Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Man Of The Worlds, Part VIII

The man directly in front of him jumped backwards as well as he could, being surrounded by people, and let out a startled yelp upon the return of the Journeyman Exterminator.

"He's back! The Exterminator is back!"

A few others grabbed him and tried to lead him back towards the cellar entrance. He couldn't be moved until finally he decided to walk on to the front of the screaming crowd and see if someone else's ear had been eaten. At the trap door he was grabbed and mauled, while at least seven people vied for his attention. All that could be understood was that something was happening beneath Soot's home.

Concentrating, he chanted and gesticulated and finally pointed to the sky with one hand while passing the other in front of the never-closing mouths of those about him. One by one they fell silent, though their mouths kept moving. Their voices were projected hundreds of feet in the air above them, and some passers-by took the skittish reaction of overhead birds as an ill omen.

Soon there was quiet about the Blue Man save for the chicken farmer. The exterminator reached through the mass of bodies and pulled the excited young man to him. The farmer also fell silent, realizing that he was the only person who hadn't lost the ability to speak.

In a calm monotone, the Journeyman Exterminator asked him to explain what had happened.

"Younger Farwir, Exterminator. He's gone down to slay the beast and impress the ladies."

"Listen to me, carefully. Get all the polished armor and silver your people can get together and throw it down into the cellar."

The Blue Man said no more but created another flame, and broke the spell of voices. He pushed through to the door and went below, staff firmly in hand.

"Die, you filthy, livestock-propositioning bastard!", yelled the man at the bottom of the steps, drawing back arrow after arrow and plunging each into the tough hide of the screaming Anamather which was now wedged between the crumbling cellar walls. "You smelly, fat-headed, dung eating, rancid, . . . thing, you!"

The Blue Man held back for a moment. He couldn't deny that Young Farwir' tactics weren't all that bad. Perhaps it was time to invest in a bow. However, the arrows seemed to infuriate the young Anamather more than harm it. Soon Farwir's quiver was spent, and the fervor of the upper hand possessed the man to take up his gladius, raising it until it hit the low ceiling. The Blue Man grabbed his arm but lost his grip as a large silver teapot bounced off of his unprotected skull from above.

(To Be Concluded)

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