lord Justin’s greatness, of his good deeds throughout the realm, of how the Queen was no longer the greatest in all the land.

As Queen Garyela spiraled further down into a state of disarray and frenzied hysteria, with Sir Kelly stripped of his weapons and slanderous tabloids, and with citizens of the fabled Island Realm coming out into the streets and town squares demanding change, Lord Justin rode triumphantly up to the castle gates to claim the crown as his.

And for years to come the new King Mayor ruled the Island Realm with such wonderfulness and greatness that life in the kingdom had become and would always remain … just better there.