Dinosaur Puncher August 23rd, 2020
The Colonel, Dinosaur Puncher and Toad jr. reveled in drunken peace on one another shoulder. They now lived in a happy place free from obligation and flagellation, their whips resting on the table before them.
Natetan returned through the front door with OmJerry in tow, a scrawny elbow pinched effortlessly in his claw. Poor OmJerry was being delivered a new onslaught of barbed insults from Natetan.
“And I’ll tell you another thing OmJerry, if you want to leave, then leave! But you gotta be smart Jerry! You have to follow the road signs. That will lead you to the train. And then the train will lead you to London. from there you are on a plane and I can finish watching a cricket match in peace Jerry! In Peace! Do you understand me OmJerry?”
“I haven’t gotten into cricket yet.”
“Well you won’t have because you are a fucking prat Jerry.”
“Is that like a pitcher?”
“Yes Jerry. It is like a pitcher.”
Natetan marched OmJerry straight to Mum and dropped him with the profound relief of a much put upon man.
“Here he is Mum. I’m off to the books and then bed.”
Natetan stomped to the kitchen office to finish some books.
“I want a raise.”
OmJerry was angry. and upset.
“I hear you. I hear and acknowledge you Jerry. How bout instead, I let you keep your job at the same rate as before even though you quit and I am under no obligation to hire you, again. would that be alright with you Jerry? Alright? Okay? And I let you have one of the creme brulee I made chef save? Would that be alright OmJerry?”
“Oh I guess? I guess I can have Natean run you to the train station NAT-“
“No! it’s good. Thank you Mum.”
“Sit there and eat that”.
OmJerry’s obstinance melted like the molten top of the creme brulee he now dug into. Mum patted OmJerry’s head not unkindly, and went back to the til and started counting receipts anew. My goodness, how much does a tavern take in a night? Look at it! The woman has been counting receipts all night! Dinosaur Puncher started pontificating what ifs. What if he owned a pub? Did he choose the wrong vocation in life? He was about to posit a rather lucrative business proposition to his sleepy companions when the garden door exploded in a barrage of fiber and glass and wood and molten lava.
As chunks of lava and handsome chunks of English oak sped toward Dinosaur Puncher’s face two thoughts raced through his medium drunken mind.
One: Are there any ogre? Ogre are immune to most things the gods invented after they invented ogre. While not immune to magic, ogre can tone down the force of a magical attack just by their sheer presence. If they deem to participate, yes that is ‘deem to participate’, it can change a magical encounter of fire and lava into warm tea and hot mud.
There were no ogre, which meant all magical spells where at full strength.
Two: What the fuck was that? The Dinosaur Puncher rolled toward the bar, and the hook he had left his hat and umbrella on as he recalled warding spells. The Colonel meanwhile rolled opposite bringing a double-headed laser scalpel to bare. Toad Jr. rolled forward, taking point. Drunk or not, Toad Jr. had legs no one could stand on when it came to magical prowess. He stood tall. Proud. Confident. Answering the call of battle like it was born in him. Automatic. Simple.
Claws of obsidian grabbed the door frame and wrenched it away. Wrenched is maybe inaccurate, more like pulsed with mandibles til they crumbled away like a crumb cake. The last of the door frame melted away and a nightmare of hopelessness stood in its sted.
It was a dinosaur from beyond the barrier. Only 8 feet tall, but 5 feet wide, it sported girth over stealth. A monstrosity with a tail 6 feet long.
Everything happened so fast that it is tough to know where to begin.
Toad Jr. began with a barrage of ice attacks which made since. The dino’s veins thrummed with molten lava. An unnatural heat wafted from the creature and the boards it stood on began to sweat. The dino spun a spiked tail at Toad Jr. who deftly leapt over the sweep. The Colonel rolled in, scalpels spinning, and began laying blows on the creature. The dino got his defenses up after a couple of minor cuts landing a blow on the Colonel that sent him flying through the air to smash into the thousand year pint glass collection. Those patrons not already in full flight, tumbled and sprawled. as they fled for escapes amidst the explosions.
Dinosaur Puncher had grabbed his weapons. The more daring idiots slowed their escape to see what would happen next. Dinosaur Puncher spun the umbrella open and grasped it close to the top with his right hand like a shield. He snapped the stem off and shook the knuckles of his left hand. It grew big and fat and scaled, and armored. The stem of his umbrella wrapped itself around his left knuckles like a cobra ready to strike. The whole left side of his body tingled with power. Electric offshoots danced across his skin erasing flaws, and increased the entropy already present in Dinosaur Puncher’s veins. The legend of a thousand victories launched himself fist forward at the abomination. It gave the fleeing patrons comfort that the hero from ole, was standing up to protect them. With his umbrella shield pointed at the ground keeping him aloft, the Dinosaur Puncher, the thing of legends, flew fist first toward the abomination. It was awe inspiring. You don’t just see that every day. I mean you don’t. You don’t.
