The Only One Of Those Who Have Wo

I know that there’s usually a lot of turnover when it comes to getting the job done. It is the most powerful before the weekend. The grief is a little bit more than a few weeks. You can also get a little bit more information about the whole thing.

Please delete redundant information from the game. Don’t forget to take the hamburger out. Have you been drinking a lot more than you can do? Do not have a great weekend. She had a lot to learn from the other side.

Random things that are not the best. This was the first of many. Very much like a plan. Almost as if they waited until they got a call. Because… what?

Right?

Fantasy Football Finale

Well, here we are folks. We’ve reached the end of this tale. Matticus and I would very much like to thank all of you who have taken the time to read all, or even some, of this story. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed writing it. Have a great day everyone!

First, there was blackness. Then, there was pain. It was soon followed by an unnerving numbing sensation that started off small, but slowly expanded until it enveloped his whole being. Plex didn’t know which one was worse. None of them seemed to match what he should have been feeling.
He had just killed Lavalandinarial, the dragon overlord whose tyrannical rule over his world led to the deaths of countless innocent people of all races. This should be a time when he was filled with happy feelings, not pain and then numbness. His sister and his teammates should be all around him, jumping for joy, yet here he was all alone. Something was wrong. Something was very wrong.

In a flash, it all came back to him: his sister being hit by the dragon’s tail, the cuts he sustained from debris flying up when the dragon tried to hit him with her tail, and the wounds in his back from the dragon exploding upon her death.

His first thought was of his sister. Was she alive? Was she dead? For that matter, was he alive? There was nothing around him except a vast empty space. There was light, but not much. Was this the afterlife? The elves had legends of what occurred after you died, but this didn’t match any of them.

“Wake up, damn you!”

The voice came from all around him. It was a deep voice, and one he recognized. There was a slight accent to it. For a moment, he couldn’t place it, but he finally recognized the accent as being dwarven. That was odd. The only dwarf that was coming to mind was Frukeld. This voice didn’t sound like the old dwarf, though. Who could it be?

“I said wake up, damn you!”

This time the voice was followed by a warm feeling all around him. It flowed over, under, and then finally through him. As the warmth built within him, Plex saw the area he was in begin to brighten. It was no longer an empty void. He was in the sky, surrounded by stars. Below him, clouds drifted lazily by. At the very bottom of his vision, there was a tiny dot, barely visible. Somehow, he knew that the dot was where he really was.

“I’m only going to tell you to wake up one more time before I start smacking you!”

The warmth filled him until he felt like he would explode. With one giant burst, it shot out of him in every direction. Plex felt himself falling. Looking down, he saw the dot growing bigger and bigger. Up above, the stars became smaller and smaller. His gaze drifted back down, towards his destination. It didn’t take long for him to recognize it as it came into view.

It was the arena where he had played football.

Plex’s eyes shot open as his floating form crashed into his body, which had been placed on the fifty yard line. He finally got a glimpse of the dwarf behind the voice. It was Kalant, the linebacker from his football team. Plex raised up to greet his teammate and, as soon as he did, the arena around him erupted in cheers. His jaw dropped open when he saw that the seats were filled to capacity.

“Don’t you dare pass out now,” Kalant grumbled while offering a steadying hand.

Plex gladly took it and took a moment to make sure his feet were steady under him before sweeping his gaze across the crowd. The stadium wasn’t just at capacity. It was beyond. Everyone was packed in, standing shoulder to shoulder, and extra space along the sidelines had been cleared for even more spectators. The other football teams rimmed the edge of the field. In his quick glance, he recognized many faces but the numbers were too overwhelming, the sound was too overwhelming.

Every person in that packed stadium was cheering and stomping and clapping. The sound was jubilant and somewhat terrifying.

“What is everyone cheering for?”

Plex could barely hear his own question. Kalant somehow heard it though and chuckled before replying, “For you, of course. They would have celebrated you either way but it is far better to celebrate the living.”

“Me? I didn’t do anything.”

This time Kalant laughed rather than chuckled. “Didn’t do anything? Didn’t do anything?”

Plex spun in a circle, feeling more himself, feeling stronger, he wanted to take in the whole stadium again. He wanted to see the rest of his team. He wanted to see his sister.
While he looked, Plex said, “No. I didn’t do anything. I didn’t come up with any of the plans. I didn’t gather any of the troops. I didn’t create the weapon.”

“You threw it though and you threw it true,” Kalant interrupted.

Then, before Plex could argue, Kalant went on, “You rose to the occasion and you stood against the beast, mentally and physically, when too few had the courage or resolve to do so. You inspired loyalty and you led people against the dragon. It may not have gone according to the plans Frukeld and the others had drawn up, but so what of that? Those plans were never more than an idea. And the purpose of that idea was to find someone inspiring he could take the beast down when the moment arrived.

