This is not my usual blog, yesterday I hit 5 years with my fiancé Louise, and this is the story of how we met. I had a blast writing it, I hope you enjoy.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…..
The Disc surveyed the land in front of him; a battle had been fought here last night. Discarded kebab wrappers, half-drunk bottles of WKD blue & Smirnoff Ice, a lone pile of sick with a clear face print in it…. Clearly what had happened here had been horrific. It bothered The Disc that there were no bodies to be seen, for such a great battle there must have been many killed or hurt. Where had they gone? Perhaps the stories were true, the dead coming back to life to consume the living.
A smile crept over The Disc’s face, he had been preparing for the dead all his life, it held no fear & tonight nothing would stop him. He turned to his brother, Brawling of the Square & nodded, Brawling nodded back. It was time to move on through The Heath, move onto their destination; The great castle known as The Rat & Parrot. It is a fearsome looking place from the outside with huge walls & guards surrounding the battlements, a place that looks impenetrable but that they called home. You see it was here the two men could meet their other brother, the ruler of such a castle, the unholy one, the dark one, The Lotus & their comrades in metal, they could quaff until the person behind them was soaked with beer. They could sing songs of battles won & battles lost & hopefully meet the odd wench or two.
They picked their way through the carnage from the night before, Brawling of the Square stopped once or twice to throw up. Not The Disc, he had seen this all too many times. As they neared the castle, the sky darkened, night was approaching fast & something felt wrong in the air. Together they drew their weapons, the most fearsome known to bouncers around the world, the ID.
The bouncers at the gates of the castle were ugly looking brutes & some of the dumbest trolls in in all the lands. However what they lacked in brain power they made up for in brute strength. If they did not fear your ID, then they would bar the way. Any attempt to force entry would be met with a beating one may not have survived. Happily the two trolls baring the way into the castle were friendly towards The Disc & Brawling of the Square. After nodding hello & brandishing their mighty weapons the 2 men were given entry.
As the gate was slowly lowered down it gave The Disc time to reflect on who he had become over the last couple of lunar cycles. He remembered a time when he was living a quiet life on the farm with a fair maiden but all that changed the night she revealed herself to be nothing more than a pawn of the devil, that night The Disc smote her & it is something he has never regretted. With that life gone The Disc became free, it appeared the harpy had put a spell on him forcing him to be submissive but no more. The Disc began to make up for lost time, he drank heavily, he ate regular, he bedded as many fair maidens as he could find but most of all he didn’t care.
Now he longed for something more, something that could make him smile again for you see, The Disc was not smiling anymore. He had grown tired of the life he was leading, he wanted something more but he knew he was unlikely to find it at the castle.
The gate hit the ground with a thud, the smell of ale & unwashed hairy men was strong enough to make The Disc’s eyes water. He met his brother’s gaze & nodded, in they went.
The music was loud, the air was hot & the smells sharp to the nose but The Disc loved it. Greeted like a returning hero he made his way towards his lord & brother, The Lotus who was sitting upon his golden throne. The crowds gathered round him disgusted The Disc, so desperate for a moment in the dark ones golden gaze. As The Disc approached The Lotus stood up & roared “hear me good people, my brothers, The Disc & The Square have arrived! Give him the heartiest of welcomes!”
The cheer that followed made the duo smile; they approached the throne & embraced their eldest. The Lotus was known as the unholy one, the dark one but it was just a name. A name he was happy to encourage mind you. The tales of when he fought back an army of gnolls with just 1 arm as the other was broken & when he took down a mountain troll while wearing a blindfold are infamous.
“The battle was fierce last night, brother” remarked The Disc.
“Isn’t it always?” laughed The Lotus.
“Where are the bodies, my lord? Why do they not lay where they fell to serve as a warning to others?” said The Disc.
The Lotus roared with laughter! “You worry too much brother”. He slammed a drink into The Disc’s hand. “here have a drink, drink & be merry!”
With that The Lotus began to sing the most famous song in all the land:
After sharing a flagon of ale together the Disc noticed a group out of the way in the corner. He recognized a number of the people who were part of the group, some he knew better than others but one stood out, one he did not know & she had piped The Disc’s interest. He made his way over the group, greeting each as a long-lost brother. The maiden he did not know, she was red-haired, the sign of the soulless (Please note – I don’t mean this. Gingers do have souls!). The Disc knew such a woman could be the devil incarnate but he found himself intrigued by her choose of outfits. He began to wonder if she was a succubus in disguise. It wouldn’t be the first time one such creature had tried to ensnare him.
As the night went on he watched her closely waiting for a sign that she wasn’t human, some slip that would reveal the inner demon & he could strike her down before she had chance to utter a foul word. It did not come, he began to realise she was nothing more than a woman, a bawdy woman but certainly a woman. His crept over her body…. A woman indeed. He decided then to go down the path he had always gone down & talk his way into her bedchambers….. but it was not to be.
The party got harder & louder, a storm was waking up outside, many of the guests were leaving anxious to get home before the storm hit. The red-haired woman was leaving as well, The Disc found himself disappointed. They agreed that should they meet again next week then who ever could remember each other’s name would buy the other a drink. The Disc found this very amusing as she had made her name perfectly clear to him, Gwen & what a name it was as well.
