Y'all been warned
“W-what is this?” The girl cried.
“It’s a robbery what does it look like” The robber said.
“Well it could be more” The other robber smirked suggestively.
“W-what does that mean?” She squealed.
“What’s up with her face?” The third robber said.
“Yeah what’s up with that?” The first once asked.
“Maybe she’s one of those ladyboys we keep hearing about” The second smirked.
“Ya think she’s got a wiener?” Number three asked.
“Maybe we should check first.” Number one added.
“Well I never done it with a ladyboy before, won’t that make me a homo” Number three said.
“Eww gross get away from me” Margherite squealed as she kicked at her robbers.
Ten minutes earlier maybe, I dunno who cares?
Margherite had been deep in thought as she traced the path the caravan had previously taken. She was hoping to catch the scent of either Pookie or Coldslaw, sure that one would inevitably lead her to the other. It was early when she’d set off hoping to sneak out before the rest of the circus was awake as circus folk almost always slept in, because why the hell not. They also didn’t brush their teeth twice a day or floss between meals or observe any sort of bedtime at all. In that respect they were kind of like land pirates except not.
Margherite on the other hand loved getting up early and brushing her teeth and flossing but that was just her nature. Don’t ask me where you get floss from in a post apocalyptic diesel punk future. Maybe they found a whole train car full of the stuff how should I know??
Anyway so she’d been walking along her merry way taking what she thought was a shortcut. Which is weird because she didn’t exactly know where she was going having never really set foot in the ‘real world’ before. So she cut through a little path in some high grass in the forbidden irradiated plains where some things still grow, weeds mostly. It was then she heard a woman screaming and struggling.
Naturally being curious and good natured, Margherite went to investigate the source of the noise. Stumbling on three would be bandits getting in a situation that was deeply pornographic with a mother and young daughter. The strange appearance of Margherite was enough to distract the bandits. Allowing the innocent people to escape putting her in the position she is right now. Which is curled up in the long grass with three leering wastrels looming over her.
“He he he, well lets see what she’s got in those shorts.” The first bandit with a big nose said.
“I’m warning you, if you touch me-“
“Yeah what are you gonna do little girl?” The second bandit said with his twisted lipped smile.
“Not me” Margherite yelled. “Lord Bunnynaga”
“Lord what?” The third bandit with the bad haircut said.
“What’s she talking about?” Big nose said.
“Yeah there’s no one else here” Twisted lips added.
“There is too he’s right over there on that bench eating rice.”
“Huh?” The bandits collectively dimly looked over at a heaping pile of nothing off in the distance, a weird mutant bird flew over and made an annoying sound.
They turned to see Margherite running away.
“Hey!” Bad haircut shouted.
“She tricked us” Twisted lips shouted.
“Get her!” Big nose cried.
The three men quickly caught up with her as she made little progress in the long grass in her ridiculous clown shoes.
They grabbed her by the shoulders and tossed her to the ground. One that had been hitching up his trousers tussled with his belt buckle and let his trousers hit the ground.
A rabbit ear twitched at the sound.
“I’m warning you, if you-“
“If we what?” Twisted lips smirked.
“He’ll slay you all! Cut you down like ducks!”
“Slay? What is this text based rpg?” Bad haircut laughed.
“Like ducks?” Big nose mused.
“Look missy we aim to get out rocks off and do unvirtuous things to ladies steal stuff and generally be evil doers and that’s what we’re gonna do.” Bad hair stated.
The second rabbit ear twitched and Lord Bunnynaga swallowed down the last of his rice bowl with a large gulp. He wiped the crumbs from his cute fuzzy bunny mouth and put the bowl and chopsticks down neatly next to his copy of samurai playbunny. He rose from the bench calmly and straightened his robe and sword belt.
“This is your last warning, he’s a cold blooded bunny killer!” Margherite yelled.
“What does that even mean?” Big nose asked?
“This bitch is crazy!” Twisted lips added.
“What the hell is that?” Bad hair said.
“What the hell is wha-?” Big nose said.
The three bandits turned in stunned silence and before they could utter a word of protest with one clean strike from his noble katana. Lord Bunnynaga had separated all of their heads from their bodies. But in so doing the cut was so perfect and precise so as to leave one flap of skin remaining. Thus stopping the heads from comically flying off and spraying Margherite with blood. Instead their heads simply drooped to the side as they fell with very little blood.
Margherite got up as the Bunny samurai was sheathing his katana and dusted herself off.
“What took you so long?”
“Being a figment of your imagination I am bound by a strict code.” Lord Floppy Ears said.
“Yeah I know, and you’re so damn cute” Margherite smiled and hugged the bunny samurai kissing his fluffy cheeks and whiskers. He resisted dutifully staying stoic and reserved.
“My lady, why did you leave the safety of the circus?”
“I have to know why he did it Lord Floppy ears”
“You’re sure it was him then?” The imaginary bunny asked.
“No- yes, I don’t know but I know if I look into his eyes it’ll all make sense somehow. I know him, he wouldn’t do such a thing, not without a good reason.” She thought about it for a second. “And if Coldslaw kills him I’ll never know.”
Pookie leapt from the tub wrapped a towel around his waist. He grabbed his sword which was resting against the tub and charged almost butt ass naked into the night.
Outside the bath house tent it was black as pitch. The only light coming from a series of dead and dying streetlights probably centuries old along what used to be a highway. The road itself long since eroded.
