The Iron Writer Challenge
Grudge Match #15
St. Christopher Liccardi Vicious Vance
& against Sister
To the Mat Weaver* Sassy Sierra Danielle
An Embarrassing Ending
John always thought of himself as a comedian. He was the only one because everyone just thought his comedy was rude, crude, and socially unacceptable. John had no qualms about saying what he thought and he was warned by many people that he was going to insult the wrong person one day and it would come back to bite him on the butt. He didn’t care. John always likened himself to an insult comic but he always stepped too far over the line.
One day, he took it past the point of no return. He was about to learn that enough was indeed enough. While at a pool party, John was very cool at first. It seemed like he was biding his time. He did tell the occasional dirty joke and threw out a couple of mild insults and people were starting to get uncomfortable around him. Even the host of the party, a good friend of John’s, had to warn him about letting up a bit. John took heed for a little while but as he continued to down some drinks, his inhibitions began to let loose. The jokes became dirtier and the insults became nastier.
Then a few minutes later, a rather large woman climbed up onto the diving board and walked to the end. John was pretty drunk when he spotted her, and he let loose with a loud, unfortunate insult. He yelled out, “HOLY CRAP! WHEN SHE HITS THE WATER, THERE WILL BE A TSUNAMI! RUN FOR COVER!” The woman was mortified at this and she weeped as she walked back and stepped down off of the diving board. Everyone, including the woman’s husband, was mad at John and the husband went after John. John was too drunk to escape the angered husband’s clutches. He grabbed John and punched him in the face. The husband then dragged John over to where his wife was crying and said, “I want you to apologize to this beautiful woman, John.”
John felt a liquid with a slightly metallic taste ooze into his mouth as crimson liquid dripped from his nose. He was too drunk to realize that his nose was broken. The hot sun beat down on his face like the fires of hell was burning him. He was already warm inside from all of the alcohol so it just magnified the heat from the sun. Again, the angered husband told him to apologize and with slurred speech, John said, “I’m sorry. I am sorry you are the size of a large patio umbrella.” Then he chuckled and the woman slapped his face. Frustrated and angry, the husband picked John up and tossed him into the pool. He then helped his wife up from her chair and they left the party.
The next morning, John woke up on his couch and was in a lot of pain. He felt the pain of his broken nose and a terrible headache from the hangover. He looked over at the coffee table and saw an unsolved Rubic’s cube sitting on it. He looked at it intently and groaned, “I know how you feel.” John sat up on the couch and his face began pound like someone was using it as a bass drum. This, along with the incessant pounding in his head from the hangover, made him decide that it was time for a trip to the hospital. A couple of hours later, his nose was painfully reset and bandaged up.
When John arrived back home, he went into the bathroom to put the pills away that he was prescribed for pain and looked at himself in the mirror. The metal guard and bandaging on his nose, along with the different shades of purple that surrounded his eyes, made him look like a hideous monster.
“What the hell happened yesterday?” he asked himself. Like most hung-over drunks, John swore off alcohol for the rest of his life.
A few minutes later, there was a knock at his door. It was Tony and Denise, his friends who hosted the pool party yesterday.
“We tried to call but there was no answer so we figured we should come over and see if you are all right.”
“Come on in, I was just at the hospital getting my broken nose fixed. What he hell happened yesterday?”
“You don’t remember?”
“No, I was very drunk and remember very little. I don’t even know how I got home.”
“We called you a cab and just brought your car home. You don’t remember anything?” Tony asked him again.
“No, I don’t.” John replied as he walked over and sat back down on the couch.
“Well, you were very rude. You made fun of Dorothy and her husband pounded you in the face.” Denise was quick to say indignantly. “You made fun of her weight.”
“Oh, no. I wouldn’t do that. I love Dorothy. I have to go over there and apologize to them both.”
“Yeah, I think you better. We will follow you over in our car.”
On the way, Tony called Dorothy’s husband and said, “He is on his way over to apologize. Is everything ready?”
“Great, we will be there in a few minutes.”
When they arrived at the house, Tony and Denise waited outside as John was invited inside.
A few minutes later, John stepped outside of the house wearing a pink tutu complete with pink tights. He was also horrified to see all of the people at the party yesterday were now sitting on the sidewalk and laughing at him.
“Go on, John.” Dorothy said to the embarrassed man.
John went out into the front yard and began dancing around like a ballerina and people were recording it on their camera phones.
The story has a happy ending because after his fifteen minute dance was over. Dorothy kissed him on the cheek and her husband gleefully shook his hand. Then everyone went into Dorothy’s back yard for a cook-out and John had to stay dressed as a ballerina the whole time. It was worth it in order to keep his friends.
“It’s Levi-OH-sa, not Levioh-SAA,” the Black Knight said, waving his imaginary wand at the patio umbrella with an air of know-it-all confidence.
“Clearly, that worked as intended.” The Red Knight chuckled. Black reacted to the mirthful chortle as if he had been slapped.
