Friday, March 9, 2012

Day One-Sixty: War of the Fuzzies


Boxing match: complete. Winner: Cedric. Actual winner: I wish I could say me, but I get the feeling NOT A SINGLE PERSON IN THE CASTLE won this round. Something's terribly wrong.

The prince must have been a busy little promoter bee in the last two days, 'cause damn near everyone in the castle turned up to watch the fight between man and kangaroo. I suppose I was too busy worrying about Cedric to notice all the posters and banners going up everywhere; only just noticed 'em today.

Needless to say, the practice range was packed by the time I got there after my shift, and I knew there wasn't a chance that I'd get a seat in one of the three stands set up around the wooden ring in the middle. Damn near overflowing with excited people. Fortunately Prince Logan had told The Baron to keep an eye open for me, and he pulled me through the standing crowds and up to the nobles' section at the far end as soon as I entered the training range.

"Did you mastermind this, Dragomir, worst guard of them all?" he asked with his usual puffy smile, leading me past a group of guards with 'KANGAROOS ARE CHUMP' signs.

"Uh… kinda? Not all this… are those vendors…?"

"Yes, yes, the prince put them on commission. He's delighted by the spectacle. I am… less so, though it's better than his usual antics, and we're making money for once. The king is pleased; who am I to argue?"

I could tell he was a little annoyed, though. "Uh. Sorry if I screwed things up. I didn't think it would get so big."

He smiled. "It is of no concern. What's done is done… and I am interested to see how this will turn out."

The Baron took me to the prince's box, and though I'd spotted him from a distance I hadn't realized just how strange Logan's setup was until I got close. The prince had a large, cylindrical funnel propped in front of him, the front of it so long that it stretched out over three rows of nobles and ended in a huge O. It stretched to a tiny mouthpiece near the prince that made it look like a musical instrument.

When I got to the box, the prince greeted me and told me to say something into the funnel. So I did, saying 'Hi', and the word was AMPLIFIED by like a hundred times. Everyone in the place turned to look at me, saying 'Hi' back and waving.

"What's this, my prince?" I asked, as far from the mouthpiece as I could get.

"A loudspeaker, of course! We're gonna be commentators!" Logan pushed me aside and grabbed the end of the funnel. "Welcome, welcome, welcome! Thank y'all for being here on this, the first annual boxing championship of Castle IWantSomeBlood! Everyone be seated or stop moving around or whatever, we're gonna get started in a moment! I'm Prince Logan, and this is Dragomir the Guard! We're going to talk you through this epic bout! Sound good, dirty subjects?"

A rousing "AYE" rose up from the crowd.

"Good! Before we watch some man-on-beast action, I just want to thank my father for putting this together on such short notice! Give your good king a round of applause!"

The crowd raised their hands to the king, who stood in his box, at the top of the nobles' section, and accepted their applause. Then he yelled something at Logan, and though I'm not sure EXACTLY what he said I'm pretty sure he was telling his son that he wanted to be announcer for the next boxing match.

"Alright! Looks like it's gonna be a great match. What do you say, Dragomir?"

"Ye-"

"Damn skippy! Fine match. Let's bring out the boxers! First, in the red corner - see, look, it's painted red - we have the hoppiest sonovabitch you've ever seen in this fair land! He ducks, he jabs, he weaves, he's the greatest pet I've ever owned, possibly because he's killed all the others! Ladies and gents, I give yooooooou - the KANGAROOOOO!"


The kangaroo bounded into the ring out of nowhere, performing a rather neat flip in mid air and landing on all fours. Then he growled at the crowd, stood tall and howled. Rather… unusual behaviour for a kangaroo… but people booed anyway, because no one likes the kangaroo.

"That's my pet down there! Lookin' good, eh, Dragomir?"

"Ye-"

"AND IN THE CHICKEN CORNER! We ran out of paint so we nailed a chicken to the wood! In the chicken corner we have the grouchiest guy I've ever had the pleasure of not knowing very well! Weighing in at some grotesque number of pounds and covered in more hair than should be allowed by law, I present you with our one and only captain of the guards! Put your hands together for Captaaaaaaaaaaaain CEDRIIIIIIIC!"


Captain Cedric bounded into the ring out of nowhere, performing a rather neat flip in mid air and landing on all fours. Then he growled at the crowd, stood tall and howled. Rather… unusual behaviour for a captain… but people booed anyway, because no one likes Captain Cedric.

I get the feeling most people showed up because they wanted the kangaroo and the captain to kill each other. Neither are popular. I thought Captain Cedric looked spiffy in his clipped breeches and hair shirt, at least… though it turned out that was just his CHEST hair…

As the pair sized each other up, Logan announced the rules. "You know how it goes, fellas! There will be ten rounds, two minutes apiece! Only punching, no-"

That's when it began. No bell, no 'FIGHT', no nuthin' like that. Cedric, completely ignoring the rules, dove at the kangaroo with his mouth wide open, clearly trying to bite the thing. The kangaroo dodged, but barely, and the rest of Logan's explanation died as the crowd roared.

The battle carried on for a full fifteen minutes without rules, because I'm pretty sure nobody wanted to try and enforce anything, least of all the referee (Bernard). The pair kept circling each other, occasionally wading in to deliver punches or kicks or bites, and for the first while the kangaroo had the definite advantage. Cedric couldn't keep up, and no surprise - he's a damn big dude, and not terribly fast.

As time went on, though, things started to change. The kangaroo kept nipping Cedric's stomach muscles, but rather than slowing down Cedric seemed to speed up, his attacks becoming more and more ferocious. He also seemed a great deal more… bitey, I guess… as the match wore on, and by the end he'd torn big clumps of fur out of the kangaroo's hide. The ring was coated in hair.

And then, suddenly, as if somebody had whispered in his ear that it was time to leave, Captain Cedric looked up. His face wasn't that of a man anymore: hell, if anything he was looking a lot more like the kangaroo on the other side of the ring, and he snarled up a storm. Then he let loose another howl, one loud enough to rock the range, and he leaped out of the ring and ran for the door. People scurried out of his way in droves.

And the kangaroo, well, he just collapsed. Poor thing looked terribly tired. And, uh, a great deal greener. And his snout was gone, along with a lot of his back hair. And I could have sworn, just before he got spirited away by a pair of royal guards, that he had… breasts…?

The match kinda dissolved into panic after that. The remaining royal guards shuttled the nobles away, out a back passage, leaving the commoners to flail about amongst each other. I went with the nobles, and when I got home that night I earned a beating from Libby for not inviting her up to Prince Logan's box. Apparently she almost gotten flattened by one of the castle's bakers, and I sympathize - he's a biiiiiig duuuuuude.

Nobody knows what happened to Captain Cedric. Like I said, though, something is very wrong, and I fear what's gonna come of next week.

What have I done,

Dragomir the Anxious

6 comments:

  1. Whoever wins, they both get punched in the face. Fight of the century right there.

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  2. I am feeling a werewolf. :) I just got caught up (again. finals week.) I'm kinda surprised Eve did not want to get in on the fighting.

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    1. She'd kill 'em both then eat 'em. HELL of an abrupt end to a storyline, that.

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    2. True. It would kind of take the comedy out of the story line. Although you did get a good run out of ghost Phillip.

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    3. To be honest, the thought of her devouring them is hilarious to me. NOBODY would see it coming. So I'll keep it in mind for the future...!

      And just wait, Philip ain't done yet.

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  3. So...AT LEAST THINGS CAN'T POSSIBLY GET WORSE!...wait for it....waiiiiit for it....aannnnnd things have possibly gotten worse...

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