The Annual Beard, Burns and 'Stache Bash

When King Flaggert died it was a shock to the whole country. He had been a wise and benevolent king. Putting himself below all others. "Bro's before Ho's," he would always say; whatever that meant. He had brought hope to a dying land. Order to a kingdom of chaos. Before Flaggert, the country had been in constant squabbles, fighting over food and property like raccoons. We were uncivilized; until he made the contest.

The Annual Beard, Burns and 'Stache Bash. It was a contest of wits, skill and more importantly, facial hair. Every year, men (and women) of the kingdom would attempt to grow the strangest sort of hair on their faces. Long, short, twisty, curly, scraggly, wispy, etc. Almost nothing was off limits to the subjects of King Flaggert. And every summer solstice he would pick the winner of the contest. But the King was not one for flair, and not one for style, no, when he picked a winner it was a person pure of heart, mind, and scalp. He favored the underdog.

So, when the King died (A peaceful death in his sleep where he strangled himself with his own hair), it more than shocked the country. The land was thrown back into chaos. Beards grew unruly, mustaches curled too far and became tangled in themselves; the land needed another Flaggert. Seeing the country slowly tear itself apart caught the attention of the King's advisor, Orbo. He did not wish for the people to ruin the civilization the King had built. So, naturally, he did the one thing King Flaggert would have wanted; he organized the contest yet again.

This time however, it would be different. Orbo had decided that there would be no regulations, no guidelines for the people. They were to grow the most unique form of facial hair they could. And worse yet, he only gave them two months. It was a great solution as every single member of the community put every waking hour into growing hair. A calm rested on the kingdom temporarily. And while the world grew its stubble, Orbo worried that he might choose the wrong candidate.

As the two months passed and summer solstice arrived, the contest was in full swing again. The facial hair at this festival was the most unique the world had ever seen. Beards grew both downward and upward, mustaches stretched down and became belts, sideburns doubled as scarves; it was wonderful, but Orbo was disappointed. As he surveyed the entrants he realized that none so far had been pure of heart. And even the most unique of beards was not enough for Orbo. He felt horrible, he had attempted to resurrect the King's good name and instead had soiled it. Until a young boy entered.

At first Orbo did not notice him. But as the room went silent with gasps and hushed whispers. Orbo's attention was drawn. Slowly the crowd opened up to a boy no more than thirteen years old striding to the middle of the crowd. He had a smile that warmed the room, and something about him made the whole room smile too. But above his smile and past his nose laid what caught everyone's attention. From each eyebrow hung no less than twelve inches of thick voluptuous hair that swayed gently as he walked.

As the boy stopped, Orbo almost fainted. In all his years of witnessing the strangest event in the land he had never witnessed something so magical. He had seen beards a plenty, mustaches galore, and enough sideburns to last him a lifetime. But never had he seen such a perfect display of eyebrow hair. He knew then and there that King Flaggert would rest in peace forever.

"What is your name, boy?" asked Orbo barely able to contain his awe.

The boy's voice was meek, "Adley, mister advisor sir, Mat Adley."

Orbo raised a hand to the crowd huddled around the boy, staring intently and they quickly became quiet as Orbo stood.

"I threw this contest today as an ode to our lost King Flaggert. For it was he that gave us order and broke us free of our chaotic ways. I thought that to prevent more destruction, this contest would bring us together again. But I had a hidden purpose, for to continue in our calm and peaceful ways, I knew that we needed something to unite us as Flaggert had once done."

Orbo paused to let this bit of information seep into the crowd. For even though awestruck by the boy's facial hair he still had a way with words.

"I decided that tonight, the winner of this contest in honor of our once king. Would become the new ruler of the land."

The whole room erupted in one giant gasp.

"And as I stand here now," Orbo continued as he moved through the crowd, "I can willingly say that I have seen the most unique beards, mustaches and sideburns tonight that this kingdom has ever seen. King Flaggert would be proud of all of you."

Orbo slowly made his way to the boy until he stood a few feet from him.

"However, in all my years advising, I have never once seen hair quite as unique as this boy's. And I know now exactly what our king would have done."

Orbo, silently pleased that he had indeed not ruined Flaggert's memory, knelt before the boy. He waited as the new whispers and gossip of the crowd died before he spoke again.

"I, Orbo Berton, High Advisor and judge of this contest, hereby name the winner, and new king of this country, by uniqueness of hair and being the most pure of heart."

He rose from his knee and lowered his voice so only the boy could hear.

"Congratulations kid, hope you do us proud."

The boy smiled and pushed one of his brow beards behind his ear. Orbo was surprised to see that the boy had the same colored eyes as Flaggert once had. But he would think more on that later. He lifted his hands into the air and raised his voice yet again.

"I present to you all our new ruler; King Adley the Proud."

The cheering and applause that exploded throughout the room would be talked for years to come. And for nearly a century no one could ever best the best grown facial hair in the land. The contest continued every year and King Adley grew into one of the most well liked kings of all time. The people were peaceful and proud and would live for the rest of their years in true peace and hairiness.