Revis grabbed Matticus and Drun and shoved them both through the open portal. Matticus, having already experienced his Knight’s shenanigans before, expected it and went peacefully. Drun, on the other hand, and more than slightly inebriated, was not amused and his string of expletives was cut short as he transferred from one side to the other. Revis gave a short laugh and then stepped through.
All was dark, and soft, and there was a peculiar odor in the air.
“Where are we?” Matticus whispered as he reach out and his hands grasped what felt like fabric. Based on Drun’s dire warning right before they had been pushed through the portal, Matticus was on edge and the darkness was playing tricks on his minds. He’d have sworn he was holding an article of clothing, but that didn’t make any sense.
“We are in one of Twindaddy’s closets,” Drun drunkenly whispered back.
Matticus felt the man stagger forward and then heard him curse again, a little less like a whisper, as he knocked around looking for a way to open the door.
“Quiet you fool,” Revis whispered fervently. “You’ll give away our element of surprise.”
Drun stopped trying to open the door and, to the Jester and Knight’s horror, began a deep roaring belly laugh. “Oh, don’t you worry,” he said as he continued laughing, “there will still be a surprise.”
“Shut up, Revis commanded. “If you keep doing that, Twindaddy will know we’re here!”
This made Drun laugh even harder. “He already does.”
They heard a click sound from above their heads. Suddenly, a light blinded them. When their eyes finally cleared, they saw Drun holding a string that was attached to one of the magical lights that needed no fire. Drun was no longer wearing his armor. He was now outfitted in a strange type of clothing.
“What do you mean,” Matticus hesitantly asked.
After looking at the Jester in annoyance, he announced, “I’m Twindaddy.”
“But…. you’re Drun.”
“I’m both, you twit.”
“Hey! There’s no need for name calling….. Ummm, what’s a twit?”
Matticus knew what a twit was, but the exasperated look on Twindaddy’s face was worth acting like he didn’t. “Ok,” Revis broke in. “This story is getting off track. We should probably get back to the plot.”
Before Matticus could ask him what the hell he was talking about, Twindaddy responded with, “You’re right. It’s kind of dragging here.”
“Then get on with it,” the Jester snapped, irritated that the brothers always seemed to know what each other was talking about.
With his eyes adjusted to the light, and tired of being in the cramped quarters with Drun/Twindaddy and Revis, Matticus figured out how to open the door and stepped out into the room beyond.
“Hey!” Twindaddy yelled and tried to stop him but he was too inebriated to succesfully grab the Jester. “Where do you think you are going?”
Matticus did not answer.
The closet opened into a larger room that was obviously part of a dwelling, but unlike anything Matticus had ever seen. It seemed fairly useless as a home. There were too many unguarded windows. The walls seemed paper thin. It would not be easy to defend. He found himself wondering how someone who obviously lived a soft life could have managed to unleash so much chaos into his kingdom.
Anger coursing through him, he turned to confront Twindaddy once and for all. He pulled his sword, spoke the magic words to get the flames going, and started to say, “Twindaddy, how dare you send the vamp…”
Matticus’ voice trailed off, however, as he realized that his sword hadn’t burst into flames as it should have. As it had without fail every other time he had called upon it over the course of the quest.
“Futbol rules,” he said, again, and still the sword did nothing.
With a shake of his head, Twindaddy sighed. “This is The Real World,” he said. “Unfortunately, magic doesn’t work here.”
The Jester turned to his Knight. Revis looked down at his ring. For a second, he just stood looking at it, but nothing happened. He also shook his head, confirming what Twindaddy had told them.
“Well, even without its magic, my sword is still very sharp. If you don’t want to find out just how sharp it is, you better start talking. Why did you send all of those sparkly vampires to The Kingdom?”
“Look, those sparkly bastards just started showing up one day. They’re creepy and weird. I sure as hell didn’t want them to stay around here, so I started shoving them through the portal. I didn’t care where they ended up, as long as they were nowhere near me anymore.”
“So you just infested my homeland, and endangered all of my people’s lives, just because you didn’t want to deal with them?”
“When you say it like that it makes me sound like a bad guy.”
Matticus sputtered for a few seconds, trying to convey his contempt for the man, but it all came out unintelligibly.
“I think what his Jesterness is trying to say,” Revis jumped in, “is that yes, intentionally or not, you do appear to be the bad guy. So, now that we are all on the same page, how are we going to resolve that?”
Twindaddy shrugged. Matticus continued fuming. Revis noticed that the Jester was eying a peculiar looking sitting contraption with some malice, and instructed Matticus to sheath his sword before he started turning things into splinters.
“There’s no need for your sword, your Jesterness, go ahead and put it away. I’m sure we can work something out without resorting to further violence.”
Again, Twindaddy shrugged his shoulders. Matticus eyed him suspiciously but reluctantly returned his sword to its sheath. He knew where it was should he decide he had need of it later.
“Okay Twindaddy, if that is your real name, obviously, we can’t allow you to continue shuffling the sparkly vampires through the portal into my kingdom. I know they are annoying. I understand your desire to be rid of them, but there has to be someplace else we can ship them off to. Can’t you send them over to Drun’s side of the portal?” Matticus asked, only mildly sarcastically. “There are already a ton of weirdos over there.”
“I don’t control where they go once they hit the portal. I didn’t invent it. I just found it. I have no idea how that thing works. I assumed that they’d do what Matticus said and go into Drun’s world. Originally, I was going to have my squad mates use them for target practice.”
“You’re constantly saying your squad mates have bad aim,” Matticus interrupted. “Are they really that bad?”
“They suck at life,” Twindaddy said dismissively. “Once I figured out that they weren’t going to my other world, I honestly stopped caring about where they were.”
“Why didn’t you go in at the same time as them? Wouldn’t that take you to the same place as them?”
“Nope. Every time I go through the portal, no matter who else is with me, I go straight to Drun’s world. It won’t take me anywhere else. Besides, it’s over anyways. They stopped showing up once I sent their leader through.”
“Their leader,” Revis asked. “Who is their leader?”
“She said her name was Jaded…”