Eines Nachts bin ich aufgewacht und konnte nicht mehr einschlafen, bevor ich nicht diese Geschichte ins Handy getippt habe. Auf Englisch.
Und weil ich sonst nichts damit anzufangen wusste und nur ganz wenig eitel bin, hab ich mich entschieden, es hier zu posten. Vielleicht kann ich ja damit den ein oder anderen Schmunzler hervorrufen.
Arrr the Barbarian
The barbarian and the sword
It was a slightly cloudy day in the outskirts of some third grade town near the next major hub when Arrr decided to stop and rest. He had been wandering without a real goal for a while now, just taking in the scenery, so he sat down on a nearby tree stump and began to unbundle his lunch. He started lazily chewing on a grilled heuzzzarro leg.
The heuzzzarro was a chicken-like monster he had last been paid to eradicate. Think of it like a chicken but with the physique and the ferocity of a rabid wolf. He usually would have declined such a small task as being beneath him but he was running low on rations. Combining work and grocery shopping seemed like a good idea at that time but the beast proved to be more challenging than he thought.
Still, quite tasty, he thought to himself, feeling the beak-shaped wound on his arm, when a bustling in the nearby trees caught his attention.
“Just some young people having some fun on their lunch break…” he mused, happily remembering when he was one of those young people. Nearing forty, he didn’t think himself old but then again, neither did those younger think he was one of them anymore.
“It’s so big!” a female voice could be heard saying. “And so long!” a second female voice said.
“Good for them, a menage a trois at lunch”, Arrr thought, happy to be proven right. He continued his lunch with some potatoes he had brought with him. Heuzzzarro was nice but some variety is necessary after all.
“And so shiny!” the first female voice exclaimed excitedly. Arrr grinned until the content of this sentence registered in his brain.
“Odd” , he thought, “that’s not a word I would have used in that circumstance”, before deciding they must be talking about some kind of phallus-shaped toy. Arrr wasn’t judgy who had fun with whom, so he decided to focus on some brownies he had bought as a dessert when a scream filled the air.
“Okay, fun is nice and good but that didn’t sound like it”, he decided, grabbing his sword and rushing in the direction of the scream.
He came to a clearing a few meters from his lunch spot where he saw three figures surrounding a large sword stuck in the ground. One of the figures, a young woman maybe 15 years his junior, sat on the ground near the sword rubbing her hands and trying to hold back tears.
Now the exclamations made sense.
The woman shouted to her companions, a slightly older woman and a guy who looked like her brother. Arrr thought he heard “it burned me” or something along those lines.
Ahhh, one of those swords, he thought to himself.
The group was still focused on the sword and the woman on the ground and hadn’t noticed him yet. He decided to wait for what happened next, seeing as there was no actual danger.
He knew about swords like this, fancy things with a built in security spell. Someone had paid a wizard a great deal of money to get this done. Security spells prevented usage of the sword by anyone but their rightful owner and those they had granted access. The really fancy ones came with a builtin imp that controlled access. Everyone else received a nasty shock for their troubles.
“Let me try,” the man said. Arrr stifled a sigh. He had just seen his companion be zapped but still he wanted to try himself. Stupidity really never ceased to amaze.
Right on cue, a pretty high pitched scream rang across the clearing when predictably the sword delivered a healthy dose of shock to the would-be thief. Arrr thought he heard a snicker coming from the sword but decided that this was probably the sound of the guy’s hair sizzling.
The remaining woman, apparently blessed with more brain cells than her compatriots, helped her possibly brother to his feet. “What should we…” she began when she looked in Arrr’s direction and saw him standing there for the first, his napkin still around his neck from the lunch their screaming fest had interrupted.
“Run!” she yelled before he could interject and soon she and the guy who Arrr had thought of her brother were gone, leaving the woman, still stunned from the shock, on the ground.
That’s not nice of them, he thought as he walked over to the woman. Careful not to have anything metallic touch her, he offered her a hand. She grabbed it hesitantly and drew herself up.
“Nice day for a sword stealing party, huh?” he said to the still slightly buzzing woman. The shock spell must have gotten her worse than he thought. “Careful with the electricity. Here, use this to ground yourself”. He stuck his own sword in the ground and took a few steps from her. “I’m Arrr by the way.”
The woman looked at the sword with some hesitation. Now that he could see her better, she was apparently wearing a long brown robe over a white tunic and pants. Probably didn’t want to get her work clothes dirty while using her lunch break to engage in some light sword-stealing. She had dark skin contrasted by azure blue eyes. He judged her to be in her mid-twenties. Her shoulder-length red hair had transformed into an afro from the shock she received.
Looks like she learned her lesson, Arrr thought when he saw her hesitancy. To the woman he said, “Don’t worry, it’s harmless. I couldn’t afford a fancy protection spell if I wanted to.” That last part was a lie, of course, but it never made sense to reveal too much about one’s finances on the first encounter. She might get the wrong idea. Or worse yet, the right one.
