Saturday, 4 August 2012

The Chronicles of Jack The Axe

The Post Master's House

Jack’s suspicions wore founded when he arrived at the Post Master’s residence. The scene had changed little since the Post Master was there less than 48 hours earlier.
This included the note written in charcoal. On studying the scene Jack found small, very small pieces of egg shell, he made a mental note to check the door of the King’s chamber on his return. He had no doubt he would find more if looked hard enough.
Jack had an uneasy feeling about his snippets of information.
The egg was a problem. If he hadn’t seen it himself in the forest, he would never even consider it. The Market Controller was definitely dead, a market full of witness’ watching him smash into lots of small pieces testified to that. He must have be reanimated. A Zombie he thought they called it . Something Jack was aware of but thought was a ghost story mother’s scared their children with. Or did until all these goblins, gnomes and talking pigs and puppets showed up.
All these things didn’t add up.
What was the Post Master’s involvement?
Why did the King want him and who wrote the very un-Regal summons?
Zombies as far a legend goes, move very slowly and their brains function slower. The Egg in the forest could never get to the Kingdom that fast.
Plus if it did, it would be no contest for the King’s guard, why they could give the King’s troll a run for his money.
Then a terrible thought crossed Jack’s mind.
Jack rushed back to the Palace with his guard running confused behind him; Jack just burst out of the Post Master’s house in a sprint and didn’t stop till he found Charming
“Sire, do you know of the goose on the island?” he asked
Charming looked back at him blankly “I’m sorry?”
Jack was worried this might be the case.
“ O.K, where is the Financial Controller, even better yet, the Grand Vizier”
“Both were in the room with Father at the time of the incident” the new King said.
Jack grabbed the young regent with both hands on his shoulders. “Sire, when I come back we need to have some serious talks . OK?”
Charming nodded still confused to what Jack was talking about.
Jack fixed his axe onto his back quickly pointed to the biggest and meanest looking guards of high rank and ordered them to follow him.

Contract Matters

The Troll was tending his vegetables, slowly and steadily working himself into a fury,
The goats had not been delivered last night. This was a major breech of contract.
In contract was it not true; give them an inch they will take a mile.
Trolls, never ones to take disappointment well where even worse at accepting minor or safety clauses may have to played out in contracts.
The troll had already reread his contract twice and there was an allowance for late delivery under certain circumstances and a list was given under that clause that was acceptable to all parties. The first of these being the King’s death, the least being the boat was stolen. Still the Troll took it personally. Even though it was the first ever transgression in the history of the contract, the Troll felt slighted and intended on letting his grievances and displeasure known via the complaints clause that also existed in the contract.
While the Troll was thinking of reading the contract again he heard the familiar thump of wood hitting the jetty.
Are they going to get an earful. He fumed and moved to greet the King, something he rarely did.
You could imagine the Trolls surprise when he came face to face with the largest and angriest egg he had ever seen in his long life.

It took the Troll a split second to distinguish between a King proxy and an intruder.
Intruders don’t bring goats and the Troll attacked.
Breech of item one of the contract:
No one but the King or an authorized representative bearing goats may enter the island. All others will be assumed trespassers.

Trolls have an undeniable belief in their own abilities to beat or kill everything the fight against, this is probably their greatest failing and their greatest weakness.
The Troll move on Humpty was fast and furious but Humpty was faster and the Troll underestimating of the skinny arms sticking out the side of his domed body was also a mistake. Humpty surprised the Troll with the sheer strength he used to pick the Troll up and throw him into the river in one fluid movement.
Humpty then removed the Book from a pouch tied around his middle and began talking directly to it.

It’s over here down this path, yes , keep going The voice in Humpty’s head said now totally realizing that the Book had been his new friend from the beginning. It was now his master. A great master at that, who had told him the wonders of the world and had promised Humpty power greater than any King. All he had to do was follow.
Humpty’s belief in the Book was absolute and did its every bidding.
Ahh, there it….BEHIND YOU! The Book/voice in his head suddenly yelled.
The Troll burst through the shrubberies and with it’s powerful jaws and claws clasped on to Humpty’s lower body and leg.
Humpty threw the Book clear.
“AGGHHH, It hurts, it hurts” cried Humpty.
This had been Humpty’s real first challenge and he was unaware he could still feel pain like this.
You are stronger and you will beat him Said the Book, not as encouragement but as an order.
Humpty reached out took the Trolls torso in his hands and swung the lock jawed beast’s legs into his mouth where his powerful teeth chewed off the Troll’s legs below the knees.
The Troll let out a horrifying scream and Humpty used this opportunity to escape its jaws. Humpty collected the Book and continued to follow its directions.

To be continued.......

Edited by Cathie Tranent, art by Simon Sherry

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