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Tuesday, November 6

Awfully Familiar Update

Torches illuminated the center of the cellar, a ring enclosed by wood barriers. It was an arena of sort, comlete with wooden bleachers, arranged one over the other, rising stepwise nearly to the ceiling. The floor of the pit was oddly stained. I tried not to think about it.

The sweaty, smelly giants were back, shouting and hooting, just like they had when I was fighting Big Bertha. Only they weren't wizard school students, but drunken louts. They were all pretty much the same to me.

The man's attire mimicked a ringmaster. Only it was a very different kind of circus. And he was disgustingly fat. "Today's match is Billy versus Jacko!"

Instead of a whip, he lifted a wineskin. It sloshed around, spraying the audience, but they didn't seem to notice. Probably because they were drunk too.

"Billy, at twenty four pounds, comes all the way from Laneutia to compete in today's fight!" The owner brought the most disturbing beast I'd ever laid eyes on, worse even that Big Bertha. At least Bertha was clean and deadly. Billy was a slavering mass of fangs and drool. He had folded, crumpled ears, short stubby legs, and a bug-eyed look of perpetual ferocity. He barked ferociously as his handler, a stubby little man, jerked on Billy's chain.

"Gonna kill me some rats!" Billy shouted.

I looked around. Did anyone else hear him?

Spindle looked on while Corwin put in his bid for a tag with the ringmaster. But it wasn't time yet, so Corwin got brushed aside when the next dog came out.

"Weighing in at twenty six pounds, our reigning Calximus champion…" the ringmaster took a deep breath. "Jackoooooo!"

Jacko made Billy look like a poodle. The dog was bigger, stronger, meaner.

Jacko had sharp, pointed ears, a stubby nose, and a white stripe of fur running down the center of his broad head. Jacko's fur was mostly white, with brown spots along his back. His tail was all brown with a white tip. He wore a spiked collar. And worst of all, he had an eye patch.

What in the world was a dog doing with an eye patch?

10579 / 50000 words. 21% done!


posted by Michael Tresca at 5:44 PM

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