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|Lauren Wiseblade was just trying to make his way in the world; namely, kicking butt, and avoiding having his butt kicked. Yes, he knows it's a girl's name. And yes, he would NOT like you to point that out. Follow Lauren's hilarious adventures with the enchanter Jared Starfist and the Takma Hurdill Mimsy, and how a certain Box caused the creation of a mountain. This chapter introduces the character of the rather obnoxious Hurdill Mimsy and some more humiliation for Lauren, because I'm that nasty. Note: You might want to read A Brief History of Altomia first before you read any of the Tales of Altomia. You don't have to, and it's usually more fun to find out about this strange world I have devised through the actual stories that the history, but, well, MEH. Also, constructive criticism would be just smashing, guys.||
Lauren wakes from his rather amusing dream. It had involved an accordion playing Frére Jacques, a banana made from titanium that danced with a garden gnome and Jared Starfist repeating the words, “That’s a girl’s name,” endlessly.
He is glad it’s over.
A lack of poetic daylight streams through his room window, and as Lauren yawns, stretches and peers dazedly outside, he rather wishes he hadn’t.
Hail stones that look like bowling balls in Lauren’s sleepy opinion are striking the roof, accompanied by a maelstrom of rain that makes a thundering sound, which Lauren likens to a mocking laughter.
“Ehhh….?” He moans, blinks, and then flops back onto his bed, which he also regrets; the bed’s mattress is harder than his grandma’s rock cakes, which is saying something because Lauren suddenly recalls with delicious irony that gravel had been somewhere in the recipe. His family were notorious for taking things too seriously.
But no matter! Lauren is about to wake up, and we must know what he is thinking if we are to predict his general outlook on life at this present time!
And his thought is thus;
He remembers about his encounter with Jared Starfist the day previously, and then proceeds to throw on his clothes in an untidy manner. He grabs his broadsword and belt, thrusts the former into the latter and then dashes down the stairs of the inn without bothering to check that the door to his room is locked (which it isn’t), almost throws himself onto the floor, his heart is racing, his hair a mess, his eyes are wild with panic, his thoughts are doing marathons up and down Oh-Crap Avenue at a thousand miles an hour (I cannot be late! I cannot be late!), and then –
“Your trousers are only half-on.”
A simple statement. But oh so true. Jared’s voice is attached to it.
And so are the eyes of everyone in the tavern of The Gambling Gnome.
“This cannot be happening to me!” He cries, his plight is lost amongst the sea of braying and giggles, customers collapsing to the ground, barely able to stand up with their merriment. Lauren pulls up his trousers, tightening his belt, whilst the garden gnome of humiliation is jumping up and down on his pride like a trampoline.
One voice sticks out.
“Nyuuuuuuuuuuk, nyuk, nyuk nyuk nyuk!”
Which strikes Lauren as incredibly odd.
The strange laughter is in the direction of a rather plump and small figure, draped in cloak of deepest burgundy. As it pulls down its hood, two fluffy ears stick out of a mass of flaky black hair, and Lauren recognises the person as a Takma, a rather cat-like being from the Krasio Mountains of Samael.
Thick, dark paws emerge from stump-like arms that are bound in a tight red tunic; the Takma’s button nose is pink and seems to twinkle. A mischievous smirk is spread like jam across his face, his blue eyes are surrounded by rings of white fur. A long, curly black tail spirals out of his crimson trousers, a pair of simple sandals are below his wide feet which end in sharp nails. Note also the Takma’s round belly, which tells tales of too much merrymaking and beer, and also his cutlass, which has sides and a point that are lined in silver.
Jared decides to speak.
“Lauren, this is Hurdill Mimsy. He will also be accompanying me to Fort Luna.”
At this, Hurdill’s eyes widen and he breaks into a laugh.
“NYUUUUUUUUUUK, NYUK NYUK NYUK NYUK!” He chortles, slapping his thigh. “Yer name is Lauren? An’ yer a fella?”
“Um…yes….” Lauren mumbles, face drooping. He had had quite enough of this malarkey as it was.
Hurdill laughs again. “Ah betcha have a liddle dress an’ petticoh an’ evryfin’!”
“Please….stop it….” Lauren pleads, looking to Jared for salvation.
He merely blinks.
“ ‘Ere, Lady Lauren m’dear. M’name’s Hurdill, as Mistah Sta’fis’ just menshunned dere, an’ m’nother name’s Mimsy, which ah got from m’ fathah. Affly importan’ chap he wos, he wos th’un tha slew Auld Jimmy Bloodbane sev’ral decades back, y’know? So yoo bettah ac’ preddy respeccabble-like ta me from nigh on, y’hear me, Lady Lauren m’dear?”
“….Yes…” Lauren replies half-heartedly, trying to sift both through the remains of his dignity and the granny’s jumper thickness of Hurdill’s dialect.
“Nyuk nyuk, aye! Good, good!” Hurdill cheers, and then turns to Jared. “So, Mistah Sta’fis’ sah, when d’we star’, y’know?”
Jared turns, very slowly, towards Hurdill. “Now.”
His monocle falls to the ground again.
There is the thud of finalization. And silence.
Lauren steps out of his pool of humiliation to listen. Jared steeps down to pick up the contraption again with the same rehearsed and unsurprised way he did the previous day. Once again, a new lens fights off beads of light against its surface, and he pops the monocle back over his right eye. He glimpses at Hurdill’s shocked face, and stands up straight again. He lifts up his Box, and tosses the accordion into Hurdill’s paws. “Are you ready to go?”
|Tales of Altomia: The Box - Chapter One||Red Requiem: Enter Tirania|
|Horse-Drawn Dreams||Red Requiem: Welcome to Venim|
|Tears of Sardonyx: Kteria - Prologue|