The Chronics of Erik Vol 1 (Finished)

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The Chronics of Erik Vol 1 (Finished)

Postby kyuudousha » July 5th, 2005, 9:48 am

We will start with the obligatory setting of the scene. The mist rolled across the heather scarred moor like a fat cigar over a dusky maidens thigh. It was a cold morning. Very cold. Only ten minutes earlier a brass monkey had passed our hero looking for a smithy. The sun was just on it’s way up. A young man lay in the heather. This young man was Erik von Grosse-Pimmel. Now, Erik von Grosse-Pimmel was not what you might have called the sharpest tool in the toolbox. He would have been completely out of his depth had he stood in a puddle. In fact, somewhere, some village, is short of one idiot, and that village was Bad Hayredo in Uberwald. People tended to be practical from Bad Hayredo, where the popular fashion amongst the young and impressionable was something that didn’t itch too much. He had just fitted the new ‘Ellas Stickz’* sights to his crossbow, which his grandfather, the Great Grosse-Pimmel of Ekwein fame had given him for his eighteenth birthday, and was focusing them on a young couple that were laying by a stream, who were helping each other out of some particularly unfashionable clothes. He thought of his grandfather then with affection as he remember his mother telling the epic tales of daring-do that his grandfather used to get up to in his youth, and the famous last words that he uttered just before his demise:

“If dwarves were any stupider they would have to be watered…”

He was, like Erik , a prime candidate for natural de-selection.

Had Erik flicked his MkII 'Ellas Stickz' onto foresight he may well have carried on watching the young couple by the stream but as he had the IQ of a rabid amoeba he continued to swing the scopes round and up to the road leading out of Bad Hayredo. He waited. Whilst he waited his memory grudgingly went back to the day of the meeting. The meeting that changed his life forever. The meeting that would end the life of the strange man known as Kellerin Buch.

KELLERIN BUCH

It was a dark stormy night when the wagon rolled into Bad Hayredo. There was, written on the side of this wagon, the following:

Orijinal Swamp Dragon Oyl – Bennyfishal to the Organs of Rejenerashun – As recommendededed by Casanunda – The Disks Sekond Graytest Louvre

Kellerin Buch left the horse and cart coupled together and he decided to sleep on the seat of the cart with the rains gripped tightly in his hands. He decided it would probably be best especially after the spaghetti incident over in Bad Ass. He decided to set up his stall first thing in the morning, sell as much of his rancid stock as he could by midday then move on. Hopefully he could be a great deal further on up the road by the time anybody actually drank this stuff. He made another mental note never to use Dibblers Independent Traders again, again. What on earth was he thinking. Now, just to give you, the reader, a bit of an insight into Kellerin Buch, he is the type of man that people would remember fondly, saying things like:

“Ah yes, Kellerin Buch, he’ll go far that man, and the sooner the better” or
“Kellerin Buch? Wasn’t he the one who never got ulcers but I here he was a carrier?”

and other such similar comments. He was the sort of man that moved around a lot on the basis that it was more difficult to hit a moving target. He never looked back. Unless he was checking on whether or not the baying mob were catching up with him. Oh well he thought to himself, tomorrows another day...

THE MEETING

Dawn broke, apologised, cleaned up the mess and left the sun, shining brightly, to carry on its journey around the disc giving us a wonderful setting for chapter three then…

Kellerin stirred, he had this awful feeling that somebody was watching him. He opened one eye slowly and made an effort to glance round whilst pretending to be stirring in his sleep. There, about ten yards away was what he assumed to be a little girl, head tilted to one side and wiggling her body from side to side. From her left hand there appeared to be what was left of a rag doll. She was covered head to toe in filth, apart from a narrow stream of silver which appeared from her left nostril and finished just past the top lip. Kellerin looked at the girl. The girl looke back at Kellerin.

“(sniff) Wotcha doin?” She finally said.
“Nothing yet, ______ off”
“Why?”
“Can’t you go and play by the river or something?”
“(sniff, gulp, swallow) Why?”
“Look! Just go away will you…?”
“Why?”

