United

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Warring races set aside their differences to tackle an enemy like no other.

Submitted: August 09, 2017

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Submitted: August 09, 2017

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‘Never thought I’d be allying with a centaur.’

The centaur puffed out his great wall of a chest and shook his long mane of hair. ‘Nor I with a troll.’

The hippogriff stood between them, silver feathers bristling. ‘These are desperate times indeed. To see races such as ours having to work together.’

‘The common enemy,’ croaked the troll, green bile drooping from his thick, greasy lips. ‘An enemy more powerful than any of us have ever faced.’

‘And more ruthless,’ added the centaur deeply.

‘We cannot allow this new army to destroy our freedom,’ said the hippogriff. He turned his statuesque, amber eyes to the troll, and focused in on his black, pupil-less eyes. ‘We must put aside our differences. Our races – they’ve been clashing and squabbling for centuries, but what we face now…’ He looked at the centaur, and hissed through his beak, ‘this matters.’

‘Hear-hear,’ said the centaur, raising his ale and draining it in one huge gulp.

The mud-green troll raised a pint of something oily and drained that, then nodded his flabby head.

‘Clearly, we underestimated this new enemy,’ said the centaur. ‘And I’m sure, in their minds they believe themselves to be the good guys…’

‘And yet we must hide in this enchanted cave to quietly discuss how everything’s turning sour,’ said the troll. ‘Ever since they arrived, they’ve forced their ideals on us. It’s tyrannical. They need to be wiped out.’

‘You think if we could wipe them out we wouldn’t have done so already?’ asked the hippogriff. ‘Us hippogriffs, we can fight… fiercely, but so can they. They could wipe us all out in seconds. Remember what they did to the dragons?’

Coldness and silence twisted around those words.

‘Extinct,’ said the centaur gravely. ‘Hundreds of them… the fiercest and most ancient race there’s ever been… annihilated as easily as if they were cockroaches.’

The troll looked almost in awe. ‘They wiped out the goddamn dragons. Huge, flying, fire-breathing, steel-scaled dragons. The massacre, I admit, was extraordinary to behold.’

It was a terrible truth, and all three of them knew it.

‘How can we defeat such an enemy?’ asked the centaur. ‘None of us are even half as powerful as the dragons.’

‘We have each other,’ said the hippogriff, and he dug his yellow talons into the rocky floor. ‘We will be coordinated, we will rally the other races, we will plot and scheme and do whatever it takes. These new creatures can’t just waltz in here and tell us what to do, what to think, how to act. This is our god damn land!’

‘That’s right!’ said the centaur, and he pawed at the ground with one of his great, bronze legs. ‘It’s our god damn home!’

The troll snorted and spat out something sticky and slightly alive. ‘Come on then, boys. Let’s start plotting.’

*

Thousands of magical creatures stood in formation, attentive to the generals before them. Imps, goblins, trolls, hippogriffs, centaurs, mermen, gnomes, leprechauns, yetis, sphinxes, salamanders redcaps and more lined almost for miles. Each of these creatures was racist in their own way. Nothing could help that, they all had endured an arduous and bitter history in this enchanted world. To bring these segregated races together was a feat that only the most desperate of hours could have ever achieved. Cannons and weaponry were spread throughout the army. Huge elephants and basilisks carried astounding hordes of supplies and weapons.

Within the army were gripped swords, mighty crossbows, cruel axes, long spears and hardened shields. There was a steely resolve in all eyes, but that steel quivered. The day was shining, the fields were green and merry, but it did not reflect the reality of their lives.

The silver hippogriff was at the front of the army, and many generals stood by his side, including the troll and centaur with which he had spoken with in that enchanted cave all those months ago. His face was grizzled and scarred now. Those statuesque, amber eyes had been dulled, and they never stayed still. He addressed the army spread out before him.

‘You all know me,’ he said gravely. ‘You know the battles I’ve had with our enemy, the sacrifices and awful decisions I’ve had to make on behalf of our cause. Some of you may disagree with the things I’ve said and done…’

Nobody spoke, but the air thickened.

