This one from a couple years ago. However, I’m always making changes to names and details. I only finalized the mayor’s name today (and I’m posting this, so that hopefully I won’t be so tempted to change it again.)

 

Gestalt was a highly respected scientist in his time. Even the king admired his work, and found benefit in keeping him close by and offering him any supplies that he needed. In return, Gestalt created inventions that guaranteed the king victory in battle against his enemies. One particular weapon, a sort of bow that fired up to five shots in rapid sequence, proved so effective that the entire bowmen division was cut in half and every remaining bowman was equipped with one.

Invention fascinated Gestalt. It was not the military inventions that he enjoyed the most, but the regular, everyday inventions, like pails and brooms, which fascinated him. On a clear day, he observed a broomstick and the shadow it cast on the ground. The idea struck him to create a giant sundial in Silton City Square, so that every citizen would be able to use it. To his surprise, it was one project that the king did not approve. “There is no need for peasants to tell time,” King Walther had reportedly said.

The prince, however, admired science and funded the project in his stead. Thus, a giant golden pole was staked into the centre of City Square, a large circle drawn around it, divided and marked with the times of day. Gestalt was very pleased with the result, and it told time as it should.

But the villagers complained. Some had walked into the pole by mistake and injured themselves. Others felt it was an abberation upon their view of the clear sky. By far, the worst complaint was this: any idiot could look up at the sky and know the time of day, as accurate as was needed. The days when the clock would be most useful, on days of rain and heavy cloud, the clock was, inevitably, completely useless. Worse still, as buildings rose around City Square, they shaded the sundial from certain angles and rendered it partially useless during good days as well. It wasn’t long before the giant sundial became known as the Giant’s Toothpick in City Square, then, one day, the Giant Flagpole. After all, according to Mayor Hasey, it had to be useful for something.

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