The Halloween Town Bar Brawl
You know how some nights start out amazing—like when a modern-day Samurai wearing a feather boa goes toe-to-toe with a giant amazon woman in a crowded bar fight of exclusivly magical beings—yeah, this was literally that night.
It didn’t start out so great for me though. I felt like I was covered in fire ants from coming into contact with the girl we ended up calling Lava-Girl. Appropriate name. Making a mad-dash out of the wrestling ring (a poor man’s replacement for a boxing ring) at the center of the chaos, I catch a glimpse of some Matel reject getting tossed onto Dil by Wildabeast, a Changeling on ourside of the conflict, wrong place— wrong time. I think I actually heard the dude scream “Cowabunga!”. Classic. Johnny was duking it out with Shark-boy, when an Ogre dressed up like a sailor jumped at him from the top rope of the ring.
Upending the container of Gatorade the buring itching sensation stops (something I think I’ve heard Johnny complain about… not sure if thats an Elemental thing… or just a Johnny thing. Not asking), but I’m now covered in rock candy. What the hell Santa Cruz changelings? What the hell.
Turning back into the fight, Dil appears to be out of direct conflict moving away from Wilda and Ken-Doll (whose head is now Spikey and trying to mace the hell out of Wilda, looks like some bad luck on his part, he ended up freeing Wilda from some bindings or something). Dil ducks under the bleachers with Susan and I know that I can go all out. I figured Joel must have been with them, I mean where else would he have been? Fuck.
Otohime is stomping some pretty dude in the face, I go rushing past them with the Gatorade cooler still in hand and straight for Mr. Roboto whose getting teamed up by two of the SC crew. Pretty douche bag should have been paying attention, I hit him dead on, knocking him to the ground, breaking most of my rock-candy-covering in the process.
Johnny meanwhile is holding his own against both the Shark-guy and Big-Tooth-Ogre face. Grabbing Sailor-Goon by the head, he slams the guy into the ring, and turning to Sharky he gets a boot in the chest, knocking him down. Okay, Johnny’s Disco kick to the guys face after that was pretty impressive, after that I lost sight of him as he rolled out of the ring.
Oh right. And that bad-ass Werewolf Albrecht? Yeah I only got a quick glance in at him on the other side of the ring. Lavagirl had gotten up from the one-two I’d done to the back of her head and took a swing at him. Ballsy. It also got her hand crushed by his clearly ridiculous strength.
Looking down at the beautiful man that I found myself ontop of I smirked, he was quite striking… the kind of pretty boy you see on the cover of skin mags, but dressed like a Prince straight out of Disney. Grinning down at him I couldn’t help but comment “You know, if I were Johnny I’d probably say something witty right now.” giving him a casual shrug I yell out “PUNCH!” as I knock his pretty little lights out.
The incredible Giant lady tosses Clavel legit across the room, which is kind of saying something. Taking off towards Mushu I see that she’s swinging some frail dude dude around like a … flail. Classic Mushu. Ducking under that guy, I throw a punch at some Saytr that had been coming up behind her, drawing his attention. He wasn’t much of a fight tho, I feinted a kick to his knee, using it as a way to steady myself as I threw a knock out punch to his face.
Wacky Sailor Ogre throws himself out of the ring at Johnny, missing him clumsily. Johnny’s favorite chair of the evening was again in his hands and the clang he made bashing it into the ogres face could be heard even above the ruckus. Good job J. The Ogre recovers and attempts to swing at Johnny who brings the chair up blocking the massive fist and then does a thing I didn’t even know was a term… dirty bombed him, taking the Ogre out of the fight.
Meanwhile, under the bleachers things were getting real and taking a turn for the worst. Susan and Dil had been, from what I understand having a pleasant conversation. Dil blinked and suddenly Susan was not one, but two. Both of them (the Susans) seemed surprised, and from what Dil told us it wasn’t until he reached out to “boop” both Susans on the nose that fake one made her move. She slammed him in the face, and darkness behinds Susan started creeping on her, darkness with Lopers in it. Yeah if Dil hadn’t killed the Santa Cruz fucker, I would have spent the rest of the night hunting him down. As it was though, Dil killed the fucker, taking some stab wounds in the process but eventually knocked of the guys guise and pushing him into the darkness.
Just after that they got my attention. Running over, I knew the fun and games of our Halloween Bar fight was over. They gave me the low down on what happened and I called Johnny over with a roar. “Where’s Joel?” was the question that came up next. Fuck. Dil told me he’d gone up into a door just behind two knocked out Orgres. What the fuck was he getting into now? Charging Johnny with gettin Susan and Dil to safety I ran upstairs to get Joel and get the hell out.
