Friday, February 10, 2012

Day One-Forty: Convo Redux

Hum. Some answers today, diary, and more questions - along the lines of something I hadn't ACTUALLY considered.

I wasn't satisfied with the end of yesterday's conversation with Queen Daena, and since the shelter was slated for completion today, I only had one more chance to talk to her about the captain. This time, though, I was interested in the kangaroo, and its relationship with the captain. If you can call it a relationship.

I'm sure I've mentioned this before in passing, diary, but Captain Cedric… well, he changed because of the kangaroo. He got into a scuffle with it one day, and the scuttlebutt is that it maaaaay have robbed him of his manhood. Ripped off his armour and - so I hear - bit the thing clean off.

(And Prince Logan says he still has the thing in a jar in his room, according to an earlier entry. GROSS. I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT HOW DISTURBING THAT IS, AND HE'S MARRYING MY DAUGHTER?!)

So that explains why the captain is so irritable all the time: he has no thinger. It's an unfortunate set of circumstances. And I figured, if I knew HOW the kangaroo came to be in Castle AnotherLongName, maybe I could use the circumstances to warm up to the captain? We could plot out a way to get rid of it, or something. I dunno.

Not the best plan, maybe. But on my last visit to the queen's tree, as the builders were busy setting up the last wall, I asked the queen what she meant about the kangaroo.

"Oh, that?" She laughed. "A funny story, actually. Would you like to hear?"

I would. I did.

"Well." She poured herself a small cup of tea from the tray set up at her side. The tea looked half frozen, so I think it was more slush than liquid. "As you know, my husband commissioned the building of this castle… eight years ago, I believe it was. I was just leaving my teens, at the time, and heavy with child. And by the time the castle was finished for our inspection, Logan had just been born."

I wasn't sure why the queen had to go THIS far back, but, whatever.

"I knew, even from birth, that Logan would be… lacking… in normal friends. His father's a lunkhead, as you know, and given that the idiot gene seems to travel down the male side of his family, I knew that Logan would be a capricious, spoiled, moronic little thing. I adore the boy, but at the time, I KNEW that would be true."

If you're reading this, Logan: her words, not mine. It gets better for you anyway.

"I quickly learned that Logan was actually a clever, inventive little thing, not at all like his father… though he still had difficulty adjusting to other children. He was never one for normal playtime." She smiled. "Whenever he did try playing with noble children, they'd wind up stuck on a roof somewhere, hanging on for dear life, and he'd be responsible. Or so I've heard, anyway - I've seldom been privy to castle life firsthand. You can see why."


"But he needed a friend, and though the old man cares deeply for my son, The Baron was no substitute. A capable, loyal tutor, yes, but NOT someone who understands 'fun'. Logan needed a buddy, pardon my language laxity… and up until now, he's never had one."

"You mean the kangaroo?"

"No, you fool. I mean you." The queen's smile was amazing. "That child adores you, Dragomir. Even if he provides you with no end of trouble."

And that, I have to admit, was pretty damn weird. Me, buddies with the prince? I guess he talks about me more than I figured. (Kinda young to be a buddy, isn't he?)

"But that doesn't answer your question, I suppose." The queen sipped her tea. I don't know how she can drink slush with such calm. Guess she has practice. "The kangaroo. Well, if the prince couldn't have a friend, he at least needed a pet. And so I caught him the kangaroo."

"You CAUGHT it for him, your majesty?"

"In a manner of speaking." She queen's smile turned from radiant to sly, and I knew in that instant that she was Logan's mom, no questions asked. "It attacked me."

Given what I've seen of the kangaroo's attitude, yeah, that sounded about right.

"I was nodding off one evening about three years ago when I heard a noise to my right. I came instantly awake, and before I knew it the beast was in front of me, huffing and snorting and drooling. I thought for sure it would try to bite me, but-"


"But," and she paused to sip again, "it attacked me with its fists. Or whatever passes for fists on a kangaroo. Paws? Given how it was rolling its wrists, they certainly LOOKED like fists… I'll stick with fists. At any rate, it turned into quite a tussle, and I must admit that NO opponent has EVER given me as much trouble as that kangaroo."

"But I won!" The queen raised her cup in salute of herself, and I gave her a little 'huzzah', to which she bowed. "I won, and pinned it between my legs. Was about ready to crush the life out of the beast… when it stopped struggling. It just gave up. And so I let it go, because I really don't like killing anything, and expected it to run away."

"It didn't, though, did it?"

"Obviously not. It flopped back, bobbing up and down on those little claws, and before I knew it the kangaroo was bowing at my feet! I felt like the master of a martial arts dojo, having just beat up one of my students! And after that, it wouldn't leave my tree! It lingered nearby, occasionally hunting for animals, but spending most of its time punching the air like a… a, I don't know, a boxer!"

That was one of the strangest things I'd ever heard, can't lie. The more I think about it, though, the more it sounds like the prince's kangaroo, violent behaviour and loyalty to royals and all.

"So you introduced it to Prince Logan, your majesty?"

"Well, I couldn't help it, could I? He comes out to visit several times a week, and during the next visit the kangaroo was there, going through its usual motions. It nearly beat up his guards, as well - I just barely managed to restrain it with words."

"And you gave it to Logan?"

The queen chuckled. "Not quite. I think he earned it, actually, because once he got a good look at the creature, Logan challenged it to a game of tag. He's always been a speedy devil, and I think the kangaroo's rambunctious nature led Logan to believe that it might be able to keep up. And it did, let me tell you - though it never caught him. Came close, but nobody can beat my Logan."

"It's been following him ever since? You weren't worried it might, I dunno, bite him or something?"

"No, no. It's tame around the two of us. Very loyal." She cringed. "I suppose that doesn't extend to everyone else. Poor Captain Cedric, I've heard what it did to him. I'm surprised he kept his post afterward - I wouldn't want to remain in the same castle as a castrating kangaroo."

So that was that. The tale told at last. It answered many questions, and brought up a few more things that aren't important enough to write about here, as this entry has been MASSIVE already - though it DID create one more important question before I left, for which Queen Daena didn't have an answer.

"Your majesty, you said Prince Logan challenged the kangaroo to a game of tag?"

"I did, yes. It was quite a sight, too - it chased Logan up and down trees, across the surface of the moat, over the barbican, trying to touch him. I was very impressed."

"I'm sure you were, m'lady… but… how did the kangaroo know how to play tag?"


"That's an excellent question, Dragomir."

(I'll stop there. Robert says suspense is GREAT for writing.)


Dragomir the Guard


  1. All that comes to mind when I see todays picture is the phrase "FATALITY!" or "FINISH HIM!".

  2. Hey, love the story so far. About the poll, I'm not sure if anyone's pointed this particular character out yet for the "other" category, but Eve isn't listed. Seeing as she's my favourite character so far (or at least one of them, they're all so good) I thought I should mention her.

    1. Yes, SZ pointed her out the other day. I feel like such a dunce for forgetting her, she's also one of my favourite characters. (Though they're all my precious little babies, they is.) Thanks for reading!