Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Same story, different monologue (part I)

The Bloody Blades. The Million Man Army. The Road Hard Men. Frankly, they drank a lot and fought for a living, so they earned many nicknames. None were particularly accurate. They wielded more bludgeons than blades and at their peak their membership was around six hundred and something, nowhere near a million.

They did most any work, and often made up work for themselves when work was thin, to keep the gruesome reputation strong. This sometimes meant razing a village. They killed every man, defiled every woman, and let the children watch.

The children didn’t take kindly to this. Raising an army of vengeance didn’t work well; there were so many of the Bloody Blades, and so few resources with which to pay help. Some tried to hunt down the mercenaries themselves, but they met grim ends.

One, an orphan named Rufus, took an economic root to revenge. He lived well. He started as a merchant’s assistant at twelve and founded his own business as soon as possible. He worked in ports and got things to places faster than others. Expedited delivery made him a small fortune quickly. Investments made him another small fortune. He rubbed the two small fortunes together until they made him a nice big one.

He scouted the countryside for perilous men and perilous tasks, but even when his former townsfolk demanded he raise an army to avenge their parents, he declined.

Instead he found the mercenaries who had wronged him, tracked them to their door and tossed a sack of silver on the stoop. He hired them to kill off the nastiest demon in this trade route – a twenty-five foot storm beast. It sounded challenging but helpful to their reputations, so all six-hundred-and-something of the Million Man Army marched to its mountain lair.

Unfortunately it was not a twenty-five foot storm beast. At fifty-five feet and quite hungry, it was more than they had armed themselves for. It loomed and laughed.

Behind them, Rufus yelled, “Charge!”

Before they could retreat, their prey descended on them.

To their merit they fought the demon to the last man. As wave upon wave of brutal warriors crashed on it, it weakened. Soft spots opened up. Wounds deepened. And soon it was so preoccupied with maiming and digesting the great mercenaries that Rufus was able to walk up its back and drive a stake through its neck.

He took the glory for the kill out of spite, underplaying how many of them there had been. But that was not his revenge. That, according to what he told one fellow orphan, “was hiring them to go kill themselves.”

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