“You, Plex. You were that champion and you did wonderfully. Not only did you just throw the spear and slay the beast but you helped create the opportunity to do so. You stood against her. You refused to let anyone else needlessly suffer. You showed us all how foolish we had been to cower before her for as long as we did.

“So, yes, they are cheering for you and I cheer for you too.”

With that, Kalant took two steps away from Plex and clapped toward the elf. Then adding his voice to the rest of the cacophony, Kalant cried out with triumph towards the sky.

Plex stared dumbfounded at the dwarf. His vision began to swim and he felt his legs go numb again. Gritting his teeth he forced himself to stand there and take in the applause he still felt he didn’t deserve.  When he felt like he couldn’t take anymore, he pushed the noise aside as best he could, banishing it from his mind, and forced his concentration on seeking out Gilania.

Why wasn’t she standing there with him? He couldn’t have done it without her. She’d found the spear and gotten it into his hands, putting herself directly at risk in doing so. His heart sank as his search continued to be fruitless. The certainty that she wasn’t alive began to sink in. Otherwise, she would have been out there with him already.

“My sister?” Plex asked, afraid of the answer.

Kalant’s face turned somber. “She lives,” he began, “but she’s in bad shape. Frukeld and his most powerful healers are doing everything they can for her as we speak. The old man seemed convinced that he could heal her, but her injuries looked pretty serious to me.”

“I’ve got to go check on her.”

“That won’t be necessary,” came a voice from behind them.

Plex whipped his head around to look at the speaker and immediately felt a wave of dizziness wash over him. He steadied himself and blinked until his vision returned to normal. When it did, he saw that it was Frukeld standing there, not Gilania. “My sister?”

“Is resting comfortably,” the old dwarf answered. “We were able to heal most of her injuries, but some of them were too great to heal completely. Her back, in particular, was bad. We managed to put her spine back together, but not before it was permanently damaged. She will likely walk with a limp for the rest of her life.”

Plex let loose a huge sigh of relief. While walking with a limp wasn’t something that anyone would want to do, it was certainly better than the alternative. “What about my injuries?” Plex asked. “If all the healers were with Gilania, who healed me?”

“I said that all of Frukeld’s healers were with her,” Kalant responded. “Not all the healers in the world.”

“When you killed the dragon,” Frukeld explained after seeing the confusion on Plex’s face, “her magical hold over people was broken. Once free from her dominance, some of the healers who were under her
thrall came to your aid.”

“And you trusted them? They could’ve been faking to get close enough to kill me.”

“We had guards there to ensure your safety. Besides, you trusted your fellow elf, didn’t you?”

Plex couldn’t argue with that. He did trust an elven woman after he broke the dragon’s hold over her. Wait, he thought. What had happened to her? And Coach Sprout? And Baclem? And everyone else that had gone through this journey with him? “Where are the others?”

“Things are still very chaotic right now,” Frukeld answered. “Even though you killed the dragon, some of her people remain loyal to her after death. They’re putting up some resistance and a few of your friends and teammates are fighting still. We’ve managed to drive them out of the city. They’re scattered, for the moment, but they’ll regroup and be a problem for us down the road.”

Plex looked around the cheering crowd. The sight of all the races mingling and standing together gave him hope. “What do we do now?”

“We build a better world.”

RTotD: 081520

As someone who spends a lot of time on the road, it’s frightening how many people I see who are looking at their phones while driving. And I’m not talking about when the vehicles are stopped at a light. I mean that they’re doing it while their cars are in motion.

Seriously, people. No text, post, tweet, or pic is worth your life. Put the damn phone down while you’re driving.

Fantasy Football Part 36

Head on over to the Kingdom and check out the latest chapter in our Fantasy Football story! The post has 0 calories and is completely fat free!

The Matticus Kingdom

Here we go again. You know the drill by now. Revis and I bring the words, you do the reading. It truly is that simple. And we thank you for your part in this play.

…..

Plex hurdled forward, weaving his way through the players and warriors. He heard some of them cheering him on.  That encouragement pushed him ahead with an extra burst of speed.  Glancing he back he saw that his sister was only a few feet behind him.  That was fine.  Perhaps she would be useful and at least he didn’t have to worry about her being heard.  Her feet were as soft and quiet as his own, if not more.

If the worst should happen, and the dragon hear him, then maybe she could find the weapon instead.  If the beast heard both of them, then it wouldn’t matter.  They would be dead and this opportunity…

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Fantasy Football Part 35

Hey everyone. I took a little break from writing over the past few weeks, but now I’m back. Matticus is too! Here is the newest installment of our Fantasy Football series! Hope it is worth the wait.