It’s a well known fact that once children reach a certain age they realise that they can really get on your nerves with one simple, three letter word – why. This is an especially good game if the subject of their line of questioning, has no experience of children what so ever. Now to save on paper the conversation has been abridged, so all those of you with children of your own please feel free to continue it yourselves until you have lost your temper, then stub your toe on a discarded toy and stand on a small marble with bare feet. This will now get you to somewhere like Kellerin is now feeling. Kellerin decided that if he wanted to end the conversation before his fortieth birthday he would be better off just ignoring her. He started to set up his stall ready for the early morning rush of what he affectionately termed as 'victims'. The awning was out, the bottles arranged and he just turned around to reach for his RatherBigVoice** when he stumbled over a dirty, snotty little child, clutching a rag thing which had somehow got right behind him without him realising. The child started to cry. Louder and louder. As Kellerin looked up from the child he could see the makings of a mob beginning to develop. One of this mob was a gangly youth who appeared to be watching him with an expression of, what Kellerin mistook for, mild amusement. Well, thought Kellerin, I may as well get started then, and he gently pushed the crying, snivelling, grubby thing to one side with his foot.

“YOU SIR!” he bellowed pointing at Erik “DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING THAT AILS YOU AND I WILL CHECK MY ‘LIST OF SYMPTOMS’”
“Nope” replied Erik
“NOTHING AT ALL SIR! SURELY THERE MUST BE SOMETHING I COULD BE OF ASSISTANCE WITH!”
“Nope”
“LACK-LUSTRE SHEEN? LETHARGIC BRAIN? DRY NOSE? TROUBLE WITH THE BREEDING? HOOK CLAW… SORRY FOOT? IRRITATING….”
“Pardon?”
“I SAID ‘LACK-LUSTRE SHEEN? LETHAR….”
“No no no, after that”
“DRY NOSE?”
“Nope”
“TROUBLE WITH BREEDING?”
“Might be…”

At this stage Erik walked closer to the strange stranger and lowered his voice

“…what does this stuff do then?”
“IT ATTRACTS THE FEMALE OF…!”
“shhhhh not so loud…”
“sorry, it attracts the female of the species sir.”
“How much?”
“About a tea spoon in your water should do it.”
“For a bottle, you…..”
“Ah yes, sorry, 3 pence…”
“Right here’s a dollar, I’ll take the lot”
“Right you are sir! If you’ll just give me a hand to get them down, I’ll shut up shop and be on my way” a very, very long way away he added to himself.

And so, the following day got bored of following and decided to take the lead for a while. With a nod to dawn, who was on her way to meet dusk for a quite little Bearhuggers ale, the day settled into a gentle trot. Erik decided that today would be the day to win the heart of his one true love, Esmarelda Schlapschtick. He went downstairs, put the kettle over the fire and went out to the barn. When he was sure that there was nobody watching he retrieved a couple of bottles of Dragon Oyl and went back to the house. He read the label very carefully...
'Right then, one tablespoon full in their water'
He took the lid off the kettle and measured out one tablespoon full and poured it in.
'Mind you' he said to himself 'She is a bit of a looker...'
He carefully measured out another tablespoon full, swallowed it, and poured the rest of the bottle of oil into the kettle.
'That should do it'
Whilst he waited for the kettle to boil he went back upstairs and decided to agonise over which itchy clothes to wear. He parted his hair down the middle and greased it down with the second bottle of dragon oil. He also dabbed it liberally around his neck and chin, stood and flexed, what would in the loosess sense of the word, be described as muscles, examined his spots and licked his eyebrows flat.
'Looking good big guy...'
When he got back downstairs he was greeted by the farm hands who had come in for their tea break. All of them had half empty, steaming mugs.
'Mornin' lad, you'se looking proper dapper today boy! Where'se you off to then?'
'Reckon he's goin' a courtin'! Well boy? Who's the lucky lass then?'
'Errrrr.....' tried Erik.
'Bless 'im! Ee's all discombobulated! HA HA HA!
'Errmm....' tried Erik again.
The farmhands laughed heartily, as all old men do when faced by a young whippersnapper who is obviously out to impress the fairer sex. Erik could feel himself reddening as he strode purposefully out of the kitchen and into the yard.
'______! bum! pooh! ploppy pants!'
And then he could hear it. A faint whining coming from the direction of Gedney Bog End. And a cloud of smoke. Yes, a cloud of smoke. No, wait a minute, that's not smoke. And that whining, is it just me or is it getting louder? The last time Erik had heard anything like that was when old 'stinky' Hermann brought his pet swamp dragon to the fair in Bad Hayredo and it had caught sight of the fair ground ride with the little dragons on it. The poor little thing had nearly choked itself to death on its lead trying to fight them. At least he was told the little thing was going to fight them. There was a distant 'pop' as one of the swamp dragons emerging in the cloud of dragons exploded in its excitement, setting off a chain reaction that would have wiped out the whole population of swamp dragons had they not have fanned out so much near the top of the cloud, which incidently was getting bigger.
'Oh shi....' Erik realised that the cloud wasn't getting bigger, but nearer.
Now, the human brain is a most remarkable organ. It is capable of processing information at tremendous speeds and of working out extremely complex problems to quite a degree of accuracy. At this point however, Eriks brain wasn’t doing any of that. It had in fact shut down. Not only had it shut down but packed it’s bags and turned the light off on the way out. Contrary to popular belief Erik was not as simple as people thought. At least his brain wasn’t. With the absence of any instructions from the brain, his body started to get a bit nervous. It decided that if the brain didn’t like it here then neither did he. It turned and ran. Away. The only problem with this is that the eyes couldn’t stop looking at the cloud of whining, humming exploding dragons heading their way. It is of course a well known fact that anybody running away from something grizzly that will dish out certain death if it catches them will never actually look where they are going. In fact, the amount of time spent looking behind them is inversely proportional to the amount of objects there are for the runner to trip over. Hence somebody running through dense woodland will NEVER actually look where they are going. There are other factors that further complicate the matter such as sex of runner and so on but that is for another time, or more realistic dimension.

