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Subj: ~ History Class: the Fate of BattleBoard Mountain ~ (part 1)
Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 at 12:23:54 am EST (Viewed 62 times)
The early autumn sun shown down on the pebbled orange & pearl flaked brick between the campus entrance and the Academy's main hall. The little legs of a diminutive man, garbed in the dark-brown pinstripes of a rather elegant suit, paced patiently but purposefully along its path. The chain of a golden pocket-watch bounced against his lapel and the clack of his black cane echoed noticeably upon the marble buildings wreathing the courtyard. He had a pale, eager face and decidedly square head adorned by a grey, felt bowler hat that was cocked slightly to one side. Curling hair of Irish red spun in whimsy beneath its grip...
He climbed the broad stairs between two pillars of emerald & some manner of ivory, peering through the shadowy hall to the sunlight on the other side. Heavy wooden doors, spaced wide, lined each wall with wrought iron handles inviting entrance to each one. But, which was the one he sought?
Not unwelcome, but still he scurried as if so to & fro the doors, placing his ear against them and listening to the voices inside. Classes were in session, but it would take time to find....
Startled by a horn that suddenly resounded across the campus, the figure lurched as the doors flew open and several young adults flooded from inside. They smiled as they passed him, or would nod, and he grimaced to grin back. The torrent dwindled and a girl with bright orange hair, not unlike his own, sauntered from the classroom with notebooks clutched unto her chest. He rose an index finger into the air.
"Uhm... excuse me," his Leprechaun voice arose.
The girl turned her attention toward him. He motioned for her to lean in & he whispered a query into her ear. She nodded, pointed, and could be heard replying --
".... last door on the left."
She walked away happy to have helped.
His cane preceded his first step and his breath drew tight in anticipation. He was closer than ever before.
As he approached the last door on the left a man emerged with broad shoulders, a checkered tweed jacket covering a tan vest and crimson button-down shirt beneath. Umber hair waved from beneath a flat cap and brown denim pants fell to black dress-shoes shining at the edge of the sunlight at the end of the hall. He carried a bound silver umbrella beneath his arm as he closed the door and turned to walk away.
"Uhh, please!" the little man's voice spoke in chase, his pace picking up to close the distance. "Professor!"
But the man appeared not to hear and started down the stair.
"Professor Z!!" he called again, loudly.
Indeed, the professor stopped and turned with a smile, his back foot down one step.
The jangle of the little man's pocket-watch and the clacking of his cane were the only noises as he approached.
"Why yes?" Professor Z posed.
The little man stopped a few feet away, seeming out-of-breath.
"I was... wondering... if you might spare a few moments of your time," he said.
"Well I have another class in 10 minutes, but I'll try."
"Good, good," he said nodding. "I want to ask you about what happened at BattleBoard Mountain and for you to tell me the whereabouts of the King, the Bishop," his spry voice growing dark, "... and the Knight."
Professor Z's eyebrow lifted curiously.
"Well that's what my last class was about, the history of the Gammacy." His head motioned towards the room he'd emerged from. "I'll be revisiting it again tomorrow. Are you a new student here?"
The little man shook his head.
"I don't have time for classes," he said. "Tell me where they went after the Church was burned and the Kingdom fell."
Professor Z brought his front foot down to the first step aside his other. He paused before speaking.
"No one really knows that," he offered. "We have books, scrolls, relics, and myths passed down word-of-mouth. But the fate of the Gammacy of the Church of Hulk remains a mystery to this day. I teach its history. But as with any ancient legend, there are holes in what we can see."
"I know you know," the little man said confidently.
"You flatter me," the professor replied. "I only know so much. But you should enroll here & take the full course. The Forgotten Green Academy is always eager for minds that are hungry to perceive."
The little man leaned forward on his cane.
"Now if you'll excuse me," the professor insisted, "I'd like to eat an apple on my break."
He turned to stroll away.
"ZVELF!" the little man called angrily.
Professor Z turned slowly on his heel.
"How... how do you know that name??"
"I know the things you've tried to forget, and all you've sought not to be!"
The little man withdrew a blade from the cane and let its sheath fall to the stoney floor. Its metal was adorned with archaic scrawl and its bladed edge vibrated with violet energy.
Zvelf recognized it instantly.
"Impossible," he uttered.
The little man sneered.
"I'm here to remind you just what's possible, professor!"
He stepped towards him; Zvelf held out his hands in protest.
"Please.... don't do this here."
"As a teacher of history," the little man said, "you should know that here & now is all we have."
He lunged forth with a high-pitched grunt, the blade just missing Zvelf's chest as he slapped it away, dropping the umbrella to the steps. The professor withdrew into the shadows of the hall in hopes of keeping his students from seeing their melee.
"Who ARE you?!" he demanded.
"I am your past," the little man said as he neared again, "your present, and your fate!"
He stabbed with the sword and Zvelf lunged back, pleading his case.
"I'm not a warrior anymore. I am a teacher. This is not who I've been, not for a long, long time."
The little man grinned.
"I'm counting on it."
Just then, he deked left and launched back with a flying, spinning kick that caught Zvelf in the jaw, lifting & then flattening him to the unforgiving floor of the hallway. His head swam as he fought the instinct to tap into his grumbling power within. But what other option had he?
Professor Z sat up swiftly and clawed his frustration across the glimmering rock, lengthening nails digging into its surface like it was sand.
"Enough of this!"
He dodged the blade again as he twirled to his stance and barked restitution --
"What. Is. Your. NAME?!" he beseeched, still trying to reason a way through this.
The little man stabbed at his feet and as the professor lurched back rolled into a front-flip that defied physics, driving the blade into his forehead and bloodlessly out the back. Zvelf fell hard & flat, his eyes flickering as lucidity escaped him.
The little man pulled the pocket-watch from its pouch in his jacket and flipped it open to reveal sophisticated mechanisms swirling within.
"This is Marv," the little man spoke into the timepiece. "I have Professor Z. Extraction."
A low hum surrounded them and in a dark flash of lavender light, they were gone.
--and the horn signaling the start of the next period resounded again across the campus, echoing an absence none present would understand. Except one.
(to be continued...)
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