Duel

duelgun

“I’m going to shoot you, Montgarde,” I said. “I’m going to shoot you directly in the appendix.”

I looked around at my supporters, my blue eyes shining, my head wobbling as though ego had made it heavy. A smile of smug satisfaction jigged across my lips, causing them to wriggle hideously. I turned back to my opponent. The smile tightened. The jig ceased. My eyes turned from blue to slate gray. I continued:

“You’ll have to have it taken out, I expect. Then you’ll be an appendixless freak.”

I put all my venom into “freak” there, like an asp biting into a dictionary. Or a page of a dictionary. Or at least a slip of paper with the word “freak” inscribed on it. Even now, you see, I prize precision in metaphor.

“What?” Montgarde’s voice drifted back to me. He was a mere 10 yards away, sitting on the ground, inspecting several fallen leaves. His legs stuck out in front of him, like they’d been dropped in a rush and left there to arrange later. A disinterested air hung about him.

I tugged at my cravat. A graceless tic, and one to which I am prone. I gathered myself. I struck out first one stockinged leg, and then another. Those legs began my famous “Pig’s Fancy” waltz. My supporters cheered to see my well-sculpted calves at their very best. For a moment the common drifted away as I allowed myself to feel the pleasure of movement. I abandoned myself to this sacred act. I abandoned myself to the mystery of “Pig’s Fancy”. And then, at the height of the exhibition, I stopped of a sudden. I turned my head toward the bastard Montgarde.

“I said—my approximate opponent, Montgarde—’If you will be so kind as to expose your appendix, I’m going to shoot it.'”

“Nah,” Montgarde’s voice glanced off of the grass, as though he didn’t care where it went. “I don fink you will.”

I smiled back at my supporters, over my shoulder. I jogged my eyebrows suggestively, ensuring them that I was about to unleash le meilleur de bon mots on this reclining idiot.

“Then you had better ‘fink’ again, my fine feathered friend,” I said, with a surprising amount of confidence given the heaping rubbish the sentence contained. I’d been caught up in the alliteration, I supposed. Nothing could really explain the use of “feathered” there. I half hoped, as an afterthought, that someone would see it as a suggestion that he was not unlike a chicken, which had some recognizable flavor of taunt to it. But even then. Ugh. My head ceased its wobble.

My supporters withdrew a single step, unconsciously.

“Good one, you lily ponce,” Montgarde shouted.

And as he did, he jumped to his feet and pulled out the hugest shuriken (throwing star) I had ever seen.

duel2What the crap? I thought to myself and just started taking a leak in my pants, all over. He threw the star through the air and it whistled like a fat kid on cake day. It hit me at the knees and tore through both of them like a fat kid munching his way through a Sunday roast. My beautiful calves and feet fell away, never again to delight gathered throngs with “Pig’s Fancy”. The throwing star bounced away behind us, chopping off the heads of my horse, my dog, and my baby cat, before finally coming to a rest like a fat kid after the president’s physical fitness challenge. I toppled, and fell to the ground.

“Holy crap!” all the spectators shouted.

“That’s how we do, homie,” Montgarde said. He stood there like the badass he truly was. My wife—Margaret, Duchess of York—ran over and jumped onto his back. He gave her a piggy-back ride all the way to “divorce-town”, population me.

I write this from my bed, in hospital, a wreck. A ruin of what I once was. Like a fat child twenty years on, in the spasms of a cardiac event, clutching at his heart. Clutching at my heart.

Duel

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