Several weeks ago, the Blog Hop topic centered on characters from different origins meeting each other. A fascinating subject–and one I’ve played with before, as I once wrote a few friends short stories for their birthdays, centered around the idea of a group of their favorite characters hanging out in a tavern together.
Just for fun, I thought I’d share the opening of one of those stories, “Masked Men and Zombies.” I’m not sure if it will make sense to anyone but my friends, but if people are amused, perhaps I’ll share more another day. 🙂
I don’t own any of the characters in the story (except the squirrel), no copyright infringement intended, etc., etc. And by the way, this will make a lot more sense if you’ve seen this video from Eddie Izzard.
The date was March 24th. The year was absolutely impossible to determine based on the people present. But it was definitely March 24th, in a tavern whose location is also somewhat vague. From whatever street it fronted on, in a city unknown, a man was entering. He was tall, dressed all in black, and had a vaguely menacing air. Considering this tavern, and considering the inspiration behind its population, from this description there were at least four distinct individuals this could have been. The fact that he was wearing a mask did not narrow things down.
The unidentified masked man (hereafter UMM, until we latch onto a name) strode into the tavern and crossed through the crowded room to the bar. To all appearances, there was no one at said-bar. Said-UMM slammed one black-gloved fist on the countertop and demanded, “Bartender!”
A slightly drunken pirate popped up from behind the bar. “You rang?”
“No. I pounded. Are you the bartender?”
“Well…” Captain Jack Sparrow leaned one grimy elbow on the grimy bartop and grinned goldly. “Maybe not technically, but I drink more’n most folk here, so I get to man the bar. What’ll it be?”
“First, I have a question.” The UMM leaned over the bar, menacing air increasing by 56.2%. “Do I need a tray?”
Jack didn’t pay any attention to the question, was apparently oblivious to the menacing air, and was studying the UMM with a thoughtful air of his own. “Say, don’t I know you? Aren’t you…Jeff Vader?”
“I could kill you with a tray!” Darth Vader roared. The menacing air increased by a factor of seven.
No one else in the tavern even reacted to the roaring, which says something about the kind of people populating the crowd.
Jack clapped a hand over his hat, to be on the safe side, and asked, “How?”
“With the thin bit and—”
“No, I mean, how, we don’t have any trays.”
“I could kill you without a tra—no trays, really?” Darth Vader sat down on one of the barstools. “That’s great; they’re a useless nuisance anyway. Always wet. Give me a beer. Cold. And a straw.”
“Coming right at you,” Jack said, lifting his hat in salute just long enough for the squirrel underneath to wave a paw. Then the hat went back down, Jack rummaged amongst bottles, and eventually produced a tall mug of beer, with a straw. He took his own statement literally and slid it along the bar in Darth Vader’s general direction.
Vader watched it approach from his left, slide past him and continue to his right. When it was three feet from him and three inches from the end of the bar, he extended one hand. The mug came to a halt, retraced its course, and slid neatly into his hand. “Thank you,” he intoned.
“Handy trick,” Jack approved. And then his eyes lit in a way that always meant trouble for someone. Usually someone in authority. “Say, I’ve got an idea. Could you make something float?”
“Could you make a wig float?”
“Could you make his wig float?” Jack pointed across the room at Commodore Norrington, who was seated with his back to the bar. That this was Jack’s target may be a surprise to no one.
“Why would I want to make his wig float?”
“Because he’s a stuffed shirt and his wig makes him look like an ice cream cone.”
Vader considered. “Good enough.”
He waved a hand. First Norrington’s hat rose a foot into the air, and then his wig followed it. They both stayed there. Hovering.
Norrington looked up at his floating head accoutrements with a frown. He reached up, dragged the wig back to his head, clapped the hat over it, and held them both in place with one hand. Without turning around, he said, “Mr. Sparrow, I don’t know how you did that, but do find something else to amuse yourself with.”