Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Day Four-Ninety-Two: Three Co-Mayors Sittin' In A House, M-E-E-T-I-N... Mouse?

"Why in the HELL do you want to go THERE?! Your place is HERE! HERE!"

During a (relative) lull in the Non siege, I called a meeting with my Co-Mayors. We were hunkered down in my house, watching through the window as another Non giant assaulted the wall, and was, again, driven back.

"I told you before. Pubton's just a diversion to make sure we don't help our people in Pubtwon. Your mom's in deep shit."

Evangelina inhaled sharply, eyes wide. "M… my what? What the hell -"

Harold cringed under a table. I stood firm. "I'm not stupid, Eva. I figured it out. 'n it's not like it matters anyway. Story for another day, and all that shit. Point is, June's sitting on something they want, and somebody needs to get out there and help her defend it… or maybe take it away from her."

Evangelina threw her arms up in the air, knocking her floppy hat off of her head. "Great. Perfect. We're in the middle of an attack, and the FUCKING MAYOR - "

"Co-Mayor," Harold added quickly.

"CO-MAYOR, WHATEVER, wants to go help the witch. Great. Perfect."

"Aren't you a witch, too? Technically?"

Evangelina rubbed the back of her neck. "Pfft, barely."

I forced a grin. "Close enough. Look, Eva, losing one man isn't gonna do that much to hurt your position. You can keep all the guards, all the townsfolk, hell, you can keep Celine's ninjas to help you in secret. Don't need 'em. But I have to get to that mountain, and now that the Non are attacking it - which they surely ARE - this is my one chance. June can't keep me out if she's focusing on a billion gnashing teeth and slashing claws. Right?"

Evangelina slumped down in a chair and glared out the window, narrowing her eyes as a cannon went off. "But why?"

There were plenty of reasons. The main one, though, came in the form of a letter I'd found shoved under my door not an hour earlier. I handed the scrawl to Evangelina and waited for her response. It said the following, in bloody red:

'Dear Dragomir,

I'm sorry I took so long getting back to you. I've been busy. But not anymore! And I'm glad you have some fucking walls this time! They look nice and meaty. I will relish tearing them down to get at the juicy bits within.

I'm going to kill them all. One by one, nice and slow. And you're gonna watch the whoooooole thing. And when I'm done with them, you and I, we're going to be best buds forever! I can't wait to use you as a steed to hunt rats! I've got a special saddle and everything!

He likes you. That means I DON'T like you. Pray to your gods.

Sincerely, and with hugs and kisses and innumerable fucks,

Kierkegaard the Shunt'

Evangelina cocked an eyebrow. "'The Shunt'? What kind of name is that?"

I shook my head. "Dunno. Doesn't matter. Point is, Kierkegaard is here, and he's in control of the Non, like last time. He's a butcher. He WILL kill everyone. So why hasn't he done it yet? Why bother waiting?"

Harold straightened, looking as smug as he ever does. Which isn't very smug at all. "Because the wall is too strong?"

Evangelina and I shot the idea down with exasperated, but sympathetic, looks. Harold slumped.

"Sorry, bud. Truth bein' honest, we never stood a chance. Not with normal walls." I pointed at the letter. "I think he wants us to stay here. He wants everybody in one spot, so when he overruns whatever defences June has he can come back and show us all what a good job he's done. The little prick wants an audience."

"What makes you say that?"

"Isn't it obvious?" I pantomimed a frantic, idiotic dance, ending with a flourish. "He's a damned jester! He loves it when people pay attention to him!"

Silence. Aside, of course, from the occasional explosion or scream.

"Soooo…" Evangelina rubbed her temples. "Okay. Assume this is correct. WHAT will YOU going to the MOUNTAIN accomplish? Other than getting yourself killed?"

"Again?" added Harold. "If Libby comes back and finds you dead a second time, well… the first go was difficult enough…"

I waved that away. "I'm not gonna die. Again. Look, the reason I want to go to the mountain, to help June, is because Kierkegaard wants his audience to see that he's succeeded. And if he DOESN'T succeed…"

"… he won't bother destroying Pubton," my co-mayors said simultaneously.

"Exactly." I smiled proudly.

Harold looked mildly convinced.

Evangelina's gloved fingers remained on her temples. "Okay. Great. So let's say you accomplish an utter MIRACLE, and somehow save… June… mom… fuck, whatever… let's say you save her miserable, puckered, withered - "

"Actually, she's pretty attractive these days," I said.

"- ASS," Evangelina finished, shuddering. "Kierkegaard will be pissed. Probably. Your stories of him, and what little I know of the fink, suggest he's got a violent streak. What if he's also got a temper… and decides to take out his failure on us?"


A building caved in nearby, destroyed by an errant cannon ball. Daena's a good shot; the other people manning the cannons on Pubton's walls… not as much.

"Then we have a trump card."

Evangelina and Harold waited for me to elaborate. Harold flinched away from the window as a mighty roar echoed across the town, probably from a Non that had taken a direct hit.

"June… June's going somewhere. She hasn't said it, not explicitly, but if she succeeds with what she's doing she'll be going somewhere. Isn't that right, Eva?"

The daughter, after a few seconds of thinking, nodded. "She… never really told us what she wanted. But she did say that when she had it, she'd leave… the world… behind. So, yes, I think she'd vanish. Somehow."

"Which means that she'll have no stake it what happens anymore."


"Which means she might be willing to deal."

I stood from my chair and peeked out the front door. Three soldiers, led by my father, ran past the house to the west wall. I heard later that one of the cannons had exploded, and they were trying to repair the damage before the Non exploited the breach.

"I'll go there. I'll help June with whatever she needs. Offer my services, 'n such. Make sure she gets her plan done."

"And how the hell will you do that?" Evangelina hissed. "Gonna beat the Non to death with your fists? You aren't exactly good with weapons, Dragomir."

I clenched and unclenched my hands. No heat there, but… but. "I'll think of something."

The irritation in Evangelina's face ebbed slightly, her eyebrows curling upward. She could probably tell that I was set on my plan of action. "Ugh. Well… for the sake of argument… let's say you can help. You mentioned a deal. What do you want in exchange…?"

Eva and Harold are my co-mayors. More than that, they're my friends. I've shared a lot more with them than I let on… and in the last week, that includes a few revelations regarding my family.

My entire family.

I swallowed. "I'll ask her to let Grayson loose."

Cannons, cannons, cannons. Cannons in the night.


Dragomir the Co-Mayor

1 comment:

  1. Huh...now I am curious as to what the last picture means...

    (Hopefully a dramatic entrance by Plato that leads into a epic Dance competition...or...something else)