Monday, April 20, 2015

Day Eight-Forty-Eight: Howdy there, long time no see

Not for the first time, Jeffrey wondered why in the hell he’d asked to join the ground battle.

Since Logan’s departure, Jeffrey had felt adrift in a sea not of his own making. Wife, missing; daughter, dead; son, fled; arguable best friend, swiftly turning into a power-hungry douche. Or so it seemed to Jeffrey, himself a former power-hungry douche. Jeffrey barely knew what was going on anymore, or for whom he was fighting, and so he decided to get right into the thick of things. He didn’t want to be on the airship with The Baron anymore anyway.

I think I’ve changed my mind, Jeffrey thought. I think I’ve changed my mind about a lot of things.

The Non swept at Jeffrey with impressive speed, its claws raking at his nose. He yelped and took a step back, fists coming up in a standard boxing pose. The Non lashed out again and again, and Jeffrey just barely avoided its swipes. He swept forward with a strike of his own, but it was too uncertain, too hesitant, and the Non brushed it aside with a flick of its wrist. Another flick sent Jeffrey to the ground. He raised his arms defensively -

- and lowered them again as Antonio leaped to his aid. The bulky orc brought one fist around in a swift blow to the Non’s pliable chest. The ebon creature fell back two steps and collapsed into a crouch, hissing curses Jeffrey couldn’t understand. Antonio launched another punch at it, but the Non jumped out of the way -

- and straight into Cedric’s waiting hands. Miming Antonio’s boxing posture - Right, I forgot he used to box, Jeffrey thought - Cedric slammed into the Non’s head with his werewolf arm. The sheer strength of Cedric’s undead limbs splattered the Non’s face, and it collapsed into an ugly heap.

“Zat iz imprezzive ztrength,” Antonio commented, stepping up beside Cedric. They shielded Jeffrey from the battle raging around them as he got sheepishly to his feet. “You are a boxer too, ya?”

“I used ta practice a bit,” Cedric admitted. He took a swing at a nearby Non, but seeing what happened to its friend, it got skittish and bounded away. “Nuthin’ huge. You the one who beefed up Jeff-o back there? Looks like ya did a shitty job with his technique.”

“Hey, c’mon, I’m… still learning,” Jeffrey insisted, raising his fists as two more Non bounded into range. “Incoming!”

The three boxers battled the Non ferociously, Cedric and Antonio aiding Jeffrey whenever he got into trouble - which was often. The former king’s fear was swiftly giving way to irritation as he realized his impotence, and he forced himself into several dangerous scrapes. Again, Cedric and Antonio had to go to his rescue, irritating Jeffrey even more.

“I can handle it!” Jeffrey yelled hotly, after a close shave with a sky dwarf. “Gods damn it all, you guys aren’t the only fighters around here!”

“True, but you ain’t in that number yet, guy,” Cedric said, sneering. “Sorry. ‘M’lord.’ Y’should get back to the airship when you get the chance, you’re just gonna get pasted out - “

Cedric didn’t finish his sentence. He was abruptly drowned out by the haunting AWOOOO of a wolf, and the sound sent chills up Jeffrey’s spine. Turning away from a Non that Antonio admittedly had covered, he peered across the battlefield -

- and spotted the incoming wave of werewolves. They bounded across the field of Non in a vicious torrent, scattering the lanky warriors and punching a huge hole in the enemy lines. Jeffrey didn’t realize the strategic value of the werewolves, of course, because from his vantage point they appeared to be nothing more than impending death.

Well, I guess I’ve been pretty suicidal in the past, Jeffrey thought, closing his eyes. Didn’t figure this was how I’d go, though.

The werewolves paid no heed to Jeffrey, however, and as he reviewed the happiest moments of his life, Jeffrey felt the coarse fur of dozens of werewolves passing right by him, as though he were of no more consequence than a gnat. This incensed him as much as his inability to rumble, and he considered attacking one of the werewolves, just so he could claim to have participated when he found himself in hell.

He was not, however, facing a werewolf when he opened his eyes. Instead, the most beautiful woman in the world was standing in front of Jeffrey. And, yes, she was standing, not running.

“Hi,” Daena said, her smile vast and lovely. She pointed at her legs. “Look, I can walk normally now. Are you impressed?”

Dumbfounded, his dread and irritation receding, Jeffrey fumbled for words. “Y… wh… you… uh… hi… uh… um…”

Daena stepped forward and kissed her husband. He kissed her back. Then a Non tackled them both, and they spent a cordial moment together, beating the snot out of the poor fellow. Jeffrey didn’t hold back one bit.

Neither of them noticed the dragon soaring overhead, heading west.

No comments:

Post a Comment