In the week that followed The Disc traversed the land looking for clues that the walking dead were among us. They were sparse but every so often he would find something that made him uncomfortable, a box of half-gnawed bones, it could be chicken or it could be fingers, The Disc wasn’t sure. Once when riding across the plains of Blackheath common he spied a lone man in the distance, this man was staggering & falling about the place. The Disc rode hard towards him, the smell! Gods, the smell, the man must not have bathed in weeks.
“Ho, good sir, what is your business here on the Common? Answer in the name of The Lotus!”
The man turned to The Disc, his eyes red, his face slack & lifeless, he moaned. The moan shook The Disc to his bones. The dead! One of the walking dead, right here in front of him! The man slouched towards The Disc; The Disc dismounted quickly, took his sword & in one fell swoop took the head off. It rolled to a stop a few feet away, the blood, it was everywhere.
Strange, thought The Disc, they are not supposed to bleed as such. He checked the body & the more he saw, the more he realized he had just killed a wandering drunk, a beggar, nothing more.
The party was in full swing again, the music was loud, the men & woman just short of being drunken asses. The Disc approached Gwen, for some reason he was nervous. They greeted & she reminded him of the bet, she spoke his name, not many do & he spoke hers. She threw back her head, her long red hair shaking as she laughed. The Disc’s smile fell from his face, what had he done to make ker laugh so much?
“My name isn’t Gwen” She exclaimed loudly.
The Disc looked confused “It isn’t? but you told me it was!”
“No, I didn’t, its Louise” She continued to laugh.
The Disc considered cutting her throat there & then if just to silence the screaming wench but found he couldn’t bring himself to do so. He called his brother, Brawling of the Square over & asked he to confirm what Louise who was once Gwen said her name was, he confirmed: she said Gwen.
From that moment they became firm friends but nothing more. They spent time together just talking & drinking. The Disc saw her as someone he could trust, someone he could share his concerns with & of those there were many. The dead prayed heavily on his mind, every waking moment he found himself consumed with thoughts of families being devoured by hordes of the monsters, of the kingdom falling all because it wasn’t prepared.
His relationship with the fair maiden Louise improved even when he began seeing one of her good friends. It was short-lived as she turned out to be a demon in disguise & The Disc gutted her while she slept. Through all the battles that were fought, through all the nights they drank themselves into oblivion they still remained good friends & then it happened….
The night the horde attacked The Disc was deep in thought, he was un-prepared for what would happen. The war lasted a month & it had many casualties, The Disc did not see Louise throughout that entire period, he presumed she had been lost as many had been before her. The sense of loss was greater than he ever realized & he missed her terribly, in the war with the walking dead he saw many sights, many horrors, things that he never wants to speak of again but most importantly he survived. The same cannot be said for many others, his brothers who decorated themselves in glory by fighting some of the fiercest battles ever. Brawling of the Square took down 40 dead men with just his bare hands before succumbing to the infection, that is where the youngest of the 4, he who was much too young to join in the castle festivities stood up to be counted as a man. When the time came Raptures Lost knew what to do; he made sure Brawling of the Square did not suffer.
At the end of the battle to end all battles, The Disc looked across the chaos, across the death & destruction & thought of Louise. That his mind wandered to her in this moment of victory shocked him & he knew he would have to find her.
Time passed but The Disc searched high & low across the land, he swam the murky waters of the Thames, where no man dares go. He crossed the lost lands of the swampy Hackney Marshes, he fought his way through the war-torn city of Woolwich yet she was nowhere to be found.
Disheartened & lost he returned to the castle, The Rat & Parrot. The loss of Brawling of the Square had hit The Lotus hard, his humour had gone; his heart was not in the parties anymore. The Disc felt it in the air & he knew it would not be long before he closed the castle down. The world had been changed by the war with the dead; nobody had the heart to drink heartily anymore.
The Disc nursed a flagon of ale for what felt like a lifetime & then there she was a picture of beauty. Her soulless red hair blowing in the wind, her eyes twinkling in the light, it was a sight.
They met well & talked, The Disc’s past was coming back to haunt him. She felt that she was nothing more than another notch on The Disc’s bedroll. How could he be committed to one woman after years of being a womanizer? The Disc was hurt but he knew it to be true, his past was his past but he had to prove that he could be something else in the future. From that moment on he knew his life would be different, he valued his friendship with Louise enough to want it to continue. She invited The Disc to a party to celebrate her birthday & he snapped up the offer.
From this moment onwards The Disc put her out of his mind, she was no longer on the cards, he admired her for the reasons & saw a great future as friends but it turns out she had other ideas. At her birthday celebrations The Disc was keeping himself away from some of the other guests. A lot of them annoyed him, they wore chainmail in a way that was for the look of the thing rather than its protective abilities, one man even wore a single mitral glove, and the other hand was bare.
As the night wore on Louise approached him & took his hand, The Disc was surprised but excited. She explained how she was wrong & that she knew he had a past but was willing to look to the future. They kissed…..
That was 50 cycles ago (5 years) & in 8 and 2/3’s of a cycle they shall be wed but that is another story all together.Ok, folks there it is! All the locations & people are real, the story is true. I may have added the zombies & murders & witches & demons & trolls but the rest is true. The reason why my youngest brother features so little is because he was under the legal drinking age at this time; he could not come hang with us. The pub, The Rat & Parrot no longer exists & is now a Chinese restaurant.
I really hope you enjoyed this tale.