A man stepped out from under one of the streetlamps, washed out by the bright light his features hidden in shadow but Pookie didn’t take his eyes off of him.
Coldslaw drew both his swords, long elaborately curved Katanas with ‘d’ guard hilts like long butterfly knives.
“Are you ready?”
Canard stood and was a little wobbly at first but he took hold of his staff and steadied himself looking off into the distance and smiling satisfied.
“You can come out now, and cough up the girl while you’re at it.”
On the otherside of the street the middle brother of the swallowers of death or whatever they were called appeared out of the shadows. His belly bulged out.
In the darkness there he hunched over and then proceeded to make a vile vomiting noise, the silhouette like that of a horse being born.
A small crumpled figure regurgitated onto the ground.
The figure was still and for a moment there was an unbroken silence until it coughed and slowly rolled into life.
Another few moments passed as the little figure became conscious again and spritely got up and walked into the light.
Efron was covered in spit and dirt from the ground and bile, her red hair stuck up at weird angles as if it has been licked by several cows in all directions.
She stumbled a few feet smiled hopefully at Canard and then dropped at his feet.
“She’ll be fine soon enough” The last of the brothers of death or whatever I called them said. “But you are not the one I want, one leg, the clown is who I came for.”
“He’s not here right now.” Canard stepped forward and scratched a line in the ground with his new peg leg.
“This I know, I’m just supposed to keep you busy so you can’t interfere.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it” He said, his eyes fixed on the fatman.
“Don’t you wanna know why I came alone?”
“I don’t care” Pookie sighed.
Coldslaw smiled mirthlessly “I’d believe that, you never cared about anything, not the circus, not your comrades- not your master.”
Pookie readied himself, his eyes following the tips of Coldlslaws swords as they wavered during his speech.
“I looked up to you, I believed in you, I trusted you.”
Pookie gritted his teeth holding his sword in one hand and his towel closed in the other.
“I don’t want to kill you”
“But I realise now standing here that you were never one of us, you never loved us like we loved you, you were just there as if this was all you could be.”
“There was nothing to believe in, who are you kidding? There never was, no reason to believe, look around you!” Pookie spat. “We were born into a dead world.”
Coldslaw sighed “Do you know why I sent those three idiots to kill you? I knew, a part of me knew they couldn’t but I thought if fate wanted it that way. If by some random chance they could, then I’d accept that. I wanted justice, not revenge, I wanted to avenge our master for the right reasons.
I thought if they could kill you, his spirit would be avenged and I wouldn’t need to draw my sword on my brother.”
“I’m not your brother, we don’t have to do this, you can walk away, say you didn’t find me.”
“You’ll die because you are my brother and revenge is all I have left. I wanna know why” Coldslaw asked.
“It doesn’t matter and we’re kind of running out space in this chapter, a drawn out backstory flashback might drag on too long.”
“I guess we’d better get on with it then” Coldslaw sighed.
“Yeah” Pookie gripped his scabbard and slipped his thumb through the pull string ring. Releasing his hand from the towel he took a firm grip of the shaft of his sword.
“You think you can kill me like my brothers”
“Anything’s possible bucko” Canard smirked.
“But you are a cripple” The fatman laughed.
“And you’re fat ass, are we gonna stand here calling eachother names all day or is someone gonna eat dirt?”
“That’s what I thought” Canard whipped his staff and let the blade of his spear fling out like an oversized switch blade pleasantly humming.
The middle brother shot the chain out of his mouth. The broken chain instantly wrapping around Canard’s good leg and dragging him off his feet. His staff flinging out of his grip as he was dragged by the force of the large man’s powerful gut muscles.
“I’m not playing with you this time” The fatman voice garbled by the chain in his mouth.
Canard clawed at the ground to try and slow his course.
“I’m gonna eat you for real!” He mumbled grinning and slurping the chain up like a huge piece of spaghetti.
“Yeah good luck with that!” Canard grimaced and knocked his new peg leg against the ground, a little hidden blade like the one in his staff flicked out no more than five inches long.
“Huh?!” The fatman’s mind reeled and it was too fast for him to think about stopping, too late to do anything but watch the blade coming. The momentum already applied carrying Canard forward.
He let go of the ground and sprang feet first kicking the fatman in the gut with the blade. He held on to the chain now to get more momentum as he drove the blade deeper.
Getting his balance back he stood on his good leg and pulled the little knife out of his chest. A swift kick out sweeping the blade back and forth cutting across the fatman’s neck. Two neat little cuts started to pulse with life blood.
Canard let go of the chain and let him fall into his own shadow.
He sighed and looked down at his bloody little peg leg switch blade, the mechanism of which was stiff and caked in blood and matter, the blade a little bent.
“Needs work” He sighed again, “Should have said something cool like ‘bon apetit’ or say I had a sharp taste or something, nah that’s dumb.”
For a moment time slowed down, Pookie could feel every grain of sand under his bare feet, every pound of pressure he applied as he leapt forward. His towel flying over his head and the blade screeching as it flew clear of his scabbard. Coldslaw dashing forward in slow motion with his swords flashing above his head. His miserable face fixed in a stolid grimace of cool certainty. But Pookie wasn’t certain not about anything except that tinny laugh from his sword but then above that, a woman’s voice calling his name but it was too late.
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