What I found wasn’t anything that I expected and left me feeling like I’d failed a friend. Shadows, filled with Dark eye lopers, a path of light leading to an empty suitcase, and a few droplets of blood smeared on the pathway. Joel was dead. I knew it. Now he’ll wish he had been.
I came back into the main area, closing the door behind me just in time as SBM made his way into the area and called the brawl to its end. I couldn’t hear anything he was saying. I’d let a friend die, and it wasn’t Santa Cruz’s fault. It was mine. The next thing I knew were were filing out with goblin-fruit in our hands, and we were marching down the stairway towards the exit of the Halloween carnival.
A scream brought me back to reality… followed by a helluva lot more screaming and cries for help. Clavel, Otohime, and the gang ran towards the lower levels of the carnival. Again, I really tried to make it important for Johnny to realize he needed to get Dil and Susan home and chased after stuck up samurai and friends.
If I thought upstairs had been chaos, I’d been wrong. Hob-goblins of all kinds were pouring in the archways, how many? I couldn’t tell. They were all wearing blue flowers or something on their arms. I really couldn’t be bothered to figure out what that meant. I just knew we had to save the mortals who were previously partying on the first floor of the event.
It was then that I caught a glimpse of Joel, alive, and completely not dead in any way. Color me surprised as hell. I was going to give the stupid idiot a punch in the arm later, and a hug. Friends not being dead is best. Usually.
Running into a large group of hobs, I roar loudly, my magic amplifying the sound and bringing their eyes down on me and taking their attention from the mortals they’d been about to messily murder they take their turns attacking me. In moments like these I feel completely alive, jumping past a tusk her, a set of fangs there, tucking and rolling past another nightmare. The best parts are when my friends come in and show them how a team works together. Johnny came in from behind (heh) and started stabbing (heh) the various badies from the hedge. Everyone taking their turn to get some blood, and save some people. Honestly it was the best I think we could have done given the sudden nature of the battle.
Oh, and then of course the Universe… or Santa Cruz as it would apparently turn out, sent in the mother fucking Chain Sow. Clavel was next to us when it came in. I told him what happened to Dil and Susan and he put the final puzzle pieces together for us. Man, when he’s really angry he gets really good at killing things. Also he asks us to do stupid things like kill Giant Chain Sows.
Okay, I mean… Johnny and I really let the bastard have it. Running straight at the pig, I drew her attention towards me and jumped out of the way at the last moment almost letting her run straight into a wall of darkness… and Lopers. Couldn’t have been that easy of course. But we started off with getting her off balance and things couldn’t have gone much simpler for us. Johnny climbed up on her, using the chains of course and started applying heavy stabs to her brain-area. She started getting up again, but I slammed a fist into her knee, forcing her to take more time to get back up. Turns out that was all we needed, as I delivered my second blow to her knee and a follow up to her head Johnny brought down the axe (well daggers) and she fell limply to the ground. Mm. Bacon.
I felt kind of giddy, I won’t lie. SBM sauntered over to us in that “Big man with a Big Stick” kind of way. “you do this?” He asked. “It would seem so.” He nodded approvingly and reached out to give me a fist bump. His was the last face I saw. Might be the last ‘human’ face I ever see.
“Where is it? Where is the Leech you promised us?” Red eyes every where, and complete darkness beyond those. SBM sounded scared. Yeah. We were that fucked. He tried to explain to the Lopers that he had left them their bargain, their earnings. But apparently it wasn’t there. Then it clicked. Joel. Meek, wise, and kind of awkward Joel. Whatever he’d been up to, whatever hadn’t killed him, might have killed us all.
Oath-breaker they called SBM and by extension all of us. “It wasn’t him!” I tried to yell, but nothing cam out. I was going to take the blame, my instinct to protect them all was at the front of my mind, but I couldn’t do anything to save any of us. They told SBM that death would be too much of a price to pay. But fear. The Fear that autumn loved so much, that they would make us taste in it’s place.
The darkness lifted. Everyone was gone. I was alone. The thorns of The Hedge reached out in every direction and I was standing in it knee deep. The real world was no where in sight. Trumpets called out, and the laughter that has haunted my dreams, the dream of every Changeling rang in my ears setting me running, the Keepers were coming. The Wild hunt was on us. I only have one goal now. Survive. Survive long enough to find Joel, and make him pay for killing us all.