Kellerin Buch heard the whine, turned from his seat on his wagon and then saw the cloud, his contented smile faded as he looked back to the road and spurred his horse into what was now, for the horse, a familiar pattern. Sidle in, stop a night, run like buggery, sidle in, stop a night, run like buggery. We were at present at the latter stage.

The farm hands sauntered through the door of the kitchen, half full, steaming mugs still clasped in hand with a look of bemused consternation about their features. The chortling banter about birds, bees and the various improbabilities of such a union staggered to a nervous silence as they looked at the growing cloud.

‘Stinky’ Hermann saw the cloud all the way from Bad Hayredo and whooped with joy.

Okay, try and stick with it because the chain of events that happened next were highly improbable but incredibly funny…

…unfortunately, the budget would not stretch to anymore than a hand held digital camera and so the reader will just have to try to imagine the full, eye watering, Technicolor effects, the breathtaking CGI wizardry and the ear drum explosion inducing quadraphonic surround sound. Are you ready?

Erik, doing a rather good impression of a swastika from the side, ran straight into the farm hands whose attention was still firmly fixed on the approaching cloud of doom and destruction. The resulting impact sent Erik, numerous farm hands and several pints of scalding hot, swamp dragon oil and tea into a panic induced cloud of steam and dust. The only thing missing would have been the words ‘Kappow’ and ‘Zok’ written above it in big, colourful letters.

The little dragons, now churned up into a frenzy of sexual excitement by the fresh onslaught of pheromones from the spilled tea, could no longer contain themselves. The lead dragons exploded in their excitement, which, as the trailing dragons flew into the exploding lead dragons set off another chain of explosions which got louder and louder as more dragons exploded. The heat emanating from these explosions scorched everything in its path. Including the little pile of bodies which were the main target of the amorous dragons attention.

Silence***. Little wisps of steam and smoke rose from the pile of bodies. The ‘pinks’ and hisses of various objects cooling down at different times was almost deafening. The snap and crackle of burning buildings added it’s piece to the orchestra. As the camera pans back from the scene of devestation you can see a body move. This would upsetting for most because the body is most certainly dead. However, it still continued to move until it rolled from the top of the pile to reveal Erik. Shielded from the blast by the press of bodies he was remarkably unharmed. Which was more than could be said for the farm. The crops had been blown flat and the earth scorched hard, the barn was ablaze, as was the house.

The farm hands stood up and tried to dust themselves down.
‘What the blood and sand was that!?’
‘I dunno but I don’t want see ‘owt like it again’
YOU WON’T, DON’T WORRY
‘Ere, who are y…. oh, I see’
And the farmhands surveyed the carnage around them
‘Ere! I’m still moving, I’m not dead yet!’ pointed one of the farmhands. At that point his scorched body rolled over to reveal Erik clambering out from beneath them.
‘Oh ______!’
‘I thought you only came for wizards?’
I COME FOR EVERYBODY IN THE END
‘Hmmm, ‘spose you do in the end, yeah”
‘So what ‘appened then?’
I WOULD SAY BARBECUED. I’LL BET YOU’RE NOT DONE ON THE INSIDES AT ALL.
‘Cor, blimey, right then….’
And the shades of the farmhands slowly faded away.
Death shook his head and whistled for Binky. He had a plague to go to in Sto Lat, a drowning, four muggings and a poisoning in Ankh Morpork. He could do without these unscheduled stops he decided.