Time was Dinosaur Puncher’s playground in moments like this. In the old days, he would give a clever nod or wink to a pretty girl while he flew parallel to the ground umbrella down, ridiculous giant fist forward. As he flew through the air tonight, he only wanted to end the disruption to his reverie. That was a different feeling. He could sort it out later after he destroyed this thing.
The Dinosaur Puncher’s fist hit the scales of the dino, and shattered. The fist he had shaken awoke, gone. The dino punched straight down and the Dinosaur Puncher landed like a wet sack. The dino casually kicked the Dinosaur Puncher to the side to focus on Toad jr.
Every magical bolt Toad jr threw was eaten by nonchalant claws and a rictus grinning muzzle. Ice bolt. Fire bolt. Wood bolt. Flower bolt. Tomato bolt. There was no effect. A dino should have been dead ages ago. What the fuck was this thing? The creature began lurching off the soggy wood beneath its feet. They must have been hot after all, for standing there bitch slapping the bitch out of these ‘heroes’. Its’ hands said ‘kill’, but years later, tavern patrons dumb enough to stay behind and watch, would swear it looked briefly for a hi-five. Speaking of bitch-slapping, the thing grabbed Toad Jr.’s neck and began to casually, without care, crush his throat.
As Todd jr. choked to death he managed to focus a light bolt at the creatures chest. It swayed in agony.
The Colonel was up now and followed Toad jr.’s lead, focusing a light bolt at the creature masquerading as a dino. The creatures squishing mechanism was arrested, and it glared at the Colonel. The Colonel renewed his attack pushing more light bolt at the thing even as Toad Jr’s light bolt weakened. The creature sq-inched, but not enough.
The Colonel was shouting through clenched teeth but Puncher was still on the ground, knocked so far into the past he was reliving past and present defeats. Sometimes time was not Dinosaur Puncher’s friend and trapped him.
PUNCHER! FER FUCKS SAKE NOW!
Dinosaur Puncher woke from his self pity. Toad jr. was hanging for his life in the grip of this creature while shooing bystanders out of harms way. That kind of stalwart heroism only found in stories about stalwart heroes, made Dinosaur Puncher forget his own vain agony and get up. He focused a light bolt at the creatures chest and immediately knew his mistake. The creature winked at him and slid it’s vest armor aside to reveal the magical prism welded inside its breast. Chest. Mate.
Three light bolts. Center. Angle. Angle. Prism. A gasp of respect even as he fed his soul into the light beam escaped Dinosaur Puncher. The creature acknowledged it by pulling the light bolts faster. Dinosaur Puncher knew without a doubt now that The Colonel, Toad Jr. and himself would die here and now today. An errant thought wandering humorlessly through his brain wondered if they had paid their tab, and if that meant they had won or loss at life. Connected by the prism, he could feel all of their lives being drained away and they, his. He immediately felt shame, especially in front of the master. The Colonel felt it and dug in deeper, and so did the Dinosaur Puncher.
The three of them were on their knees. Their lives essence was being pulled into a magical prism. He could feel the others not blaming him. The heat of battle. He forgot to never attack with the same bolt. His feelings of remorse and shame grew deeper. He had been trained. He should have known. Didn’t matter anyways. He was starting to feel fuzzy. His mind was adrift. One part maintaining light bolt, the other floating in and out of the here and now. He could hear the voice. Don’t let go. It was his teacher. Teacher! Don’t drop the light bolt! Dinosaur Puncher was transported back into his memories even as he fought to stay in the present, to save the present. He was a sandcastle and time was the ocean so he washed back into it.
In front of him loomed a giant multi chalkboard. It moved in fluid ‘if then’s’ and ‘therefore’s’. They floated in and out of the way of each other in an absurdly calm manner. The Teacher wielded his chalk wand like a conductor, explaining here and correcting there. Students leaned in trying to absorb the magical talent that the teacher simply took for granted. The teacher was short and covered in thick luxuriant cobalt blue fur. Sharp beady black eyes gave a certain gravitas to a wide smooth black bill. The teacher flipped his chalk with a well practiced flip into the holster on his hip. One webbed foot crossed over the other as he spun to face the budding acolytes that were his students.
“So As you can see, that is how life, death, quadraphonic magic, left handed scissors and the universe work. I am The Platypus, your professor. Are there any questions?”