Alternate Timeline Version of The Judgement of Solomon

This is part of a series of quick, mostly unedited, short stories I am planning to do this year. The idea is, I go to a museum, pick a painting or a sculpture or a something, and then quickly write a story while standing or sitting in front of it. Like gesture drawings, but for stories. I only read the description/title after I’ve written the story.

(This one was silly, because this is an often depicted scene and without reading the label I knew what was happening, but I also think this particular rendering lends itself to an alternate version.)

Matthias Stom
Dutch, c. 1600 – after 1652

The Judgement of Solomon
About 1640
oil on panel
Museum Purchase (Currier Museum): The Henry Melville Fuller Acquisition Fund, 2017.13

“I think… we should eat this baby.”

“You WHAT?!? We don’t eat babies.”

“I think we should at least consider it. Just because we don’t typically do something, doesn’t mean we never should.”

“This is absurd, listen to yourself. Maybe you should put a shirt on too, I think the cold is freezing your brain.”

The commotion in the room reached a fever pitch. One side arguing the pro baby eating stance, the other arguing the con. If it wasn’t such an abhorrent topic, the King would have been impressed by the passionate discourse. The baby, meanwhile, was fussing a bit, the nakedness combined with all the unintelligible chatter was irritating.

“Quiet, everyone, please, quiet. We cannot continue arguing about this. The matter is closed.”

A brief and thoughtful silence fell across the room.

“Ok. Ok. How about just the leg?”

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