The air above him whipped around wildly as the enraged dragon thrashed about on her damaged wings. Plex dropped his bow and braced himself for what he knew was coming. Lavalandinarial let loose an eardrum shattering howl. Even with his hands covering his ears, he still felt the sting of the audible attack. Next to him, Frukeld’s hands were at his temples, meaning that the dragon was also forcing her screams into the minds of the people as well.

“Vermin!” Lavalandinarial yelled. “You will suffer for this outrage! Not only will I destroy you, I will destroy all that you hold dear.”

It seemed like the dragon was going to say more, but it was abruptly cut off as she dropped from the sky. Her injured wings could no longer support her weight. Plex felt his heart sink as he watched her fall to the ground, landing heavily on a number of buildings. From his vantage point, it looked like one of the buildings was a bakery, but the others appeared to be houses. He hoped that Frukeld and his resistance group were able to clear the people who lived there out. He didn’t want any innocent bystanders dying because of him.

Frukeld had recovered enough that he was no longer holding his head, but the dwarf was still having trouble hearing. Plex had asked him twice if they had, in fact, gotten the people out of those buildings. Both times, he was met by a questioning stare for an answer. That was when he heard a sound that sent a chill running down his spine. The dragon was laughing. He knew then that something very bad was about to happen.

“I hear you, elf,” Lavalandinarial purred. “You may have blinded me, for now, but my hearing is more acute than even the sharpest of your kind. By asking about the houses beneath me, you have told me your greatest weakness. You care about the people of this world, and that care will be your undoing.”

Plex picked up his bow and fired another arrow. The odds of it doing any real damage were slim. After all, a dragon’s wings and eyes were its two most vulnerable areas and they’d already hit those. Every other part of the beast’s anatomy were covered by thick scales. Even if he were to hit her, the arrow would likely bounce off. At most, it would slip in between the scales and she’d feel something akin to a mosquito bite to him.
The attack wasn’t meant to hurt the dragon, though. It was meant to attract her attention. He had the sickening feeling that he once again knew what was coming next. Sure enough, he was right again. While his arrow was in the air, Lavalandinarial spewed forth a gush of flames from her mouth. His arrow disappeared in the fire, not even leaving ash in its wake. Whipping her head side to side, the dragon laid waste to everything in front of her.

By the time she was done, everything in front of her was destroyed. Homes. Businesses. Warriors. Players. Everything and everything was gone. And the beast laughed again.

Plex fired another arrow, hoping to send the missile straight down the dragon’s throat.

She jerked her head to the side and exclaimed, “I told you my hearing was superior. I could hear you pulling the string back on your puny weapon, elf. I can hear the heart in your chest beating. I’m going to raze this city, reveling in your grief, and then I’m going to pluck that heart from your chest with one of my talons.”

Frukeld pulled on Plex’s arm and mimed something, pointing to the arrow Plex had already nocked, and then the dragon in the distance. It seemed like Frukeld wanted Plex to fire again but the elf couldn’t see the point. Frukeld repeated the motion with emphasis and urgency.

Shrugging, Plex pulled back the bowstring and took aim. He was going to shout at the dragon again but he saw from the corner of his eyes that Frukeld had begun to cast a spell. Plex suddenly understood the dwarf’s plan. He was going to enchant the arrow so it flew silently. Maybe enchant the bowstring as well? Plex didn’t know and it didn’t matter. He needed Lavandinarial to open her maw again.

“Hey worm,” Plex yelled.

“I heard you pull back your bowstring again elf. I also hear the men on the ground trying to launch some sort of assault on me. Did you think I’d miss them if you distracted me? Do you really think they can hurt me at all?
Go on, send them in. When they are within striking distance I’ll incinerate them as well. I’ll enjoy it too. Maybe I’ll let a few through unscathed. All this chatting has made me hungry. I could go for a snack.”

Plex was sickened by her calm disregard for life. He assumed she was working on something else devastating as well, perhaps a spell or something other attack. Perhaps she was healing herself while they wasted time. He almost loosed the arrow then, thinking it might break her concentration enough to ruin whatever she was scheming but Plex held his own calm and waited for the dwarf to finish.

“You’ve gotten careless, worm. Your pride blinded you long before my arrows took your eyes. You can hear my heart? Do you hear the truth in it? Your rule is done.”

Lavalandinarial began to laugh again. It started as a chittering noise that grated on Plex’s nerves and then became an open throated howl of derision. The elf marveled at how mad she must truly be to take such pleasure in her isolating rule of destruction and devastation. She didn’t care who had to die for her to remain in power. She would burn the whole world if she wasn’t stopped.
Frukeld’s eyes opened and stared insensely at Plex. The time had come.
Plex gauged the distance one more time, guessed how and where the dragon would move and let the string go. The arrow sailed silently across the distance, arcing towards the beast’s still open, still laughing mouth.