“You, sir, had best take that back.” he said, stretching out his right arm as if to strip off the gauntlet.
Red smiled as he picked up the Rubic’s cube, the one he’d been working on for two years. He either didn’t see the look on his counterpart’s face or he didn’t care; either way, the insult had been delivered.
Black walked around the table and stood in front of him, scowling.
“Sod off.” Red waved a hand, “It was a joke. You’re no magician no matter how many times you watch those movies.”
His eyes still fixated on the aging puzzle, he was not prepared when Black stepped forward and mock-slapped him in the face three times and threw down the imaginary glove at his feet.
“You have been challenged, red lumpish villain. Stand and answer.” Black’s chest puffed out, and he stepped back.
Red sat still, dazed eyes on his adversary, the puzzle all but forgotten in his hand. He took in a deep breath and steadied himself. The guy was a lunatic. He didn’t know any magic, and his wand was as imaginary as his friends.
“I told the other knights that Netflix was a bad idea for you. You do realize that you aren’t a wizard, don’t you? You’re not even a real knight.” Red stood, intending to find quieter surroundings to work on his cubed conundrum. Black took a step closer, blocking his exit, and knocked the toy from his hands.
“Pick it up,” Red said, with a measure of sternness. This wasn’t amusing any more, if it had ever been. His good nature was wearing thin, quickly. He’d used to think that accepting this job at ‘Surely, You Joust’ was the lowest point in his adult life but clearly that was no longer true.
“Answer the challenge, knave!” Black demanded.
“What did you call me?” Red snapped, his good humor now severely depleted.
“A knave. A dishonest, unscrupulous man. You sir, are a knave in every sense of the word. Answer the challenge!” Black stood his ground, unnerved by the cheering from the other knights.
What he didn’t realize was that the cheers were for Red. The evening performance was about to begin and Red needed to get on stage, only this dope wasn’t going to let him pass without a fight.
“Look, okay, fine,” Red sighed. “Is there any chance we can hold this off until after the evening performance?”
Black laughed out loud, peals of gaiety echoing off the walls.
“You would run from a fight, craven?” he snivelled.
“Postpone it,” Red said. “A raincheck. Till later this evening.”
“You will take your chance and escape from the wrath that is mine!” Black snapped.
Red balled his fists, suppressing his annoyance.
“Here,” he said, mimicking drawing a sword out of a sheath at his side. He pretended to hold it by both hands and offered it to Black.
“You can keep my sword till I get back,” he said, rolling his eyes. “Take it as an offer of good faith.”
Black’s eyes gleamed as he accepted the nonexistent weapon.
“I grant you leave,” he proclaimed, “You shall reclaim this weapon only through the glory of combat.”
“Yeah, whatever.” Red brushed past him and into his dressing room.
Red was in his element, striking down the hero and his tights-wearing Jester sidekick and freshly embarked on his monologue. The audience dozed or chatted, and in the corner a baby bawled.
Up above, two of the ropes holding up the stage lights were frayed, ripped. This would be the night they gave up the ghost; but when exactly was left to be seen.
Midway through his dastardly plan’s big reveal, Red noticed movement out of the corner of his eye. To his consternation, Black barged onto the stage, invisible sword drawn.
“What are you doing here?” Red hissed. “You’re not in this script!”
“You betrayed your oaths!” Black screamed. “Your time is nigh!”
The audience jerked awake at the sudden break in the monotonous drone.
“WHAT IN THE NAME OF FRIED KETCHUP IS WRONG WITH YOU?” Red bellowed.
“Oathbreaker!” Black snarled, malice in his eyes. “Feel my WRATH!”
He thrust out his hand.
It was at that exact instant that the first frayed cable decided to give way.
With an almighty snap, a stage light swung down in a blinding, deadly arc. Red yelped and jumped to one side, the light barely missed him and exploded against the wall.
“SEE?” Black roared in righteous, triumphant rage. “WITNESS my power!”
He waved his hand again. It was at that moment when the second cable decided to follow the first.
The audience gasped as the stage light plowed into Red’s abdomen, knocking him backwards and onto a fake bale of hay in a chorus of splinters and a loud thud.
The pianist faltered.
Black walked over to Red, semi-conscious in the midst of the debris of broken plaster. He turned and raised his arms.
“VICTORY!” he roared.
The Jester, who’d watched the whole palava from a distance, dusted himself off and walked over to Black. He whistled down at Red.
“That’s gotta hurt,” he observed.
“All would do well to fear my power,” Black agreed, proudly.
The Jester raised an eyebrow. “You do know that wasn’t your ‘magic’ back there, right?”
“Say you what?” Black demanded.
“I said, you ain’t got magic,” the Jester shrugged. “You just got lucky.”
“You, sir, had best take that back,” Black warned, removing his imaginary gauntlet and taking a step forward.
The Jester shrugged. He grabbed a chair left onstage and whacked it around Black’s head, sending the idiot to the floor, unconscious.
The audience leaped to its feet and cheered.
“Oh, I do love happy endings,” moaned Red.