She grabbed the sword gingerly and the energy left her body, her frizzled hair visibly setting down across her shoulders.
“So, what’s your name?” Arrr encouraged her to say.
“Why do you have this around your neck?” she instead asked, pointing to his chest.
“Oh that…” Arrr became aware of the napkin he had stuck there during lunch for the first time. Great first impression…, he thought.
Aloud he said, “I was just having some lunch when your little scream interrupted me. I thought you might have been hurt. Looks like I was right, just not the way I thought.” He tore away the napkin.
“Right… I’m Olivia”, she said, “Thanks, I guess for helping me unshock myself.”
“No problem. So why were you guys trying to steal a sword that clearly is not yours?”
“We just heard about…” she began when a male voice was heard screaming “Olivia! Olivia!!”
“Sorry, got to go!” She ran away towards the voice.
“The youth of today…” Arrr exhaled and rolled his eyes.
“Right?” said a low voice behind him. He froze. He usually was good at picking up movement behind him and he could have sworn there was no one behind him. He pulled his sword from the ground and turned around quickly. There was no one there.
Weird, he thought when the voice began again. “I said ‘right?’. Are you ignoring me as well?” came from the sword.
Arrr relaxed. “A talking sword. Didn’t think any of you guys still were around”, he said, lowering his weapon. “What brings you to these parts?”
“Oh, you know, standard prophecy stuff. They told me to wait here for a Chosen One who is destined to wield me to defeat the evil yada yada yada, you know the drill. I’m Sharp by the way.”
“Yes, I can see that”, Arrr replied, admiring the sword’s craftsmanship up close.
“No, that’s my name”
“Sharp the sword?” he asked incredulously.
“You got a problem with that?”
“No no”, Arrr assured it hastily. “Fitting name, very nice. Very nice, indeed. So you are zapping teenagers for fun in the meanwhile?”
“Pretty much. Not much to do here and they talked about selling me, so I decided to teach them a lesson.”
“Good man…errr…sword,” he said. “Well, nice meeting you but I really need to get back to whatever lunch the wildlife has left for me. Good luck with your prophecy!.”
Arrr went back towards his lunch stump, picking up his napkin on the way. Littering was not heroic after all, the after school specials had taught him.
“Yes?”. He slowly turned around.
“Don’t you want to try picking me up?”
“Thanks, but I don’t think I fit the Chosen One criteria”, he said, looking down at his impressive belly. “At least not anymore…”
“You never know if you don’t try”, the sword coaxed. “Don’t worry, I won’t shock you.”
“If it makes you happy…” he sighed.
“It really would! Nothing much happens around here and it might take some time before the legend of the sword in the woods has made its rounds to attract more people.”
“Okay, here goes nothing…”, Arrr said while pulling in the sword’s handle cautiously with one hand. You never knew with these swords after all.
To his amazement, it came loose quite easily. He held the surprisingly light sword in his hand.
“You’re messing with me, right?”, he accused the metal in his hand. Speaking to an object expecting a response was now only the second weirdest thing that happened today.
“I’m as surprised as you are” Sharp’s voice came back.
“I can zap people and some other neat tricks but I don’t control who can use me. That’s built in. Unfortunately. Don’t you think I would have rather gone with the ginger who tried before than a middle aged has-been?”
“Ouch, that stings”, Arrr replied, knowing that the truth of its words stung the most.
“Sorry, people skills are not my strong suit. After all, my purpose is to make sure they stop talking. Not much need for social skills there. ‘Nice weather we’re having today, isn’t it? Terribly sorry for killing you’.”
Arrr felt the sarcasm in the air as heavy as lead. If the sword had eyes, it would have rolled them so hard, they would have been lost in their sockets
” I get it, I get it.” he said wearily. “No need to be snappy. You said something about a prophecy?”
“Ah yes, the prophecy. Chosen One..err…”
Arrr looked at it expectantly.
“I seem to have forgotten the details…”
Great, a sword with amnesia, he thought. “So what do you remember?”
“A guy named Baud brought me here. I think he lives in Zerrrtocl.”
“Zerrrtocl. It’s the town you were sitting outside?”
Again, Arrr thought he could hear the exasperation in the sword’s voice. Then again, he hadn’t bothered to read the town’s name when he passed it, figuring it too small to matter.
“Okay”, he said, picking up Sharp from the tree he had leant it on. “Let’s see a guy about a sword.”
“Don’t forget your lunch!”
“Oh, thanks Sharpy. I may call you Sharpy, right?”
“I’m a mighty sword…” Sharp began but stopped. The annoyance in his voice was palpable. “As you wish,” it continued instead. “I’m yours now after all…”
“Great!” Arrr said, walking with his picnic bundle towards the town gates. A little humiliation for the sarcasm earlier probably didn’t hurt. Payback is a female dog after all…