‘Whatever you may think of my actions, know I always made my choices based on what I thought was right, what I thought would win us this war. I know my title “The Mad Commander” did not spring out of nowhere, and perhaps I’m deserving of the title, but I will do whatever it takes to rid us of this powerful new enemy, to bring us back into that world we once knew. We have all collectively suffered under the hands of this tyrannical foe, and I don’t want the countless deaths we’ve all grieved over to be for nothing. I want them to mean something, I want them to be lost to a cause worth fighting for – the cause for freedom! When you march today, in this - our final battle – I want you to know that what we march for is a cause more worthy than any other. This is a war for the future of all races, not just any one. We all know that there will be casualties on our side, many of them, but I can promise you one thing… they will not be in vain.’

The soldiers cheered and all species in that moment were united. They were no longer a collection of different races, but one – the race which sided with freedom. The cheers rang hard and long, and there was a vibe that maybe today was the end. The end of all days, but maybe that was OK – there were worse ways to go than fighting a dreadful enemy that demanded subjugation.

There was a twinkle at the edge of where the generals stood in front of the army. Everyone went still, especially the generals, who looked at the sparkling with dawning horror.

‘They’re here,’ said a sphinx, its golden tail swishing. ‘The enemies… they’re here.’

The generals fled down to join their armies, and every heart in that army thrashed. Cannons were readied, arrows were nocked, bladed weapons were raised. Everyone’s senses were on high alert. Many creatures fainted, including some of the basilisks and giant trolls. For a while, there was no sound but ragged breaths and the twinkling that marked the arrival of the enemies.

The sparkles and twinkles grew in size, and flashed in all manner of colours - dashing red, electric blue, shrieking pink… the twinkles popped and zapped faster and harder until four fairies in baby pink dresses emerged at the front of this towering army. They were each smaller than a human hand, and they wore smiles like Barbie dolls. Their dresses were immaculate and lined with jewels. They each looked genuinely, beautifully happy.

‘Hello, all!’ a blonde fairy squeaked at the army.

The army didn’t reply.

The fairies’ wings flittered like fragile butterflies, and they flew over the crowd, their star-shaped wands twirling around their fingers.

One that looked like a china doll said, ‘Goodness, there are so many of you here. How wonderful! We’re so happy to see all of you playing together.’

A goblin in the crowd couldn’t take the pressure, and fainted.

‘But you all look so glum,’ said another fairy, this one ghostly white with ruby cheeks. ‘We like it better when you all smile. Didn’t we tell all of you that?’

The army shifted uncomfortably.

‘Didn’t you hear her?’ said the blonde fairy, now flying into the crowd and looking at many of the creatures up-close. ‘She locked eyes with a particularly still goblin. ‘She said smile.’

The troll quickly flashed her his blackest grin. Grime clung to every tooth.

‘That’s better,’ said the blonde fairy. She soared up above the crowd again. The other three fairies joined her. ‘I don’t know why you silly creatures insist on being so mean and unhappy. Why can’t you all just be happy like us? Fairies are so happy and kind, can’t you act more like us? You’ll be happier. Be like us.’

‘Yeah,’ said the other three fairies. ‘Be like us.’

‘We will never be like you,’ said one of the generals, an ogre, near the front of the army. ‘You aren’t going to force your ideals down our throats anymore.’

The fairies tittered. ‘We’re fairies, we don’t force you to do anything, we’re just trying to show you how to be happier!’

‘By force!’ shouted the ogre.

The crowd grumbled in agreement.

The ghostly fairy shook her finger at them. ‘You’re all naughty! Far too naughty! When creatures are naughty, they have to be punished! Everything we do and tell you is for your own good. That’s why we had to send the dragons away. Never happy, always so grumpy.’

‘You killed them!’ shouted the hippogriff. ‘Murdered in cold blood!’

‘Ooh, such horrible, mean words,’ said the china-doll fairy. ‘Now just you all stop it, you’re making me awful mad.’

The battle-scarred silver hippogriff lifted himself into the air on his great wings and met the blonde fairy face-to-face. She beamed when their eyes met.

‘Ooh, Bayanon,’ she squeaked. ‘So good to see you again! How’s your family?’

‘Still dead,’ he snapped.

‘Oops,’ she said, blushing.

‘You fairies think just because you’re all powerful you can get us to do what you want, be what you want, but we tell you what. You managed to do one thing – you gave a bunch of warring races a common enemy – a reason to unite! You! And once we rid the world of your filth, this world will be a better, more peaceable place.’

