And here is the longer post I wanted to give y'all. :D
Unexpected Adventure, Part Thirty-one
Destiny got right to work. Regis and Peter leapt and jumped and spun in attempts to keep their footing. Columns went up, valleys suddenly formed, the ground twisted like a towel being wrung. And all the while they were trying to hack at each other with their no-longer-pastry-fied weapons.
Destiny flicked her hands. Wave-like ripples tossed Regis and Peter in the air. Before they had fallen far, columns shot up. Regis caught himself neatly, landing in a cat crouch. Peter fumbled and spun like a ballerina before he regained his balance.
Fate tutted. “Loss of three points, don’t you think?”
Destiny didn’t answer, just kept manipulating the field. She looked like she was having as much fun as I would. “So what’s the score?” I asked.
“Fifty to ten,” and “C to fifty,” they said simultaneously.
Fate shot Destiny an askance look. “What does the C stand for?”
“One hundred, and it’s for my player.”
“Now see here, Regis is getting points for style!”
“This is a battle, not a beauty pageant.”
“It’s for my throne! I think I should have a say…”
While they went at it, I slipped around the seats to the other side of Fate. One particular bauble on her caught my eye. A magic lamp, rimmed in sparkles. I swiped it and mentally thanked daddy for allowing me to spend lots of time with my cousins.
Destiny shouted, “Enough!”
Fate crossed her arms. “I’m only saying—”
“On to the next round,” Destiny said with finality.
I leaned forward and tucked the lamp in my flowing sleeves. “What’s the next challenge?”
Destiny grinned. “Animal attack.”
“Ooh, what kind?” Phoenixes would be fun to watch, or maybe giant wolves. Bears, elephants, a camel or two…
Then I saw the lion-like animals lurking among the sand dunes. Suddenly I wasn’t so happy about the arrangement. “Bloodlions?!”
Fate grimaced. “She’s right, darling. That’s a bit excessive.”
“They’re the ultimate test.” Destiny let out a villain-worthy cackle. “Ferocious when unprovoked, virtually unstoppable when they scent weakness. And both combatants are rather tired about now.”
She was right; Regis and Peter were flagging. I rubbed the lamp with my finger. A wispy voice grumbled in my mind.
Who do you want me to torture now?
I just want to use one wish. I wish that Peter and Regis—as unobtrusively as I could, I angled my arms so that the spout of the lamp pointed towards the battle field—would be re-energized.
The voice perked up. Okay.
Peter and Regis wielded their weapons with renewed vigor, but turned it to the approaching bloodlions instead of each other. I was glad the genie wasn’t one of the ones that would do what you told it to in the smallest extent possible.
I bit my lip. How long could they hold out? How long until Peter decided to—
I bolted to my feet and cupped my hands to my mouth. “Watch out, Regis!”
Peter dodged his pair of charging bloodlions, and they charged straight into Regis. He went down.
I shouted in dismay. Fate tapped my shoulder. “What is this, now?” She held the lamp. I must have dropped it.
“Uh…I was making things interesting.”
Fate patted my head. Destiny glared. “Let’s see what good that’s done you.”
With shiver-inducing howls, the bloodlions bounded back to the dunes. Destiny lowered her arms, a triumphant smile on her face. “I don’t think your Regis is getting up any time soon.”
But he had to. I stared at the prone body, just thinking, “Please get up, please get up.” I couldn’t even bring myself to protest that they were supposed to be fighting on a point system.
Peter swaggered up to the stands. “Am I the winner?” he asked.
Fate opened her mouth, but Destiny spoke before she. “Yes, you are.”
“That’s a relief.” He swiped at his forehead.
Fate sighed. “Destiny, dear, you really need to pay more attention to your charges.”
“They’re both beacons, yes? And if you look at the field, you can see Regis’ amulet lying in the dust.”
“So, that’s not Peter. At least, not his spirit.”
Destiny’s jaw dropped. After a moment I realized mine was hanging, as well.
Peter—Regis?—chuckled. It was Peter’s voice, but when I looked in his eyes, I saw Regis.
I flopped back onto a seat. “That was…unexpected. But it makes sense.” I looked over at Fate, who was sitting with a sad expression on her face. “So Regis won. I think. Technically.” Fate nodded.
I scooted closer to her. “Where does that leave you?”
“Oh, just without a job for a time. More importantly, it leaves this world without a leader.”
I looked to Pe—Regis. “Yeah, what were you going to do about that?”
Regis shrugged. “Without Fate controlling things, one thought was adventures for the sake of adventuring. Another was dissolution of prophecies.”
I rolled my eyes. “You can’t just start stuff like that after ages of Fate’s rule.”
“Which was why I was going to ask for her help.”
Fate cocked her head. “Of course, I’d be glad to. You still have to deal with my relatives, you know.”
I looked around for Destiny. She was gone.
Peter—Regis licked his lips. “I…hadn’t thought of that.”
I groaned. “Of course you didn’t.” But I had. I don’t know why, or when, but I had. Sort of. “Why don’t you let them keep doing their jobs, but instead of being ruled by Fate, they have to form a council. And do their jobs by vote.” Like I said, I’d only sort of thought it through.
Fate laughed. “That would be a sight! Everyone gathered under one roof, at one time, trying to decide on something. It could work, of course, if I was given a say. I’m the eldest, you know.”
Regis scowled. “Won’t that be the same as…”
As they hashed out the details, I sighed. This was going to take a while. And even though I hadn’t gotten to play a very big part in this adventure—I hadn’t even gotten to skewer anything—there was always the next adventure to look forward to.