Sitting in his cubicle in the middle of the enormous open-space office, Charlie opened eBay.

He typed Stephen King signed in the search engine. Several results, but nothing he could afford. Clive Barker signed. Cheaper, but still too much. Bored, he selected the “Real Estate” category. Time to find something closer to the city centre, anyway. Not that he could afford to buy a flat, but he could always look. “Other Real Estate”. And then he sorted the results, starting from the ones ending soon.

One caught his eye. Kingdom of Shoreland. Ending in five minutes. Highest bid, 20$. He selected it.

Kingdom of Shoreland

Off the coast of England, by Norwich


Including all rights and duties of a monarch

“20 bucks? Must be a joke”, he muttered to himself. Still, he bid 30 dollars, then started refreshing the page.

He won the bid, for 25.50$. He paid straight away. PayPal, of course. Then he went back to his work spreadsheet.

Minutes later, his mobile rung. A number he didn’t know. He picked up.


“Hallo, my name is Mark Burrell. Mister Charles Vann?”


“Your limousine will be picking you up at your address tomorrow morning, 10am. You are booked on a flight to London Heathrow, take your passport. You’ll take ownership of Shoreland. The coronation ceremony will take place next Saturday. As the Prime Minister of the Kingdom, it is also my duty to let you know that you will have to shoulder the national debt. But don’t worry now, we’ll discuss it face to face. Long live King Charles I”.