It flew true and stuck in the dragon’s tongue. The laughter stopped and was replaced by a screech of anger.
Lavalandinarial began thrashing around and digging at the inside of her mouth. She quickly pulled her hand away, shaking it as if in pain. Her screeching became muffled. Her eyes opened wide in terror. Plex looked on in confusion, wondering what was going on because it was too dark to see clearly. One of the beast’s thrashes moved its head into the light given off by the fires she had just started. He saw why she was reacting that way.

The dragon’s mouth was filled entirely with ice. It was as if she had tried to swallow an iceberg that was too big to go down her throat. Plex turned back to Frukeld in disbelief. “Fireballs are nice, but they don’t do much good against a dragon who breathes flames,” the old dwarf explained. “Iceballs, on the other hand, do just fine against them.”

Plex still couldn’t wrap his mind around what he was seeing. Someone smacked the back of his head, knocking him back to reality. Gilania stood behind him, pointing at Lavalandinarial. “Do something while she’s still preoccupied!”

He was about to argue that the ice ball would choke for them when his keen ears detected a strange noise. His eyes shot back up to the dragon’s mouth and he saw where the noise was coming from. It was the sound of water dripping out from between the beast’s teeth. The fire in the dragon’s throat was starting to melt the magical ice. Gilania was right. He needed to do something, and quick. But what?

“Do you have any more enchanted arrows?” Plex asked.

“No,” Frukeld replied dejectedly. “And I don’t think I have time to cast another spell on one before she gets free of the ice.”

“I need something that can hurt her. Nothing I have will do any real damage to her.”

The old dwarf shook his head. “One of our people was carrying a magical spear that we had made just for you, but I fear he died in the dragon’s breath.”

“You said it was magical, right?” Gilania interrupted. “Then there’s a chance that it survived the fire.”

“There’s a chance,” Frukeld conceded, “but if you go looking for it, she’ll hear you.”

“We’re elves,” Gilania scoffed.

“Moving silently is what we do,” Plex finished for her.

“The man who carried the weapon was on the edge of the dragon’s breath, directly ahead, the last time I saw him.”

“Got it.”

Plex turned to leave, but felt the dwarf’s strong grip on his arm and stopped. “It won’t look like a spear,” Frukeld explained. “It will act like a spear, but it won’t look like one.”

“What does it look like, then?”

The old dwarf opened his mouth with a wide smile. “What else do you think we’d make it look like?” Frukeld chuckled. “It looks like a football, of course.”

Fantasy Football Part 34

A little late in reblogging this. If you haven’t already read it, make sure you head on over to The Matticus Kingdom to read the latest chapter in our Fantasy Football story.

The Matticus Kingdom

And on and on we go. Will this game never end? Oh… The game ended and now we are into a battle with a dragon?!? A dragon!!! Well, this should be interesting!

…..

The dragon bellowed, a sound of rage and contempt, so loudly that Plex felt like his ears were going to explode.  There was little he could do to shield himself from the sound.  He knew it was as much her screaming into their minds as she was audibly.  

She filled the sky above them.  Lavalandinarial was enormous and seeing her airborne was a terrifying sight that one could never get used to.  Plex knew he needed to move, needed to get away, to save his ears as well as the rest of him but he couldn’t break free from the sight.

Then a hand tugging him downward managed to shake up the trance her arrival had left…

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Done More

It was a year ago yesterday when I found out that you were gone. The passage of time has done almost nothing to ease the hurt I feel. I still think about you every day. I still ache every day. I still miss you every day.

While the passing of the last year didn’t take away any of the pain, it did add something to it: guilt.

Even though I knew that the day would come when you’d no longer be with us, I foolishly discarded the notion that it might be any time soon. It was always something that would happen well into the future. It had no place in the here and now. Looking back, I can’t believe I thought that way. Looking back, things that seemed like valid reasons for us not being together now feel like hollow excuses.

I should’ve called more.

I should’ve visited more.

I should’ve done more.

Right now, I’m hearing your voice in my head. It’s telling me not to feel bad. I hear you telling me that no amount of calls or visits would’ve changed what happened.

Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, I feel like I let you down, that you were disappointed with me.

I can’t do anything to change that now, but I promise you one thing: no matter what happens, I will do everything I can to make sure your granddaughter remembers you. I will remind her often of the things the two of you did together. I will tell her over and over that she had the greatest grandmother that this world has ever seen.

I love you, Mom. I miss you so much.