[It really bothers me that the song title doesn't have an Oxford comma. Just saying.]
Pu-PONG. Pu-PONG. Pu-PONG.
The twin princesses of the inner kingdom of the third Maryland dynasty, known as Arabeth and Cozumel to their coterie of sycophants, were playing tennis in their obscenely large bathroom because they liked the sound the ball made against the marble tile. Arabeth wore a black dress with a tutu, complemented with black lace gloves and a black feathered mask. Cozumel sneered at the impracticality of the outfit and wore a streamlined white jumpsuit.
Pu-PONG. Pu-PONG. Pu-PONG.
"I'm so booooored," moaned Arabeth. She threw her racket into the towel rack. Cozumel's serve went unreturned.
Pu-PONG. Pung. pung. punnng.
"We could take tea," said Cozumel. She wiped sweat from her brow.
"I hate tea," said Arabeth. She collapsed the floor and laid down on her belly, arms outstretched, attempting to soak up the coolness of the marble.
"We could order the helicopter and go for a ride."
"We've been everywhere that's the least bit interesting."
"I guess that's true," said Cozumel. She sat down on the floor cross-legged.
"We could go to Martha Stewart Land--they have a new coaster that pulls nine Gs."
"Uh, Martha Stewart Land is so last year."
"What about a whale hunt? I think Beluga is in season."
"No, no, no. They're extinct now. Besides, my feet always get so cold every time we go."
"The nitrogen bar?"
"I don't know, maybe we could go buy something. I haven't bought a car this month yet."
"We're not old enough to drive. I don't see why you bother to collect already."
"I'm just thinking of the future. Maybe we should buy the senators to get that law changed."
"Mummy would ground us. When are mummy and daddy coming back from the Moon?" Arabeth spoke into the marble.
"I'm not sure. They said they'd be gone for a few weeks of alone time, but it's already been three months."
"Alone from who? They barely ever see us. I don't know why they couldn't take us too."
"They thought we'd be boooored. It's all business up there. All that helium mining." Cozumel spoke the last bit in a high falsetto. "
"That's not funny," said Arabeth. She sat up and faced her sister and looked at her seriously. "We should harass the servants."
Cozumel returned the serious gaze, but the corners of her mouth twitched.
"Maybe then mummy and daddy will notice us," continued Arabeth.
Cozumel was silent. Arabeth hopped up and dashed out of the room, ripping off her mask and throwing at a gold-plated toilet on her way out. Cozumel slowly rose, then skipped out in a dance of her own personal creation. Arabeth walked through the fore-bedroom and into the hallway that looked out over the atrium that covered several stories in the middle of their expansive mansion. She stood with her hands on the railing and waited. Cozumel joined her a few moments later and the both looked out over the open space. Then Arabeth wrinkled her forehead.
"Where are the servants?" she asked.
"That's really odd. Do you hear that?" said Cozumel.
"It's silent. The whole house is silent."
"I require assistance!" yelled Cozumel at the top of her lungs. Her voice echoed back to her across the atrium several times. Arabeth waited for any kind of response. About twenty seconds later, a door slammed somewhere in the depths of the mansion. Hooves clattered against the distant floor. The twins turned to face the approaching sound, their arms folded over their chests.
Their butler galloped into view, skittering to a halt a few feet in front of the sisters. He was human, but had the general form of a horse--his HOX genes were manipulated so that he had the four legs of a horse plus an additional set of arms (he was tailless, which made wearing the suits of his caste much more practical).
"Yes?" asked the butler sternly.
"Yes? Yes?! Who do you think you are?" asked Arabeth with indignation.
"Oh, I don't know anymore," he said.
"What?" asked Cozumel.
"I was getting ready to leave with the others when you called. The power is going to go soon," said the butler. "I don't know why you two are still here, frankly."
"What are you talking about? Why would you leave us?" asked Cozumel.
"Wha--are you serious? How could you not know?" asked the butler.
"It's all gone. Everything's used up," said the butler.
"I will have you whipped if you continue this nonsense," said Arabeth.
"What do you mean, everything's used up?" asked Cozumel.
The butler laughed.
"You've got to be kidding--you're not kidding," he said. "I mean, everything. Food, energy, stuff. Everything. All the wealthy people evacuated the planet. Which is a little ironic, considering they're the ones most responsible."
Arabeth and Cozumel stared at him, not comprehending. The butler widened his eyes.
"You do realize there's nothing left here. All the toys and crap you've accumulated is useless and worthless now," said the butler.
"I don't understand," said Cozumel.
"Are you sane?" asked Arabeth. "How can that be?"
The butler sighed heavily.
"I really don't have time for this. There's a ship leaving in three hours for the Moon and I have a standby ticket. It's the last one out of here. There's still some food in the pantry--some old cans. You've already eaten most of the that stash already, but there a few things left. I'm sorry I can't help you more than that--well, not exactly sorry. I'm a little relieved at the prospect of getting out of this gilded prison."
"But--what are you talking about?" asked Cozumel.
"Good grief," said the butler. "Your ridiculous lifestyle is over! Done. You're going to have to fend for yourself from now on. Oh, and I quit!"
The butler turned and trotted off.
"We would like tea! You there! Are you listening? ...Why are servants always so tedious!?" screamed Arabeth.
"We'll have to tell daddy to have him put down, the next time he calls," said Cozumel. "I mean, what was he talking about?"
Arabeth ran back into their rooms and Cozumel followed.
"Another game before we take tea?" asked Arabeth.
The lights flickered above them. They looked up, then the lights steadied themselves.
"Oh, sure. Just one game though," said Cozumel. "I don't want to sweat through my clothes."