The crowd cheered.

‘The only thing stopping us from a new peaceful life now…’ he continued, ‘is you. Good will always triumph evil.’

The fourth fairy, one with long, platinum blonde hair, whizzed over. ‘Well, what could be more good than being a fairy? I know this is embarrassing for you, but we think you might be the bad guys.’

‘Enough of this.’ Bayanon turned back to the crowd. ‘Weapons ready!’ he screeched. He flew back into the crowd.

‘Oh, now don’t be silly,’ said the blonde fairy. ‘Don’t turn your weapons on us. We’ll be forced to retaliate’

‘Fire!’ shouted Bayanon.

Cannonfire boomed out, arrows flew. Smoke and debris filled the air, and the world was momentarily black and acrid. Both cannonballs and arrows had been fired at the fairies, and when the dust cleared, the fairies were still there, floating above the crowd, each shielded within fragile-looking, but impenetrable, bubbles.

The blonde fairy sighed. ‘I guess we’ll have to annihilate them all.’

The platinum-blonde fairy wiped away a glistening tear. ‘I guess we will.’

Deafening purple fire streamed out of the china-doll fairy’s wand and crashed into the army below, blowing a hole through it as if it were paper. Bodies went flying. Lightning cracked over the army from the clouds above, manipulated by the blonde fairy, whose eyes were death-white. The china-doll fairy dived into the crowd and mowed down creatures with her wand, dicing them up with her slicing wand at supersonic speed. The platinum-blonde fairy let out a hellish screech that brought a hundred soldiers to their knees, all of whom screamed and held their heads.

The creatures that could fly were up in the air, biting and scratching at the fairies, and the fairies hissed back at them, although their faces were still cheery. Arrows continued to fly, cannonballs continued to bombard, and the grounded creatures tried cutting down the china-doll fairy, who swooped and dived among the crowd with an almost apologetic, bashful expression.

‘Sorry!’ she called out to a manticore, whose snout had only been half-severed by her razor-sharp wand. It howled.

All creatures present beat and attacked the fairies, whose magic burned and flayed all who met it. The screams were agonizing, and the clashing steel was ear-piercing. Within minutes, the body count was uncountable. Within ten minutes, where there were once thousands of creatures, now there were hundreds. There were still four fairies.

The fairies were little more than blurs as they zig-zagged through the crowd, streaming out cruel, over-powered magic against their foes.

An imp got lucky with its dagger. It threw it above, not really knowing where or how to hit the fairy, and it happened to glance off the ghostly fairy’s hand. It sliced some of her fingers off.

‘Ouch!’ she said, sucking at the stumps. When she withdrew them, they were already healed, but her wand had fallen to the ground. A centaur picked it up and pointed it at her.

‘Just you give that back,’ she said petulantly.

The centaur pointed it at her, not knowing what to say or do. She was immediately vaporized.

The crowd below cheered and the other fairies gasped and covered their mouths.

‘You mean…’ said the blonde fairy. ‘You naughty little… you are… you fucking scabby parasites!’ Her face wrinkled and became a horror. ‘You’ll pay for that, you shit-eating freaks!’

The centaur pointed the wand into the air once more, and a violent, black wind rushed through the air above, and every flying creature dropped to the ground, including all the fairies. All the hundreds of soldiers left in the battle pounced. An ogre kicked one of the fairies in the face, a redcap swung a scythe through the wrist of another. Wands were dropped and picked up. The fairies writhed and snarled, trapped and wandless under a battalion of stomping soldiers. Each of them was soon kicked and flattened and sliced into oblivion. The cheer of triumph that raised from the crowd was immense, and the wands were held up in victory.

‘We’ve triumphed!’ shouted Bayanon, now soaring above the crowd, many of whom were dead, but many of whom were alive. ‘We’ve triumped!’

The crowd roared gloriously.

 A huge, twinkling set of sparkles erupted over the crowd above. Each creature looked up and they watched with hopelessness and dread as a battalion of new fairies emerged, all of them quite happy and radiant. They observed the bodies below.

‘My, my,’ one of them said, ‘How naughty you’ve all been…’



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