Erik, having had his brain return, switch everything back on, light the fire and draw the curtains made a dash into the house. When he emerged, some thirty seconds later he had his fathers hunting crossbow strapped to his back. His best shirt was so badly scorched that he ripped what was left off. Tearing a strip from one of the sleeves, he tied it around his head to keep his hair out of his eyes. Little wisps of smoke were still coming from his head as the oils he had put on smouldered. He looked towards the road, gave a few moments thought to his best direction, then set of over the hill towards Krankenhausen at a gentle, loping run. He reckoned that by going cross country, he could intercept Kellerin Buch before he was out of range.

In Bad Hayredo, ‘Stinky’ Hermann said ‘ Woohoo….’

Kellerin Buch having seen the resultant mushroom cloud in the distant decided that the complaints department would not need to open today to the issues resolving themselves satisfactorily slowed his horse down to a trot then a walk. Half an hour later Kellerin spoke.
‘Not such a bad day after all then, eh Dobbin?’
The horse snickered, then neighed, then resolutely looked forward along the road.
‘Want some water old girl?’
The horse ignored him
‘Dobbin?’
The horse continued to ignore him, concentrating solely on the road.
‘Dobbin? What’s the matter with you?’
PROBABLY HUNGRY?
‘What, who are you?’
YOU NEED TO ASK?
‘But I’m not dead. I was miles away when that lot went off so you can just ______ off alright!?’
THWOK!
The force of the bolt hitting Kellerin in the chest pinned him to the back of the seat of his cart. He looked down at his chest with an astonished ‘O’ on his lips.
TECHNICALLY NOT YET, BUT I’VE BEEN PUT OFF SCHEDULE SO I WANTED TO GET HERE EARLY.
‘But…. But…. ‘
As he looked up to see where the bolt had come from he could see a skinny, bare chested young man dancing on top of a hillock just ahead of him.
‘But…. But….’
He turned to look at Death who just stared back. He was good at staring was Death. He had won competitions for it in fact.
‘But…’
At this point Death had decided he couldn’t really wait any longer and swung his scythe round in a graceful arc. The shade of Kellerin Buch rose from his body and looked again at Death.
‘Well, what happens next then?’
THAT IS ENTIRELY PERSONNAL I THINK
‘What, no heaven, no hell’
THAT ALL DEPENDS ON YOUR PERSPECTIVE
Just below the threshold of hearing a hundred thousand voices could be heard. They were getting louder…
This didn’t work…
Load of old rubbish….
It’s just gripe water…
We’ve been done…
Money back…
Money back
MONEY BACK
MONEY BACK
MONEY BACK…….!!!!!
The shade of Kellerin Buch went even paler as he stared at Death
‘Oh noooooooooooo………..!!!!!!!!’

Erik turned towards Ankh Morpork and started walking.

In Bad Hayredo ‘Stinky’ Hermann went for a lie down.

The End

* Ellas Stickz was a relatively unknown magician who had delusions of adequacy until the invention of his ‘hunting sights’. When out hunting one day he thought that if he could see things that he was going to shoot much closer then the chances of him missing would be greatly reduced. To achieve this he created a spell that could stretch space down a small tube which he fitted to the top of the crossbow. Thus when looking down the tube things appeared to be much closer than they actually were. The MkII version of the Ellas Stickz sights had an extra three settings 1) Fore 2) Hind and 3) Second. With the MkII, you could not only shoot whatever it is you were aiming at but also work out if they were going to move before you released the bolt, what would happen once the target had been shot and then shoot at its sole as it left the body.

** Rather like a megaphone but smaller.

*** The type of silence that is heard when the creeping barrage stops and your sat there waiting for the officers whistle to blow to tell you it’s time to go over the top. The type of silence where you suddenly realise that the driver of the car in front has stopped and you know you’re never going to brake in time leaving you a passenger in the coming events, just waiting for the BANG of impact. In other words, it wasn’t silent at all, but the comparison between before and after made your ears whistle.
:lol: Cuius testiculous habes, habeas cardia et cerebellum
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